Monday, July 6, 2009

Connecting threads

Hello there. Last week I was nestled at my parents' seaside home for a little vacation. Despite being sick for most of it, and the cold rainy weather, I managed to have a nice time. Books were read, naps were taken, comfort food was eaten, socks were finished, and I even found some time to learn a new handcraft.

There's a strong tradition of hand-quilting in Acadian culture. My maman is one of a long line of master quilters in my family. She turns simple cottons and threads into masterpieces (one day I'll show you my gorgeous wholecloth whitework wedding quilt). It was high time the knowledge got passed down to the next generation.


So with my maman's patient help, I modestly started on my own quilting journey. My interest mainly lies in the "piquage", (piquer is the french term for quilting, and the word literally means to prick with a sharp object) using the stitches to make a design on one large piece of cloth, instead of piecing or appliqueing different fabrics together.

I'm starting off with a simple crown design to fashion a small pillow. Forming small and even stitches takes practice, but I'm enjoying the soothing, repetitive movements (sound familiar)? And I especially love the threads that connect me to my fore-mothers. These small simple movements feel encoded into my very DNA.