My mother is a quilter. She’s a founder of bees and guilds and she speaks at conferences and teaches and retreats and shows at galleries and inventories antique textiles and for as long as I can remember, people have leaned in to her work and said, “Oh- my- gosh. Those are the smallest stitches I’ve ever seen.”
I don’t have the patience gene, and so I’m not a quilter. But I can appreciate what makes a good one. Colour composition and design. The pepper that punctuates colours that cooperate – an unexpected brightness that pops, used sparingly and intentionally. The accuracy of piecework, points that meet all crisp and sharp, flat fabric origami. The hang of a well-made piece, straight and true. And the heft of it, pressing you into the bed on a night when the wind whistles through window seams.
I’m the only one left without a website, she said, cringing. Quilt Canada’s coming up and there’s nothing for me to link to. Can you help?
We started with an afternoon in her sewing room, a place I’ve hung out in since she started paying me a penny a pin. I’d crawl around at her feet running my hands across the wood planks, watching for flashes of silver while the machine thrummed along, piles of fabric collecting at her feet, her fingers easing it through. Picking up needles and straight pins, flat-headed pins, ball-headed pins, basters. Watching her with the rotary cutter, her hoops for hand-piecing. There were no pins this time, and no pennies. But captures of her space, her cherished things. Oh, the dust… she fusses, seeing how close I am. I insist she doesn’t touch a thing. The dust is soaked in with the pleasure of making beautiful, useful things. That makes it, to me, beautiful and useful dust.
Do you have a sacred space? A kitchen, an office, a crafting table? Today, show us a piece of it, just as it is, yours or someone else’s – creativity’s home in still life.