Sunday, January 18, 2009

Studio II

Today's plan was to meet my brother in town at my mother's condo. Mom's clothes were donated to the Alzheimers facility that was her home for the last two years of her life. The day after she was buried, we sibs conducted the airing of the quilts. The bulk of possessions will be sold and the proceeds combined with her estate. All will be sold and divided nine ways. The probate law firm probably has some roots in the Slowski's ... In a not-so-viable real estate market, we need to take advantage of whatever opportunities we may have. From now until Easter is the best chance we have of selling mom's condo. Most of my sibs live hundreds of miles away. By consensus, we agreed that if there are items that we (the local sibs) can use, we will, and the balance will be sold. Today was for me to go in and pick up those few items I expressed an interest in having.

The second bedroom in mom's condo was converted to "Studio II" - mom's sewing room. Mom was a master quilter and Studio II was transformed with two 12'foot tables,floor to ceiling book shelves with various fabrics arranged in color coordination, with a clear plastic sheet "door" to protect the fabric from dust, etc. The closet housed plastic storage cabinets containing more items than one could begin to mention - from threads and bobbins, bindings, buttons, batting, ...well...the list is endless. She had an ironing table (not a board) set up with several auxillary items designed for pressing sleeves and shoulders. Mom had her computer in this room, a surger, and her sewing machine ... a of the line.

Of my brothers and sisters, I'm the only one that actively sews. I expressed a desire to have mom's sewing machine. I still use a cheap National brand sewing machine that my folks bought for me 20 years ago - I think they paid $150. for it. Getting mom's sewing machine is exciting! I went in to Studio II and began dismantling the Bernina from the cabinet. Initially, I wanted the cabinet, but realized I really have no place to keep it. I can always set up on the kitchen table or an 8' folding table I have. As I began going through the drawers of the sewing cabinet, I got deeper and deeper into a quilters world. I'll never have to buy another needle for the rest of my life! How many pairs of scissors can one person own?! For my old National machine, I have 3 bobbins. I opened one drawer and saw three racks of bobbins, each containing roughly a dozen bobbins, each with a different color thread. Mom had triplicates of every tool a quilter and crafter could ever need. For example, she had 4 X-Acto knife sets. I took one that's quite attractive in a 3"x 6.5" oak wooden box, holding three knives and 14 different blades. I located the "Know your Bernina" book, the "Step by Step Guide to your Bernina" and a 3 ring binder with bills of sale, service receipts and just about anything else pertaining to this machine. There are 37 different foot attachements. Hello! THIRTY SEVEN DIFFERENT FOOT ATTACHMENTS! I need a rocket scientist...

I also took Mom's computer. Actually, Sarah took it. When Sarah graduated High school in '05, we bought her a brand new Gateway. I'm not sure what happened, but it never worked properly. She's been without a computer for 3 years. MOm's computer was purchased brand new within weeks of the time that she began her downward spiral. So her computer, although it's 3 years old, is brand new...used maybe once. There's also a printer, scanner and computer desk. Sarah came by and picked it up and was on her way.

The Catholic Charities will come by on Tuesday and take all the fabrics, threads, bindings, battings, mats, cutters ...(ad nauseum). It's really quite an exciting circumstance. Catholic Charities teaches the spouses of farm laborers to sew, quilt and make crafts that they sell at flea markets, charity auctions to supplement their income. Recently, a local woman volunteered her time to teach quilting. I wish you could have seen their faces and heard their comments when they saw Studio II and knew they'd be the beneficiaries of a Master Quilter's shop of 70 years.

When my ex-husband's grandfather passed away, we were contacted by the PGA hall of fame (Gramps wrote the book on the PGA). We donated his black wrought iron type writer and it is on display in St. Augustine. Maybe some day there will be a quilters hall of fame, and the Bernina used by master quilter Kaye DeMars will be on display.

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