My Talented Mom: On Her 85th Birthday

In October my Mom turned 85! It’s pretty shocking to me…that’s a big number. But my Mom is really ageless in my mind. She’s vibrant, active and opinionated. She has friends of all ages, but the two common themes of her friendships? Church and quilting.

My Mom made over 2 dozen “mug rugs” as birthday party favors for her friends. These are some of them. She embroidered a design on one panel then sewed the oversized coaster together then quilted it. 24-plus times!

I learned a long time ago that church is a wonderful place to make lifelong friends. Right, Carole?! My Mom taught me that. All I had to do was watch her and my Dad as they welcomed folks from church into their home and into their lives. Those friendships survived time, distance and significant life changes.

And quilting? My Mom is a talented quilter. And embroiderer. She has done everything there is to do in the world of traditional quilting…right down to once owning her own shop! Her friendships span decades, yet she’s still making new quilting friends too. And she quilts. Every. Day.

Mom is a perfectionist. Can’t you tell from this embroidered machine cover?!

Mom threw herself an 85th birthday party and invited her friends and family. I was so buoyed to see and catch up with the folks who were there. I’ve attended church in AZ with Mom so some of her church friends are familiar to me, but others I met for the first time at her party. What a happy group. Some of Mom’s quilting friends were there too! They are women who take their quilting — and sense of fun — seriously. They attend classes, go on quilting retreats, have quilt-ins and support each other in ways that go beyond quilting into firm friendship.

Mom built an extended family from scratch in AZ, which is where she moved — far from her relatives and friends in NJ — after my Dad died. I don’t think that was an easy thing to do, but she made it look easy. I hope as my husband Mike and I settle into our new life in South Carolina that I can do the same…create an extended family. Way to go, Mom!


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