Sunday, August 12, 2012

Disconnected connection

I was inspired to write this little piece of reflective writing by a blog I read here.

I have always felt a disconnected quilting and crafting connection to my great grandmothers, grandmothers, and great aunts.  They were all quilters in one way or another.  My mom's Aunt Mildred created beautiful traditional pieced and appliqued quilts I remember seeing as a little girl.  Memories that later inspired me.  My dad's grandmother Amanda, inspired my craftiness with a large leaf bag full of her crafting supplies acquired at age 7. They cleaned out her house to put her in a nursing home and I think my grandmother thought I would enjoy them.  My moms mom made simple charm square quilts for me as a child,
and later a very simplified applique quilt for other grandchildren.  

She used the fabric sample cards my grandfather got her,

 or clothes or scraps from making clothes.  Not always cotton.  She even pieced tiny pieces of old sheets for background fabric.  However I never had any direct connection to the craftiness or quilting.  Inspiration was gleaned from the materials and products I was given.  My mother sewed clothes when I was little and patched and hemmed.  But I was never able to learn at the knee of any relative.  My last non-connection connection came about 12 years ago.  I was moving into a new town home and my Dad's mom, always cleaning out (and my best friend), gave me an old round Christmas tin she had from when she was a teen.  Inside were five large hand stitched, a little imperfectly, hexagon flowers. 

 I had NEVER seen nor heard about them before.  I had been a quilter for 10 years at that point.  Had made quilts for them.  She said something like "oh I found these and thought you might like them."  History is important but it is so much more meaningful when it is communicated directly.  It has always made me wonder if none of these creative women felt worthy or important enough to communicate their creativity to their descendants.  Maybe its why I struggled with my own worthiness and stopped quilting for 10 years.

Maybe that's why the internet social media and my MQGs have been so important in my quilting life.  It gives validation to me as a quilter, a creative person, that my creations have meaning. These groups help to ease those insecurities.

I think If I could have dinner with anyone ever born, it would be with those ancestresses of mine.  To sit, eat, and talk about our dreams and our creativity.  To giggle over out imperfect seams and favorite materials.  To share in the joy of expressing our selves in our creations.

keep dreaming...Colleen
I have relisted my cancer t-shirts to benefit relay for life in my etsy store


Nancy@OwensOlivia said...

Great post Colleen! The hexagons are gorgeous and you should definitely find a way to incorporate them into one your own designs. I would love to learn how to applique a quilt. I don't know of anyone on my side of the family that quilted, and I may be the first! Family history can be a lot of fun!

kheli said...

Excellent post, Colleen.

Jessica said...

Really love this post! I think we all crave someone to talk to about quilting (which is why I'm so excited for my MQG meeting tomorrow night) - in person, too! The internet is great though, I agree.

Patty@Granma's said...

My grandmothers and great grandmothers were all quilters and crafters, but my mother was too busy making a living to do much more than mending. I do some of everything, but could never interest my daughters, so now I'm working on the grandkids! Quilting friends are the best.