Interview with Mom: On creativity, friends, and profanity.

My mom is a saint for putting up with all these crazy interview questions. In the final installment of my Mothers’ Day celebration / interrogation, Mom opens up about taking time for herself, the value of girlfriends, and being a lady.

Me: I’ve always thought of you as an artist. Do you identify yourself that way?

Mama C: Not as an artist. Creative, sure. I was never ‘good enough’ as an artist because I define that as painting or drawing or sculpture. I could master techniques but was never satisfied with how I used them. But I definitely have an urge to be creative, to do something with my hands.

Me: Do you feel like you’ve found your niche with quilting?

One of Mom’s many gorgeous quilts, and a shih tzu who approves.

Mama C: I love the colors and feel of the fabrics. Walking into a quilt store, I’m just on overload. I love the satisfaction of putting a quilt top together, although I usually follow a pattern. And the fact that there is a useful quilt at the end of the process is gratifying. I do know that I get cranky and irritable [or just more so than usual] when I haven’t quilted for awhile, so maybe this is my cozy niche.

Me: I get hung up on the “usefulness” aspect – perhaps it’s a Midwestern thing. So many of the crafts and crap I see on Pinterest, I think, “Yeah, you could do that – but WHY?” With a quilt, it’s a creative endeavor with a very solid end result. People need blankets or they get cold and die.

Mama C: Yup. I love the idea of somebody snuggling under a quilt I made on a cold evening. I’ve also found great joy and satisfaction in being a ‘Quilt Fairy’ and swooping in unexpectedly on people to give them a quilt.

Me: That is the best! Do you schedule time to quilt, or does it just kind of happen organically?

Mama C: The problem is that I forget to take ME time to quilt … ya know, the bucket with the holes punched along the rim or the pyramid of champagne glasses that won’t fill til the top one gets filled? So, I think the secret is to cross out an afternoon to quilt, just like you would for a meeting or appointment or whatever else was going on.

Me: This sounds like a good rule about just about anything. Women seem really skilled at putting ourselves last.

Mama C: Women tend to be nurturing and we take care of everybody within our vicinity, but we forget to take care of ourselves. Where is it written that we can’t sit down to read a book or quilt or sit on the patio in the sun? I’m really bad at that, then I have a strict talk with myself and it gets better … and then I forget.

Me: Do you think girlfriends help?

Mama C: YES. [I censored my response] To have a close friend move away or die just leaves a hole you don’t know how to fill. Who can you talk with, bitch about things to? Who will tell you you’re not crazy? Who can you just sit with in silence and enjoy the company? I read something somewhere [who knows] about people coming into your life when you need them, but not necessarily staying for long and I think that’s true. But definitely yes, you do need girlfriends so you have somebody to laugh, cry, and hold dear. And reconnecting with past girlfriends is a real gift — they know all your history.

Me: Was there an “eff yeah” in there originally?

Mama C: Um, perhaps … but I am a lady of grace and dignity and I will not stoop to profanity. [snicker]

Me: Umm, OK. Sure.

She’s pretty great, isn’t she?

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  • Reply Leesa May 10, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    One of my all-time favorite gifts was a quilt. From a Quilt Fairy – the mother of the hair stylist who shaved my head during my first chemo hair fallout experience. It is MY quilt, I share with no one.

  • Reply cookingwithgas May 10, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    I was gifted a love quilt, made by a friend who had never made a quilt in her life.
    She took squares made by my sister, a unfinished project, clothing that was my sister's, a favorite green dress and made me a quilt.
    My sister died of cancer, that quilt is pure love.
    Hug mom for me.

  • Reply Green Girl in Wisconsin May 12, 2014 at 1:38 am

    F*ck yeah, she is awesome.
    I'm with you on "useful" crafting. Maybe that is a Midwestern thing.
    She's a wise mom.

  • Reply Cha Cha May 12, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    Lovely. Just … what a blessing. I will definitely hug my mom for you!

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