My mother was always working on something. I still have latch hook rugs that she and my dad made together, pillowcases she cross-stitched, and ornaments she needle-worked. My dad's mom taught me how to cross-stitch, and I still have a pillow made from a seat cover she needle-worked. There's also the quilt on my youngest daughter's bed; the cotton batting was picked from my grandfather's fields and the handwork was done by my grandmother and her friends. Those were the days of quilting bees and close community.
I don't own any cotton fields and
could never give up my sewing
machine, but I don't believe we've
gotten so far from "the good old
days" that heirlooms have lost their
value. My aunt can still identify the
fabric scraps that went into our
family quilts, and I hope to pass
those memories down through
As busy as we all are these days, we must find time to create for our children. When my daughters were young I made their Christmas stockings, but soon handwork took a backseat to Girl Scouts, church youth group, sports, and marching band.
I still don’t see how everything we did fit into a 24 hour day, but now that my girls are out of the house, through college and out on their own I had time to fill. I did some cross stitch, getting back to what I knew. I knitted sweaters and scarves, but for me, that’s slow going. I wanted tangible results fairly quickly. A coworker is an avid quilter and suggested I give it a try. So out came my old sewing machine that had been covered in dust since the days of Halloween costumes (my foray into clothing making was an abject failure) and I made my first “sheet" -- a quilt top that hasn’t been made into an actual quilt complete with batting and backing and quilted. I was hooked. I love every aspect of quilting, picking a pattern, auditioning fabric, arranging the blocks and even sewing it all together to complete the look. I love the idea that the quilt I crafted can make someone else smile, add to the way their home looks, comfort them as they curl up on the sofa, wrap up a newborn or become a toddler's cherished possession.