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Mothers Day was this past weekend and it gave me a little time to reflect on how complicated mother daughter relationships are.

Even Lorelai and Rory fought once.

And how lucky I am to have the mother I do.

Martha Mary Denio Power is the smartest woman I know.  She’s a Nurse Practitioner who makes waves and cuts paths, has gone back to school twice in my lifetime, and has three children who don’t make life much easier (we’re trying mom, we swear!)

She wipes old peoples butts, takes care of any sick person ever, acts as a surrogate mother to my friends, and pours me a large glass of wine when it’s needed.

Not to mention she resisted the temptation of killing me as a teenager. Which I’m not sure anyone would have blamed her for (teenage girls are the worst).

And she helped me sew my graduation skirt.

Now my mother has always been realistic- she’s encouraged my goals but has been the voice of reason.  Journalism- fine, you’re a good writer, you can do it.  Professional athlete- nope, you can’t walk up the stairs without hurting yourself.

So when I brought the idea of the skirt to her, she looked nervous.  But bought the fabric.

It’s been a really nice project these last few weeks. And on our way down to Flatwoods for a conference where I photographed and she was awesome (because that’s what she does) we got the end trim.

We finished the skirt on Friday. And then I graduated on Saturday. Which, among other things, can be attributed to my mother.  I wore the skirt. And it was PERFECT.

Happy Mother’s Day to all those out there who are wonderful like mine. And if you haven’t lately, go do something with yours- I’m not saying the months long adventures of making a skirt beyond your individual abilities (thought it was fun) but something, anything.   They’re pretty awesome, even if it takes passing the age of 18 to realize it.


On May 12th I graduate from college.  It’s a frightening, exciting, and ridiculous time that I’m enjoying and freaking out during.  Several of my friends and I are blogging about it here so I wont go into laborious detail and bore you unless you click that link.

SO in all the crush of job applications, future freakouts, and sadness of leaving friends I have spent the last four years developing, I decided to throw in another project.

I’m sewing my graduation skirt.

I need to shout out to my wonderful mother first of all.  Sewing a skirt is at times (this one in particular) more expensive than purchasing a similar item. As a fan of retail therapy I’ll have to admit that the ease of just buying something surely is tempting.

But I saw this skirt on a wonderful blog with directions on how to make it months ago and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head since.

So on I went to buy linen, a little more edgy patterned border, and crazy supplies.  Thanks again mom.

Last Friday we started with the two flaps that are explained and I haven’t been able to get back to the Singer sewing machine at my parents yet but it’s coming along nicely!

What’s a project you’ve taken on with best intentions but had little time for? What are you wearing to graduation if you are graduating? And what kind of shoes should I wear!?

I’ve finally finished the photo slideshow instructions! I think I’ll stick with full video from now on because it’s where my strength is but it was worth a shot and was fun to attempt even if the shots turned out blurry.

I used the previously mentioned alpaca yarn so you can check out what it looks like.

My Aunt Mamie had a Singer sewing machine.  She kept her buttons and pins in little metal tins that I will never be able to find the equivalent of today in stores.  If I comb through yard sales and goodwill some day I might have the fortune of finding them.

Today, my mother still uses that same sewing machine.  Mamie died when I was young, but I knew her husband till he died at the age of 90, a millionaire and still washing out Ziploc Baggies.

Quilting is as old as America, though not as prevalent in colonial times as we are led to believe in movies and television.    Until the 1840’s when fabrics were more readily available, quilting was considered rare and a hobby of those who were wealthy enough to afford household assistance.

Quilting sees popularity resurgences, like in the 1920’s and today.   The craft has recently taken on hold with younger generations and popular quilting groups like classmates of mine did a story on.

My mother, though time passing, has come to own shirts from both of my grandfathers- both great men who influenced hordes of people within their lives and were well loved.

So when she started sewing pillows with their shirts, it was an automatic hit.

Now I love my papa. Don’t get me wrong.  He was a refrigerator of a man who ate butter pecan ice cream despite his diabetes, made friends with everyone, and had a basement with saloon doors. Which are freaking awesome if you are a small child.

But the amount of shirts he had that matched each other perfectly was like he was planning for me to quilt these pillows.

My mother cut out the pieces for the first one and sewed the pattern together before I became involved.  We used a basic square pattern  (he was a basic guy, if you can tell from the patterns).

Quilting is an easy but detailed process.With square patches surrounded in three inch borders of similar (or the same) fabrics, this pattern is an easy go.

I may have gone a little overboard on the three shirts I picked and their patterns but they matched perfectly the chairs and couch I have from the same grandfather. So I’m a sap.


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