What if Kat, in preparing for the baby, took up quilting at her church? Here’s a 250-word snippet imagining what it might be like. Hope you enjoy!
I held out my fake quilt-print fabric, stitched with love but little skill. The German quilting thread cost ten dollars, so I settled for flimsy polyester thread that knotted whenever I sneezed.
“Please don’t laugh,” I said. Straight pins stuck out at awkward angles, and the fabric crumpled where I had gripped the edges. “I know the back looks terrible.”
My mother would have tsked at the multicolored tangles, but my white-haired companion patted my shoulder. Dorothy let fabric fly through her sewing machine without patterns or pins.
“I hate it,” I said, picking at the Frankenstein-like mess of red and blue stitches showing through the back.
“There’s a better way,” she reassured me, dabbing spit onto thread to push it through the eye of the needle. She slid the needle through the muslin backing without letting it show on the mock quilted top.
“Oh!” I exclaimed as she knotted the thread and worked the loose ends under the stitches, leaving a tidy trail of thread.
“Snip it here, next to the knot.” Dorothy held the tail while I followed her instructions. “You finish here,” she said, pointing to the unstitched squares. “Next time, I’ll show you how to do the binding.”
“Okay.” I gathered my material, as if I were collecting sheet music after a childhood piano lesson.
“Kat,” she said, and I paused. She closed her hand over mine, and my chest tightened. “Well done.”
I ducked out the door before she could notice my tears.
This flash fiction piece originally appeared in Siobhan Muir’s Thursday Threads event on February 13, 2014. Judge Kate Richards awarded it Honorable Mention, saying:
Her easy style for this piece, was appealing on a whole other level. Made me feel as if I found a whole new Anastasia to read, one I like as well, but in a different way, than her usual carefully crafted words.