Special Delivery

I Know I'm Being A Little Mailodramatic

My mom (I just love her.) has told me about this box for some time. She’d tease me with little stories about it, but she wouldn’t send the package. This exchange has been going on for a while. Each time she’d say they were about ready to mail the package, she and Bill (my stepdad) would find something else to put in it.

You see, over the last few months Bill’s been cleaning out his parents place. Bill knows that I quilt and of my ongoing love affair with shiny objects. (Thanks mom! I just love her.) As he started cleaning out the house, he started collecting things from me. These tiny treasures started accumulating in a leftover shoebox. As the process of cleaning and sorting continued, the petite pile started to grow.

Mom (I just love her.) would give me updates on the house cleaning and offer occasional anecdotes about the box. At least once a week she’d say “Oh you won’t believe what beautiful ________(fill in the blank) Bill found for you today. I know how much you like________(fill in the blank) and these are really pretty ones. We’ve put them all in a box and will send it to you shortly.” (I just love her.)

I usually say “Thanks Mom. No rush. Take your time.” I’m thinking . . . surely there isn’t that much stuff . . . but I was beginning to wonder.

Mom (I just love her.) and Bill weren’t completely sure that everything would fit into one of those medium-sized, one-price boxes from the postal service. I said sure it would—doubting there could be that much stuff. I told mom (I just love her.) that everything would probably fit, but add newspaper to fill in the gaps. I didn’t want my treasures damaged in transit.

Mom (I just love her.) said she would take care of it, but didn’t think newspaper would be necessary. She’s a good packer, so I knew my treasures would be safe. Then I sat and waited for the package to arrive.

A week passes and no mention of the box. We talk daily. (I just love her.)

Then one day, I call mom and she says,  . . . “Sorry, we didn’t get the package out . . . We’re still packing it. . . . I think we might need more boxes . . . There’s quite a bit of stuff here . . . Don’t worry though, the package is on the way . . . ”

“Thanks Mom. No rush. Take your time.” (I just love her.)

Out-of-the-blue I get a surprise call from mom.  (I just love her.) She says, they’ve got the box packed, but it won’t hold everything. They’ll send another package later.

“Thanks Mom. No rush. Take your time.” (I just love her.)

Bill takes the box to the post office and finds out that it weighs 15-pounds. They are both surprised. I think they are adorable.

Like I said, my mom (I just love her.) knows how to pack and she filled this box to capacity. I can’t begin to tell you how overjoyed I am with my new collection of shiny objects. I’m looking forward to spending more time going through them, but before I start the sorting process, I thought I’d share my treasures with you.

Loose Buttons

I received a box within a box. This shoebox is filled with loose buttons.

I love buttons of any kind. I don’t know why that is– I just do. I LOVE utilitarian buttons. Again, I don’t know why–I just do. In fact, I’m much more likely to use a shirt button over a fancy one in my quilts. For me, there are no ugly fabrics—and absolutely—no ugly buttons.

Star Quilt Close-up

Lap-size quilt top made by Laverne, who passed away in 1993.

Along with the wonderful buttons, the care package contained a quilt top made by Bill’s mom, Laverne. Bill wants me to quilt it for her.

Star Quilt Shown At Bayshore Longarm Meeting

I took the quilt to share with friends at the Bayshore Longarm meeting.

Laverne made the quilt for someone special and I’m going to make sure they get it. This is not the kind of quilt I make, but it’ll be a great project to work on. I need all the quilting practice I can get. This quilt will give me lots of opportunity to learn, without the stress that comes with quilting one of my own.

Carded Buttons

Old buttons still on cards

The loose buttons are wonderful, but they weren’t all the buttons I received. There were several sets of buttons still attached to their cards. Most are utilitarian, but some are quite fancy. The blue ones in the lower right corner are especially yummy to look at.

Showing Applique Quilt At Bayshore Longarm Meeting

Members of the Bayshore Longarm Guild take a look at the quilt.

A baby quilt was also in the package. I think the blocks were meant to be embroidered, but Laverne’s hands probably wouldn’t cooperate. Being a creative and clever person, she decided to use fabric paint for the stitching. I love this quilt and I’m really looking forward to quilting it.

