Sewing My Doily Woman, Reworking History

Me sewing my Doily Woman.   Photo by Jon Katz

I started working on sewing my Doily Woman today.  I’ll be sewing her all by hand.

I finished removing all the little red squares under her and began sewing them down around her.  My stitches are not as small and evenly spaced as the stitches of the woman who originally made the quilt.

But then my purpose is different than hers was.

I love the texture and feeling the uneven,  worn and tattered red squares create when I sew them down.  Overlapping each other, they fill in the space the way a painter might, parting with the balance and perfection of the original quilt.  More expressive, they have an immediacy that juxtaposes the formality of the traditional pattern.

Removing the squares then sewing them down again, makes me feel like I’m reworking history.  Setting things right. Patched together and not perfect, but better than it was.

The red squares I removed from the quilt and am sewing down between the Doily Woman’s arm and body.

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