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Listen to Your Mother: The Universal Mother Speaks to Quilters

Listen to Your Mother: The Universal Mother Speaks to Quilters

Read more about this piece in my blog post here.

The Universal Mother Speaks to Quilters

Inspired by Jean Ray Laury’s Listen to Your Mother

By Eleanor Levie

Philadelphia, PA






 “Listen to Your Mother: The Universal Mother Speaks to Quilters”


For almost 50 years, Jean Ray Laury was an inspirational, pioneering, rule-breaking heroine to quilters. The gentle humor behind her folk art gave special resonance to her messages. Who doesn’t hear her own mother echoing from the nine patches of Jean’s silk-screened Listen to Your Mother? Or recognize the love behind such neurotic exclamations?  Forced to choose only one universal mother, I borrowed Whistler’s, and directed her admonitions to quilters. All rules I frequently break!


Here are the exclamations included in my quilt:


It takes how much guilt ‘til you finish that quilt?      

What about the label? 

The baby is due any day! How are you going to get that thing done in time?  

Pull up that bobbin thread! You’ve got little nests all over the backing. 

Better needle-turn; you don’t know what fusible web will do after 50 years.

What?! You didn’t preshrink before lumping that new fabric in with the others?

Get those new rotary blades while your coupon is still good.

If you’re not going to quilt, then you should be cleaning your house. 

You’re going to use that for the binding? 

Move that needle position back to center! You’re going to break that needle!

Check your tension! Loosen up! Go faster! Keep to an even pace! Relax! No pressure!

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