Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Moving on: Craft Therapy.

I think I've written before about crafting as a therapeutic measure. When I feel really overwhelmed or stressed focusing on a task that I know I can do or that challenges me seems to give my brain a break and I come away from it feeling refreshed. I know this is not an earth shattering discovery, but I've been thinking about this idea a lot lately.

The weekend clearing out my mom's house was very difficult, as you can imagine. My brother and his wife had pre-sorted a lot of the items so it was just a matter of going through, picking out things to save and deciding what could go to the Salvation Army or what was trash. Being a sentimental pack rat I didn't want to let go of a lot of it. I had given The Boy one task before we went: if he saw me getting bogged down sorting through something he was to get me back on task or make me move on to something else. He did his job well and we got everything done in a day and a half. To say we were exhausted would be extreme understatement.

When I got back to Calgary I was wrung out. I couldn't focus and didn't know what to do. I kept crying and felt unable to process anything. I decided to set up Mom's sewing machine that I brought back with me and play with it.

Using Mom's Singer, which is nearly as old as I am, brought back a flood of happy memories and made me feel so connected to her. I was worried that I would feel maudlin or uncomfortable having her things in my house but I'm so pleased that instead I just feel this happy connection to my Mom and all of my memories of her.

Futura II 2

I took her for a test drive last week and made myself a new wallet. I'm not 100% happy with how it turned out (it's a touch too wide and I want a different kind of closure...) but I'm happy that the machine, with its quirks, works.

Wallet 2

I used a piece of the strip patchwork I made for the potholders i made a while ago.

Wallet 3

I used a tutorial (which I can't find at the moment) for the card section and I added another layer for bills.

Wallet 4

This long weekend I started a quilt top using some of my mom's shirts. I won't have enough for a whole top. I plan to use solid cotton squares to make up the rest.

9 patch blocks

This, too, has been therapeutic, and I'm looking forward to the comfort of a quilt so infused with memories of my Mom. I think she'd approve.


  1. Lori, I can't begin to imagine the loss you must be feeling. But I do believe that you are doing some wonderful healing work here saving memories, saving little pieces of her. I love the idea of the quilt.

    I am sorry for your loss butheartened to see that you are meeting it in such a life affirming way. I hope you will share your quilt when it is completed.

  2. Threads are certainly therapy for me. It's good that you have that connection with your mom.

    Love the idea of the quilt top from her shirts. One of the award winners at Michigan Weaver's Guild exhibit last month was a rag weave tapestry made from the house dresses of the artist's mother. It was very touching.

    Stay well and crafty!

  3. This quilt is sure to be a treasured heirloom!


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