Thursday, April 5, 2012

Quilting Eases Tears

Oh, dear! It is April and the year is disappearing while my list of "to do" remains just as long! 
Because of the health needs my elderly Dad demands on me, every day vaporizes with wishes of accomplishing more, yet in defeat and fatigue. 
The first week of March, Dad collapsed to what I call a lower leveled step in health. He lost his ability to speak, walk, and hold his walker. I began 24/7 care, dosing in his recliner by the side of his bed. Many hours in the soft darkness I wondered if this was the last hour of his life, but each time he awoke, I coached his motor skills to return step-by-step. 
By the 6th day without much needed sleep, I admitted a desperate need for help via a phone conversation with my eldest sister. Recently retired, enabled both her husband and she to arrive a couple days later, ready to bless both Dad and me. 
A month has passed, and just the laughter and conversations have lifted my spirit and revived my resolve to finish strong in Elder Care. In the meantime, Dad has regained a weakened strength and is able to communicate, walk, and help himself with necessary chores.
Learning precision matters
Loving my Janome's 1/4" foot!
During our quiet hours, I've been able to share with my sister my love for quilting. We began with the 1/2 sq triangle square, showing her the short-cut of drawing a diagonal line in each pair of squares, sewing 1/4" seam on either side of the line, and then, cutting on the line to make her triangle. She fell in love with my tools, learned precision of measuring, cutting, and seams. Pressing toward the darker fabric was also a new concept. Within the last year, she had purchased the same Janome model, but was thrilled to learn that it came with the 1/4" foot attachment which helped her make her seams precise.



Finished 8" blocks
She thought it would take years to make the quilt in her imagination, so, I cannot explain her pleasure as she gazes on her finished quilt front. Within a couple of days, she had quite an assortment of 8" blocks to display on my LR carpet.

So proud with accomplishment
Sitting on the carpet, marveling at how much she had accomplished, she called a quilter girlfriend! "I'm sitting here looking at my first blocks!" she exclaimed so proudly. I beamed in the background because she was such an easy student! 
Warm Chocolate Brown border 4 blocks 
We chose to soften the colors with a warm chocolate brown framing each 16" square. It make quite a difference in the appearance and much more pleasing to their taste of fabric! 
Backing with the same warm brown 
She just finished her first quilt front and is ready to add batting and the warm chocolate brown for a backing and bias. I think in a few weeks, she'll be thrilled to carry home her beautiful dream of a quilt!  
In the meantime, Dad is resting quietly, loving her massaging hands on his pained legs and shoulders. Her companionship has been such a blessing, and oh! I must quickly write another post about all the wonderful little chores her husband accomplished around our house. It surpasses 'Amazing!'!!!
Through it all, we've learned the lightness of spirit that quilting can bring to heavy hearts as we worked together to create beauty.