Festivities and Fabrics

Sometimes the best gift isn’t a tangible item.  Sometimes the best present is those you love close and rowdy, wet and splashy.  Dad’s birthday party this past Saturday was at my sister’s house, where a pool pleased the younger crowd.  Dad stayed dry, in a chair, yet his joy was infectious, a quiet, low-key happiness that tied us all together.

Well, that and all the yummy food…

My family is known for eats; there was more food than we needed, but sewing enthusiasts will understand.  Sometimes a plethora of fabrics are necessary, although fabric isn’t as perishable as macaroni salad.  We took home hot dogs and tri-tip, a gorgeous cantaloupe and home-grown tomatoes.  And now that I’m home, a quilt queue is calling my name.

For my brother-in-law, who loved plaid shirts and hunting.

For my brother-in-law, who loves plaid shirts and hunting.

First up is the Brother-In-Law Quilt, which has been cut, arranged, even rows sewn, although not together.  I was going to start that last night, but instead I cut fabrics for another quilt, while still one more loiters on the quilt wall.  My peripatetic life as of late has precluded writing, but quilting, well, quilting comes in stages, like planning for a big bash.  You need an outline of guests, then a menu, then a location…  Equally in quilting, you need fabrics, then to cut those fabrics, then to arrange those fabrics…

For my youngest daughter's bestie!

For my youngest daughter’s bestie!

And when the purchased fabrics aren’t quite enough, you raid your stash, and come up with a few more.

What's sitting on my quilt wall, for a toddler.

What’s sitting on my quilt wall, for a toddler.

We didn’t need any more vittles on Saturday, but the love wafting along my sister’s patio was thick, giggles from the pool rife, familial chatter vying with my brother-in-law’s smoker to fill the air with heavenly sounds and scents.  Parties are never long enough, but luckily we seem to meet up often, due to holidays or special days or just the need to bond with relatives.  How precious are these days, summer or not, when a clan can reconnect in person?  So many social media devices at hand, but hands are meant to be clasped, then wrapped around each other.  Love is best shared when voices and faces match up alongside aging bodies that can still get out and about.  Relatively, my father is young at seventy, but chemo has altered him, none of us can deny that.  He still uses that chemo quilt, although triple-digit heat hovers.  Dad has a hard time feeling the heat, but the love, oh the love…

The love trumps everything.

For me, quilting is borne of a similar love, for colour and cottons, combating idle hands and to share a tangible aspect of my creative heart.  I can’t always be in the bosom of my most beloved, but I can sew them a little piece of my affections.   And the affections aren’t always for those well-known.  At times they are for strangers, but only on a linear plane.  Someday Dad won’t be here, but my memories will last until I can’t recall them, and his quilt will suffice as a marker of this extraordinary time and a great love, lasting until those threads fall apart at the seams.  I’ll think back to small swimming children, delicious smoked tri-tip and creamy chocolate cake, and the hugs which don’t translate via emails and letters, but are intoxicating when received, perhaps a little like a quilt.

Those rows aren't going to sew themselves together...

Those rows aren’t going to sew themselves together…

And speaking of quilts…  Best I get to work on one!

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2 thoughts on “Festivities and Fabrics

  1. laura bruno lilly

    “Parties are never long enough, but luckily we seem to meet up often, due to holidays or special days or just the need to bond with relatives. How precious are these days, summer or not, when a clan can reconnect in person? So many social media devices at hand, but hands are meant to be clasped, then wrapped around each other. Love is best shared when voices and faces match up alongside aging bodies that can still get out and about.”

    That’s what it’s all about…and when those physical re-connects are not possible, the memories are always there.

    Thank you for this lovely post, and for sharing your family with me.

    smokedtri-tippeace

    Reply

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