Idle Hands Beget The Devils Work
As a southern girl, sewing was a rite of passage. You never
questioned if you should learn, it was a matter of when. Though I
possess the skill, it was rarely put to use. One day, while
shopping for a quilt, I went back to my roots.
Searching for a quilt with an ethnic feel, I went to several
department stores. I found nothing that appealed to my sense of
color, style and culture - nothing that spoke to my soul. So, I
gave up, went to an African fabric store, selected fabrics, and
made my own.
As a child in rural Alabama, this routine restored memories of
the first quilt I ever made. I was nine and in fourth grade.
Around this time, my grandmother made a quilt for each of her
grandchildren as a Christmas gift. Now, my nephew of nine sleeps
on that same quilt. Tattered and re-stitched in several places,
it remains a familial favorite.
While making my most recent quilt, I rediscovered that
quilting is more than sewing, it's a bond from generation to
generation. Wrapped in my grandmother's gift, I feel her
presence. Hair askew, laughing in her lap, I'm nine again, with
all its incumbent joys.
Cutting and stitching, there is a powerful rebirthing of a
time gone by - the smell of honeysuckle on a fence, the clang of
cow bells heard from the field, watermelon juice circling the
curve of a sticky, ashy elbow.
I am convinced that if today's youth were taught to occupy
their hands with more than buttons on a video game, they would
learn patience, pride, and develop confidence. And just maybe, we
would have fewer troubled youth today. As Grandma used to say,
"Idle hands beget the devil's work."
At nine, you don't relate to that sentiment. But as I
designed, cut, and sewed, the hours zoomed by. I felt as if I was
lost in a good book, only I decided the characters, the plot, the
Now that Zola (my sewing machine) has unleashed her magical
powers, she refuses to occupy her once familiar place in the
bottom of my old college trunk. She sits atop her new
surroundings proudly, beckoning me, as if to admonish my idle
There are days when I tell Zola to leave me alone, but in no
time at all the fabrics in all their fanciful colors and patterns
beckon, and we are one again, creating in unison, literally
sewing the seeds of our destiny.
This article courtesy of http://www.timelessquilting.com.
You may freely reprint this article on your website or in your
newsletter provided this courtesy notice and the author name and
URL remain intact.
Yuwanda & Cassandra Black are the owners of EthnicHomeDecor.com. Ethnic
Home Decor offers soft home furnishings with ethnic themes at
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