When I hold this quilt, I can feel the love Laverne was putting into it. Although the intended baby is now an adult, I’m sure another family member will cherish this quilt when it’s done.

Since you can’t see the details that well, I’ve taken a few photos of the individual blocks.

Squirrels In Mushroom House Block

Here's a couple of neighborly squirrels.

These blocks are just too cute. I can hardly stand it.

Raccoon Coming Home To Mushroom House Block

This little raccoon can't wait to get home.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these vintage pieces. Can you imagine how fun this pattern would be as redwork? Mmmmm . . .  just scrumptious.

Foxes Playing Around Mushroom House Block

I think these foxes are flirting with each other. What do you think?

Really, do I need to say anything more? You know Laverne was smiling when she sat back and admired her handiwork. I can’t stop smiling when I look at all she has done.

Beads And Other Shiny Objects

The box was also chock-full of beads, sequins and other shiny objects.

I know you were wondering if I got any beads—well I did—and a butt-load of other shiny things too. You know, I’m beginning to think that I might be part crow. I hear they love shiny objects.

Before I go, I want to thank Bill, mom and especially Laverne for making today’s post possible. You two are TOO good to me. It was an amazingly thoughtful gift.

Now for a special close . . . Strike up the banjos.

(Visualize closing song of Beverly Hillbillies. Imagine I’m Jed in this scenario.)

Well now its time to say good-bye to Tom and all his kin. (I’m waving at you. Please wave back.)
And they would like to thank you folks fer kindly droppin in.
You’re all invited back again to this locality
To have a heapin helpin of their hospitality

Hillbilly that is. Set a spell. Take your shoes off. Y’all come back now, y’hear? (I wonder where cousin Bessy went after the show ended?)

Stay Tuned . . . I have some really BIG news to share with you.

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26 Responses to “Special Delivery”

  1. Karen E Overton Says:

    Can’t wait to see what you will do with the quilts. How fortunate you are to have been entrusted with them. I think your love for buttons is starting to become contagious. I found several in cleaning out my studio and they now have a special place waiting for me to “someday” figure out how to be creative with them. Thanks for sharing your treasures Tom!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Karen, Soon as I finish a quick project I will load the pieced quilt. I’m not sure what I’ll do on it, but I’m looking forward to getting it loaded.

      Ha! Save those buttons. Someday will be here before you know it. 🙂

  2. skippitydo Says:

    Thank you for a wonderfully, inspiring post! I love quilting! And I will be pulling out my button and bead collection for my next project 🙂

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Skippitydo, I’m glad you enjoyed the post. It was a lot of fun to tell that story. I know my mom (I just love her.) will get a kick out of when she has a chance to read it.

      Thanks for dropping in and leaving a note.

  3. Patricia Eaton Says:

    OK, Tom….I’m just warning you….you quite possibly are now on your way to becoming more like your dear friends, Pat and Mr. G.
    Please enjoy it!!! Sort with great joy….pat

  4. Sharon Dixon Says:

    Wow! How thoughtful of Bill and your mom. I’m sure Laverne would be very pleased to know that her treasures are being passed to someone who will appreciate them.

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Sharon, Yes, mom and Bill are quite thoughtful. I think Laverne would be happy too. I have been very blessed to have various families give me a their beloved quilter’s stash—or pieces of it—over the past few years. Yes, very very blessed.

  5. Janet Stone Says:

    Okay, I’m pretty sure you and I were separated at birth! I’m dying laughing at your crow comment!….. I’ve often thought the same thing about myself! Have fun with all your new doo-dads!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Janet, The older I get, the more I think I’m related to a crow. When I look at the corners of my eyes, I can see crow’s feet, so I must be getting close to making a complete transition.

  6. Debbie Says:

    I’m looking forward to hearing about your really big news!

  7. deb aka purple princess Says:

    I am so freakin’ jealous of that big box you rec’d that it’s simply not funny in the least!!! Lucky dog, you! ;-D

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi there, Don’t be jealous. Although it’s great to get a box like this, but there is a downside. Now that I have it, I have to figure out where it’s all going to go.

