Friday, March 8, 2013

Another Great Aunt Story

Aunt Eva

Speaking of great aunts, and I was post or two ago, I had a great Aunt Eva when I was growing up.  She was my dad’s aunt.  She lived with my dad’s sister, Aunt Helen Rita.  I was pretty young and I don’t remember the family dynamic that caused her to live with Aunt Helen Rita, I just know she did.  She took sugar pills for her diabetic condition and later in life Aunt Helen Rita gave her insulin shots.

I loved her tremendously.  She would come and visit for a few weeks in the summer.  On occasion she would call a yellow cab and take me with her downtown to Scott’s 5 & 10.  It was a great store, very large to little old me and we would shop for a time and then she would have the manager of the store call for a cab and he’d get a chair so she could sit by the side door to wait for the taxi to pick us up for the return trip.  I remember her getting testy with a cab driver because he was charging full fair for both of us to go the 3 mile trip to downtown Akron.  She argued that I was only a little girl and she should not have to pay more than 50¢ to get us both there.  I don’t know who won, I just remember the exchange.  She was such a gentle lady it surprises me she had such a strong personality.

She would tickle me half to death when it was bed time and I would giggle myself to sleep and wake up to another glorious day with her.  Those were the best times.

She was a widow and had no children, but living with my Aunt Helen Rita meant she also lived with my cousin, Elaine.  Elaine was a few years younger than me and I was so jealous of her having Aunt Eva to herself all the rest of the year.  I stayed for one overnight visit there, but I must have had severe separation anxiety at that young age because I remember mom coming to get me in the middle of the night because I could not stop crying I was so homesick. I don’t remember ever spending another night there.

All my female relatives did hand work of various kinds and Aunt Eva made the most wonderful pillow covers on gingham fabric. 

She used embroidery floss and made spider web designs over sections of squares. 

I don’t know what the technique is called and I have never seen it in a book.  I’m sure I gushed over them enough as a little girl to actually get one as a gift. I still have it in my cedar chest which is full of linens female relatives of mine made during a time when women would make special gifts for a young girl’s hope chest.
I did learn how to be a great aunt from the best.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

My kind of Diamonds!

Working working working.

I’ve been working diligently on a brown and green scrap strip quilt.  I had planned to make it only 60” x 60” which would require 100 blocks, but somewhere along the line I got the bright idea to make it big enough for a twin bed.

In the mean time I gave my husband a job which involved supervising a little girl staining the baseboard that got put up when the new flooring went in a year or two ago.  Somehow he managed to make the fabric disappear that was the focus of this particular quilt.  I hear that no good deed goes unpunished, but I hate to believe in negative stuff.  I searched high and low for that piece of fabric because I had not finished cutting all the strips I needed for the 100 blocks.  Laura noticed I was looking for something one day and asked what it was.  I explained about the fabric and she said she remembered seeing it when she and Uncle Tom were staining the baseboard.  Great; visual confirmation of its existence, at least!

After one more fruitless search I took one of the strips I had cut to the quilt shop I bought it from originally and fortunately for me there was still some on the bolt.  I bought another half yard, knowing that would at least get me through the 100 blocks.

Like all good lost and found stories, as soon as I replaced it, I turned over a pile of fabric that was some place it was not supposed to be and voila’! the missing fabric makes an appearance.  See where this is going?  Now I have enough fabric to make the quilt bigger!  To make a 60 inch square quilt into something that would cover a twin bed, I now have to make 168 blocks.  Oy.

I struggled to get that last 68 done, but I finally managed to do the last of the blocks on the day before my Monday visit to Pattie’s house.  She lays out the blocks for my quilts. Joy! She spent a couple of hours crawling around on her living room floor making the blocks look good.  I get to sit in the magic chair and supervise.  I am not allowed to get on my knees anymore after having surgery a couple of years ago.

She gathered them into the piles for the rows, I numbered them and they have come home to be sewn into rows.

I have enough fabric for binding.  Lucky me!