Crafts & Hobbies Information

Idle Hands Beget The Devils Work

As a southern girl, sewing was a rite of passage. You never questioned if you should learn, it was a matter of when. Though I possess the skill, it was rarely put to use. One day, while shopping for a quilt, I went back to my roots.

Searching for a quilt with an ethnic feel, I went to several department stores. I found nothing that appealed to my sense of color, style and culture - nothing that spoke to my soul. So, I gave up, went to an African fabric store, selected fabrics, and made my own.

As a child in rural Alabama, this routine restored memories of the first quilt I ever made. I was nine and in fourth grade. Around this time, my grandmother made a quilt for each of her grandchildren as a Christmas gift. Now, my nephew of nine sleeps on that same quilt. Tattered and re-stitched in several places, it remains a familial favorite.

While making my most recent quilt, I rediscovered that quilting is more than sewing, it's a bond from generation to generation. Wrapped in my grandmother's gift, I feel her presence. Hair askew, laughing in her lap, I'm nine again, with all its incumbent joys.

Cutting and stitching, there is a powerful rebirthing of a time gone by - the smell of honeysuckle on a fence, the clang of cow bells heard from the field, watermelon juice circling the curve of a sticky, ashy elbow.

I am convinced that if today's youth were taught to occupy their hands with more than buttons on a video game, they would learn patience, pride, and develop confidence. And just maybe, we would have fewer troubled youth today. As Grandma used to say, "Idle hands beget the devil's work."

At nine, you don't relate to that sentiment. But as I designed, cut, and sewed, the hours zoomed by. I felt as if I was lost in a good book, only I decided the characters, the plot, the ending.

Now that Zola (my sewing machine) has unleashed her magical powers, she refuses to occupy her once familiar place in the bottom of my old college trunk. She sits atop her new surroundings proudly, beckoning me, as if to admonish my idle hands.

There are days when I tell Zola to leave me alone, but in no time at all the fabrics in all their fanciful colors and patterns beckon, and we are one again, creating in unison, literally sewing the seeds of our destiny.

This article courtesy of You may freely reprint this article on your website or in your newsletter provided this courtesy notice and the author name and URL remain intact.

Yuwanda & Cassandra Black are the owners of Ethnic Home Decor offers soft home furnishings with ethnic themes at affordable prices.

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