Connected by Thread

             In junior high I learned that the Fates control our life. A thread of indeterminate length is spun, measured out and cut off. Seems like a nice, orderly process. So how come it feels like there’s a cat lurking near them who loves to get in there and tangle the thread?

             Some days I think that is exactly what happens. I have prepared a nice to do list and, thinking I am in charge of my life this day, I begin checking tasks off as I complete them. Then life happens and I lose the power that comes from checking off an item complete.

             But I digress. This post is about thread and sanity. Creating art out of multi-hued threads has been the one constant in my life of detours. Needlework connects me to my family. All I need to do to have family around me is fix a meal. Some of my most cherished possessions are dish towels embroidered by my grandmas. I have a small collection of pot holders crocheted by great aunts, a few roses crocheted by my dad add another dimension to a plain surface and then there are the tablecloths and afghans worked by in-laws.

             My sewing area contains implements passed down from my family. When I was small, my grandma came to live with us. She taught me to embroider and to do a bit of crochet. The summer before junior high, Mom added sewing machine lessons to the mix and, a dozen years later, I had the confidence to begin quilting.

             Working colorful threads through a piece of cloth is a peaceful process. All the day’s worries are pushed aside as I study the pattern and work the stitches. I found that I can’t be stressed, or I rip out twice as many stitches as I put in. A perfect day is one that lets me put on some music, fix a cup of tea, gather my project and work until the light fades.  After a few days like this, I have a piece of functional art to decorate my home.

Wall hanging inspired by churches in Lugano, Switzerland

            (Oh, who am I kidding? Dozens of quilts made and I have two. They go out the door as fast as they are done because someone always says, OOH! I like this. Is it mine? Christmas or birthdays are never that far off and adios, project.)

            Of my two quilts, one is finished and one’s been in the quilting hoop for about 5 years. My goal is to finish it by Christmas. The one in the hoop is a memory quilt created out of old kitchen linens: fussy cut tablecloths that belonged to my mom and grandma and a set of cherry curtains and a red tablecloth from an Iowa farm sale in the 80s. Most of the fabric is vintage and I know that means the quilt will be more decorative than practical, but it’s the connection by fabric and thread that is important to me.

            The farmhouse quilt has inspired me to become a pattern designer instead of a pattern follower. Vintage linens are an addiction that fill my closets. My quilting closet and baskets of embroidery and crochet threads will help me create pretty things to decorate my house.

Posted on October 5, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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