Thursday, August 4, 2011

Surprises!

I love surprises. Who doesn't? Okay, my DH doesn't. Here's a man who would wilt if someone jumped out from behind the sofa yelling, "Happy Birthday!"

I like surprises. I had one a few days ago and today.

It is county fair time where I live. This year I decided to enter a few quilts. I've never entered a quilt in an adjudicated show. Knowing my quilts and their "individuality" (read "faults") I didn't expect to win a ribbon.

The first hint that something unexpected had happened. A fellow teacher emailed me that she had seen my quilts at the fair and congratulations on the two ribbons! Quite the surprise---not zero, but two! Then yesterday a friend mentioned having seen my quilts and the two ribbons.

Today my DH and I went to the fair; I was nearly bouncing up and down with excitement to get in the Adult Crafts Hall and see my beribboned quilts. More surprises. Three of my quilts had been given ribbons: a first, second and third.

My First Place Quilt: My Log Cabin Neighborhood
I took a class at Sisters Quilt Show four years ago. This pattern, by the wonderfully talented Vivienne Moore, was a class I took. It is paper-pieced and hand quilted.
















My Second Place Quilt: Blue Christmas

I made three of these wall hangings a few years ago for Christmas. I made a blue one for my son's girlfriend who loves blue; that is where the name came from: Blue Christmas. I also made a green one for my daughter #2. I loved the blue one so much, blue being my favorite color, I made one for myself.

It is 20x20", is paper-pieced, and I machine quilted it.













Third Place Ribbon: Charming Hobos

This was a quilt top that my Aunt Marie made. She was of the old-school quilters; she was born in 1905. The quilt pieces were cut by hand and stitched together by hand. I inherited all her quilts when she died. I loved this quilt from the moment I saw it.

Once I got the hang of hand-quilting, I brought out this beauty and hand-quilted. It was only fitting for a hand-sewn quilt by my Aunt.

This picture was taken after it was quilted, but without the binding...you know how that goes. I'm lucky there was a "before" picture at all.












A few days ago one popped right out of the blue, totally unexpected. My DH and I came back from a few errands and as we approached the front steps, we saw it. A small yellow flower with its stem wrapped carefully in a wet paper towel. It wasn't even a flower from my own flower garden! There was no note, no Hi! or Have a Great Day! No signature, initials or hints. Just the flower.



What a sweet thing. I imagined a little six-year-old picking flowers, wrapping them carefully in a paper towel and delivering them around to different houses.

Do kids do that anymore? Can six-year-olds even go down the street unaccompanied by an adult?

Like the 56-year-old that I am, I feel sorry about some of "progress" that has happened since I was a child. The most heart-wrenching to me is children's loss of innocence and trust at such a young age. There's a lot of you, like me, could get lost in the memories of our childhood of traipsing anywhere in the neighborhood as long as you came in when Mom stood on the doorstep and yelled your name.

Then today there was a flower. As I brought it in the house, I wondered if it were a weed and it would droop by sundown. I did find a pretty little blue vase and put the flower in it. Two days later it is as fresh as ever.

What a small thing we can do to make another happy.
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