Saturday, September 8, 2012

sLoPpy hApPY quiLt

It's still in my sewing room. The small quilt made for my daughter by my mother's dear friend. My mother's dear friend shall be known as Bea. Dear Bea. She was and is a powerhouse. In her 80s now, she gets more done in a day, month, year, decade than many half her age. How does she do it?

My mother used to ponder that question because, as one Bea was running circles around, it made her reflect on her own abilities. Usually, she determined that she just wasn't as capable as Bea. Then one day the light went on. Mother figured it out and shared it with me. "Bea is slap happy. She does everything quickly and without a lot of prep work, without a lot of thought, and without a lot of finesse." (My poor mom had no idea how closely she had described me as well.)

Mother, on the other hand, was careful in everything she did. If she made a quilt, it was nearly perfection. All points met and it was square. Mother made three quilts in her lifetime. Bea, on the other hand, has made hundreds of sloppy, happy quilts.

If my mom refinished a piece of furniture, it was impeccably done. When Bea refinished furniture, we could always find a bit of paint remaining from a former job. This especially blew my mother's mind. She would smile and beam and say, "Well done!" On the inside though, she was very concerned about the bit of paint.

Making wreaths was another task both women did for extra cash at Christmastime. When someone bought a wreath from my mother, it was an excellent value. Buying a wreath from Bea however, might mean that it wouldn't make it to the car. Still, Bea made a lot more money than my mother simply because she made more wreaths.

~red, white, blue, and wonky~

Back to the baby quilt in my sewing room — it has served its time and could have justifiably been sent it to the landfill. (For some reason, my daughter turned it down.)  However, Molly and Fioré like it and use it to cuddle with. The backing was torn and ragged so I purchased some matching material to make a new back. The quilt is made of red, white, and blue fabrics very popular around the bicentennial of the nation. Many of the pieces do not line up and there are puckers between the gingham lightweight fabric and the more substantial other fabrics. It is so far out of square that it is ridiculous. Oh it really is a happy, sloppy quilt.

~pondering a backing~

Here's wishing you a happy, perhaps sloppy, day!

Love Vee


  1. I wish I knew Bea....I need to be more like her. Great story Vee.

  2. I love it. Nothing beats a big soft cuddly home made quilt to feel safe from the whole world.

  3. Good analysis! I lean toward the perfectionist side of things. It's a curse and a blessing. God bless the friends like Bea. But thank goodness she didn't do architectural, engineering, or medical work!

  4. Isn't it interesting the different methods we use to reach the same goal? My mom's dearest friend was another one who did everything fast including her make-up application. She almost always had lipstick on her front teeth. We loved her for it.
    How nice of you to fix up the old quilt for Fiore and Molly.

  5. I am a happy sloppy sewer, while my mom does precision work with an eye for detail.

    I'm trying to learn patience and that eye for detail!!!

    However I feel I might always be a happy sloppy person

  6. Sounds like two great ladies to me! The perfect balance. I need to be that way as well. Today will be a sloppy day, we (hubby and I) are going to attempt to organize the garage/work shop of his. We've never fit a car into it! Thanks for the great story!

  7. Oh Vee - this story has me giggling!!! I'm a wanna be perfectionist when make quilts and such but I have to admit that I'm a bit more like Bea! While doing a project I'm always thinking about the next one I want to do and that sometimes leads to many unfinished ones!

  8. Such sweet memories of both your mother and her friend. Do you suppose Bea's secret is that she doesn't allow stress to be part of her life? I must say, I'm so much more the personality who wants every i dotted and every t crossed. It's wonderful that you'e given the quilt a whole new life. Will Molly and Fiore share the quilt at the same time? I remember they had a few little spats over. . .maybe territory when they were first learning to live together.

  9. Yep, when it comes to hand work I'm more on the sloppy side because I lack the patience and time it takes to get things just right! Love the descriptions of both your mother and Bea!

  10. I love this story! I am not quite Bea and not quite your mother! What a gift each one had - how wonderful of your mother to recognize that!

    Each one made people happy with their gifts!


  11. Like Mrs. Rabe I don't think of myself as a perfectionist by any means (I've known a few and I know that's not me.) but I'm not that slap happy either. But I like the "happy" part of this story a lot!
    I plan to try to have a slap happy day. Thank you, Vee!

  12. I love this story, Vee -- it really made me smile. I tend to be more like your mother; that's why it takes me forever to do anything. Very frustrating for me (and those around me) at times. :)

    I think the good Lord knew the world needed both kinds of people. Thanks for sharing this neat story. I'm glad you kept the quilt.

    Denise at Forest Manor

  13. Sounds like Bea and your Mother complimented each other -- just right!! Lovely story and I bet that quilt is great to cuddle up with.

  14. I am a bit of both but a bit more perfect would be great for me. LOL
    Have a happy weekend

  15. I fear I am a little more like your mother's friend. Maybe I don't have the attention span to do things so perfectly. I like all your fall touches...I agree, sometimes a bit of a change up can bring a better mood or more energy. I also am trying to not buy anything new this season for decorating and I think it's working.

  16. I am a slap happy kinda gal myself!! I agree - we get a lot more done than the perfectionists! I have a saying - 'If it's CLOSE - it COUNTS!!!' I used to say 'Good enough for who it's for!!' but for some reason my friends found that offensive - if it was for THEM!! HAHA!!

