Thursday, June 14, 2012

Memory Moment

Sometime back in the '80's, I had heard of a 'Quilt Show' happening in a small town truly out in the middle of the Toolies.. so I went to it.  Finding the town was probably more exciting for me than the actual show..except for one quilt.  It was a crib blanket.  As I was walking around looking at the quilts on display and trying to understand how some real 'shoddy looking' pieces received a ribbon..I spotted this white blanket at the very back of the room ... with no ribbons on it.. I was intrigued to go look at it, because it was white.  No other color.  Nothing that would draw you to it..except that it stood out amongst the gaudiness and terrible examples of quilting.

When I got to the blanket, I saw that it was totally hand stitched in white thread.  The owner had done a meandering stitch and as I looked at it, I could see that she had maintained an almost even quarter inch space between the rows of stitch.  What blew me away was that she had sewn 9 stitches to the inch throughout the blanket.  My mind was reeling.  I had taken hand stitching classes and was proud that I could do 5 stitches to an inch; and this one had 9.

I found myself examining it in quite a bit of detail.  I was totally impressed with everything about it. I was so caught up in the blanket that one of the ladies from the show came over to see what was capturing my eye.  In chatting with her, I asked her why this piece hadn't received any ribbons, because I couldn't believe that the ones that received the ribbons were better than this piece.  (Keep in mind, I was still young and tactless.)   She asked if I had any questions about the blanket and I told her that I would love to talk to the person that made this piece to ask some questions about how they did certain things.  She admitted to being the maker of the quilt.  So we chatted for a good half hour.

My conversation with her taught me quite a few things.  She showed me several tips for sewing: from not knotting the thread when sewing, how to do cross-stitch without leaving the visible line of stopping and starting, holding the needle when 'in and outing' for running stitches, and etc...etc...etc..

What I truly learned is that your stitches matter.  

Your workmanship to the piece makes the piece functional (a work of art), or sitting in a drawer or hanging in the back of the closet (a piece of garbage that will get thrown out long before the material is wore out).

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