Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lifelong friends.....
The woman on the left is Mrs. Hayes--and the other is my mom. Even though they were lifelong friends I never heard my mom call her anything other than Mrs. Hayes. (Also, when Mrs. Hayes referred to her husband she always called him Mr. Hayes) But that is not the point.

These two women loved to quilt more than anyone I know. And that was long before the invention of rotary cutters, and quick strip piecing methods. I would love to know how many quilts either one of them made, but especially my mom. She almost continually sewed on something. She would see a quilt she liked and sit and fiddle with it till she got a pattern made. Her template was cardboard--like what is on the back of a spiral notebook.

And she did not sit and trace around the pattern for each was made with the seam allowance included and she would layer 3 or 4 pieces of fabric together and just hold the template pattern and fabric together in her hand and cut around it...sometimes she might use one pin but more often than not she didn't use any.

Mrs. Hayes was a neighbor until I turned 5 or 6, and then she moved a few miles away. It might as well have been 100 in some ways. My mom nor dad drove--dad couldn't because he had muscular dystrophy and had not the strength in his legs to use a clutch. Mom was too nervous to drive. Till my brothers had their own cars, they always had to depend on a neighbor to take them to the doctor or to the grocery.

When there was finally a vehicle in the family, we still didn't do much visiting. Maybe go see Mrs. Hayes two or three times a year at the most. By the time I was driving, she lived in a town that we sometimes shopped in and every time we were there, we stopped if we had a little bit of time. Probably once a month.

And almost every time we stopped, I would have her drag out all her quilts and quilt tops and show me...she never seemed to mind at all. Her and mom would talk quilting and talk about old times. But you never got far with Mrs. Hayes for when she told a story, she told all the tiniest details...if she mentioned a name she would tell who their mom and dad were, who they were married to, etc etc. But I would give anything to be able to relive a little bit of that time.

My mom passed away in 1996, on February 20th to be exact. Sometimes it seems like a lifetime ago, and others only yesterday.