Don't let the difficulties of the present moments overshadow the reality of God's promises. God's promises still stand. And God's promises are stronger than our failures.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Lost Is Found

The Christmas Tree Skirt that I mentioned in my last post is now found and under my tree.  My mother made this at my request probably 30 years ago.  She made beautiful things, often without a pattern, and always by the tried and true old methods.  I bought her a rotary cutter and mat several years before her death but to my knowledge she never used them.  She pretended to so she wouldn't hurt my feelings but I found her newspaper templates all over her house and her tiny bits of fabric cut sort of close to the size of the template.  She rarely measured and mostly just "eyeballed" her pieces.  She had absolutely no color sense most of the time, maybe because she was so determined to use true scraps.  When I asked for this tree skirt I envisioned red and green and maybe gold, Santa or reindeer or  peppermint sticks.  This is what I got.

Yep, those are calicos in red, yellow, navy and brown.  Every time I look at it I smile.  It was so typically her.  And it's a very high loft batting that puffs up between the quilting lines.  The quilting, by the way, is by hand using what I'm sure is polyester thread and the stitches are about a quarter inch in size and distance.

While it's not what most quilt lovers would consider to be a beautiful quilt I found myself welcoming it back to it's rightful place much like the father of the prodigal son.  I wasn't home when my husband found it and put it on the dining table to wait for me.  I'm sure my eyes lit up and a smile graced my face because it surely came immediately to my heart when I caught sight of it.  Like that prodigal son, who wasn't the best of sons by any stretch of the imagination, it was welcomed back for itself, a beloved member of the family.  The fabric doesn't matter.  The colors don't matter.  It doesn't even matter that there's nothing Christmasy about it.  It's the love and the memories that count.

And to top it all off, because the skirt brought all of that to mind, this morning I put on the one outfit of Mother's that I kept.  She died in 2003 and I gave her these slacks and this shirt at least 5 years before that so that tells you how old it is.  I wear it once in a great while when I'm missing her the most.  I put my hands in the pockets and what did I find?  A $5 dollar bill!  Oh I've worn this before so I'm sure I left it there myself, and that Mother didn't.  But just the same I feel her smiling at the "found" money and the tree skirt that I adore.  What a wonderful Christmas gift.  :)

31 comments:

Sheila said...

What a touching story , I have tears in my eyes , I am so glad you treasure this wonderful piece of your mothers work , it is very cheery and even if it isn't Christmas fabrics it does look like Christmas and I love it! hugs Sheila

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I'm so happy that the treasure was found! I find this a more meaningful tree skirt than all the x-masie,gold,fancy smansie - it was made with love and joy and cherised in the same respect.

Marge said...

Precious. Very precious. I need to write about my ugly black and white dog ornament that my grandmother made us, probably 50 years ago. Ugly, but it comes out every year!

And now back to finishing my tree skirt so I can have one too! Think my kids will treasure it when I'm gone?

Marie said...

Oh Marlene, how beautiful and tender a post. You brought a smile to my face and a tear to my eye. God bless you. xxoo

sunny said...

What a wonderful tree skirt!! With th erecent passing of my father, my siblings and I had to diisperse his belongings, and we all came home with some treasures. Things that have to monetary value, but oh, the sentiment! And I brought home some sweaters that I can wear when I need a hug! So glad you found your tree skirt.

Osage Bluff Quilter said...

I got goosebumps! Totally cool!
Blessings today,
Patti

Tracy P. said...

Ah, it made me smile, too, Marlene! It will quickly be in the background providing splashes of color between red and green and gold packages. Just what they need to show them off.

I'm sure $5 would buy a good gift for the local toy drive. :-)

Jane's Fabrics and Quilts said...

I just knew you would find it!! My mother has been gone for 20 years so I know how special this is for you. I am so happy you found it! I would also love it no matter what the colors were.

Mrs.Pickles said...

I am glad to hear that you found it!

Sincerely Mama said...

Love this. These are the real gifts, the ones that speak to the soul, the ones from Heaven.

Angie said...

