Saturday, March 8, 2008

Quilt Connections

Our lives are like quilts - bits and pieces,
joy and sorrow, stitched with love. ~ Author Unknown

I finished another quilt block this week. It's called Ohio Star, and it's a pattern I've always wanted to try. I know that you advanced quilters out there will know that it's a pretty simple block to create, but I am very proud of the way my first attempt turned out (pictured above)!

There are lots of things I enjoy about quilting. I love playing with fabric, for one. I take pleasure in using my creativity to match patterns, colors and values. I feel satisfaction when I see a finished block, a completed row, and the occasional actual quilt!

But I also feel proud to know that I'm taking part in a time-honor craft that women (and some men) have been participating in for centuries. Quilting gives me a feeling of connection to the women who came before me. There is a strong sense of history that comes from creating a traditional block like the Ohio Star.

My Mom knitted and crocheted, and was an accomplished seamstress. She made all my clothes when I was a kid. She was not a quilter, however. Yet each time I thread the machine I inherited from her, I feel a sense of connection to the woman I miss most in my life. Mom tried to teach me to sew when I was younger, but I was too impatient. She'd always admonished me to slow down as I sewed. Her warnings came to fruition once when I was sewing a straight seam much too fast, and sewed through my finger: the needle went right through my fingernail!

Mom's been gone ten years now, but she's with me every time I sit down to quilt. So are the generations of women who've put needle to thread and produced both utilitarian creations and works of art.

Today is International Women's Day -- a global day connecting women around the world and inspiring them to achieve their full potential. Quilting is one of the ways I connect to other women, to feel part of the larger, creative female community. What's yours?

Until next time...


Scale Junkie said...

That is just beautiful Pattie. You certainly have an eye for color and pattern texture.

I think my connection comes from cooking. My Mom was an amazing chef and baker. She won many bake off's in her day! I never learned to cook while she was alive. But after she died I found myself wanting/needing to learn to cook and found a great joy in perfecting combinations of flavors. Of course I try to cook on the lite and healthy side of life so it fits with my lifestyle. My Mom and her sisters would always bring the family together for holidays and celebrations and it revolved around foods. They would get together at someones house and bake cookies for the holidays, make candy or can vegetables. It was always a time to come together and all of the kids would help. So is it any wonder I have a fixation with food?

I think its fantastic that you've found this way to connect to your Mom through sewing. I'm sure she would love your work just as much as we do.

Lora said...

What a pretty quilt square! A friend of mine quilts and I'm always in awe at the time amd skill that goes into it!

My mom has been gone almost 11 years now...I miss her so much too!

I used to feel my "connection" with other women was through being a mom...nurturing the next generation....I'm trying to find it elsewhere now.

Hanlie said...

I love your square! Very pretty!

My mom is also an accomplished seamstress and still makes most of my clothes. She taught me to sew when I was young (and I also had a needle through my finger!), but I lost interest when I went to high school.

These days I knit, and really enjoy it.

Happy Women's Day to you!

Ready Maid said...

OMG, a needle through your fingernail??! OUCH!

My connection comes primarily thorugh three ways: prayer, music (playing my cello) and writing.

I loved your post today. Thanks.

Grumpy Chair said...

Beautiful post Pattie.

My mom made all our clothes too. And just like you, I was impatient about learning how to sew. Made one shirt and never touched a sewing machine again.

I love your quilt square. And think it is wonderful how you feel a connection to your mother while quilting.

CindyPTN said...

Wow. Another wonderful piece. I think it's amazing to be able to craft art in such a way. The memories are priceless as well. Thank you for sharing your memories.