Tuesday, March 11, 2008

MS and Glamour Don't

I have got to admit one of the things I really love about England is tea. Not just drinking it (though I dashed into the Cheltenham Museum to get out of the rain and had a nice hot cuppa that was close to heaven....) I love the teacups, the teapots, and of course the teacozies that go on top!
I made this one as a sample for class. I love Mary Engelbreit's fabrics. In fact I made two - the other is black, yellow and red and made with squares on point. (OK, almost maid. I don't want to put it together until the class!) The apron photo on the top came out of a recent auction box of textile. I really love it!

I have been cutting up stash like crazy! There are three plastic bins with strips, a couple of cardboard shoe boxes with squares, and two plastic bags with crumbs. I'm waiting for DH to meltdown since I am using the kitchen island as a cutting table! So far he has been very patient (mainly because I told him I was following Bonnie's method and he still remembers when she came to visit and organized my reproduction fabric in the middle of the night!!! It was like the elves that came and finished the shoes for the cobbler!) Cutting the stash gets easier the more you do. At first I only cut up the odd pieces (less than say 1/8 or a yard or the ones that look like a huge moth got at them - fussy cut leftovers!) Now I have moved up to 1/4 yard pieces and only putting aside pieces that I would likely use for appliqué.

Now in honor of National MS Awareness week here is Funny MS story #3. (any questions see my Sunday Post....) Brownie is keeping me company while I write...

The spring after I was diagnosed I attended the North Carolina Annual State Show and weekend conference up in Raleigh. Now at the time I wasn't moving very well - sort of like an Edgar walk (reference to the first Men in Black and Vincent D'Onofrio's movements as the bug...you either get it or you don't!) The medical term is spasticity - for the nonmedical and non movie buffs imagine someone had tied a string to your ankle and and then tied it to your waist only the string is about 1-inch too short. This means each time you stand you have to adjust or maybe tip over and "wall crawl." Now there are meds for this but they tend to make me a bit spacey - like I need to be more spacey!

Now I was going with a group of other quilters from my guild several of whom are nurses and swore that I could get through this. I really wanted to go. I had gotten my first choice in classes - an appliqué class with Pat Campbell. (a super class!) There were also two other classes...

Now remember, we are in Raleigh. It is very warm. We are at a quilt show so there was lots of walking around. And finally, we were staying in a college dorm. No A/C and beds similar to prison cots (not that I've slept on a prison cot...but I can imagine!) So by the second day I was hurting. This is when I had a embellishing your clothing class - and before you email, I do not remember the name of the instructor (selective memory perhaps.)

It was a little outside my comfort zone. But I love beads and embroidery. I am addicted to the Project Catwalk show here in the UK. I also had just made a batik jacket for my Mom. Also, one of my quilting friends wanted to take the class so I figured I would give it a try. What a disaster.

First, the materials on the supply list filled a medium size suitcase. (it did give us an excuse to go to Mary Jo's the week before though!) And then you also needed a your sewing machine! We wheeled the bags over to the building only to find the class was on the third floor and the elevator wasn't working! No problem. I slowly walked up the stairs while my friend shuttled the bags up. I was glad I had worn a loose linen dress and sensible shoes since we were all sweating...woops I mean glowing (southern women don't sweat!) Our first exercise was to embellish a bit of fabric with paint. Here is where is gets bad. The instructor told us to put the fabric outside so it would dry quicker. My friend grabbed my fabric and took it with hers downstairs. Another friend dropped by with some ice coffee after which the instructor laid her perfectly manicured hand on my sewing machine and said in a loud whisper, "a little exercise wouldn't hurt you you know." It was like the air was sucked out of the room. I chose to ignore what she said.

I'm not sure how she learned about what happened but during the next break my friend packed up her stuff and said she would be back for mine in a few minutes. The instructor took this badly. She came over to my table and pawed through my fabrics and trims asking me,"how could you buy such nice things and dress like that?" For once in my life I was speechless. "You really need to increase my glamour quotiant." Suddenly it became very funny.

Glamour...me. I don't think so! Even when I wore a size 6/8 I wasn't glamorous - I was wearing combat boots and camouflaged! When I wore an 8/10 I was a business consultant and bought most of my clothes from Talbots. Nice yes. Glamorous no.

At that moment I was just happy to have matching socks and all my buttons buttoned! I couldn't use mascara for fear of putting my eye out and IV steroid treatments had made my skin blotchy and reddish. My post below tells you the sad story of the shoe cull....Anyway, my friend showed up for my sewing machine and we spent the time shopping at the quilt show.

When I got home I told my DH about what happened. Like most men he wanted to "fix" it so he brought me home a certificate for a full day at the spa. Hey, I may not aspire to glamour but I'll never turn down a facial and manicure!!!

So what happened to that suitcase full of fabric and other fun stuff. Well some got absorbed by the sewing room however most of the fabric went into this bargello quilttop. It would have made a nice jacket no?! But would it have been glam?!


Karen Dianne Lee said...

Well you're right - Southern Women don't sweat - they glow! Love that.

I canNOT believe this happened. The nerve. Goodness sakes.

And I was cringing just thinking of you lugging that stuff around in the heat. Oh dear what a trooper you are.

You totally deserved that facial "fix."

Glamour went Out in the 80's Love, *karendianne.

Dawn said...

You have such a great humor and way telling stories. And I could so picture your walk as I have a friend who has MS and had the same walk. I"m glad you can laugh about it now!

Catherine said...

Your experience is a real reinforcement that we shouldn't judge! What an absolutely awful thing for that instructor to have said!

Love the quilt you made with the fabric.

Paula said...

As a full time caregiver to my husband with MS, I would have decked her! I have very little patience with stupid people. LOL

I think that I have been insensitive in the past, but MS has changed all that. "you look well" has become a new catch phrase but doesn't mean anything. You can still be very ill and "look good". Maybe you were looking better than you thought!!!

Patti said...

Oh my - I can't believe the instructor behaved that way. I sure hope someone told her the truth and put her in her place. She really needed a good lesson! At least you can see the funny side of it now - if it had been me I think I would have sat their and steamed and cried. Whenever I get really angry and try to tell someone off I cry all over the place - really destroys the effect of the anger.

Karol-Ann said...

The Bargello quilt top is beautiful, the story sad. It's amazing how time can make things seem funny when at the time they are dreadful!
You sound so down to earth, who would want to spoil that with artificial glamour??

Kieny said...

How stupid some people are! You would expect someone who works with people knows how to treat other people.

Jeanne said...

How horrible! You showed remarkable restraint. I think I might have told her off 'nicely.' *s* You have a great attitude, sense of humor and husband.

Pam said...

Love the scrappy bargello quilt. And it holds such memories for you. Glad you perservered. You are a trooper. Keep up the good work! I am sure I saw some purple in that quilt?

Sue in western Washington, USA said...

Wow. The insensitivity of some people who promote themselves as teachers just floors me. I really wish someone had reported exactly what transpired to the management of the show.

Mary said...

Well, in my opinion glamour is overrated but I'm with you on the spa visits!