Monday, June 05, 2006

Favorite Things Monday - the Quilting episode

Since most of my weekend was spent at the machine - quilting, quilting, quiling - my mind is filled with fabric and thread today.

One of my Favorite Things is this quilt which hangs in Little Man's bedroom and was designed by Wifey's 29yo sister, Little.

Little started quilting many years ago, but has only taken it seriously in the last 5 years. An idle interest in mosaics morphed into her signature quilting style. Her mosaic quilts capture locales that hold meaning and memories for her loved ones and show the most amazing details. In a quilt for a dear friend, she showed his house and included the exact flowers that grace his front garden.

This quilt pays homage to the many weekends that Wifey and Little spent on their father's boat in the Thousand Islands, near his childhood home of Watertown, NY. It also pays homage to the family's love and cohesiveness. Her father (FolkMan), a penniless folk musician, who became a civil engineer late in life, grew up sailing with his 3 brothers and 3 sisters. As young adults, the boys (plus a new brother-in-law) decided to buy a boat, pooled their money for a down-payment, and took out a long-term loan. They're now paying the loan on boat #2, and sailing has become a family legacy. Every spring the brothers convene for "The Bro's Weekend" under the guise of getting the boat ready for the season. In actuality, they give her a little TLC, set sail, and spend the weekend drinking, smoking, playing music (or as FolkMan would say, "John scratches away at his fiddle"). Nearly every weekend during the summer, someone from the family clan, now spread across the northeast and beyond, takes the boat out to explore the Thousand Islands or to gently rock in the calm waters. And every fall, the Bros convene to pull her out of the water before the snow flies.

As new Bros were born into the extended family clan, many embraced the sailing lifestyle and committed to these mysterious weekend rituals. So when Little Man was born, FolkMan was delighted to have another "Bro" in the family and eagerly anticipated Little Man growing into his sea legs.

Although I initially resisted the idea of my Little Man heading out to sea with his grandfather and a bunch of other aging hippies for some chest-beating male-centered bonding, I know that these men love each other in a way that I've never seen before. I now hope that my Little Man will set sail every summer and learn the strange rituals of male love from the teddy bear Bros.


maryse said...

yeah for the Bros! and little man's initiation.

that's a beautiful quilt to go wiht a wonderful story.

Anonymous said...

Your "favourite things Monday" posts are one of my favourite thing about Mondays! Hope Little Man comes home saying cute nautical things like "I like the cut of your jib, Mom" and "Where are my hash brownies?" Good times on the river.

Rhonda the Stitchingnut said...

What a NICE story and a nice quilt as well. Its rituals like this [either male or female] that add to our soul's fond memories of people we love. Like quilting bees!

Beth S. said...

What a great story. I bet Little Man had (will have?) the time of his life. ;-)

nina beana said...

love that stinkin quilt, and the story made it all that much better.

Emily said...

Wow, what an amazing story!

Anonymous said...


i love these posts!