The Century Quilt, Revised

IMG_0345I’ve revised the timeline for finishing the Hundred Year Quilt, despite the looks I’ve received from two different sales clerks at two local quilt stores.

Are you sure? Most people start with a small, simple quilt.

I learned to swim as a preschooler by jumping into the deep end of a rather large pool and pretending I was a fish. Things haven’t change much since then.

I am also pretty certain the quilt will be finished by the time the Republicans finally choose a presidential candidate.

I must have a bit of my mom in me.  Mom was a rebel and housewifely chores were at the bottom of her list, unless she could iron in front of a televised Giants baseball game.  I don’t iron unless there’s absolutely no other option.

When the soon-to-be ex and I were first married, he wanted everything starched and ironed.  He did such an excellent job of demonstrating his preferred technique that I watched for 30 seconds, conceded defeat, and left the iron in his care for the rest of our marriage.

A few years past newlywed, Mom asked if I wanted her two small upholstered Ethan Allen rocking chairs for our bedroom.  I was in the throes of updating our bedroom on the typically tight early-marriage-with-children budget and said I’d take them.

The only problem was that the chairs were covered in an ancient dark green material and I was redoing the room in a French Blue and White color scheme.

No problem.  We’ll recover them.  It’ll just take a day or two.  

Mom was ever the optimist and another strong swimmer, although she did feign distress at age 15 in the high school pool in order to meet my dad who dove into the water and carried her all the way to the other end of the pool.

Alas, the swimming gene did not translate into the sewing gene for either of us.  Blithely ignorant, I chose a beautiful French Blue and White plaid fabric.

With the soon-to-be ex on a business trip and the two kids on loan to friends, Mom and I began. We had no clue what we were doing.  There was no pattern to follow. We had little more than one pair of scissors, a measuring tape, pins, a staple gun and an entry level Kenmore sewing machine.

A plaid pattern.  White piping. A buttoned cushioned back. Pleated skirt. We were so far over our heads it was insane.

But, by the end of Day One, Chair One was complete.  It looked pretty damn good. We had even re-plumped the chair with the new white stuffing.

Day Two, Chair Two.  We were very, very proud and very, very tired.

Day Three and the family returned home.

Did you enjoyed your time alone? Get some rest?

Look at the chairs!

They were unimpressed.

Their loss. While no one who knows us ever quite believed that Mom and I actually did the reupholstering, those rockers lasted a couple more decades before going on to another young family.

But, I digress.  This posting is about the Century Quilt. The acres of starched and ironed fabric have now been cut into what seems like mountains of squares and rectangles. 

I did jump ahead and finished one block, just to see…

I also jump to the end of most books, just to see…

Some habits die hard.

I do have a new-found respect for our Foremothers’ quilting.  I think I’d rather have been out plowing fields or harvesting crops than hand stitching quilts.  oh wait, they did that, too…

However, in this century, I am on my own mission.  It suddenly dawned on me that, given the current front runners from which the Republicans will ultimately select their presidential candidate, I am going to need my Century Quilt to hide under.