Today I have another guest blogger...my friend Catherine! We met a few years ago while working part-time at a local library, and we each discovered a crafting buddy. Without further ado, Catherine's story:
Some things catch our imagination even as we are very young. Growing up, I wasn’t able to see my grandma much but I loved to hear stories about her and I had the same first name as her, spelled the same way too — Catherine. One Christmas, at the tender age of five, she sent me some small doll quilts, patches sewn together into bigger squares and backed. These grabbed me as odd right away. Mom told me they were handmade and that boggled my mind. My mom, who had done a lot of sewing at one point, had sworn off it for life and nothing in our house was handmade. My tiny quilts were handmade but yet they looked like everything else. My grandmother was a very neat sewer and the tiny quilts were well done.
The doll quilts quickly morphed into my favorite play. Forget dolls! I would sit on my bed with a long narrow book in hand (I believe it had quilt squares on the cover) and on top of the book, I’d place one doll quilt with the book holding it flat and pretend I was sewing. I remember playing this with friends and of course, they loved it too! We would both sit on the edge of the bed and place imaginary stitches and talk.
That’s about all the sewing I did till I was about thirteen or so and a lovely woman by the name of Elizabeth got a group of teenage girls together over to her house for tea and she taught us all how to cross stitch. My first motto was “One is Closest to God in the Garden” with small garden done underneath the words. I loved that pattern and I still do. That’s when I learned that all the X’s must be crossed the same direction and to my horror, had to redo half as a result!
And that’s really the beginning of my stitching adventures. I’ve always been captivated by sewing- I couldn’t tell you why, it’s just always been there. Maybe it’s something that comes to us in our DNA, from the ones who loved it before us. I’m very happy embroidering (hand towels are an especial fav) and I’m still mastering all sorts of mad skills on the sewing machine. Sewing brings the power to mend and that’s such a marvelous thing. Which reminds me…I’ve got to darn the duvet cover where the cat, in a happy moment of glorious play, ripped his claws through…it’s just so wonderful to mend rather than throw away.
Thank you, Catherine, for sharing your story. You can read more of Catherine's writings on her blog, Restless Violet.