Thursday, August 7, 2014

Passing on traditions to the family

One of my favorite things about getting older is figuring what to leave as a legacy to the family members.  It's fun being the Matriarch of the family, and I feel a responsibility to do a thorough job of imparting my knowledge and wisdom collected over the years.  Whether they want it or not!

The first of these has been the love of gardening and Stephanie has embraced this for her own yard.  It's a little easier now that the kids are getting older and demand less of her attention.  We put many hours of work into the yard and garden this year and after another two or three years of growth for the plants to mature she should have a lovely setting to enjoy.

The second thing she wanted to learn was how to sew.  She has a t-shirt project in mind using the kids shirts over the years, and wants to have her own hands create this.

So last week we had an all day sit down sewing lesson, complete with a written lesson plan to follow.  The first part was to make her comfortable with the machine.  How to thread it, wind the bobbins, clean the shuttle assembly, changing stitch lengths and widths, etc.  The main goal was to lose her fear of the machine.

After achieving this, we moved on to the lesson on how to use the rotary cutting tools...and still keep all of ones fingers intact.  When you've sewn as long as I have, it's hard to remember all those odd things that have just become habit, but writing up the lesson plan really helped.

Then we proceeded to create a little nine-patch quilt square.  This would enable me to show how to press the edges to the correct side for connecting the rows later.  So much of quilting is just one layer building on top of another.

The hardest part was trying to break her of the habit of grasping the fabric in back of the presser foot and wanting to hang on and pull it through the machine.  I had to physically restrain her left hand to prove that the machine really does do all the work.  The kids were enjoying my admonishing their mother and telling her where to stick that hand so it wasn't in the way.

After this was done we added the batting and backing fabrics and I explained the variety of quilting stitches that could be done.  She chose my favorite of just running from corner to corner and making an "x" pattern in the squares.

All was going smashingly until we approached the binding.  She got the concept of using a 45 degree angle to attach the binding strips together to minimize bulk and did well at sewing the binding to the quilt square.

But all hell broke loose when I tried to show my way of connecting the ends of the binding.  I then demonstrated the easier way of doing this, even though it creates more of a bump on the edge.  No amount of pleading could convince her that the back of the binding should be sewn by hand and how relaxing it was.  Nope...she was having none of that nonsense.  So I took it with me to finish by hand since I enjoy this part immensely.

Our main obstacle in this teaching situation is that she likes to do things precisely and I'm the kind of "close enough...let's call it a day" person.  I kept reminding her that it was not going to hang in the Smithsonian and just let it go.

So now she has a little nine-patch square to help her remember the steps involved.

The next day I took the grandkids on a surprise outing, their only clue was they should bring a book since it was a one person at a time kind of deal.  It was fun to hear their guesses in the car during the drive to our destination.

Massage therapy has always been important to me, having been a therapist myself, and I know the many benefits it provides.

Luckily our cousin, Katy, is just finishing up massage school and was able to have us in her home for these surprise sessions.

Each of the girls received a wonderful introduction to massage under the hands of this gentle spirit.

Then she worked on my shoulder for a while at the end and I was able to play pickleball that evening for two hours, sleep soundly and wake without my customary ache in the shoulder.  It's a miracle!

I'm running out of wisdom to impart to my girls.  Let's see...we've covered the benefits of chocolate already, in fact several times.

On the way home that day the kids imparted some of their own wisdom on me.  It seems Culver's has a wonderful creation called Lemon Ice.  It's hard to describe.  Kind of like a sorbet or sherbet, but not that creamy.  But it's still not like a Slushie or Icie.  But it's lemony tart and refreshing and I'm hooked.

I love the way my inter-generational family all shares information and we learn from each other.

Long Live the Queen of Wisdom


  1. My friend, you are one of the lucky folks who can enjoy this "inter generational" family fun. I enjoy it too. It is something we work at for years as we grow and raise our families. Part of the legacy that we leave to our families is the loving and the learning, and the sharing. It's a real pleasure to watch our children pass all this on to their children and so forth. You did a great job my friend.

    Now I must get dressed and get some errands done. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

  2. This is exactly as it should be. Wonderful post.

  3. This is just too good for me to be my usual wise ___ self. You have so much talent to pass on and the best one (at least for me) is the relaxed, "it doesn't have to be perfect" approach. This plus a good massage is the path to a good (relaxed) life. Did I tell you my son is a message therapist? So I can appreciate your appreciation of the art. Well done Queen of the best kind of hand me downs ...

    Andrea @ From The Sol

  4. Love the small quilt colors. And going to try the Culvers Lemon Ice. Bats flying above pond tonight. Lightning bugs lightening. I've put in small waterfall which all the birds are mad about. There is usually a line for bird showers. :-) pond lois