Frivols Quilts · Quilts · Something to Think About

Practice Makes Perfect • Frivols #6


Practice Makes Perfect
Quilt #204  • June 2018
26″ by 31.5″


The requisite shot of the X-ed out Frivols tins show that I’m now halfway done with my goal.  I try not to set goals, as they just give me angst, but there’s just this lingering expectation: finish all the Frivols.


I call this Practice Makes Perfect, as I’ve been thinking about the nature of work, and how much of it is repetitive, boring even, but repetition appears to be a necessary step on the way to mastery.  I think I can handle churn dashes, but it was learning the finer points of free-motion quilting loops that needed my attention.  Frivols6_PracticeMakesPerfect3

The freebie for tin #6 was this strawberry label with barely any room for a person with two long names.  It would have been better if my name were Dot Smith or something.Frivols6_PracticeMakesPerfect1Mothers Luncheon

I had started on this quilt at the end of May, after a long month of travel and serving and caring for people in my life, culminating with an intimate luncheon celebrating my mother’s 90th birthday in Ogden, Utah.  We rented a small conference room at a local hotel, and had the hotel cater the meal.

Mothers Flowers

We’d done this two years earlier for my father’s birthday, and had only my brother and sisters and parents there, with no spouses or great-grandchildren.  We were worried then (I was wondering) if if it would work without the supporting members, but we did fine two years ago, and again this year too.  The feelings expressed to my mother were tender, kind, showing her (and my father’s) careful influence in our lives.  Because of them there are amazing individuals in my family: strong men and women, who are good men and women, too.

Mothers Luncheon BrosSis

Some of you know that I’d been up in Utah earlier that month caring for my sister for a week; it was good to see how much progress she’d made in getting around with her crutches and wheelchair.  From L to R, around the table: Mom, Dad, Susan (child #3), Scott (#6), David (#5), Cynthia (in gold jacket, child #2), Christine (#1), and Andy (#7).  I’m child #4, yes, that infamous “middle child.”

Mothers Olive Oil
I had little bottles of specialty olive oil etched with the saying “Olive you forever” and “Happy 90th Barbara” (my mother’s name).

We drove home and two days later I quilted this, finishing  it the next day.  I was still putting away what I’d gathered on my trip, but needed a break, and Practice Makes Perfect was the tonic for what ailed me.


John Piper wrote: “Work is a glorious thing. And if you stop and think about it, the most enjoyable kinds of leisure are a kind of work. Both these facts are true because the essence of work, as God designed it before the Fall, was creativity — not aimless, random doing, but creative, productive doing….
“If you are starting to grow lazy, I summon you back to joy. God made us to work. He formed our minds to think and our hands to make. He gave us strength—little or great—to be about the business of altering the way things are.

“That is what work is: seeing the world, thinking of how it could be better, and doing something—from the writing of a note to the building of a boat; from the sewing of what you wear to the praying of a prayer.
“Come, leave off sloth and idleness. Become what you were made to be. Work.”

excerpted quote found on @TheSmallSeed

14 thoughts on “Practice Makes Perfect • Frivols #6

  1. Such a wonderful post, again, always. Love that you celebrated the birthday with the original 8 and so special to think of that family when your mom, say, turned 50! What a lovely family. And thank you for the affirmation: God made us to work! My DH and I are so much “workers” and we seem to love doing just that. Sometimes it seems the work is just for us, but upon reflection it really is for a larger circle: our family, our family of dear and life-long friends, our neighborhood. It’s how we are wired and so nice to recognize that it really is in God’s plan. Thank you, thank you! BTW, love that little quilt 🙂

  2. What a lovely post! Belated birthday greetings to your lovely mom. I appreciate your comments about work. My mom says, “you’re always busy”. Just the way I like it!! XO

  3. Practice,Practice looks lovely. The little Churn Dashes are so cute.

    I loved seeing your family gathering and “meeting” your siblings and parents. It sounds like a perfect 90th birthday party. The flowers are gorgeous.

  4. What a lovely post! Your mom’s birthday celebration looked delightful and the quote from John Piper touched my soul. Thank you, Elizabeth, for sharing your life, your quilts, and your insights. Your posts ALWAYS make my day better.
    Celia Hirschenhofer

  5. Beautiful quilt! Your words are so true. Not just work but creative work. My mom passed away May 6th after a 14 year battle with Alzheimer’s. She taught me to sew and work hard, both which I love. “Every day is a gift you’ve been given. Make the most of the time every minute you’re living.” From one middle daughter to another. 🙂

  6. I want all your quilting friends to know how much I appreciate your constant care in my recovery. Thank you for your devoted care! And I want them to know that when you were not bringing me meals or helping me up and down stairs, that you had a needle and thread in your hand. Love, Susan

  7. I would wager that your family is in the small minority, with two parents in their 90s and seven children, all living! We are six siblings, but have been missing my mother for 20 years and my father for 15. And they really were the glue that kept us close. That’s the way the passing of the generations happens. My brothers and sisters who are parents are now the glue holding their families together. My sister and I, who are both single at this point and non-parents sometimes aren’t quite sure where we fit, except that it is somewhere left of center. Count your blessing, Elizabeth. You have many, and I don’t expect you to reach the end of your counting before the end of your life. And may your family celebrate many more birthdays together, Know also that you are one of my blessings. I am so glad of the circumstances that led me to get to know you.

  8. What a wonderful, special time for your entire family to be together. Congrats to your mom on celebrating 90! And to you for sticking with your frivols.

  9. A sweet, spotty quilt and a wonderful birthday celebration. There would be many Australians who could learn much from your words of wisdom on work. And Brenda’s words in the comments were very poignant. You know, I always read the comments on your posts because they often add so much to the conversation.

  10. How lovely to have a big family gathering for your mum’s 90th. We celebrated my granny’s 90th about 18 months ago with a picnic by the river. I tried to track down and invite every friend and relative I could (and she remembered most of them).

  11. I chuckled at the need for a short name and remembered a time when my daughter came home from nursery school all impressed that Kim Cook could write both her names,, while she could write only her first. She felt better when I pointed out that “Stephanie” had more letters.

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