This Wasn’t In My Contract

At the risk of repeating myself, I am a quilter NOT a seamstress. Give me the smooth flow of fabric under the 1/4″ foot of Lennie the Featherweight and I am one happy gal.

Over the years, a few folks in my life have confused quilting and sewing and generally think they are one and the same. Not so, say I! A certain in-law thought she’d hit pay dirt when she found out I was fairly nimble with needle and thread as she had buttons in need of  reattachment and hems to let out. Um, no. In a pinch, I can gut it out and do for The Co-Defendants’ uniforms what I refuse to do for anyone else (with the possible exception of Tom Selleck, but does that man really need a shirt? I think not!), but that’s only because they have this uncanny knack for growing at a rapid rate and uniforms ain’t cheap.


Enter the ever cheerful, imaginative and project-laden….teacher.  Sweet mother of God, if I didn’t know better, I’d swear some of the projects these folks come up with are designed to drive me out of my ever-loving mind!  The last project involved interviewing a policeman.  Excuse me, I don’t want to be anywhere near a police station or the po-po in general.  I’m sure they’re lovely people, but it’s just bad mojo, know what I mean?  Now, a fireman is another story entirely.

The Diva, bless her heart, has an upcoming project chronicling the life of a famous person from history, Pocahontas, and, you guessed it, has to dress up just like her. 

Oh, unbridled joy! 

Why didn’t you pick Eve…I can do a few fig leaves!  I snarked.  Better yet, be Eve before the fall!  Her Gramma, my Mama, wasn’t amused. 

This wasn’t anywhere in the mothering contract I signed.  Show me the clause for ‘costume construction’…I dare you!  It’s probably right under the clause about having to join the parent-teacher organization.  Yep, that one wasn’t in my contract either. 

Now, here’s where I freely confess to being ever so grateful she wanted to be a ghost this past Halloween.  Mommy is fully capable of slashing a few eye holes in a sheet, thank you very much.  Daddy may think it’s a tad cray-cray to give Mommy something sharp and a potential target but as long as it’s for a good cause, right?  Anyhoo…

The one and only piece of clothing I’ve ever made was a pair of pajama pants that very nearly turned me homicidal.  Ah, now I understand Daddy’s reservations. 

Let me ask a few sewing questions in general:  What are these patterns made of…gold?  How can a few sheets of paper and gift wrap stuffing be worth so much money?  Oh, yes, I see now that it’s made from ‘recycled’ materials.  Next they’ll tell us those same materials are ‘organic’ and jack up the price again.  Yes, I’m a bit of a pessimist.   And trims…do you have to mine for these fancy-schmancy trims like blood diamonds in the Congo?  Ridiculous!  Who writes these patterns anyway…aliens from Krypton?  How is it possible that I, fairly intelligent by my own (rather low) standards, can figure out quilt pattern instructions but looked upon all those brown tissue templates and instruction leaflets as something approaching hieroglyphics?  I haven’t cursed this much since….well…yesterday.  Ahem.

Anyway, this mother’s finished.  And I am, too.


Yes, I know it doesn’t look like much, but that is an ACCOMPLISHMENT for moi, trust me.  Right now, I can’t tell if she’s going as Pocahontas or one of the twelve apostles in drag, but after the addition of a belt and headband it should all become clear.  To hell with moccasins, this kid’s going barefoot!  Wasn’t Pocahontas barefoot most of the time, anyway?  Well, there you go then!

I’m just grateful she didn’t choose Betsy Ross.






  1. I stumbled upon your blog tonight after a particularly challenging day at work. A day where there was no time for quilting (you can clearly see it was a BAD day). You had me rolling with laughter in a matter of seconds. Thank you so much for the MUCH needed laugh. So sorry you had to go through all that and so happy my daughter is in college!

  2. You are too funny! Just wait till you see the romper I made the grandbaby- I have cried 3 times just making ruffles for the butt. Horrible nature! Why O why do they think we can really sew?!

    • Sounds torturous, Nurse Jessi! My mother used to make all my clothes..I never remember her having this much stress over it until she started making Barbie doll clothes. My mother HATES Barbie! And I don’t know why folks think I can sew…the buttons and hems thing isn’t rocket science, but forget about making outfits!!

  3. Amen! People want me to make all kinds of crap….all I want to do is quilt, but do I say no? Uhhhhh…..most of the time, no I don’t…stupid stupid stupid! Costume looks great, thank the lord Jesus that you are done done done….I feel your pain girl..

    • I think it’s drilled into most women that saying no (other than for sex, of course) is just rude. I’ll be rude all damn day…if I don’t want to do something, I’m not going to do it. And woe to those who try and shame me into it anyway! Hell hath no fury like QuiltnMama when she’s pushed.

  4. But wait! You didn’t actually have to make this much costume because women in her tribe didn’t actually wear tops. Just skirts made of deer skin. All year. Smaller versions for men. (In the winter they did cover their exposed skin in bear fat, but not clothes.) You were closer to making Eve’s costume than you thought!

    ps. Please, no sticking-up feathers in the headband. No one in the eastern tribes wore feathers that way because they would have caught on branches, etc. when they were walking in the woods. The big headdresses were worn in the WEST where trees were not a problem.

    pps. Pocohontas was her _title_ as the daughter of the Powatan. Her given name was Matoka, which means red winged blackbird.

    • I’m betting if she went shirtless I’d be getting a call from the principal but at least I could’ve sent her to school wrapped in a towel and called it a day, right?! The Diva already informed me she’d be wearing her feather in the downward position…not sure she gave any thought to getting tangled up in branches, though. Heck, that’s not even something I would’ve thought of…we aren’t real heavy on the forests here in central Texas! Her report does mention that her real name was Matoka, too.

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