This is an attempt to make a mug rug. The initial plan was to put two blocks together into a placemat, but the dimensions would not allow such a venture. I had to do some invasive surgery to get the blocks in a workable situation – hence the severe cut-up points. My Granma Ballan, who passed away in March, left boxes of material, thread, patterns, and the galore. She even stored some assembled quilt blocks (six in number). I have decided to make these into some type of table decoration. Though my grandmother had great sewing skills, I found it tough to get everything to line up properly. I have five more blocks to go.
My mother gave me her old sewing machine this weekend (16 & 17 May, 2015) and I was going to attempt to create a creation. Some have seen this photo already, but there is a shoebox full of cut pieces ready for assembly, which will be more forgiving when I put them together. The templates (as shown here) seem to have been used a number of times. As well, I found a number of attempted blocks in the box (hey, that rhymes). It is fascinating to see the progression of art. I almost don’t want to disturb what is there.
My cousin Alexia wants to see a finished product; and to her I say “this is just the beginning, I am sure I can do better than this.”
I know it is tough to see, but I am sure some of my family may recognise the material. Granma used this for a few other quilts made for us throughout the years. Though I will never reach the full quilt stage, I do not want to waste something my grandmother spent so much time compiling over the years:
This quilt was given to me when I moved into my first apartment in 2001. I later found this same pattern on a quilt at the Clothes Basket in Rosthern, but the difference was in the stitching. My grandmother did all hers by hand:
I will admit I am nowhere near the same level as those who do quilting and sewing projects. My knitting, crochet, and cross stitching projects are not even close to awesome either. It would help that I get at least one project done. Done right, well, that is not a physical measurement. A quilt given to Richard and me by an expert quilter is coming apart at the seams, literally. All the proof of being human and the wonderfulness in that.
The projects-on-the-go of my grandmother reminds me of the purse she commissioned me to make. I was in the midst of making it when I lost the pattern and I was unable to find the website I found it originally. Upon looking at the version I made for myself, she could tell exactly what type of stitches I used. I have an idea, but I modified the pattern to fit her specifications, and that too has gone missing.
Comparisons will not make things move any faster. Whether the person is here physically or spiritually, I need to remember that I have only do so much. I have two hands full of guy thumbs, which does make for interesting delicate work. When we ask “when is mathematics ever going to be useful in later life?” quilting and sewing make a good reminder to keep it up. Well, it is more geometry, but the concept is the same.
I am very thankful for this gift. I knew what I was getting, as I was one of the few who helped sort Granma’s suite out after the funeral. Though I did not show it, my chest was heavy, my eyes were sore, and my brain almost exploded. The knowledge that she was no longer there and people going through her things brought back memories of the same situation after Grandma Jensen passed away in 1984. Now I am old enough to further appreciate the value of the scraps and little bits left behind.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, I may have been ten when Granma Jensen passed away, but I knew darn well what it all meant. My heart experienced a lot more than what people expect.
With all this said, I hope to use this material, thread, patterns, the galore, and the love for what it was meant for.