Monday, July 14, 2008

Wrinkle Free

The creators of Downy Wrinkle Releaser undoubtedly had teenage boys in mind when they invented a product that not only eliminates the need for ironing, but in a pinch, can stand in for laundering as well. When James went off to college, we sent a bottle along with him. Judging by the piles of laundry lying on his dorm room floor, he had ample opportunity to use it.

William just came home from a week at camp. Naturally, the last thing on his mind was the status of his laundry. When he needed a clean uniform for work this morning, I heard him grumbling as he rummaged through closets and dresser drawers, looking for the requisite plain polo shirt. Apparently, the one he found was wrinkled.

First, I heard it…a telltale spritz, spritz, spritz…spritz… spritz, spritzspritz, spritz, spritz…SPRITZ…SPRITZ, SPRITZ, SPRITZ. He must have nailed each individual crease in the shirt!

Then I smelled it: a fresh, clean scent wafting down the stairs. Let’s see, would that be the “light freshness” or the “vibrant freshness“ variety? Actually, it was the nose burning, eye tearing, headache inducing freshness and an hour later, I can still smell it. I wonder what his poor co-workers and customers are experiencing right now!

I give the boy credit for caring about his appearance and smoothing out a wrinkly situation on his own, but I’ve got to introduce him to an iron!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Fair Is Fair

As parents of more than one child know, what you do for one, you try to do for the other. When one son asked for a jungle quilt made with animal prints, a precedent was set. It didn’t take long for little brother to ask for a quilt of his own. In both cases, I was eager to comply. After all, my children were finally appreciating the quilting they saw me do each day.

William wanted a cowboy theme quilt and the fabrics he picked out were adorable: rodeo cowboys, covered wagons, sheriff’s badge stars. I loved the reds, greens, and browns and continued to gather plaids, checks, stripes and paisleys to round out the collection. But I had no quilt design in mind.

A year later, I found the perfect pattern ~ Cowboy Boots. The boot block required some tedious templates and fussy piecing, yet I never got bored with making them. Choosing new fabric combinations for each cowboy boot was so much fun.

As I assembled the quilt,  even the sashing and cornerstones provided a creative opportunity. Sashing strips were carefully cut from a wavy striped fabric and each cornerstone featured a concho design.

After making 20 boot blocks, there were enough bits of fabric left to piece a spiky barbed wire type border before adding the final border of black stripe.

The search for a suitable backing fabric ended the following year when we were on vacation in Montana. There was just enough of this Native American blanket stripe left on the bolt to back a twin size quilt. Perfect colors, perfect print, perfect souvenir of our Western family trip.

More time passed when I sent the project to Stover Quality Quilting to be completed with their Baptist Fan longarm quilting design.

So, from start to finish, this quilt took three years to complete. And what did my darling boy say when he received this special gift from his mother?

“Mom, I don’t really like cowboys any more!”