Did you ever notice how an ordinary day can become the extraordinary simply because someone unexpected has walked through?
I've had a couple of these days, just since being home!
Imagine if you will, my returning from weeks on the road to a HUGE pile of mail, including some boxes.....I could tell ONE of the boxes contained the long awaited book I'd been patiently anticipating. "An Echo in the Bone" By Diana Gabaldon was in the first box.
In the second box? It was LARGE, and I couldn't for the life of me imagine what it was. I opened it up, and INSTANTLY was thrown back to the early 1990s as I unwrapped some shop samples for some stuffed dolls that I had designed close to 17 years ago. These were some designs that were picked up by the Butterick Pattern Co back then, and I had specially made the samples for a shop owner in my town. We moved away and I forgot about them. She closed her shop, they went into storage....and evidently from the letter she sent, they had unearthed themselves as she cleared out storage, and she decided to send them back to me! I look at these very dated 1990s VIP prints and remember them fondly. Those were fun days, two small children under foot, designing my heart out, playing with fabric then, as I am now.
Instead of turning my nose up at these old cutesy fabrics, I am thinking back to where I was in my life then, awed at the memories these dolls hold, going back and forth in my memory to the ages of my sons at the time, the places we lived, what we looked like, and the young men they have become since. It can't possibly be that these dolls are THAT old, can it? But they are. And here I am...many years older, and not so wiser. :c)
I even know for a fact, that if I were to dig in my boxes of leader/ender squares...I might just find some of these scraps still remaining, bringing memories with them every time I sew them into something.
Carleen, in Idaho, thanks for sending the memories back to me...you are Mystery Woman #1 in this story!
Mystery Woman #2: Susan Davidson!!
The third box I opened yesterday contained this lovely old cutter quilt! It's a periwinkle star pattern, made probably in the 1930's-1940's era. You can tell by the prints in the stars themselves, and the orange fabric is that lovely melon color, not a cheddar of 19th century quilts. It is all hand pieced and hand quilted, and has been loved to shreds. I love utility quilts. I think I've written about that many times. I'd much rather adopt a well loved falling apart quilt that has had a life, and therefore a multitude of memories lived with it, than any pristine thing that has been put away and never used or washed. Susan sent this one to me completely out of the blue! I am gobsmacked, to say the least...She said it's just been living in a closet at her house, not getting the attention or appreciation it deserves. She also knows I love orange. Susan, thank you so MUCH for this little lovely! I'm going to display it as is, in all its orange glory!
Mystery Woman #3?
Dear Martina, I don't even know your last name! I was coming out of the post office at Hane's Mall running to my car in the rain, and there you were...in your dress slacks and high heeled shoes, looking frustrated! You couldn't find your car...you were lost and at your wit's end!
I beckoned you into my car, and told you that I would help drive you around to find your car. (I told you I was NOT an Axe Murderer!) I know the mall entrances all look the same, and we drove around and laughed and laughed, even as strangers, about how our memories go south with gravity the same way our body parts do into our late 40s!
It took a bit of talking and figuring, but we finally decided to go to the road and drive back IN to the mall area so you could remember which entrance you parked at. That did the trick and in a few minutes you were back at your car with a smile on your face, and on your way back to your office. I never got your last name.
You wanted to thank me, but I need to thank YOU for getting me out of my blue funk today. Some people pass through our lives quickly, forever leaving their footprints on our hearts. I'll never forget your smile of relief when we found your car, still laughing. I'm sure you will have fun repeating this story to others too.
Mystery Woman #4:
You would be the woman who pieced this lovely top with fabrics going from 1910 all the way through the 1930s. I found this top in a lovely little mall off the beaten path in West Virginia on my way back home from Michigan. I wonder about who you were and what your life was like. I wonder who's clothes these scraps came from, because there are many different ones, both masculine and feminine in this quilt. You'd been sewing for decades, and as I think about your variety, I think of the variety that I have in my scraps too, some dating back into the 1970s and 1980s.....my life in fabric.
I wonder why this quilt never got to the quilting or tying stage. It is machine pieced, and I love the contradiction between the black mourning prints, and the bright splashy polka-dots. Were these representative of different times in your own life? I love log cabin quilts, and this Straight Furrows setting is a favorite of mine. I wonder if you made and played with other log cabin layouts too. You probably never gave a second thought to where this top might end up while you were making it, and it makes me wonder about MY OWN UFOs. Geeesh, I hope they don't end up in an antique mall somewhere! But if they do...maybe I will become someone else's Mystery Woman....
As you can SEE....Oscar was quite perturbed that I was disturbing his nap to take pictures!