Almost every Wednesday night, I take a break from writing and join friends at a nearby weaving studio. It’s kind of like an old-fashioned quilting bee, sharing stories as we work on our individual looms, creating Saori textiles, a form of Japanese freestyle weaving. It’s meditative and relaxing and a good reminder that beauty is everywhere around us.
Just one problem: I have a backlog of woven pieces at home, waiting for me complete them. For months, my colorful textiles have been lying in a pile on one of our dining room chairs, taunting me.
“When are you going to get around to us?” they seem to ask. “You were so enthusiastic when you took us off the loom. What gives? Don’t you care anymore?”
Well, yes, but there’s been so much else to do.
“No excuse! Your hands have healed. You can do this!”
One piece, in particular, has waited nearly eight months for me to complete⎯a bright, multicolored textile to replace the tattered curtain on our kitchen door. Last spring I had come close to completing it, machine sewing a yellow cotton border to the sides. Then, in a rush to finish (always a bad idea), I had flipped over the top edge to make a channel for the curtain rod, but stitched the fringed edge to the back instead of the front.
Picking out all those stitches was more than I could handle. I also realized that, even with the yellow border, the piece was still too narrow to cover the kitchen window. Discouraged, I put it aside and didn’t touch it again until my younger daughter came home for a visit over the December holidays and, with her very nimble fingers, took out the stitches for me.
Buoyed by this fix, I bought some turquoise cotton fabric to extend the edges. And this weekend, I finished the curtain, with the help of a new iron (I’d dropped my old one and broken it sometime over the summer), a more accessible storage solution for my ironing board (no more dragging it up from the basement) and some fusible sewing tape that enabled me to avoid using pins, which I find quite difficult to manipulate.
Persistence paid off. The result makes me smile. And it’s a cheerful reminder that, despite last year’s major hand surgery and months of healing, I can still make something beautiful.