I’m always trailing threads around. They stick to my clothes and I find them all over the farm inside and out. This one was hanging from an invisible thread and blowing in the breeze from the open window.
Ever since I got my free-motion sewing machine I’ve been telling the stories of the farm and my life in images and words I’ve created with it.
Kitty and Anne are the latest story. They roosted on the old pink Victorian chair in the barn, like it was their throne. I took their picture then turned them into a potholder.
I made six Kitty and Anne on the Pink Chair Potholders. I stitched them on a vintage linen table runner. I cut off the hand-stitched decorative edging and sewed it onto the top and bottom of the potholders. As always with my potholders, I “draw” each one individually so they are all slightly different.
I didn’t get a chance to take pictures of them all before it got dark, so I’ll put them up for sale in my Etsy Shop tomorrow. Or you can email me about the at [email protected]. They’re $30 each + $5 shipping for one or more.
I was searching. I had the need to see something I never had before in the things I look at every day. So I put the macro lens on my iPhone and wandered the farm, inside and out.
It felt like hope to me, the idea that I could find something wonderous where I didn’t expect it. I took picture after picture, but not finding what I was looking for finally gave up.
Instead, I went to the big maple behind my studio, a place I spend little time, and leaned against the tree, soaking in its slow calm.
But the thick chunks of bark were filled with life. Moths fluttered from their hiding places behind the bark, like tiny bats emerging from their sleeping place. A big black ant scurried in and out of the crevices as if looking for something it had lost. A spider feasted on her catch in her small web.
Water dripped off the branches and soaked the bark in a deep crevasse where long ago two trees had grown together to create one. Distracted by the bright green lichen, it took me a moment to see the mushrooms. The largest one was a sixteenth of an inch at most. They grew up and down the crevasse so small I had no idea what they really looked like till I focused my lens on them.
I didn’t know I had batik sea turtle fabric. It was rolled up and stashed away. I don’t remember ever seeing it till a couple of weeks ago, but I know I must have had it for a long time.
I immediately saw the turtles surrounded by blue. Such a soothing thing to do, making potholders with the feeling of floating in blue. That was my intention. I knew I had the ocean fabric, whales and water, seaweed and waves. Adding the stars gave it the sense of above and below.
I sold eleven of them quickly then made a few more using up the rest of the fabric. And now those are for sale too.
Each Sea Turtle Potholder is $20 + $5 shipping for one or more. You can see them all and buy them in my Etsy Shop. Just click here. And if you don’t use Etsy, you can always email me at [email protected]. I take checks, Paypal and Venmo.
I won’t repeat the horrid things I yelled at it. I was so frustrated, I even pulled the piece of fabric I was sewing on out of it and threw it at the machine.
Then thankfully I had enough sense to walk away. Jon had texted me a few minutes earlier that he had a fresh-baked cookie from our neighbor Barbara for me. So I took the opportunity to eat it and settle down.
I hate getting as upset as I was. It used to happen more often, but I’m better at keeping calm than I used to be when I was younger.
I was really into what I was doing. I’ve been wanting to turn the photo of the chicks on the pink chair in the barn that I took a while ago into a thread drawing for a potholder. I finally got to it today but then my sewing machines weren’t cooperating.
First, my Viking machine, which I was using, started doing that thing again where the thread cutter randomly starts cutting while I’m sewing. I blame myself for that. I planned on taking the machine to get cleaned, hoping that would take care of the problem, over a month ago and never did. (Now it’s out of my studio and in the dining room. I’ll take it to be cleaned this week)
It was when the bobbin in my reliable old Brother sewing machine kept getting jammed, that I lost it.
I’m sure that was my fault too. I was probably threading the machine wrong or something. By the time I got it working, I practiced a little more but had no energy to actually start making a potholder. I think a part of me knew I’d screw something up if I tried anyway. I wanted to leave on a good note.
There was still some time before dinner so I poured myself a glass of wine and sat outside on the stone wall by the dahlia garden. I watched the barn swallows scoop up insects from the air and marveled at the Red-Winged Blackbirds as they landed sideways on the tall thin wildflowers growing in the marsh.
After a while, Kitty and Anne came along. They sat in the grass across from me on the other side of the garden. I sipped my wine and they cleaned their feathers. I think they enjoyed my company, I know I enjoyed theirs.
I did apologize to my sewing machine for yelling at it. So tomorrow I’ll do a couple of practice drawings of the chicks to warm up then make a few potholders.
By then today’s fight will be behind us and we can start over.