I’m not generally what one would call a crafts person—I didn’t grow up learning how to sew or knit or do woodwork. The times that I’ve tried to learn, the attention to detail at some point gets the better of me and I give up in frustration. It’s not a part of my personality I’m proud of, but it’s real.
Thank you for the gift of this story Freya. I feel in connection with all the makers of history when I make something - craft something. Our forbears never used an iphone, but they stitched or cooked or carved or cared for plants and animals.
Beautiful. And I LOVE how this long-term project has become more and more beautiful to you with time quilting and weaving both call to me though I have very little experience with either - they both feel so rhythmic and grounding.
I heard Yunkaporta once on a podcast and completely forgot about his book - thank you for sharing those wonderful quotes. And I love to think of my writing self as the queen of swords (air) and my grounded self as the queen of coins (earth)!
This is so so beautiful.
I've come back to this after a crazy weekend to give it the attention it deserves. This piece is craft. Lines of prose connecting ideas and delineating the spaces between them. A quilt within a quilt. Bravo!
Sometimes we need habits of being unhurried in order to carry our timid hearts. The lengthy and laggard strides of incremental motion creates a keen sensitivity to change. With each subtle iteration we are altered and aware, adapted and improved.
So beautiful. I love the symbolism of the journey of your lives together stitched into the quilt. I’m crocheting Christmas gifts right now no as I occasionally pull out hairs of mine that have tangled in with the yarn, I’m struck my the parts of me that will live on in these gifts. After reading your piece I’m also thinking about the experience and connections that will live on in them as well. So lovely.
I’ve come to greatly appreciate hand made things. I’m so saddened by how much more it can cost to create them. My crochet projects costs so much more to make than if I were to buy something from the store, likely created by a machine or my under paid worker. There’s something just so awful about that fact.
That quilt that you are working on is beautiful. :).
Crafting is drawing to me. Everything is drawing to me. Singing is drawing with the voice the breath. Sewing is drawing with thread and fabric. Painting is drawing with paint. Even washing dishes is a kind of drawing. The way we place the plates to dry each one of us doing these drawings slightly differently according to our age beliefs ability thoughts while doing.
All of these things are a form of mark making of responding to life’s events.
The way I make bread is different from the way my son makes it yet each uses the same ingredients.
And each loaf is valid in its own right.
Joseph Beuys said everyone is an artist and he was right. As we create our daily lives make our beds choose our cleaning stuffs or cook our food, we are all drawing.
We are drawing the spaces in between with our steps with our breaths and sometimes with our tears.
We are all creating all the time.
Your quilt is the most lovely drawing of your life since beginning it. The breaths you make while stitching add ‘colour’ to its depths. The thoughts you think all adding to the energetic resonance of its story.
And maybe that’s why it’s not finished yet as it continues to evolve with you.
Throw judgement out the window. Your story is yours not anyone else’s and your stitches are each a moment in time drawing your life in the most beautiful way.
I love your quilt. May it carry on being made for a long time to come until the moment when you decide it is complete.
Happy drawing stitching days to us all.
Freya, there is so much tenderness and depth in this one. I can feel your spilling love for your son and the sadness that lies in the undercurrent of him leaving an empty nest behind. Ahh how much does it cost to be a human, to put our hands to work to create a gift for those we love. I am moved to tears with your imperfectly beautiful handwoven quilt, it makes me think of my mother and her mother when they used to make quilts that beautiful and ragged - the warmth from it felt like the much needed hug in times of need. I am sure your son will appreciate it deeply in his times of need. Thank you for sharing this, I needed to read this tender essay today. Much love 💜🌼
Love slow burn projects. Also, my daughter is turning 16 this week, and I realized yesterday that she used to speak French fluently and doesn’t anymore and somehow I just didn’t keep track of this and let it slip away, as we moved around, and I had this sinking feeling of man, I really dropped the ball on that parenting project, but this makes me feel like, eh, she can pick it back up if she really wants to.
I've tried weaving, quilting, crochet, many unfinished or like the stuffed bunny, pitiful. The first pillow I tried to make I sewed half inside out.
When my Mom's Alzheimer's progressed, I sat with her blue fleece jacket, now too tight to zip, and hand sewed darker blue triangles into it to widen the girth. It was peaceful sitting with mom and sewing. She wore her jacket with the yellow bunny felt pin till she died, less than two years later. I have the pin.
This is a beautiful piece.
What a beautiful piece you have woven here Freya - both the writing and the quilt.
A sense of nostalgia arose in me as I read. That reminder of my son's ( now 18 and just had first year at University :-) ) hand in mine when he was little. The soft innocent warm entwining of his trusting clasp enclosed in my supposedly older and wiser hand.
This quilt is, and will be, such a precious gift to your son and yourself. Seems like the Universe knew that it was something that needed to take time for that story to unfold.
Thank you for sharing this heart felt story. Jo
Quilts are amazing & this story is as well. Thank you for a beautiful start to this rainy, Fall day.
Absolutely gorgeous. I’ve had the same knitting project going since my daughter was in 3rd grade (she, too, is now a senior) and I finally threw up my hands last summer and gave it to my mom to finish. Not quite the beautiful, poignant ending you’ve captured here!
But I am also always dwelling in a wordscape, and find myself craving a craft, too, beyond the mental contortions I do to convince myself that cooking is like that for me (it’s really not).
You’ve inspired me to not delay pursuing that line of inquiry a little more intentionally with this lovely and contextualized piece.
I also, just last night, had the district felt-experience of starting the transition towards older mom/elder. It kind of took my breath away, but actually in a good way. I’m wondering what teche will be part of that for me, a complement to the endless stream of words and ideas! thank you for this. ❤️
This was a lovely read, Freya. What a wonderful creation for your son and for yourself!