Sunday, October 17, 2010

passions

A hundred years ago, my great grandmother and great grandfather were working their farm and raising a bumper crop of children. Minerva and R.C. Ray. 
They listened to the radio in the dim light of evening and she would do her hand work almost by touch. Resourcefully and artistically, she created her quilts and clothing, using pieces as small as postage stamps. 
My mother visited her grandparents in June 1943. It was war time and Minerva was sewing quilts for the Red Cross. Using the log cabin pattern, she took strips of dark and light fabric from her scrap bag and sewed them to fabric foundations. Patterns slowly emerged.
Passions have a great power to influence, and to inspire. My mother, finding herself surrounded by the  kaleidoscope of her grandmother's calicoes and cottons, succumbed to the charm of quilting.
Time rolled along and my mother's own grandchildren, an even dozen, grew up. As they married, she presented each with a log cabin quilt. Passion, passed from generation to generation.
A few years ago, she instructed and encouraged me, as I sewed a lap sized version of her foundation pieced log cabin "quilt as you go" pattern. Patiently, proudly.
I'm thankful that my mother instilled in me a love of fabric, with its endlessly varied color and pattern, and for giving value to time spent creating. It has brought such joy to my life.

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