Sunday, October 5, 2008

Living Memories: A Stitch in Time

When I return to my hometown of Independence, Mo., I’m always reminded of my crafty childhood, where Mom taught us how to pour and paint candles; make glittery Christmas decorations out of Styrofoam, sequins and straight pins; and to craft our own thrifty version of Shrinky Dinks out of plastic lids from the grocery store meat department.

One of Mom’s own creations that I was relieved to find still in pristine condition is this basket of stitched flowers tucked away in the corner of her sewing room. She crafted this floral fantasy for my Grandma Churchill probably during the late 1970s or early ‘80s. Mom says she probably bought it at Ben Franklin, which was a local dime store that sold everything from sewing notions to school supplies.

I think Mom’s masterpiece was probably offered as a birthday gift that Grandma immediately tacked onto the wood paneled wall behind her bed. Notice the 3-D effect of the petals and the basket weave of the vase as they leap out from the bright yellow burlap background. Sewn with love decades ago, the texture of these petalled perennials makes you want to reach out and touch them, and the eye-opening colors exude season-less cheer.

My book The Find: The Housing Works Book of Decorating with Thrift Shop Treasures, Flea Market Objects, and Vintage Details will be published by Clarkson Potter in May 2009.

No comments: