Courtesy of Jen Johnson Photography
She stitched carefully, placing the needle gently through the swatch of fabric she had clipped from her old bed sheet. The sheet that had covered her on warm summer nights and held her through dreams and restless sleep. It’s faded rose buds receded into the fibers of the fabric, dull but softly outlined. It was worn to silky smoothness and she lingered on it’s familiar feel. She bound it one stitch at a time, ever so delicately, to a piece taken from a new pile of cloth. She had stacks of new patterns and textures, undiscovered and unexplored. Each one unique in it’s design. Some were bold and complex and a others approachable and familiar.
She took a sip of her hot, steamy coffee, wrapping her hands around it’s warmth. She put her feet up on the rattan stool and let her mind drift as she gazed out over the calm lake.
Her project was started. She wasn’t in a hurry to piece it all together. As she stitched, she wanted to be purposeful in guiding it, yet let the blanket determine the way it would be put together, as each loop wove between pieces. She knew the scraps and snippets each had a story to tell, a layer to bring to what was being sewn together. She looked forward to the discovery, the story that was unfolding.
She remembered the weekend, the faces, the colors that breathed life into this moment. They came from all over, tentatively yet determined to bring themselves, as they were. Some left small children and husbands behind. Others closed a door on entire chapters of their lives, only to let this weekend start a fresh, new one. Others brought their insecurities and vulnerabilities, willing themselves to be exposed, somehow sensing what was being created was safe and sure. Their stories came tumbling out, entwining and twisting threads seamlessly into the other.
She sat in awe watching as the master weaver, deftly and mindfully wove these women together. The thread he was using was thick and colorful. It was apparent he meant for this to last, to be an heirloom of strength and purpose. Yet, only he had the final picture. He was slowly unfolding it, unwrapping it, delivering each stitch with the intention of a gift giver.
She took another sip. She savored the deep nutty, chocolaty flavor. She picked the needle up again and finished the row of stitches. She loved how the bleached fabric, softened the rich colored strips in the coarsely sewn swatch she paired it with. She promised herself just a row a day. She wanted to be in the moment, stitch for stitch, stoke by stroke and not miss a thing.
~Dedicated to the women who inspired this post ~