Everyone says it is very hard to surprise me, and when someone manages to do so, they think it's cause for celebration. "We actually surprised Mom!" Funny.
That happened this past Christmas when one lone remaining gift bag under the tree was pulled out with my name on it. "What could this be?" I wondered. Definitely it was something I had no suspicion about. Hmm...
Inside the gift bag I found this beautiful Federal Star Throw I had seen advertised in Thomas Jefferson's Monticello catalog that arrived during the fill-the-mailbox-with-every-catalog-known-to-man season. Browsing through the pages, I spotted the patriotic throw and commented to Hannah how pretty it was, never dreaming I could own one.
So here's how I went about surprising Mom...After hearing her remark on this quilted throw (in addition to knowing she likes anything that's red/white/and blue), I looked at the photo in the catalog and thought, "I could make that!" Or try at least! The throw would be 50"x60", and I would need to make up the quilting patterns myself. The designs included wavy lines, floral emblems, and a diamond-paned center.
So, in the beginning of December when we girls visited the quilt shop, I picked out some navy and burgundy fabric while Mom was occupied. Sarah had it cut and purchased it for me so I could help Mom with her browsing, and she wouldn't suspect. Later, Sarah and I drove to a different quilt shop to get the muslin and thread I needed to get started.
Then I came down with pneumonia and really started to doubt that I'd be able to complete this project. After coming out of the worst part of the sickness, I had to get down to business! When Mom went out shopping, Sarah brought my sewing machine and a table to my room so that I could get some sewing time in. I took every chance I could to sew when Mom wasn't around to hear the noise of the machine going as fast as it could. :) I was hoping she would need to go out on more errands! But I had to put it away after each time, table and all, or else she'd see it when coming into my room, as I was still quarantined. Several times I would sew at night or early morning on top of my hope chest, hoping she wouldn't be able to hear the noise of the machine. You can see how hard it was to keep it a secret.
Thankfully, the Saturday before Christmas I got 5-6 good hours of sewing in while Mom was picking up relatives. Dad bought more thread for me while he was out, and Sarah helped me with some final chores before company arrived! I had to start hand-sewing the binding at night before the actual quilting was completely finished. The final stitches of the quilted star throw were put in on Christmas Eve, just in the nick of time!