A Bento Box Quilt!

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a quilt finish to show off.

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My youngest nephew is graduating from high school next month, which I think warrants a quilt from Auntie Nita, don’t you think?My second-youngest nephew graduated this time last year, and he received a quilt, so fair is fair.

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Actually, I’d like to (before I die of extreme old age) make a quilt for all my nephews. All thirteen of them (wipes brow).

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For Ross, I chose the Bento Box pattern because it is modern and masculine. Now, let me tell you something about Ross. Unlike his Auntie, he is a big sports fan. He knows all about all the different teams and who plays what position and who coaches whom and who got traded where and why. All that stuff.

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Football, mostly (I think), but other sports, too. The Seattle Sea-hawks in particular, thus the colour choice of blues and greens.

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I have named this quilt The 12th Man, because when making this quilt, I learned that the 12th man is a term for the fan. Apparently in American football, only 11 players are allowed on the field at one time. The 12th team member is the fan. That would be Ross. :)

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The quilt measures a generous 86 x 61 inches which should be just great for a young man. It was machine quilted in organic wavy lines. When I was quilting it, I imagined each line of wavy stitching was a quarterback carrying the ball down the field, dodging right and left, weaving in and out.

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Many of the squares came from the We Bee Canadian Flickr group quilting bee that I belong to. Each quilter is assigned a month, and every month we make her the block of her choice. When it’s your turn, you get a pile of blocks in the mail…so much fun! For two rounds, I requested these bento box squares in blue & apple green batik. So the quilt was really a group effort, full of wishes for a bright future for Ross.

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Touchdown! Go Ross!

Posted in Blog Categories, Quilting, Quilts | Tagged | 7 Comments

A letter to my grade 8 Home Economics teacher

Dear Mrs. Rudd,

I hope this letter finds you well and still sewing.

You won’t remember me, but I was one of the fourteen-year-olds in your eight grade home economics class at Keithley Junior High in the fall of 1974. That was the year after girls were first allowed to wear dress slacks and pant suits to school instead of skirts and dresses. No jeans…those came a year or two later. That was also the first year that a boy was allowed to take home-economics and a girl was allowed to take shop.

14 years old

You taught me how to follow a recipe and plan a menu. I still have my recipe box from the cooking portion of the class.  It’s crammed to capacity now, full of 42 year’s worth of recipes, including cards in my mother’s and my grandmother’s handwriting.

recipe box

You taught me how to iron. And by the way, I am the only person I know who actually loves to iron. I will happily spend a Sunday listening to Cross Country Checkup on CBC radio while ironing everything in the house…cloth napkins, tea towels, pillow cases, every shirt my husband owns.

You taught me how to use a sewing machine and read a pattern. And for that alone, I will be forever grateful.

I remember that we had to choose a pattern and actually sew an item of clothing. My mother took me to the fabric store and we browsed the pattern books together. I decided on Butterick 4265. It was an ambitious project, and I remember my mother trying to talk me into something a bit more simple. You and my mother were both concerned because I was adamant that I didn’t want to sew an apron or a simple pajama bottom. But no…I wanted to sew a pant suit.

In the end, I agreed to just sew the top and leave the pants for later. It was my first ever attempt at sewing anything. Ever. Complete with set-in sleeves, patch pockets, top stitching and a zipper. I don’t think I actually wore it anywhere…I hadn’t done a very good job, really. But it didn’t matter to me…I was so proud of myself!

I remember my mother coming into the home-ec classroom for a parent/teacher conference. I remember how you discussed my completed project with my mother, your finger tracing a line along my uneven top-stitching as the two of you remarked with pride on how I had tackled and completed such a big project.

I also remember that I did not feel discouraged by your critique, which tells me that it was delivered in a careful and loving way, the way a valuable teaching experience should be.

You taught me that putting in a zipper properly and stitching a straight line were things that one can improve upon. Things that can be mastered.

What I learned went so far beyond learning to follow a recipe for a casserole, how to sew a patch pocket and balance a checkbook. No…what I took from your class was a fearless belief in myself.

I’d like to say that again: A Fearless Belief in Myself.

Thank you for that, Mrs. Rudd.

Now…that pant suit pattern. I was in the thrift store the other day and you’re not going to believe this, but staring up at me from the bin of patterns for .25 was the exact one that I made in your class.

And guess what…it’s in my current size. I might even sew it up for old time’s sake.

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I wanted to tell you that I have been thinking of you almost every day these past couple of weeks as I embark on re-learning those skills you introduced me to more than 40 years ago. I feel you leaning over my shoulder, your finger tracing the line of the zipper, reminding me to line up the notches, showing me how to tie off the threads at the end of a dart by hand.

When I think about the women who influenced me in my life, you’re up there in the top ten.

I know you’ll probably never read this letter, but I wanted to say thank you.

Mrs. Rudd, 1974.

Mrs. Rudd, 1974.

 

 

Posted in Blog Categories, letters, Memories, sewing | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

the mother who saved the mothers from the black bear – a story by Nita, age 9

The Mother who Saved the Mothers from the Black Bear

By Nita Luton (Collins), age 9 or 10
A story I wrote for my mother on Mother’s Day, 1970-71 (or thereabouts.)

One day Jane was in school sitting in her desk waiting egrley for the surprise Mis Cod had promesed them the day before. So now Jane and the rest of the clas were waiting for Mis Cod to tell them.

