I am sure Mom sewed out of necessity as she grew up in a family of 6 girls. Her own mother had sewn clothes for her daughters, many times out of cast off or outgrown clothing, and Mom often mentions matching wool coats she and several of her sisters had that were created this way. But Mom has always had a creative flair and just a wee bit of drama in her....The pieces she created always had that extra something that took it to the next level and made it so much more than a homemade garment.
My mother also made bright fun quilts from the scraps left over from her sewing projects, and often times the tops were pieced over old, worn out quilts that either she had made years before or that my great grandmother Cook had made many years before. I have several of these wonderfully worn quilts, now soft with age and use and whenever I wrap myself up in them, I remember wonderful childhood summers at the family cottages in Rosebank where time seemed endless.
Creativity was encouraged all the time in our home growing up! Mom would cover the table and floor with clear plastic sheets and let us take over the kitchen with our paint and crayons and sticky glues. I can honestly say she never said no to our desires to make art though I am sure there were days she would have preferred we read or played somewhere else.
When I had my own children, I fashioned my own attitudes to having art as part of your daily world after my Mom's. I tried to follow her example and allowed my children free reign with paint and paper, clay and fabric, whatever was of interest that day. And I made clothes for my children out of our old clothes as well as from new fabric, and felt great about up-cycling items. Using these materials made sense. I cut up items we were finished with and resewed them into something useful.
Using my new longarm is interesting for so many reasons. As I work on it, I feel my mother’s influence and love of the process. I have generations of experience in the needle arts behind me and as I guide the machine, I feel these forces coming together to help me create in a manner that is totally new to us all.