Sunday, September 6, 2009

My mother's hobbies

I thought I knew my mother well. And she passed some of her likes and dislikes on to me.

We both loved Dr. Pepper. She took the original logo of Dr. Pepper to heart--it was a clock with the numbers 10, 2 and 4 on it, that is when you were supposed to drink Dr. Pepper. I definitely take that to heart, except I might hit it twice a day on those hours! Oh, and I like Diet Dr. Pepper--not available in the early days of Dr. Pepper.

My mother was a seamstress. She sewed some very awesome garments. I remember several things she made for me, like my graduations dresses from 8th grade and from high school. She was very precise with her sewing. When she tried on the 8th grade graduation dress, a beautiful 50's shirtwaist, with a very full skirt, made of pale blue gingham, it was too short waisted. She figured out a way to make it longer in the bodice by putting a false belt in, covered by the real belt. She was clever.

I also remember a beautiful purple wool dress she made for me for a high school "dress up day". We picked the most difficult pattern, and the most beautiful fabric, and of course, we chose this very close to the designated day. I remember her staying up very late the night before, but when I woke up on dress up day, there it was, finished to perfection, and I felt like a Vogue model wearing it to school.

I recently viewed some photos of her when she was just married to my father. He was in the army, and was ready to be sent to the war. She went with her mother-in-law to visit him at his camp on the east coast. She was wearing a beautiful plaid wool suit, with MATCHING HAT. I know she made it, and it was totally awesome.

I remember many of the lessons my mother taught me about sewing. When I take short-cuts and don't do it like she would do, I feel her presence over my shoulder giving a disaproving eye. I answer her back, sending my message up to the heavens, "Yes, Mother, I know, you wouldn't do it this way--but I'm short of time, and IT'S ONLY A COSTUME!"

Last night, I got out a couple of books that had been on my shelves for years about quilting. In the books were some other signature items of my mom--namely, magazine pages cut out with more project ideas on them, and oh, by the way, the receipt for the book I was reading tucked inside of it. (She did that with all of her "fun" purchases--for what exact reason I don't know, but it is somewhat interesting to see these in retrospect.) She did like the idea of quilting, although I know she never did a big quilt project. She did do some very exquisite patchwork projects, and her work was in great demand, especially by her sister.

Her sister was a real quilter, and had a button posted in her basement fabric stash that said, "She who dies with the most fabric, WINS!" Both my mother and my aunt passed away in 1997, and I got to be the judge of this contest. My aunt won! But Mom made a good run at the prize? I still have the button attached to the wall in my sewing room,--girls, you will have to be the judge, I'm not sure who I'm competing with, but I'm giving it a run for the money!

So in the quilting book, I got a lot of ideas for future fun quilt projects. It would be fun to sew for the fun of it, rather than having a deadline. But without a deadline, I would probably start and never finish. But I have ideas for a wall hanging for my sewing room, many of these ideas came from the book of my mother's, and it melded with another idea I saw at the sewing machine store yesterday. I'm going right now to play with stuff, and I'll let you know what comes of it.

Oh, as for dislikes, Mother disliked rubber bands in the kitchen. Can't say I've acquired that dislike, but I do remember her disgust when one would turn up near food. We all have our wierd ideas, don't we? I don't like mayonaise (real stuff, the fake stuff is OK). My youngest daughter has acquired that dislike. So some of this stuff does pass on.

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