What wonderful memories and what a special way to feel so close to your Mom by wearing her clothes. :) Just precious...and the tree skirt is such a treasure---uniquely your Mom. :)

Carol said...

Hugs, Marlene…I know you have just had the best blessing this Christmas season can bring. Memories are wonderful, but having a tangible memory is even better! Hug your hubby for finding it for you! How neat you can fit in your mom’s clothes. And lol at the found money in the pocket too!

Thanks for letting us know you are all right with the world now. ;-)

Carol (NJ)

Adrienne said...

I am so glad you found the tree skirt - what a wonderful gift that goes on giving. The colors and the pattern don't matter - what matters is what was in her heart that still lives in yours!
~Adrienne~

Garden of Egan said...

I love that post! Thanks so much for sharing!
The tree skirt is such a treasure and I love it.
So glad it was found.

Callie said...

My first thought when I saw the photo was how much I like the tree skirt. It radiated warmth, love and home! That's what it said to me. So, glad it is found and you have it to enjoy. Love your post... sweet Mother. Your too!

Pat said...

Thanks for sharing your touching story of your mom's tree skirt. It's very beautiful.

Rhonda at Cobblestone Quilting said...

I love your words! What wonderful memories for you, and thanks for sharing them with us.

paulette said...

What a lovely post!! Brought back memories of my own mom!! She died when I was 26...and I too kept a nightie of hers which I wore when I was missing her. I remember wearing it when I was pregnant with each of my babies so that she could be close to them too! (I named my last baby after her). Love your tree skirt...and for sure it should go under your tree each year!
Take care and thanks for sharing...
P

Deb said...

What a lovely story. It made me feel so warm. Those are the wonderful stories that we have of family members who are no longer with us. It reminded me of my mother in law. She gave us a red felt Christmas tree skirt with white woolly trim, although I could make us a nice quilted one that old red felt one brings back many memories of her. Thanks for sharing your storey

Michelle said...

I'm so glad the skirt was found, and I love the wonderful story behind it. I also love the outfit story.

I told you the other day that I don't decorate for Christmas, and haven't for years. Today we went junkin', and I found an awesome tree, so we bought it. It looks like tomorrow I will be decorating the tree. I can't wait to watch tv in the dark, by only the light of the Christmas tree.

Grammasheri said...

A really true Christmas story. About love and family and the things that matter. Your husband placed the tree skirt where you would be sure to find it, knowing it would delight you. An act of love.

Julie Fukuda said...

I'm glad it showed up. It is nice to have something your mother made. I have my "storm at sea" quilt and each of my kids has a baby quilt. They are all to be cherished.

Truffle queen said...

Christmas is such of time of sweet memories. Each year getting out the boxes of decorations and ornaments - and remembering where each came from. The "kids" tree is just FULL of those memories - and the "kids" are 28 and 30!! It's a wonderful time of the year - if we just let it be - to put The REASON FOR THE SEASON - at the top of the never-ending list!!

Connie said...

What a beautiful story and a beautiful tree skirt! I would treasure it so much. Finding the money in your pocket must have made you feel like she was watching over you and smiling!

Grammy Staffy said...

What a sweet post....you touch my heart. thank you dear. Have a great week. Hugs, Lura

Purple Pam said...

What a sweet story. I am sure your Mom left that money in the pocket, just for you to find. I still miss my mom a lot, too.

em's scrapbag said...

Lovely story and fond memories of your mom. Thanks for sharing.

Sandy said...

Such lovely memories.

Madame Samm said...

Ahhh I knew you would find it..and the spirit and happiness this generates I am sure is one of the nicest gifts she could have left behind...It is rather fancy isn't it xx

Snoodles said...

I'm misty-eyed, but I'm smiling, too. What a wonderful story - and thank you for sharing it with all of us. You had the kind of relationship with her that everyone hopes for. Have a lovely day, and give that tree skirt a pat for all of us!

Kate said...

What a lovely story about your mom. Those of us who have memories like this are very fortunate. We can only hope that our own children will have wonderful memories to share about us one day. I love your tree skirt!
Merry Christmas.