The Red Thread Quilt

A Red Thread, symbolizing all your ties from the day you are born to those that are and those to be — a thread that can never break.

Almost a year ago, after I finished my very first lap quilt from the Quilting 101 class I took, I started another quilt.  Being very ambitious, I immediately resized the pattern into a twin size, and decided I would hand quilt it.  Never mind that I had never hand quilted anything in my life . . . .  I found some wonderful (and clearance-priced) Michael Miller black-and-white print fat quarters, pieced a simple nine-patch top with piano key border, found a funky red print backing fabric, and started hand quilting.

Did I mention “between” needles are really sharp?

Anyway.  Many months later, many patches later, the quilt is just about done.  The quilting did become easier, although I don’t think my stitches actually improved much over the months.

This is a quilt for my beautiful daughter, the Teenager, the Lemming, and I hope she sees the red thread running around the perimeter, and knows how much I love her.

Red Thread Quilt

The "Opie" patch


It finally happened: the Kid is officially a teenager.  I know this because two nights ago, I became Mom of the Teenager: “If the other kids told you to jump off a cliff, would you do it?”

The  teenager came home from cross-country practice and complained about how she “had” to stand in a bucket of ice for 2 minutes, and it was so cold that she almost threw up.  I of course went into the defend-my-young mode and demanded to know why the coach was making them do this — and she admitted that it was actually other kids who told her she “had” to stay in the ice to “get used to it.”

The Teenager’s peer group right now is the cross-country team; she REALLY REALLY REALLY wants to fit in.  She refused to go to a swim party because she didn’t have a bikini:

“Can I have a bikini?”

“No.  Besides, you didn’t even want to TRY on your cousin’s bikini a month ago when you didn’t have a swimsuit and they were all going to the beach.”

“That was a month ago.”


“So could I have a bikini?”

“No.  But you can have a modest two-piece suit — the kind that can’t be untied ‘by accident.'”

“So you’ll buy me a two-piece?”

“No, I am not going to buy it — but you can, if that’s what you really want to spend your money on!”

Yesterday she went to a swim party at a local pond with the cross-country team … and she made do with a two-piece tankini suit that an older girl in the neighborhood had given her.  I do give her credit for deciding that perhaps it is OK, after all, not to spend 40 or 50 bucks on a half yard of fabric.


I rarely click on the “Freshly Pressed” featured blogs — but today, I did, on an entry from Tom Vander Well’s Wayfarer blog.  He is a stranger to me,  but I loved catching a glimpse of his teenage-hood, perhaps because sometime during college, I destroyed most of the tangible evidence of my own teen years.  What interested me more than his pictures were the changes in his signature, from a serviceable, nondescript scrawl to one with swoops and flourish …  I wonder if his signature evolved any more after high school.

So I wondered about my own writing.  And because we live in the age of Google, I found this website offering handwriting analysis by a certified graphologist.  You see, I wondered about my cursive “y” that did not loop …  And sure enough, she had a short blurb on “y” without a loop: a “y” formed with a straight line down shows independence!  I am charmed by that interpretation.  My “y” has gone through many changes over the years: the classic, neatly formed loopy y (I was, after all, the class secretary in 4th grade); in junior high, the y with no loop but an aggressive slash of side tail; in high school, back to the y with a loop, but a very skinny, attenuated loop.  The loop-less y I now have evolved during my medical school/residency years, I think as a result of the gradual deterioration of handwriting that all physicians undergo as a rite of passage.

Now I wonder whether it is just a coincidence that I have had basically the same hairstyle since residency?