    Hard to let go of treasures!!

  17. I am probably more like your mother's friend. Must be something to it if she is still going strong at this age! Although now my motto is "why bother?". Yes, a bit of a 'tude problem for me, I guess. :) xo

  18. Re: Your comment on my post, today... OK, you live in a small town, and don't have any big houses to take pictures of. OK...

    But you have a LOVELY old mill and water-way!!!! I've seen a few gorgeous shots of such. That old mill is some-thing-from-the-past, and not every town/city has one.

    You have a river... And old fashioned and beautiful looking river and river bank. So much more lovely than a city, which has a fully exploited river bank, with buildings and boats and etc.

    Walk along your lovely old river, and take pictures... Like "Happy One" does, on her walks. Pure beauty of Nature's lovliness. People in big cities, or land-locked towns, or places wherer it's so hot that everything is dried up, would love seeing such. Verdent! (spelling???) Green!

    Did you ever wander a bit, in that bird sanctuary, right next to you? See what pretty, photo ops, you might find? Up into trees... Down for close-ups of ferns and etc....

    Hop to it Girl!!!! You have an untapped wealth of Photo Ops, right around you. No ding-dang-need for big, pretty houses, to picture.

    "Auntie" sezzzzzz... :-))))))))))

    Oh yes, and now to read your POST!!! -gigggles-

  19. See what gems of wisdom, you can find, in your sewing room???? :-)

    And gems of wisdom, you did find!

    Myself, I guess I'd choose to be somewhere between your Mother's and Bea's approach. I don't have enough patience, to go for the 'perrrrrfect' look and application to work, which your Mother did.

    So that leaves me, with tending toward Bea's approach. Just tending toward. I really wouldn't want to do stuff, quite as willy-nilly and who-cares? as Bea. And you don't do that either.

    So actually, we have again, a case of opposite ends of a spectrum. (So much of life, is made up thus...) One side insists on being Perfect. The other side, is fine with Just-Getting-By.

    I can't be happy, in either 'corner.' Somewhere in-between... That's where I chose to be.

    Then of course, I'm more the type who does not even attempt all sort of the-making-of-things. So I solve my "which side? issue," that way! -chuckle-

    If your loved critters, are attached to that old quilt, it is not to go to the dump! It is still loved, by them. 'Tis wisdom for you to make a new backing, and let your Dear critters keep on loving and using it.

    Gentle hugs,

  20. I soo enjoyed this. I am definitely like your mother which is why I say I don't like "fiddly" things. I have to fiddle with it and work with it because it HAS to be done right. I wish oh I wish I could be more like Bea. It would make life soo much easier. If I can do it quickly and as perfectly as I can, then I like it, haha...I have to force myself to be "sloppy" sometimes. And you know what, sometimes you just NEED to be sloppy. Have a good week-end Vee.

  21. That story was such fun!. We all should have a little bit of Bea in our lives.

  22. Fun comparison of two women. I'm a little like both of them - but I'm trying to be more like your mother.

    On the other hand, sloppy is fun once in awhile.

    Hope your weekend is full of perfect moments and sloppy fun.

  23. Afraid I'm more like your mother Vee and would have very few wreaths to sell. I always wondered why some women seem to have so much energy, and all the time.
    I think I was born tired. LOL
    Wish I still had my childhood quilt my grandmother made me but it must have fallen apart, much like your red, white and blue one is doing.

  24. Great story! Both very different women, both accomplished women.

  25. I've always admired and wanted to be like your mother, but I'm like you and Bea.....I'm sorta ADD, I run around like a wild Indian most of the time.
    I loved this story!

  26. Oh Vee, I'm afraid I'm more like Bea than your mother too when it comes to quilting. I have just never perfected it.
    Your quilt looks like a very happy quilt and I'm sure was made with love. I'm glad you still have it!

  27. I like Bea. It's friends like her that make life so fun and exciting! =) And I do like your quilt. It looks so cozy.

    Enjoy your weekend!

  28. Oh, I love this post, Vee! What a sweet story about your sloppy, happy quilt! I imagine that Bea was/is a happy person herself...having a blast, tackling projects with gusto, easy to please.

    I am afraid that I am more of the careful person, devoting too much attention to detail. (Although I am a happy person too!)

    What happens when a non-perfectionist and a perfectionist marry? They both move a little closer to the middle, I think. I love the Nester's ( slogan, "It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful."

    Thanks for sharing this well-told story.

  29. It's interesting the contrast between your mother and her friend. My dear friend are quite opposite from each other in many ways. I'm plump, she's thin. I run hot, she runs cold. I'm on the shabby country side, she's more polished in her tastes. We get along great, and even joke that together,we have a whole brain. Thanks for sharing this story. If we were all the same,oh how dull it would be. - Abby

  30. Sept. 9th

    All OK over there, where you are. After Saturday's storms.


  31. I must be a "Bea" as no one has ever called me a perfectionist, Vee. :) Life is too short to take too seriously!

  32. I'm still trying to figure out which I am...a bit of both, I think! I knew a builder who was a 'Bea builder'...we called him 'Mr. Good Enough'. I would let him build a dog house...but that's about it! But I'm not really a perfectionist...just like the job done right. Good story!


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