The Birdbath Quilt

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The next afternoon, Carole phoned Loretta. “Hi, I just heard from my mom. and I have good news and not so good news. First of all, the good news. Tony is not going to require major surgery—at least not this time. Apparently he has had a stent inserted in a blocked artery. He is in the special care unit where he will be monitored. If all goes well, he can return to the retirement home. Tomorrow, his sister will be arriving to stay with him through his recovery period—probably a couple of weeks.”

“That’s wonderful news, Carole! Now, what’s the not-so-good part?”

“Well, it looks like the birdbath idea may have to be put on hold.”

“Oh, dear that is a letdown, not only for Tony but also for Edna.”

“I know. That’s why I wondered if next Tuesday, when we meet at Freddie’s for our weekly quilting session, we could brainstorm together and see if we could find a way to relaunch this project.”

“Great idea, Carole! Shall I call the others?”

“If you could call Janice and Jean and I’ll call Freddie, that would sure help.”

“Okay, consider it done.”


*   *   *


Tuesday morning, the quilters arrived at Freddie’s home to be greeted not just by Freddie, but her two cats, Callie and Pima.

“My sakes!” Janice exclaimed, “that Callie cat has sure put on weight!”

“I guess most of us tend to add a little weight as we age,” Freddie replied. “Callie is an old cat now and just isn’t as active as she used to be.”

“What age is she now?” asked Jean.

“Sixteen years.”

“Wow! I bet in a cat’s life that’s a lot older than a human’s sixteen years!”

“Sure is. Callie’s age is the equivalent of an eighty-four year old human.”

And with that thought lingering in our minds, we entered Freddie’s

living room to find Carole’s mom had arrived. After greeting her, we sat down and began pulling out our various quilt projects.

“Hey,” said Freddie as she came out of the kitchen with cups of coffee and a plate of warm raspberry muffins, “I don’t think we’ll have time for much quilting this morning.”

“Especially not with these muffins,” commented Loretta. “They look delicious!”

“They taste delicious, too,” Carole replied after taking her first bite.

“Changing the subject, what do you propose we do about the quilt?” asked Janice. “Is it a go or not?”

Edna spoke up. “I don’t think I’m the one to decide yes or no; however, I do have an idea.   Since the meeting at the retirement centre is scheduled to go ahead next week—even though Tony won’t be there — what would you think of going ahead with a quilted birdbath wallhanging which you could present to Tony? This wallhanging would not only be a sort of get-well gift, it could still be auctioned to raise money for his project.”

“Why, I think that’s a lovely idea,” Janice replied.

“I do, too,” said Jean. “However, I think there should be one condition: We go ahead with this project, only if you agree to assist, Edna.”

“But what can I do?” Edna asked looking flustered.

“You can help us with the design, suggest colours and fabrics, Mom.”

“Yes,” said Freddie enthusiastically, “and you can also find out what species of birds have been seen sighted around the gardens.”

“But what about the birdbath itself?” asked Edna. “Don’t you think it should be the centerpiece of the wallhanging?”

“Speaking of which, did Tony show you any pictures or sketches of what he had in mind?” asked Carole.

“Now that you mention it, he did show me one possibility which he’d printed off the Internet.”

“I suggest we start with that,” Janice responded. “That is if we can get a hold of it.”

“Have you seen Tony’s sister, Edna?” asked Loretta.

“Yes, she’s staying at Tony’s bungalow but I haven’t wanted to introduce myself as I’m sure she’s busy making trips to the hospital.”

“Say, I have a suggestion, Mom. Since I’m coming over to see you tomorrow afternoon, why don’t you and I take a stroll around the

gardens and see if Tony’s sister might be at the bungalow?”

“That’s a great idea, Carole,” Freddie said.

And on that positive note, the group gathered up their projects and prepared to leave.


*     *     *

In 1995 I began a series of stories titled The Recorded Adventures of the Birds of a Feather Quilting Bee. A couple of these were published in The Canadian Quilter. Several stories were published in the discontinued Canada Quilts and many more of these quilting short stories were published in Canadian Stories.
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