Birdsong Bows: A lifetime of sewing, revealed

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A lifetime of sewing, revealed

Back in January I wrote about my mother-in-law's battle with Alzheimer's, and inheriting some of her sewing books. Sadly, she passed away in mid-March after falling and breaking her femur about three weeks earlier. She never really recovered after the surgery. Evelyn Rose McCool was 87.
There's been a flurry of activity since, of course - the funeral, where she was laid to rest next to her husband, Don, who died nearly four years ago. Though a sad time, I found peace in the knowledge that she no longer had to suffer. And with the extraordinarily high temperatures for March, the flowers and trees were in bloom, and the burial took place under a bright blue sky. We said that she planned it that way.
And then there's the clearing-out of her home, a sad and difficult process for my oldest sister-in-law, who lives closest to her and has been doing much of the cleaning. We've gone through bags and boxes of items given to us to sort, keep, donate or discard. I've been sorting a large part of her sewing "room" that we brought back here...and some of the items have made me smile. Her beloved Bernina, purchased in 1995, is a fantastic machine. I love this book that came with it. Don't we all need a puffy shirt like this?

I also found a $100 bill in her pattern stash! I called Mr. Birdsong at work to tell him about it, and said I left it on the dining room table so he could see. He was excited about it until he saw it:

And I did find a project I want to finish. She spent so much time creating all of the "parts" for a Raggedy Ann/Andy quilt, which I think was intended for my oldest daughter, based on the date of the pattern. She finished all the heads, feet, hats, dresses, overdresses, pants, legs, etc., before quitting and leaving this as a UFO. I can't find the backing fabric other than the two blocks she pinned together here, so I'll have to buy new. But this definitely calls for completion, don't you think?

This makes me think about my own sewing/ribbon room...will anyone appreciate my vast array of ribbon and fabric? What retro items or books will make my kids smile? And, of course, should I leave a REAL $100 bill in my pattern stash?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sorry for your family's loss. Your m-i-l sounds like a wonderful lady. The Raggedy quilt is a definite quilt you have to finish in her honor and of course post pics on here so we can enjoy the progress. I love the $100 bill!

April 18, 2012 at 9:11 AM  
Blogger Deanna McCool said...

Thank you for your kind words!

April 18, 2012 at 9:15 AM  
Blogger Mik said...

I'm sorry for your family's loss. What a treasure she left behind. Whoever gets the quilt will not only be blessed by her, but also the heart and hands of the person who finishes it.

April 18, 2012 at 9:22 AM  
Blogger ~ Darlene said...

What a sad and happy story you have told. I am sorry for your lose and your gain. You can never replace a mother (or mother in law, mine is the best!) but you can gain the wonders of her years. That would be wonderful to finish the amazing quilt and showcase it for all to enjoy and remember.

Thanks for story!


April 19, 2012 at 5:08 AM  
Blogger Sarah Hughes said...


How bittersweet and lovely! I can't wait to see the quilt! I love that you had that sewing connection with your MIL.


April 19, 2012 at 7:54 AM  

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