I am so fortunate to still have both of my parents living in Texas! Now that we are all vaccinated, it was time to go visit “the folks”. My siblings and I decided to travel to Texas at the same time, so we could finally have our family of six together to celebrate. I just returned home from that trip and wanted to blog about the lessons I have learned from my Mom.
Stay “Close” to your Family
I have two sisters and a brother. We are each unique, we have diverse talents, vastly different personalities, politics, and passions. Our shared upbringing is the glue that holds us together and it was my mother that added the glue! Mom taught by example the importance of family. No matter how we disagree sometimes, we are never disagreeable!
My Mother had 9 brothers and sisters. One of her brothers spent most of his life in Africa. Even though the distance was great, the family was as close as ever. Now that my parents live in Texas, we make time for weekly ZOOM calls and the occasional LIVE visit!
Here we are in my parent’s apartment enjoying a meal together. After cleaning up the Texas BBQ, we passed around old family photos and had a few laughs.
Like this family photo from our year in Italy when I was only 11 years old! That got more than a few chuckles! What can I say…I loved combining “Ugly Fabrics” way back when!! Now I make a living out of that skill!
But seriously folks, I cherish these rare moments with my family! Poking fun at each other is par for the course!
Know Your Story
As embarrassing as those old family photos are, we wanted to document who is in each photo and where it was taken before we all forgot the details! Connecting the names and faces of my mother’s aunts, uncles and cousins is important to me. Telling stories of Uncle Joe, and summers at his beach house at Brant Rock in MA helped me to connect to my ancestors. I am only one chapter in this great big story of “The Nadeaus!”
Waste Not, Want Not
Growing up during the depression, my mom and her family were frugal. Nothing was wasted. My mother passed on her frugal nature to her kids. When the siblings get together it is a badge of honor to tell each other how much we saved on a pair of shoes, or how we put 200,ooo miles on our car before trading it in. We all love to save a buck.
Maybe that is why it was so important to me to design quilting tools that minimize waste when cutting applique shapes. It is not about saving money but about using resources wisely. I only have so much fabric, if I waste it, I may run out before my project is finished. It was even more important for me to design tools that save quilters time. I hate wasting time that I could spend quilting!
Leave a Legacy
My mom is a quilter, and my grandmother made quilts to keep the TEN children warm! They aren’t beauties like my mom’s quilts, but they are part of our history. My Mom’s quilts are amazing with many hand applique and hand quilted heirlooms. Mom’s quilts will be treasured! Every quilt has a label so they are well documented with who, what, when, and where.
Unfortunately, the same is not true of this gorgeous Wedding Ring Quilt. This quilt was made by my Sister-in-law’s Aunt. We have her Aunt’s name, but don’t know when, where, or why she made this quilt. We do know from the fabrics that it is from the 20s or 30s. What a shame not to have a label on the quilt with a few more clues! Wouldn’t it be fun to find this woman’s journal and discover what her life was like when she was making this quilt? I hope you keep a journal while you make your quilts so you can keep your story with the quilt. You will hear more about Journaling about your quilts in the next few blog posts!
When life seems hard, do something for others
As my Mom struggles to take care of my dad, we all encourage her to take time for herself. Dad needs 24-hour care and rarely leaves the house. That leaves a bit of time for my mom to do some quilting. It is so important as you go through your own struggles to always make time for self-care. In addition to eating right and exercise, it is important to do a little bit of what you love every day. Mom makes quilts for the local hospital’s neo-natal care unit. Not only do the little babies benefit, but Mom has the satisfaction of sharing her talents. Mom always said, “doing something for others always makes you feel better!”
Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today
This is one of my Mother’s famous lessons. Sometimes we avoid doing something that is challenging, so we put it off until “Tomorrow”. Guess what…it is still going to be challenging tomorrow!
Even things that are easy to do are just as easy not to do.
You may find that you “can’t” get to quilting all week even though you want to! Is it that we can’t or that we don’t? Getting into the habit of doing a little each day adds up to getting a lot done. So if you can do it today, DO IT TODAY!
Who knows how many tomorrows we will have.
Cherish Your MOM
Margaritas with Mom has become a Texas Tradition! I learned from both of my parents how precious our time is with Mom! Both of my grandmothers died when I was very very young. Even though I was little at the time, I remember both of my parents taking time to visit their moms. Thank you Mom (and Dad) for being a living example of living life to the fullest, putting family first, and making the most of every day.
Hi Susan I’m so glad that you are able to visit your parents on regular bases. We have a daughter and her family about an hour and half away from us and who we visit at least once a month for it is a very busy household with their business and the three adult boys.
We as a family when everyone was small got together for birthdays and anniversary’s and Christmas I would host over 50 Christmas eve for most Christmas’s my husband worked shift work and in his 33 years of service there wasn’t too many Christmas he had off so I would start a few months before with the cooking and come Christmas eve Santa would come and there was lots of food and after everyone left the house was all cleaned up and you wouldn’t know we had a house full. Now all those cousins have grown up and they now hold the same at Christmas with each one of their families. We also have two and four grandchildren out in Vancouvers that we haven’t seen in a couple of years and if this virus ever settles down we will be out to visit there. Life is great with my hikes and girl friends and golfing and I must admit very little sewing is done in the summer for our summer’s are so very short. I do enjoy hearing all that is going on in your life and appreciate you keeping my on your mailing list.
Lovely hearing from you Pat!! Family is so important, and I am glad you have such fond memories of your Christmas celebrations. Enjoy your summer…I also spend more time gardening than quilting!