September 22, 2014


I come from quite a line of quilters and crafters. I'm sure I've mentioned it previously.

My great grandma Elsie (my mother's paternal grandmother) made a quilt for my grandma Thelma about 80 years ago, which was passed along to my mom when grandma Thelma died. The quilt was a traditional pattern in a minty, army green and white - with little semicircle wedges of floral calico and dutch girl fabric. My mother kept the quilt on her bed for most of my childhood and it smelled deliciously old.

One day when I was about five, I wandered into her bedroom and found great grandma Elsie's pinking shears. And I remember wondering what kind of cut pinking shears would make. So I laid down on the floor next to the bed and cut into my mother's heirloom quilt. It wasn't long after my chop that my mom heard the ominous sound of silence coming from her only child's room upstairs and arrived to investigate. I'd be lying if I said I didn't deserve the spanking I got. Judy fixed the quilt. She found the closest minty, army green fabric she could and sewed it around the gap. And every day thereafter I would see the quilt on her bed and regret that little square that was different along the edge. I think I might have broken my mama's heart a little that day and I still feel bad about that.

Dang I was a pickle.

My mother was a crafty one, too, that lovely Judy. She made afghans for me as a baby and I still have one of them. It is a soft, buttery yellow zigzag with marbled pink/green/white yarn throughout. During my childhood, that afghan was a great fort roof. It went outside for picnics, played house in my playhouse, and wrapped up all sorts of baby dolls. I am grateful I managed to hold onto it.

All 3 of my babies have cuddled in it. Mabel most especially. She uses it to build forts, play house, and wrap up her baby dolls. She also sleeps with it on top of her quilt most of the time. And so I was very shocked to check on her one night recently and find that her afghan looked a little funny. Her afghan had seven holes in it. She had overstepped her scrapbooking boundaries and wondered what it would look like to use her scrapbooking scissors on yarn. And a crocheted afghan at that. God Himself kept those seven holes from unraveling. Seriously, my mother must have used mortar when knotting that thing up because, thank the Lord, the holes didn't rip the whole dang thing out.

I scolded her and sobbed at the foot of her wooden bed and told her about how sad I was that she'd cut into the afghan Nana Judy made for me as a baby. She cried, too, and apologized a lot.

Dang she is a pickle.

I stopped at the craft store on the way home the next day and found the closest soft, buttery yellow yarn I could find for that 40 year old afghan. And then I sat down on the couch and did afghan surgery. If you've ever repaired an afghan you know that this requires matching yarn, a darning needle, tweezers, and a whoooooolllle lot of patience. It took me over two hours to repair all seven of the holes that Mabel cut into that afghan and when I hold it up, those scars are very hard to see. In addition to being a pickle, I'm also dang good at afghan repair apparently. Perhaps God knew I'd need that particular talent in my lifetime.

Mabel was thrilled that I could fix it almost as much as I was. Every time she sees it now, she notices the repairs more readily than I do and she says she is sorry. She did break my heart a little that day, but I wasn't surprised at all. I called Nana Judy and told her the story and she shared a laugh with me. Probably because she knows I totally deserve exactly what happened.

I am grateful to have a pickle for a daughter. She sure makes life interesting - and I would never trade a single thing that I endure for her, ever. Including afghan repair. But I might not-so-secretly wish that one day, she has a baby girl who is also a juicy little pickle.

1 comment:

  1. I can so relate to this post. My mother embroidered baby quilts for her grandchildren. One day while visiting, I noticed my nieces playing with the quilts outside on the grass. I nearly lost it. As a person who knows many needle arts and as a quilter, I know the many hours my mom spent making the quilts. They deserved respect. I calmly explained to my young nieces and their mother, the love that went into those quilts. My nieces are grown with their own children and I'm very happy to say they treasure the quilts. They also ask me to make many homemade items and treasure them, too. Mabel will be the same way when she grows up thanks to you.