A little over a year into this reboot, and I’ve hit my first real anniversary. With a houseful of guests, I missed the 2016 Plunge, clearing the house of 30 years of detritus doesn’t count and the blog’s launch isn’t quite a year old, so quilting was my first second annual anything.
Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, I made a bunch of quilts. The first, when I was a young teen in the early ’70s, doing the hip thing with genuinely scrappy scraps. Then there was the bed cover I made from old Levi cords — very late ’70s. But most of my quilts were in the early ’90s, in my child rearing years — which, if you are doing the math, was quite some time ago.
I loved the sewing and playing with color and pattern, but I’m not nearly fussy enough about my seams to be a good quilter. So, over time, I just stopped doing it. Years later, when she retired, my mom took up the craft and she loves it. When she and I were planning a weekend together last year in celebration of my new-found freedom, no surprise, she wanted to head for her favorite haunt in the far north to quilt.
Last year it was bitterly cold and snowy, but we were cozy in our B&B with its charming rooms, spacious sewing studio (spectacular Adirondack mountain views, gratis) and friendly chatter. This year it was bitterly cold, not snowy and similarly cozy. It was as if no time had passed at all.
Of all the considerable surrounding charms, the women are still the most delightful. Like the quilts they piece, they come in every imaginable shade and shape — a 30 year-old state penitentiary guard, a 40ish tatooed saleswomen, a couple of 50+ homemakers, the new retirees, the old retirees; another mother/daughter pair; the full political spectrum, politely quieted; and a cacophony of accents musing on loving husbands, lousy ex-spouses and the optimism of marriage. About the only things in common are a passion for quilting and grandchildren who must all hail from Lake Wobegone. They are Innkeeper Mary’s “girls” but I think of them as fabulous living quilts.
Despite my ancient history with quilts, I’m the novice in the crowd, happily puttering alongside masters. I love seeing and being with my mom, in this, her element. She does beautiful work. I’ve had fun watching her artistry emerge over time, bearing witness to her growing confidence, to her sense of color, and of play. She’s not one of the chattier quilters. She lets her handiwork do the talking. And you can bet that all of her above-average grandchildren have gorgeous covers in which to cuddle for years to come.