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This file includes Sewing, Needlework and Quilts. Also see Hobbies.
First woman: "What a pretty sweater! I didn't know you could knit!"
Second woman: "Of course I can! I learned how to knit when I was five! Haven't you ever noticed? I've always had a basket full of knitting in my sewing room. I figure that if I keep at it, I'll have this sweater done by Tuesday!"
First woman: "That's impressive, when did you start it?"
Second woman: "2006."
(Linda Otto Lispett)
It was not a woman's desire to be forgotten. And in one simple, unpretentious way, she created a medium that would outlive even many of her husband's houses, barns and fences; she signed her name in friendship onto cloth and, in her own way, cried out, REMEMBER ME!
And what is life?
A crazy quilt;
Sorrow and joy,
and grace and guilt,
With here and there
a square of blue
For some old happiness
Of all the things a woman's hands have made,
The quilt so lightly thrown across her bed--
The quilt that keeps her loved ones warm--
Is woven of her love and dreams and thread.
A square of bright red calico
Her fingers would explore;
She wore it her first day at school,
She told me o'er and o'er!
To a narrow strip of yellowed white
Her eyes would often stray;
She wore that when a blushing bride,
Upon her wedding day.
That tiny piece of pink and white,
And then the tears would start;
Her first-born in her arms was laid,
Close to her mother-heart.
Her fingers touched a dainty blue
In reverence, lingered there;
"The little girl God needed," and
Her lips would move in prayer.
There, woven in my Mother's quilt
Was the record of her life;
The gray days and the golden ones,
Her years of joy and strife.
And when she left her earthly home
To cross that silent sea,
Her presence lingered, bright and warm
In this quilt she left with me.
(Erma Bombeck 1983)
Bet you never figured me for a "quilter," did you?
My image brings to mind such phrases as "Connect-a-dot," "Paint-by-number" and "Drop pouch in boiling water."
Well, you're wrong.
I have always been in awe of anything that a 2-year-old cannot dismantle in 10 minutes.
Right now, there is a battle raging between the "purist" quilters and the style-makers as to whether or not antique quilts should be dissected and made as wearing apparel or left in their original state on beds and walls.
I'm with the purists.
If anyone approached one of my quilts with a pair of scissors and a pattern for a vest, I would personally charge them with assault with a deadly weapon. Would Betsy Ross let you make underwear out of her flag?
Only people who have done handicraft really know what goes into it. When I was expecting my third child, I decided to cross-stitch quilts for twin beds. For nine months, I did nothing but grow and sew. Dishes sat in the sink. Beds became nests. Laundry spilled out of the hampers.
When the nurse said, "Would you like to see your son?" she patiently held the baby while I finished up the tree on the last square.
A finished quilt represents my personal marathon--my Miss America victory--my Nobel Prize. It's an achievement that ranks right up there with writing your name legibly on the Christmas cards all the way to the names beginning with W.
I read where Bonnie Lehman, editor of the Quilter's Newsletter magazine, was enraged when a leading designer cut up antique quilts for skirts and jackets for his collection. "Vests, pillows indeed!" she said. "Quilts are made to be used on beds where primal events in life took place . . . conception, birth, illness, death."
I'm finishing up a celebrity quilt where each square carries a sketch-drawing-bit of wisdom-signature of someone I admire. Art Buchwald's square says it all: "Whoever sleeps under this quilt better have a good reason."
That's what quilts are all about.