Finally Mrs. Cod came into the room. As usual Mis Cod had them sing good morning. After they had finished singing good morning, Mis Cod told them the surprise. Now was the time Jane had been waiting for.

Now Mis Cod began, “now Sunday is mothers Day so we are going to have a mothers day play. It will be called, Mother I Love You. It will be a story on mothers. Now Bob you will be the bear. Sue you will be one of the mothers. Sally, Misty, Karen, and Colleen will be mothers and Jane will be the mother who saves the mothers and their babies from the black bear.  Bob, Joe, Jim and Mike and Terri (a boy), will be the animals who lead Jane to the mothers.

[next week: play begins]

Jane was surprised when she did her lines right.  Now the play was over. Everyone was talking at once. After everyone quited down, Janes mother said “O, what a wonderful mothers day,” she said, almost crying.

The End

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! ♥

grade 4 pointer

Posted in A-Z Blog Challenge 2016, Blog Categories, Memories, Writing | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

catching up and coming in last

I’ve spent this week sick, on the couch. It’s okay. Really, it is.

It’s actually kind of nice to just rest and do what my body tells me to – quite a change from the working years when we just had to push through. Take drugs to stop coughing, stop blowing, stay alert. Then collapse the minute we walked in the door at the end of the day. No time to look after ourselves.

handquilted 2Well, now I have time. After two years of retirement, I’m finally at a place where I can give my body what it needs when it’s sick: rest. I’ve lazed around, sleeping when I need to, chain-drinking pots of tea, moving around when I need to. I feel like I’m charting the progress of this cold. It changes every day. It’s interesting, in a scientific sort of way. Uncomfortable, even painful at times…but interesting.

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I’m getting lots of reading in. And some small bouts of sewing. I get up and putter a bit, then go lay down for awhile, then get up again and putter some more. It took me two days to make one splendid sampler block. And that’s perfectly okay. It brings new meaning to living simply – something I’ve been striving for.

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And just in case you think I gave up on the A-Z challenge: I didn’t. I’m just coming in last.

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I couldn’t find a single pose that begins with the letters x, y or z. So what I’m going to do is tell you about something I’ve challenged myself with. It’s the end of the alphabet, after all. What comes next? My personal goal: Crow Pose

my challengeSomeday I will be able to do this. I don’t know why, but I just know that in this pose I will know myself to be physically strong. That hovering in crow pose, I will be as strong as I will ever need to be.

Partly it’s because this pose requires strength from the entire body: tremendous core strength and the shoulder & arm strength that I have been lacking. And mental strength, too, to overcome the fear of falling forward and doing a face plant on the floor.

Inside myself, I think of this as the Raven pose.

crow pose

I miss the ravens of the Yukon. I miss their burbling and clicking and cawing and the thousands of different sounds they make. I miss them being ever present and watchfully perched on the lamp posts, heads tilted. I miss the way they fluff their feather up so they look like they’re wearing furry black parkas in the winter  If I were ever to get a tattoo, it would be of a raven. If I ever master this pose, maybe I will.

 

The End (of the alphabet and the a-z challenge.)

What comes next for you?

Posted in A-Z Blog Challenge 2016, Blog Categories | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

A busy day and the letter W

Thank you to Cindy for identifying the mystery tree!

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Do you want to know what it is? Watch this short 20 second clip to find out!

Now there is a little family-of-origin joke in the clip you just watched. Oh my, how we kids would roll around laughing!

Today has been one of those very productive days that has felt very relaxed at the same time. A batch of sourdough bread has been baked. A venison stew is simmering. Laundry is drying on the line.  A lovely walk has been taken with my neighbour.

More straight and wavy lines have been sewn on my nephew’s quilt:

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And I sewed a skirt! Well…I didn’t really sew it from scratch.

I had this pair of palazzo pants. They’ve never been that comfortable, so I hardly ever wear them. I’ve kept them all these years because they were expensive! Silly!

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I finally said enough is enough. I need something black for community band, so I cut up the pants and refashioned them into a skirt!

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With the yoga pant waistband, it will be a very comfy! :)

Speaking of yoga…

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250_hp_lift_02_4502Wild thing (I just had to include this…for the name!)

No? Me, neither.

 

 

How about this W pose, instead?

Wide Legged Seated Pose:

Posted in A-Z Blog Challenge 2016, Blog Categories, Made by Me Clothing, me-made clothing, Yoga | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

A walk in the park and the letter V

Sam and I have been going for morning walks to Harold Provincial Park with my friend Shelley, who lives next door. The park is only a 5 minute drive away. It’s such a beautiful time of the year…I thought I would share a bit with you today.  :)

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Does anyone know what kind of tree this is? We think maybe a Tamarack?

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And for the A-Z in April Blogging Challenge:

VVirabhadrasana -better know as Warrior pose – comes in handy-dandy pack of three varieties. The warrior poses are what a lot of people think of when they hear the word “yoga.” At least one virabhadrasana is included in just about every yoga class. :)

 

 

warrior I

 

 

 

 

 

 

warrior II

 

 

warrior III

 

 

 

 

I don’t know why they are numbered I, II and III instead of each being given it’s own name.  I guess it’s one of the great mysteries of the universe.

Either that or I’m too lazy to go find out.

Posted in A-Z Blog Challenge 2016, Beauty, Blog Categories, outdoors, Salmon Arm, Shuswap, Yoga | Tagged , , | 3 Comments