“ In many cultures, the persistence of old cloth, stitched by others, endows it with greater value. Conserved within it is the passage of time, harbouring the spirit of those who created, wore and handled it.” Threads of Life- A History of the World Through the Eye of a Needle by Clare Hunter
I come from a family of makers. People who understood the meaning and importance of things handmade. In particular textiles were important in the life of my mother’s extended family. The Double Wedding Ring quilt was a joint effort between my Mother, Dot Stiefler and myself. I designed, cut and stamped the pink and green Trillum flowers. My Mother did the rest of the precision piecing and handwork quilting demands!
The child’s dress on the top was beautifully made for me by my mother. It was my flower girl’s dress for my Aunt Linda and Uncle Larrie’s wedding. The entire ensemble included white gloves, patent leather shoes and a tiara made from lilac colored pearls. I thought I was the cat's pajamas and my older sister Nancy was green with envy! The bottom dress was made by me for my daughter Abby Rowswell. She was the flower girl in her Aunt Alaina and Uncle Kevin’s wedding. Seeing the dress reminds me of her hair cutting story. Abby was about five at the time and just days before the wedding, she hacked a piece of hair right off the front. A desperate call to the hairdresser fixed things up and the wedding went off without a hitch!
I learned the craft of tatting from my paternal grandmother, Lillian Stiefler. It is a difficult and tedious craft. I never got that good so when I found this doily at a thrift store, I purchased it as a reminder of the times I spent with Grandma Lillian. The child’s purple mittens on a string were made by my maternal Grandma, Edith Palmer for Abby. Grandma Palmer knitted something for her family members all year long to be wrapped and given at her Christmas Eve celebration. Why have I kept all these things? Because they harbour the spirit of those who created them.
What special textiles do you cherish? Drop me a line... I'd love to hear your story.
On exhibition for the April 8th Cheyenne Artwalk and continuing throughout the month. Gallery hours by appointment or chance. Call me at 229-546-5183 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a visit