Following in my Mother's Needle Holes

It's a good thing I stole a few moments this morning to work on my embroidery because it's the only sewing I've been able to do all day.  I had an appointment this morning, and then I went to the grocery store to pick up some items for the special dinner I'm making for Valentine's Day tomorrow.  Mike and I don't like to eat out on Valentine's Day.  The restaurants are too busy.  The menu tends to be fixed.  It's just not the way I want to spend a romantic evening. 

Valentine's Day aside, I spent about an hour this morning working on the embroidery repair for the Mother Goose baby quilt.  I'll admit that I've been fretting about this a little because I am so impressed with my mother's embroidery.  Honestly, it is flawless.  I never saw her embroider a single thing when I was growing up, except for the time she embroidered my name on my gym suit for school when I was in the 7th grade.  I didn't have the good sense back then to notice what a great job she did, although I do remember thinking mine was so much neater than my classmates' gym suits.  (Most of them had to do it themselves.  I was very lucky that way.)

So all of that to say that as I removed all the old threads, I realized that I could just go right along in her needle holes, which are still clearly visible on the fabric.

My mother has been gone for nearly 15 years, but it was as if she was sitting right beside me this morning while I threaded the needle in and out following right along where she had sewn.  It isn't perfect, but it isn't bad either.

Working on this project has made me feel close to my mother, but I wasn't prepared for how intimate it would feel this morning to be sewing along in the needle holes she made so many years ago. 

And I imagine Margery Daw is happy to have her feet back too.

Before I went to the grocery store, I picked up the Checkerboard Flowers quilt from the quilters.  This is the quilt I'm entering in the International Quilt Festival in Ireland this June.  So exciting!

I asked my quilter to use a flower motif, but I also asked her to quilt it pretty densely.  I don't want the pinked edges of the appliques curling up and dense quilting seemed to be the way to go.  Here are a few close-up shots.  I'll show you the whole thing once I have the binding on and the whole thing is finished.

Here's how it looks on the back:

I'm pretty happy with what she did.    I like the contrast of the cream-colored thread on the green backing.  Foolishly, I put the leftover backing fabric in with the Traveling Stash when I sent it on its way.  I forgot that I would want some of that fabric for the binding.  It was one of those "well-that-was-dumb" realizations.  Oh well.  I have another green that will work just as well. 

I spent the afternoon cooking.  I made the soup and the dessert for tomorrow's dinner.  That will give me the whole day tomorrow to do some cleaning and to cook the rest of the dinner.  I'll tell you what's on the menu tomorrow and pass along a few recipes.  For now, you'll just have to wonder.

What are you doing for Valentine's Day? 

9 comments from clever and witty friends:

Teresa in Music City said...

What an honor! To be able to actually stitch in your mother's stitches! That must have been so very awesome - in the spiritual sense of that word. I know you would have treasured that quilt because your mother made it, but now it has transcended even that to become something even more special, even more treasured.

LynCC said...

You are going all out for tomorrow. I think that's so cool. :D Me, I guess I've written it off as a complete loss this year. We already know Scott'll be late at work because of some after-work meetings in preparation for their upcoming inspection. I think their commander must be bitterly divorced or something. :P Well, I can swing by the clinic and take him something before the meeting! Think I'l do that. :)

Kate said...

I think it's so cool that you are redoing the Mother Goose blocks/quilts. The new shoes look great.

The quilting on the Checkerboard flowers is beautiful. It fits the motif really well.

My Guy is away on a business trip, so I guess Drama Teen is going to have to be my valentine for tomorrow's dinner.

Samantha said...

I have a quilt top that I take out and look at once in a while that was made by my Grandmother and my Great Grandmother. I probably should quilt it one of these days.

I love your quilt and that quilting fits it perfectly.

Valentine's Day. Hmmm... :) We got massages on Saturday and my hubby works the graveyard shift so I will probably make a nice breakfast for him in the morning before he has to sleep. Maybe bacon spinach quiche and waffles, his two favorites for breakfast.

c. Joy said...

One of my gifts to my husband - I'm shredding stuff from the past year. I hope to get back to quilting this afternoon (lunch break) I'm working on a quilt label, trying something new - embroidery! Pork chops and spinach souffle for dinner... Happy Valentine's Day, Barbara.

KatieQ said...

I'm so glad that working on the embroidery brought you such a special connection with your mom. I think we all long for a spiritual connection with those we love, but rarely achieve it.
I love the flower quilting. You're lucky to have such a great long armer to complement you work. I can't wait to see the finished quilt.

Sarah said...

What am I doing for V-Day? This morning I gave the kitties some extra loving and wet kibbies! After work I'll be at "Chocolate in the Stacks." My (Yes, it's mine!!) library has a V-Day Chinese Auction surrounded by all kinds of chocolate goodies. Since I am on the board of trustees and not afraid of public speaking, I get to draw the winning tickets and announce the winners. It's usually a mob scene but lots of fun.

Snoodles said...

What an awesome situation...to be able to be stitching in the same tiny holes, to reconnect and remember her, as you refresh those gorgeous blocks. I'm sure this made for treasured moments, as you were able to reflect as you embroidered. I'm not sure if any of my family did that kind of thing - if they did, they didn't treasure it and keep it, like I would...I don't have any things to cherish like that. You are so blessed! Enjoy your romantic dinner - I have some plans with hubby tonight, too. Eating out is just not something we get a kick out of - but dinner and a fire in the fireplace? Yeah, that's what I'm talking about!! :)

Susan said...

I love how you posted about sewing in your mother's needle holes. That was great, and very touching. Your quilt looks wonderful, too. Good luck in the show.