The biscuits I made were used as pucks in a hallway floor-hockey pickup session. And they made it undented all the way back to study-hall. A proud moment for me then as I was determined NOT to buy into the traditional gender-role responsibilities of home and hearth.
But later –– a decade or more later –– a friend patiently showed me how to sew a straight line without attaching my hand to the fabric. Later, my sweet mother-in-law took me under her domestic wing, providing a sewing machine and some gentle tutelage. The language came to me slowly, with nothing meaning what I first thought: basting, batting, bearding, blocking, backing, taking a tack (plus bar-tacking!).
I am not particularly interested in the frilly toothpick part of making a quilt. Instead, I like the part known as piecework (not the same as a union-organizer's "piecework," oddly enough) where a person gets to pick colors and figure out designs.
Despite this u-turn toward the domestic arts, I didn't budget much time for the hobby: the first quilts I made took ten years start to finish.
Such is the mystery of human nature: when faced with a big writing project a couple of years ago, I took up a couple of ambitious sewing projects. Why not an outdoorsy hobby instead? In a word: summer in Florida. In a word: heat-stroke. In a word: avoidance.
Anyway, the quilt –– among other projects, o novel of mine! –– has been lurking around unbound. So I sat myself down this summer and started stitching. I achieved closure in roughly the same couch-time as four World Cup matches.
If only a bit of red thread and attention could stitch shut all the open doors in my life...
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