Sunday, October 19, 2008

Quilting by phone

My sister Paula called.

Paula is my older sister. She works in banking (proving she has a math brain). She and her husband are fabulous, innovative cooks, one of her daughters is a chef and is married to a chef. I on the other hand was usually asked to bring ice to the family dinners.

Paula lives in Atlanta and has just become a Grandmother for the second time this year.
She wants to finish her "old" quilt, that she started here in Pittsburgh, so that she can start new ones for her new grandsons.

I tried to explain to her that "real" quilters don't bother finishing an old project before starting a new one. She claimed that she needed to brush up on her skills before starting a new project. She also pointed out that she still has the first 6 blocks of the very first block-of-the-month we taught in the shop (15 years ago) in a drawer somewhere. That should count for something.

Naturally I agreed to help.

Our conversation went something like this:
Paula: You remember the quilt, it was blue stars with strips around the outside.
Me: Strips? Do you mean sashing?
Paula: Ok, if you say so. Now I need the stuff that goes around that.
Me: Borders?
Paula: Is that what comes next?
Me: Are the blocks sewn together into a quilt top?
Paula: Uh-huh.
Me: Then you are ready for borders.
Paula: How big are my borders?
Me: How big would you like them to be?
Paula: As big as you tell me to make them.
Me: Do you have fabric?
Paula: No, how much should I buy?
Me: How big is your quilt?
Paula: I don't know.
Me: 3 yards.

Sometime this week my sister is going to walk into an unsuspecting quilt shop carrying an unfinished blue and white Ohio Star quilt that she started 10 years ago as a high school graduation gift for her daughter. That same daughter is now married and has just had her first baby. My sister is going to drive the clerk crazy trying to match 10 year old fabric, having no idea what she needs or how to finish her project. My hope is that the clerk is not only kind and understanding, but that she keeps it simple. Paula plans to call me so that I can talk her through the finishing process. I know what she really wants is for me to say "just send it and I will finish it for you".

In our family DNA, Paula got the cooking genes.


quilterpolly said...

great no-blog girlfriend and i talk like that all the time. I try to get her to help me make things since I don't cook and sometimes crave a home cooked meal. I don't have the genes to cook and sometimes i just want to cook a meal for a date and she laughs at me and sends me to the store...

BrendaLou said...

Karen, I once tried to explain to my sister-in-law how to applique a Baltimore-style dogtooth border over the phone. She finally bought a cheater cloth Baltimore wall hanging.

Anonymous said...

The big thing with my two nieces right now is that presents I give to them be "vintage" ... as in something from the 60's or retro (who KNEW you should hang on to all that old stuff). I'm very tempted to send them each a stack of blocks from a UFO and tell them this is their "vintage" Christmas present ... perhaps they would be intrigued enough to try their hand at quilting. What do you think??

Flatlander (Linda)