Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


by Stephanie Black

Why did I do it? Maybe it was the unaccustomed thrill of being in Relief Society. I don’t do RS very often—I’m pretty much on permanent Primary status. Don’t get me wrong; Primary is great. But it was nice to have a break from Sunbeam wrestling, especially since it was Fast Sunday when the blood sugar is low, and we have—heaven help us—afternoon church. The RS held a visiting teaching conference during the third hour and the Priesthood covered all our classes so the Primary workers could attend. So there I am, relaxing in RS, responsible only to keep my hands to myself and stay on my own chair—what a concept!—and they make the announcements and pass around the sign-up sheets.

Ah. Looking for volunteers. Our mission home gives each missionary a blanket when he or she arrives in the field, and supplies are low. The most desired of the blankets are those hand-tied fleece blankets. Thus, they are asking for volunteers to either make a blanket, donate money to buy the goods, or donate a gently used blanket. Feeling that I’m due to volunteer for something, I sign up. And by gum, I’ll not only get the fleece, I’ll make the blanket! Fleece is on sale at a nearby fabric store, they tell us, so get it before the sale ends.

Now, if this had involved actual sewing, I would have fled in fear. I heartily dislike sewing. I’m not good with anything that involves matching seams and making things come out evenly. Once in our youthful, idealistic years, my husband wanted me to make him a pair of pajamas. My mother-in-law, who is an expert seamstress, helped me find an easy pattern. I sewed the pajamas. And there, in the back of the shirt, the pieces of fabric just didn’t match up. Why, I don’t know. So, being resourceful and sloppy, I folded the fabric and sewed a pleat in what looked like the middle. Maybe it would look like I’d made pleated flannel pajamas on purpose. Well, it turns out the pleat wasn’t in the middle, so my husband’s PJs had this odd fold of fabric off to one side. But he didn’t mind, and he wore them anyway. He’s a very nice man. I’ve never made him another pair of pajamas, but I do cut his hair . . .

Anyway, the fleece blanket didn’t involve sewing, but it was in the species fabricus homemakingskillsicus, and I started to have volunteer regrets. And when I was at Wal-Mart and saw how affordable blankets are, I’m thinking whoa, why didn’t I volunteer to donate a pre-fab blanket instead? Granted the fleece blankets are much nicer, but how about if I buy two Wal-Mart blankets and call it good? But the real reason for my grumbling is that deep in my dark little heart, I just didn’t want to take the time to do the blanket.

So I procrastinated until the day before the blanket was due. With deadline looming, I bit the bullet, spread out two layers of fleece on the living room floor, snapped at my children to get away before they messed it up, got advice from my oldest daughter (who’s made a blanket like this before) and got to work.

And I finished. Promptly. I wasn’t watching the clock, but it couldn’t have taken more than an hour. Vroom, and it was done. And it looked good. The ties don’t even have to be all the exact same width or perfectly the same length for it to look good! Approximately is good enough! It's the ideal project for me! How embarrassing that I’d done so much complaining over a project so easy. Now my son wants me to make him one of these blankets for Christmas—and I’m thinking I’ll actually do it. Whoa. Me, making something out of fabric for a gift! Who’d have thought?

I had such a bad attitude about the service project that I don’t think I deserve any blessings for it—a gift given grudgingly, and all that, as Mormon would say. But I got blessed anyway—I was able to help out a missionary and now I have a Skill. Awesome. Isn’t Relief Society great? Happy Thanksgiving!


At 11/22/2006 5:57 PM, Blogger FHL said...

I'll bet you didn't know this, but when Jason (of and-the-Argonauts fame) was originally given the task of bringing back the Golden Fleece

he was just supposed to sew a golden blanket for his nephew. But Jason said, "No way!" and went off to slay a dragon instead.

So, take heart, Stephanie!

At 11/22/2006 6:37 PM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

I'll watch for the dragon option on the next RS sign-up sheet!

At 11/22/2006 7:32 PM, Anonymous Jennie said...

I'm with you,Stephanie. If there's anything that turns me into a neurotic wreck it's sewing. I did it when my girls were little (four of them)because it really was cheaper then, but now I can buy anything on sale cheaper than I can make it and it's much easier on the nerves. Happy thanksgiving to you too.


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