Friday, February 3, 2012

Under The Covers,

There is a special place . . . where good works are done-
where elegance is spun from snippets and scraps . . . 

The one and only quilt I can remember from my childhood graced my bed for a very short time. It was white with flowers embroidered on the squares, and it was made by my mother's mother. One day as I was playing on my bed with scissors, (Something I did a lot it seems!), I cut into the quilt and I knew I was in trouble.  I managed to cover up the cut for a few days, but when it was discovered by my mom, the quilt went away never to be seen again. I cant even imagine how she must have felt, and I don't remember how she reacted, but all these years later my heart aches for her. 

When I saw this stack of quilt squares in a tag sale a few years ago I recognized them immediately . The very same quilt of my childhood. I purchased them of course, with great plans to recreate that lost quilt, recapture that memory and heal the scar. Ah, the power of a quilt- pieces of  simple but lovingly stitched scraps of cloth by someone long gone.

The inspiration for quilts comes from every place in our world, especially the garden. 

Quilts in the nursery are the most precious -
 stitched  lovingly to keep the babies warm and cozy

Quilts are for beds its true - but they are so much more, they are memories of little girls dresses long ago cast aside, scraps of feed bags not to be wasted, and most of all, they are the work of many hands together , hands belonging to women who sought and found a way to bring art and beauty into the bleakest, simplest and hardest circumstances of their lives.  Piecing and quilting these warm covers was often the only outlet women had for the fire of creativity that burned within their souls,  and the only way to feed their hunger for community and companionship.

My first quilt, embroidered lovingly by a girl with dreams of her first home,  and how she would make it beautiful 
with the work of her own hands.

A pile of collected quilts , each one made by different hands in different years, settles easily into a blended  family.

Art comes in many forms, and fabric art is surely the humblest and most noble of them all.  Quilting today has evolved into a world of computer programs and machine stitching, but for me, the allure and the pleasure
is inseparable from the feel of the fabric in my fingers, the motion of  the needle as it slowly pierces the layers, and all of it laying right in my lap as I sit in my favorite comfortable chair.

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