Thursday, May 3, 2007


I had someone ask me the other day why I choose to work in textiles rather than acrylics, watercolours or oils. I guess the easy answer is that I love the tactile experience of working with textiles. I enjoy what it is to explore my ideas in colour as well as texture. To take wools, threads, cottons, silks and to challenge myself to create is the most exciting feeling to me. I haven't been able to find that passion in any other medium.
Which brings to mind one of my most beautiful memories which could also have a lot to do with why I work in this field.
When I was twelve years old and spending the night at my grandmother's house in Toronto, she took me to Woolworths on Bloor Street. It was winter as I remember the snow on the sidewalk and the darkness of the sky. She was an excellent seamstress and I wanted her to teach me to embroider like she did. She bought me a pattern, a pillowcase, an embroidery hoop and some colourful embroidery floss. We sat at the counter of Woolworths, shared a toasted danish and she talked to me about how important it was to work with your hands to create. We spent a few hours together that night at her house drinking tea and embroidering tiny yellow daisies with blue centers onto a white cotton pillowcase.
Sometimes moments really do come full circle. And yes, my nana is still going strong ......we just celebrated her 90th birthday on April 22nd. She doesn't do much hand sewing anymore as she says "her fingers don't seem to want to cooperate" but boy, do I carry around a lot of great memories.


Cynthia said...

Happy Belated Birthday to your Nana. I loved reading your story, because in someways it is like mine. I remember going to Woolworths with my grandmother too. She knitted, crocheted, sewed and embroidered. I still have the embroidery that she was working on before she died. It's 1/2 finished. Someday, I may try to finish it, or maybe just leave as is.

Melody said...

Thanks Cynthia for sharing your memories of your grandmother. There is so much to be learned from the older generation. Let me know if you ever finish that embroidery