Monday, March 13, 2017

Stitch by Stitch

I love to sew, but life happens and it's often one of the first things to go.  For the first time in my life, I have a sewing room.  It has a door, which I can close.  It provides a sense of peaceful solitude -- a place to create and imagine.  It also provides an opportunity for disaster.  Fabric is piled everywhere. Bobbins are scattered over the table.  Snipped threads snake and cling.  It's easy to let the mess of creation collect and grow.  But I finally have a room of my own.  

I've been thinking about my Grandma Jones a great deal lately.  I wrote a post about her handcrafted items a few days ago.  I think this desire for creation comes from her.  What a gift to see a piece of fabric and to imagine what it might become! And in many ways, I think this is how I try to approach life.  I see a swatch there, a torn patch there, and simply by stitching the two together, it becomes.  It takes on new life. I rarely use a pattern, it's just an idea that takes shape, stitch by stitch.

The fabric store is one of my very favorite places because it's filled with so many beautiful things, arranged by color and type.  And all you have to do is pick one (or 10), take it to the cutting counter, and you're on your way.  And how magical that hundreds of people pass the bolts of fabric, that a few are drawn to the same pattern, but the ways in which each person uses that material will take a thousand forms?

But there's one piece I simply cannot begin.  My grandmother was mid-quilt when the cancer took hold.  She was a frugal woman.  The flowers are made from remnants of old clothes or remnants from another project.  None of the items in this quilt were purchased for the sake of making a quilt. They were found items from her home.  My aunt gifted me this unfinished quilt -- sewn by my grandmother's hand, thread and needle and time -- and urged me to finish it.  I want to.  I want to pick up where she left off.  But how?  I'm self-taught.  What if I mess it up, if her pieces fray because of my inexperience? And how do I finish it?  Where do my pieces come from?  Where do I find them?

I'll have the courage to begin it one day.  And when I do, I know she'll be with me.  Even if my stitches aren't straight, if the seams aren't perfect, it will be an extension -- however imperfect -- of her.  And it will be enough.  

1 comment:

  1. what a beautiful gift - but I understand the fear of starting. Maybe the thing to do is ask family members to send you old fabric or clothes that you can cut from. Start by gathering fabric. Then work on a pieces that you can complete without connecting to hers until you are sure of yourself. It makes me want to be out my unfinished quilt and get busy. Good Luck!