Saturday, November 28, 2009

How Do You Solve A Sewing Problem Like Maria??

Maria came over to sew today and we had the best time. Maria doesn't have a lot of sewing experience, but she can run a sewing machine and isn't intimidated by it. She decided she wanted to make her mother some placemats for Christmas after seeing mine I made from "The New Handmade" by Cassie Barden. She wanted these placemats to be Christmas-y, but also be appropriate to use after Christmas was long gone. We choose a scenic winter print and a snowflake fabric for the front:
And we went with a red for the back: While this is technically a print of a poinsetta, the red and gold fabric can be used year round, and Maria's mother LOVES red. She can just flip the placemats over when winter is gone and use the red side. Maria did a great job and I believe her mother will love them.
Maria's mother is Italian. Really Italian. She is a fascinating woman. She was arrested at the age of 16 on the steps of her church, accused of assisting the French Resistance during WWII. She was guilty of exactly what she was accused of: she translated for the French Resistance since she spoke Italian, French, and German. She convinced the arresting authorities that she really didn't know German, so instead of being summarily shot, she was sent to a concentration labor camp in Germany for three years. She was liberated on Easter Sunday, 1945. She's well into her eighties now, and whenever Maria brings her mother to Mass, the Italian nuns from the nearby convent crowd her wheelchair like she is a rock star, all speaking rapid Italian, all joyful to see her.
Parting Shot: I think Maria liked her quilt!


Eileen said...

I loved Maria's quilt, and the placemats! You'll get a big kick out of this - Kate wants to do a baby quilt for two of her friends who have had babies in 2009. (I don't want to think about unmarried 22 year olds having these babies, so we won't go there.) But I love my daughter for wanting to do something special for them both, although I think she's already done something special, because she has made sure that she continued her friendship wiht them, visiting them before and after the babies, including them in her plans and making allowances in those plans for baby (e.g., instead of just planning runs around the lake with Andie, as in the past, planning walks with Andie and the baby around the lake); anyway, I showed Kate the second piece of the Ark fabric I had (you rememeber, "All things bright and beautiful") and she loved it. So yesterday we went to the fabric store in Beverly and got fabric for two borders and the backing; and she saw another fabric she really liked - one of Loy's favorites, a Laurel Birch jungle fabric - and we got that as well to do as a whole cloth center piece, with coordinating fabric for two borders and the back, for the second quilt, and then the bunting. So Kate is getting involved in quilting AND although I try at every turn to pawn off my quilt piecing duties on you and Loy, now I'm going to have to do it for Kate - don't you love the irony? Yes, I could teach her - but then I have to remember how to do it myself and that's going to be hard enough! And I suppose it's time I learned by doing! Although I do intend to have Kate with me so she'll pick up something in the process. And no, I have no intention of quilting these for her - she's going to use the woman who machine quilted her quilt that you made (that I bought the kit for, so technically, I think I made that quilt, right?) Since I'm going to NC for business Wednesday and Thursday, and then leaving for FL early on Friday morning, returning the following Tuesday night, not real sure when all this is getting done - however! The thought is there. You've given us both the bug to sew. As I walked around the store yesterday (which also sells Bernina machines) I realized that one of things I want to do when I retire (hahahahahaha, whew, that felt good) is to buy a decent machine and take sewing lessons. Just another crazy idea! Happy Advent, my dear. Eileen

KimP said...

Happy Advent to Miss Eileen!!! I KNEW Kate would one day start doing this - all those years of example would eventually rub off. But if you are piecing this baby quilt, and someone else is machine quilting the quilt, what is Kate doing to contribute to the quilt? Is buying the fabrics enough? I think so, according to her mother!

This is so great - next thing you know, she'll be wanting to learn how to knit!

YankeeQuilter said...

I love the description of the Italian nuns surrounding the "rock star" grandma!

Summerset said...

How wonderful! What a great quilt, and yes, it looks like she loves it. Who wouldn't - the colors and quilting are gorgeous.

Angelcat said...

Maria's quilt is beautiful and I love the fabrics you guys chose for the placemats :)