One quick note: Jennifer at Runner Girl Fabrics is offering my readers a special discount through the month of September. Your purchase will receive a 10% discount. Yay! Just enter the promo code, HANDMADE, at checkout.
When I think about my mother and her sewing machine I usually refer to it as "the machine she avoided sewing on". It wasn't just that her machine was difficult to work with. It was. But she just didn't seem to enjoy the process of sewing. She deeply admired handcrafted items, but I'm not convinced that she loved crafting them herself.
Nonetheless, she came from a crafting background, associating sewing and knitting with her own mother who passed away when she was only 10. When she did sit down to sew, she had a little ritual that she remembered from my grandmother. It may even go farther back in our family, but it was definitely something my grandmother did. As my grandmother was cutting a pattern, but before she made the first cut, she turned to the intended recipient and said, in Hebrew, "Tidchadshi"(phonetically: TEED-KHAD-SHEE). It literally wishes that the recipient be renewed by the item.
Despite her ambivalence about sewing, my mother always said that word as she began cutting a pattern. I'm convinced that if, under threat of assault, she were to sew today, she would still say that word. And I say it as well, even if I'm making something for myself or giving a handmade item to a friend. I like the idea that you can be renewed by something hand crafted. It elevates the process of making to an act of healing.
I'm happy to live in a time when appreciation for the handmade is on the upswing and there is so much information and inspiration available. I love having the opportunity to share my designs, especially ones that encourage us to create for those we love.
I've got two designs in this year's issue of Quilting Arts Gifts. It's great that the focus of this special issue is making for others. I realize the release is timed primarily for folks to make Christmas gifts, but when they asked to include my designs I wanted my contributions to relate to my own winter traditions. So, I made some Hannukah coasters, pieced to mimic the letters on the dreidel.
Oh, and I designed a scarf because everyone needs those.
I made a similar scarf a year or so back and my friend, Terry, really seemed to like it. My plan is to give this one it to her.
And hope that she'll be renewed by it.