Sunday, March 12, 2023

Sermon on the Mount


Worship banner for a Sermon on the Mount series.

My mother made the rectangular blocks years ago, on crisp fabrics like cotton duck, with narrow strips precisely zig zagged on top.  Many years ago.  I wonder whether she made many more and made quilts with them.  Whether she just made some and didn't know what to do next.  Whether time just ran out for her.

Whatever, I ended up with a cardboard box from an electric blanket with these little rectangles, which trimmed down to 2 3/4" x 7 1/2".

With a rotary cutter it was easy enough to trim up the blocks, with scrissors like my mother surely used, it would have been impossible to cut the bulky edges smoothly.  My first try in putting them together was to lay the blocks flat and do a connecting zig zag - that didn't work.  I ended up doing conventional 1/4" piecing and then pressing the seams open with a very hot iron, then topstitching a fairly wide zig zag on top to smooth out those bulky seams.

My mother used a Singer machine, way back in the day when those Singers were real work horses.  I used a denim needle, which I'm sure wasn't available to her.  I broke one needle, I'm sure she broke many more than that.  Now we are usually conscientious about replacing needles every eight hours or so, back then needles were used until they broke.

Side note:  my brother offered me my mother's Singer when he finalized the estate.  It was at a time in my life when I was getting ready to move to a smaller house and I declined.  I regret that now.

For the sky, I cut out pieces of denim from old blue jeans, sometimes turning them wrong side out to get a lighter look.  It felt appropriate since my mother used recycled fabrics.  I relied heavily on cell phone pictures to get a feel of how the piecing would look from farther away.  How could I have even explained that to my mother, with her landline party line?

I have wondered before, when I've used my mother's work at my church, what she would think about that.  Her church was larger, maybe some of her work was featured on a communion table, I don't know.

If anything, she would have felt that perhaps her work wasn't good enough to be featured.  Same Mennonite denomination, art in church wasn't unusual.  All those years later, here we are.  


1 comment:

Joanne S said...

I have my grandmother's Singer treadle up in the Attic.
she sewed dresses and aprons- none of her clothing was store bought.
I think she could also do tailoring on it. she was very very creative.
I have her hands.......we were very close when I was a child.

I am going to mend landscape pants today...Using the needle you sent me....
Thinking of you often......when I sew....