A day after Mark died, I went straight to Wal-mart (please forgive me) and bought a $69 sewing machine, one I’ve been considering for over a year. Faced with the danger, confusion, trepidation and fragility of life, all I truly wanted, besides cookies of course, was to move fabric swiftly under a rushing needle and connect one thing with another thing.
I used to sew about a lifetime ago. I started late in my teenage years, making a hideous bright pink sundress that stuck out funny and made me look like I was wearing an oddly-shaped fuschia paper bag. No matter, I kept going, but not one for measuring much and never good at following instructions, I mostly excelled in lumpy but innovative skirts, odd wrap-around dresses in bright purple, and occasional curtains, much of them made on an antique sewing machine that only went backwards, forward, and zigzag. After the machine broke, and my water broke — three times actually over six years — resulting in the accumulation of children, plus other sundry distractions of life, I left the machine to rot in the basement until I hauled it off.
Now I’m back in the saddle, happy with the click the bobbin holder makes when it’s snapped in place, the rhythmic buzz of the machine, my foot steady on the pedal. I pulled out a quilt I foolishly started to make by hand about a year ago when I got seduced one day at Sarah’s Fabrics, and zoomed it together in no time, and today, with the help of Kris, I found great material for the edge, the back, and a new pair of curtains. You can see the last pair I made hanging in the background, the last thing I put together by the grace of a sewing machine, about 15 years ago. My hands are happy, my foot is happy, and the colors and designs on the fabric glow with finding their home together.