Karen writes about life as a Quiltmaker in Austin, Texas; surviving in an empty nest, marriage, cooking, gardening and (did I say?) Quilting...

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Baby QUilts as Coping Mechanism...


OK... the nest is STILL empty...

...and, I have to admit, that the odds of my baby bird returning any time soon (as seems to happen quite a bit these days), seems terribly remote.

I was blessed with an "explorer" the kind who (sorry Trek fans) "boldy goes"...with nary a look back. He left home for culinary school, and promptly built a great life for himself - already ready a Sous Chef and turning twenty this month - albeit in a great town about 1200 miles from home (boo hoo).
The prospect of any enlargement to the family, likewise seems remote - though there does seem to be a fairly steady gal pal arrangement these days. One which I have not yet met, though, who seems, (after an accidental chat on son's AIM last week), to be quite nice. And any gal my son picks must be pretty good - he's always had an eye for the good things in life. And, at twenty, there's plenty of time for that later -No worries - right?
Oh, but, as anyone who's learning to live with the empty nest knows, there are some days when the nest is emptier than others.
The quilt shown above is this month's "baby bundle" quilt. At the beginning of the year, I challenged myself to make at least one each month, and so far, so good... actually, with about 9 quilts done, I'm a bit ahead of myself for a change! The quilts are fun, non-stressful creations, as challenging or easy as I like. They are as enjoyable to give away as to make... Each also provides a ready palate for testing new skills or patterns - in this case, the new walking foot for "Big Red", which worked admirably, and a great continuous like pattern for the border - from Janie Donaldson's "Add-a-Line Continued More Continuous Quilting Patterns" -it can be found on page 12 in the book.

Note in the picture above though who looks over my every quilting job, both blessing every quilt, and (gratefully) quietly ignoring all faults... my son's picture hangs as that of the "saint of the sewing studio" (please pardon - no damage intended to the devout!). He was always a bit of a cynic where organized religion is concerned, so I think he'd enjoy the irony of the comparison.

A closer look indicates that this is a very young picture (Jr. year in H.S.) still sporting that adolescent skin, and in a somewhat awkward pose for the camera (er, uhm, for mom actually - because he would ONLY sit for a photo at that time if forced too by me of course !). But, it's one of my favorites, because it is such a great picture, still hinting of the innocence of earlier years.

It's funny how just little things can set me off to a place of sadness though. What started all this musing (and missing) was the discovery, tucked away in my old treadle cabinet's drawers, of 3 items from son John's rock collection. Just three small bits, a few of many, which still, somehow, continue to clutter the house here and there. Though we moved away from the boyhood home last year, and have packaged up (or so I thought) or sold off, or shipped off to him every thing that was designated as HIS... still somehow they turn up. Usually I find them in the unlikeliest of places - as in this case, Whilst searching for a wayward walking foot for "Big Red" the 15-31.

The small rocks are a bit of turquoise - bought in an unusual touristy place no doubt. A smooth reflective piece of hematite - bought by me on one of my many trips to a far away museum, back in the days when my life was filled with business travel. I always tried to bring home some new thing for him...more for the enjoyment the anticipation gave me - knowing that even the smallest little thing brought from far away gave him great pleasure!

And last, but certainly not least, a real small piece of meteorite - found long ago on the shores of Lake Buchanan. A true bit of pre-John history, that we shared.

No telling how they ended up in the old cabinet... probably picked up from the carpet at some point, and put there for safe keeping.
I think, I'll keep them just a bit longer, as they provide pleasant memories of a shelf full of found things... all that John kept for his own enjoyment. He can have them whenever he likes... but I have them, and my memories, NOW!
- Karen












1 comment:

Julia said...

Thanks for the comment Mrs. H.