For gazillion years, we humans roamed this blue marble armed with a needle.
This sharp, pointy, shiny, teeny, tiny tool pierces our existence and
connects us to both the past and the future.
Family, FUNctional Sewing and Physics
Amalia’s connection to fiber and fabric began as she came home from the hospital as a first generation American, in a hand embroidered baby blanket (really a blanket! not a quilt) and tiny gown sewn by her paternal grandmother. Amalia Teresa Parra grew up bilingual, with an engineer father and a teacher mother, who nurtured her creativity and inquisitive nature. She learned to sew as a young girl picking up valuable life lessons such as patience (and accuracy) as she inserted and reinserted a zipper seven times. After graduating college with a Physics degree, her first grownup purchases were a brand new sewing machine and a used car.
For most of her life, sewing has been a functional activity as she re-upholstered furniture, sewed curtains, and made garments. Ironically, her first quilt ever was sewn on a serger. Her next few traditional quilts did not follow patterns, but she did switch over to ¼ seams and no more serged edges! Patterns and directions helped her produce more and hone her skills, but the fun wasn’t the same as the challenge of original design.
Amalia Teresa Parra Morusiewicz in her own words:
“Words are Not Enough, This is Why I Quilt”
The hands of the maker and heart of the quilter leave a lasting impression; comforting the distraught, nourishing the needy, and calming inner fears. Quilts convey messages far deeper than mere layers of fabric held together by thin threads. Quilts travel through space and time, carry messages, share joys, lighten burdens and simply keep company. We cannot hug those who are on the other side of the world, but we can sew; for many of us this is why we quilt.
Blurry-eyed, sleep-deprived, young parents wrap their treasured offspring up in quilts; cooing and comforting their child to sleep. Soon, these babies are young men and women, off to start a new life, far from the comforts of home. We cannot grant them immunity or take away their bumps and scrapes. With luck, the love in our quilts will add padding and give them a softer landing. As I hand stitch a quilt binding, my love and prayers are caught up in the threads and included in my gift. Seeing a quilt used and loved, brings me great joy. The frayed edges of a well loved quilt, are like the smile lines in a loving grandparents face. The terms, labor of love and quilt-making are a very fitting pair. Labor, because it is work. Love, like the parent preparing a meal, knowing that it will nourishing the body and the soul. We honor those who have served this country, wrapping them in quilts once they arrive home. Memorial quilts honor those who sacrificed, giving the family something to hold during the darkest nights. With quilts, we express comfort and encouragement, love and gratitude, admiration and confidence, appreciation and longing in a way that words cannot express.
When I have no words, either from great joy or great pain, I return to the needle. The repetitive piercing of sharp metal through soft fabric, is much like putting one foot in front of another, a small step, but an important step. Words are Not Enough, this is why I quilt.
-Amalia Morusiewicz copyright 2015
originally published on FUNfromAtoZ.com