Bonnie from Fishsticks Designs here to share a very special FAMILY post today!
Hi, Everyone! I am so excited to get to visit Hopeful Threads today. I have gotten to know a lot of you already through the projects that I’ve worked on with Kristy, and I am in awe of your generosity. I wish I could invite you all over for dinner and fellowship . . . and lots of sewing, of course! Wouldn’t that be fun?
Did you know that I actually got to meet Kristy in person last month? My family and I took a little trip up north to visit my mother-in-law in West Virginia, and I snuck away with three of my children for a day. We met Kristy and her little ones for a museum visit and lunch, and we all had so much fun!
I love that Kristy plans one month each year to encourage us to create specifically for our own families. I sew for my family almost every day, but, because I design sewing patterns for a living, I find that I easily fall into the rut of only sewing for business purposes instead of taking the time to focus on things that my family could really use or would really love. It’s good to regularly step away from outside responsibilities and remember that making memories with and for our families is far more important.
When I first started sewing for loved ones many years ago, I sewed really basic, simple quilts. I did so with the thought that I was creating something that would be enjoyed by the receiver, as well as something that would outlive me, something that my great-great-grandchildren would cherish because it was made with love by my hands. I was often frustrated, though, by mistakes that I made or little imperfections that made the perfectionist in me twitch a little.
I have fond memories of the things my Granny sewed for my sister and me growing up. We had gorgeous handmade dresses and beautiful quilts, piles and piles of quilts. My Granny went to be with our Lord about 16 years ago now. Sadly, in my not-so-responsible younger days, I let most of those irreplaceable quilts slip out of my hands. (I have tears in my eyes now just thinking of how much I wish I’d realized then what it would mean to me now to have those back.) I do have this one yellow quilt that my Granny made for me, though.
I don’t even remember when I received it – it feels like I’ve had it forever. I’m sure that I’ve looked at it hundreds of times and always thought it was perfectly constructed. It’s funny, though that as I was curled up under it one day, I happened to look down at a part of the back that was flipped over towards me, and I was surprised to see a little pucker in the quilting.
In that little moment I was overwhelmed with the realization that this quilt was lovingly created by a real person. It wasn’t a product of a factory or an assembly line, but the work of the hands of someone who loved me and poured that love into this simple yellow quilt. We’re all beautiful and imperfect and life is beautiful and imperfect, and in that little imperfection, I found a lesson in letting go of the need for absolute perfection, for the sake of future generations.
Don’t get me wrong. If you’re sewing to sell or sewing for competition or sewing for a living in any way, you simply must strive for flawless work, and, of course, I think we should all be working on improving our skills each time we sit down at the sewing machine. You don’t want to spend time sewing something that falls apart before it has time to even be passed down. I’m always going to correct any mistakes I make when sewing clothing simply because I want the recipient to want to wear it. It’s different, though when I’m working on a quilt or a stuffed animal, for example, for a loved one. I try to not be quite so quick to grab that seam ripper. I think those simple little imperfections give life and character to my work. It’s like leaving a story behind for future generations.
Thanks Bonnie, for sharing a glimpse into your home and family with us!