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Dedication to my Dad

A year ago today, my Dad passed from this world to heaven. So, as you can imagine, this is a very emotional time for me and my family as we reminisce about his life and just miss him terribly.

My first competition art quilt named FACE TO FACE. It captures a moment in time of my Dad and our dog Sable. They are both enjoying each other’s company now.

My Dad was an amazing man with his creativeness, ingenuity, and humbleness. He had his own upholstery business for many years. He taught me how to work hard when you have your own business. Even though I did not like it, I had the pleasure of working in his shop as a teenager, going to customers homes to deliver their furniture, experienced how Dad would talk to the customers about how he was going to recover their fabric, and got my hands dirty with ripping fabric off the furniture (not an easy job). Later on, he moved me to sewing the welt that would go on the furniture. This was my first experience with using his industrial sewing machine that had a very thick needle (size 21) and sews extremely fast. I did have domestic sewing machine experience, but this was a different animal (machine actually). He was a tough teacher… I remember thinking he was disappointed in my with my crooked stitching lines and nothing was even. At this point I was in my 20s and was helping him for experience and to help him with some jobs.

Later, when I had my own alteration business, he would help me with sewing some heavy items like replacing a zipper in a leather coat. My domestic sewing machine would not go through it. I got use to using his machine. Now, I have his machine and use it still when I have heavy sewing work to do.

Many years ago, my parents gave my husband and I two of those anti-gravity chairs that have cushions on them. Over the years of use, the fabric deteriorated, tore, faded, and went unused. Probably about 4 years ago, my dad said that he would help me re-upholster them and had fabric for them that reminded me of a bubble bee. Of course, time when by and I never made the time to do that with him.

About two weeks ago, I decided that I wanted to make the time this year to re-cover our chairs. I figured I would use the next few Sundays to accomplish this task. Dad said that it is not hard to do, so I was confident to do this. Plus, I had my husband to do some of the disassembling parts of the frame to take the cushions out. Last week I started with ripping the fabric to create the patterns, cutting the fabric, and starting to sew the pieces together.

Me using my Dad’s machine to recover my chair.

This past Sunday, I finished one chair. Through this time, I was talking to him as if he was standing over my shoulder. I was having difficulty with his machine and after about one hour discovered that it was the way the bobbin was wound. This was after I oiled the hook of the machine, brushed out the feed dogs, cursed at it a million times. My go to was saying to Dad, “How did you do this?” or “You said this was easy!!”

As I was finishing one of the chairs today, I was realizing that I was using not only all of the knowledge that he taught me as well as his sewing machine and tools. I knew he was with me still teaching me how to get through the tricky parts of doing this like shoving the fabric covered foam to stitch a securing or fold stitch. It was not easy. Mike had to hold my rolling chair so I could force the foam through the arm of the sewing machine and reach the foot pedal at the same time to make the machine sew. Dad recovered his same chair all by himself. When I finished, I had a real emotional moment.

The chair all finished!! Next week the second chair!!

Dad, I am sew blessed that you were able to be in my life and that you took the time to teach me life skills as well as your trade. Love you very much and miss you a ton.