      My house is a finite size, but my stash doesn’t appear to be. I think I’m going to eventually run into a conflict. If that happens, I’m sending stuff your way.

  8. quilterlynnLynn Kelly Says:

    Lordy Lordy, your Mom is a great Mom! I think I love her too! What a treat to open that box!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Lynn, You’ve got that right. Mom is the greatest! I know you’d love her too. Maybe one day I’ll be able to introduce you to her. I know you’d be fast friends.

  9. Ellen Anne Eddy Says:

    This was delightful! I felt like I was watching you with your mom, who it’s clear, no matter what, you love her. And she must love you. What a sweet story!
    Thanks for putting my blog on your list. I’ll be returning the favor.
    Ellen

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Ellen Anne, What a wonderful surprise to have you drop by. You’re right. No matter what—I LOVE her.

      You are very welcome. You are one of my favorite quilters, so I had to have your blog on my list.

      I hope you enjoyed your time in Texas. From the reports I’ve read, everyone had a great time in your workshop. I’m sorry I missed it.

      I want to congratulate you on your new book and getting a quilt into the Quilt Museum’s permanent collection. Both are long overdue.

      For those of you interested in seeing Ellen Ann’s work, here’s the link. http://ellenanneeddy.blogspot.com/

  10. jayardi Says:

    • • • 15 POUNDS!?! holy cow, that’s a lot of buttons. I’m sure you’ll put them to good use in a very eye pleasing way.

    Have fun with your goodies and quit teasing us about the big news. Get on with it already!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Yep, 15-pounds. It’s hard to believe that’s not all of it. Remember another box is coming.

      I’m working on the announcement now. Stay tuned . . .

  11. Thearica Burroughs Says:

    That is an awesome loot you have there! And I just love your (I just love her)’s when you talk about your mom!

    I don’t think there was ever an episode of the Beverly Hillbilly’s that I missed!! LOVE that show!!

    Can I come play in your buttons! I see lots of Crazy Quilt button clusters there!!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Thearica, Yes, the box of goodies is pretty awesome. I’m a very lucky guy. Yea, I really do LOVE HER! She’s the best thing EVER!

      I don’t think I missed an episode either. I occasionally watch reruns on TVLand. There’s nothing like it. Takes me back to being a kid.

      Sure, come on over! I’m sure we can find a button or two . . . or three or four . . . or 16 or 50 to play with. 🙂

  12. Dreamz Happen Quiltz Says:

    Inspiring and heartwarming! Your Mom, (I just love her too) and Bill (and he’s awfully cute) are quite the pair! You are truly blessed!
    I’m excited to see all that you do with all these treasures!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Julie, Mom and Bill are really cute together. They are sorta newlyweds. They’ve been married a little over 3 years and are completely smitten with each other.

      They finish each others sentences. Dote on each other. Hold hands. The whole nine-yards. It’s very touching to watch.

      Yes, I am truly and deeply blessed.

      I’m excited about incorporating them into my work. I went through the box again yesterday and found a tiny box stuffed with buttons. The surprises keep coming. Yea!

  13. Carmen D'Amico Says:

    I heard that Ravens like shiny objects! And do you realize that you revealed that your mother was teasing you about what she was going to mail…..and you are so good at teasing us too. Gosh you’ve had at least two posts saying that you have big news for us. Can’t wait. I love buttons too. I was so sad when that big fabric store in Rice Village (Houston, TX) closed a few years ago. They had tons and tons of old buttons and were the best place to go to find a perfect match for an old button or for a new outfit.

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Carmen, I think you’re right. I had to learn how to tease from someone, so I guess it was her. She’s very good, don’t you think?

      I know . . . How can I keep teasing you like this? I guess I learned from a master. 🙂

      It’s always sad when we lose fabric stores. Shopping online is great, but there’s nothing like seeing and touching an object before you buy it. You can’t get that experience online.

      I love walking through a store and getting that love-at-first-sight feeling. You see that button/bead/fabric and get weak in the knees. Then you fall deeply and madly in love. Oh yeah, I’ve been there many, many times . . . There’s no substitute for that.

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