Monday, April 4, 2011

Chocolate & Roses

Chocolate & Roses 

She sauntered the isles of a fabric outlet. Looking for drapery material for the family room something caught her eye. “Hmm, red roses on a chocolate background. How irresistibly charming,” smiled the Lady-of-the-house. “It will go nicely with our red check sofa,” she reasoned, feeling more rationally headed at that moment than the Man-of-the-house would recognize. 

The fabric was a discount remnant. The yardage was sold as-is. There was plenty on the bolt for the possibility of making a few accessories. “Still, one mustn’t act on impulse. I’ll sleep on it.” 

This done, she returned in the morning with milk chocolate and red roses still tantalizing her imagination, and made her purchase.

Now she had her work cut out for her. The project consisted of making one wide panel per window - to be swept up to one side. It was a simple Colonial style. 

Yet, no project fit the description of simple if it meant setting up the sewing machine. It always seemed that as soon as the machine was threaded and its temperamental tension was adjusted, bobbin wound, a few seams under way, with the usual set backs due to the necessary use of the seam ripper, it was time to put dinner on the table. “I’ll return to it when I can,” she reassured herself. “Tomorrow is another day.”  

This was how she managed to complete so many things in her life; a couple unhurried steps one day and a couple unhurried ones the next. Even if finding time meant once a week at her machine, eventually a project was completed.

A day after her homemade drapes were hung something looked odd. She figured out what it was and with chagrin said to her adult daughter, “Look, that window’s drape is a bit longer than this one. How on earth did that happen?” 

 “Mom, I wouldn’t have noticed if you hadn’t pointed it out,” her daughter told her, calmly.

The Man of the house was just as calm. He had the last word. He laughed quietly to himself and said, “No one’ll notice.” It was the same masculine opinion the Lady-of-the-house was used to hearing upon completion of other projects - for she was given to consulting him. 

You see, it wasn’t uncommon that after all her careful sewing, imperfections were noticed in the final product by the Lady-of-the-house. As time passed, however, imperfections became less glaring. More time and they weren’t glaring at all.  Her conclusion?

Anything worth doing for Mother Culture 

is worth doing imperfectly.

She made this one of her mottos. If a project ministers to the feminine soul, satisfies a desire for gift giving, if it adds a little touch of beauty to the home (such as sprucing up a twelve-year-old sofa) it is very worth doing – even if the end result is somewhat “homemade” and imperfect. 

Decorating this post is a rose bag, made from leftover fabric, a gift to her daughter for carrying cello music. 

The blue book bag was made for a friend. The Lady-of-the house lined both bags with a soft plaid and semi-secretive lace.

While ironing fabric for piecing her pillow she was met with a surprise. She read -Wuthering Heights  - in the margin and her fancy was tickled once more. 

She likes this fabric so much that she hopes to use it again with the blue stripe for a different pillow.

Do you see the brown piping at the base of the ruffle? Adding this to a seam with gathers was a challenge. But the puckers where the piping overlaps itself is an imperfection that is no longer glaring. The Man-of-the-house is right. No one will notice.

Perhaps she decided to her make her ruffled pillow after being impressed with this painting by George Goodwin Kilburne. 

I don't know how this post's fonts got jumbled. 
Until we meet again,
Karen Andreola


  1. Love your fabric! It looks wonderful!

    Your ruffled pillow is perfect on your couch.

    I am raving over all your projects today, Karen, but I do love them all!

    Delightful. And I agree that anything worth doing for Mother Culture is worth doing imperfectly!


  2. The curtains and pillow turned out lovely Karen. I really like the bag you made for your daughter. I wish I lived close and could attend the book sale.

  3. You are right. The roses on chocolate curtain is beautiful. I've been in a knitting mood of late. Happy little-by-littling! It does produce delights (and the family still gets to eat, wear clean clothes, and learn a little something along the way).


  4. Thanks for the gentle reminder that we don't have to do the whole project in one sitting. I find I have to fight the perfectionist tendency--on those occasions that I win, I am rewarded with the satisfaction of making the tortoise's progress towards my goal.

    It feels like mother culture more if I let myself enjoy the "doing" as much as the "finishing"!

    I like the fabric combinations.

  5. Loved the fabric and the way it all turned out. I have been inspired to make my curtains that I have had the fabric for for 1 year. Thanks for the inspiration.

  6. That is my life. I like to quilt, but I don't have much time for it. As a matter of fact, I am still working on my first quilt, the one I started seven years ago. I have made several since then, but this one is done entirely by hand. People ask me how I manage to make quilts. I home school three children, teach Sunday School, work in a Wednesday night program at my church, and all the other things a wife and mother does. My answer is simple. "Five minutes here and five minutes there and after quite a long time, a quilt is made." It is like our Christian growth. It doesn't all happen at once, it happens a little at a time. Sometimes the machine of life moves right along and sometimes God has to use the seem ripper to remove imperfections, but as long as we are depending on Him and doing our best, we grow in Him and through Him. One day the final product will be perfection. I'm waiting for that day.

  7. Those bags are so beautiful. I love bags like that.

    Have a blesssed day in THE LORD!

    Matthew 6:33

  8. I wouldn't have noticed the fonts - had you not pointed them out. :D

    Wuthering Heights - that fabric was calling to you!

  9. Wow, love the fabric!! You know I think when things are too perfect they do not look homemade. Plus imperfection gives me room to grow. I always want to be growing. By the way I am coveting the bag!!!! Clarice

  10. Dear Ladies,
    It is good to read that you are little-by-littling and that imperfections are endured bravely. I bought the fabric months before I made the curtains (last summer), the bags were sewn for Christmas, and the pillow this spring.

    It is a good reminder that one day we will live God's home in sanctification - no more seam ripping.

    Richele, your comment about the fonts made me laugh out loud. How fitting. I'm glad my readers do not always take me seriously.

    Enjoying the process as well as the finish is a good point. It happens more with some crafts than others, with me. When I can sit under a shade tree on a summer afternoon with my cross stitch (and supper simmering in the crock pot) I am more at peace than at the sewing machine - but fabric is so appealing - and practical.