This is the quilt label on the backing of the first quilt I’ve made.
I was trying to come up with a unique signature. It’s my initials with a backward L. It didn’t quite come out like I planned; but, I used it anyway.
Note: I didn’t feel like finding my first quilt and taking new pictures. So, I dug up this picture (and the one below) from my archives after writing today’s post. Both were shot in June 2011. I photoshopped both today for this post. (Cropped and adjusted the white balance since they were shot indoors).
I made a small quilt using a kit not long after I first got married. I didn’t quite understand the instructions. Instead of a single strand of yarn, I used two strands to tie the quilt. When I realized my mistake, I decided to buy more yarn. I matched the color as best as I could. I didn’t want to undo all my hard work. After all, it was just a practice quilt to see if I could make one.
In spite of the mistake, I liked the look of the quilt. I was quite thrilled with my completed project. I took the little quilt home to show it off to my mother. As usual, she wasn’t all that expressive. I truly did not know what she thought of it. I felt a little deflated.
My sister-in-law came over later to visit. I was working in another room when my sister-in-law rushed into the room and asked me to show her what I made. I asked her how she knew as I hadn’t planned on telling her about the quilt or showing it off to her. My mother had told her. She practically begged to see the quilt I made. So, I reluctantly showed her.
She was expressive and enthusiastic while she examined the small quilt. She bolstered my confidence. My mother then comes along indicated that she couldn’t believe I made the little quilt. I felt deeply hurt by her words.
I remember my sister-in-law looking at me with disbelief. She then asked my mother to expound on what she said. Mother basically said she didn’t believe I had the capability or skills to complete a project like my little quilt. My sister-in-law looked me directly in the eye and said “don’t you listen to her. It’s made well.”
Fortunately, the desire to make a quilt for the bedroom kept me going in spite of my mother’s disbelief and doubts. I’ve since made a few quilts, including one for my dad and another for my mother, and not a single one of them was for our bed.
I am not sure where I was going with today’s writing except a mother’s words, actions and attitude can weigh heavily upon a daughter in spite of what other people may say. I struggle with a lack of confidence and self-esteem because of her. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my mother very much. She showed all of us kids her love as best as she could. She sacrificed her time and so much more for me in my early years in order for me to learn how to speak and lip-read. But still,… the feeling that I’m dumb, incapable, etc., and etc. lingers and it beats me down while I’m attempting to do this or that…
My sister-in-law’s visit was providential that day. Because of her and her words of encouragement, I defied my mother’s predictions. I know I can complete and do projects well even if it may take me forever to finish them due to the constant struggle against both the negativity of my mother in my mind and the perfectionistic streak within me.
My first quilt