Sunday, September 30, 2012

From my Grandmother’s Window

I have been shaped and inspired by the women in my life. My mother’s mother, Eleanor – ‘Grandma’ to me – was a collector and a sewist/knitter. The picture at the top of this post (taken in 1972) is of a living room window in her house, full of antique glass. This is but a small example of the wonderful antiquities that my Grandmother saved and treasured. The image of this window (and many of her other treasures) has stayed in my minds eye from childhood - shaping my likes, my collections and inspiring my creativity. I like to think that my love of colour comes from my grandmother’s window (and from her many other colourful collections I am sure). I feel connected to my grandmother through her passions and I feel connected to the past by saving, sharing and building upon her treasures.

My father’s mother, Grace – ‘Noni’ to me – spent her time in the kitchen cooking and baking - feeding her children and grandchildren. I believe homemade food is an extension of love and my Noni loved well - her freezer full of casseroles, sauces and cookies, her shelves full of jam. When visiting my Noni and Grandad for dinner – I remember clearly that she rarely sat down and joined us but continued to serve and cook, moving from the dining room to kitchen making sure that we were all well-fed and happy before taking her place at the spot closest to the kitchen door. When we left late in the evening, our arms were as full as our bellies – Noni would send home casseroles of macaroni, tins of cookies and of course, jars of jam. Cooking and baking are a satisfying necessity to me – one that shapes me each day.

My mother, Elaine, similarly to her mother, is a sewist/knitter. My mom, could and would sew anything I set my heart on. Imagine this as a teenage girl – my mom would whip up a new skirt, purse and even handmade my grad dress (remind me to show you a picture of this someday - think circa late 1980’s) out of two separate patterns, when I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted in one. Impressive I know. It made an impression on me. When I grew up and moved out on my own, my mom was the one sewing curtains and pillows to match my living room. My mom was the one, taking me to the fabric store to choose a fabric by running our hands over the rolls of beautiful colours and textures.

I have always felt a strong desire to create. I have followed many creative avenues, yet never tapped into the right one for me – until I found quilting. I had wanted to quilt for some time, being drawn to the colours, the fabric and the art of sewing. One Christmas, 3 years ago my husband gave me a Janome and I have been madly in love ever since (both with my machine and the entire process of quilting). I have been greatly inspired and influenced by the women in my life, and also for the past 3 years – from the blogging community. It is with sincere thanks to all of the quilting and sewing bloggers who have shared their art, thoughts, tutorials and processes on their blogs – as you have inspired me to continue to learn and sew and it has brought such great joy to my life and the satisfaction of creating something that is both useful and a piece of art. I love that!

I am interested in learning…

Who are the influential people in your life?

Where do you find inspiration?