"Still Life with Trousers"
by Anjali Arora
"A GIFT OF TRADITION"
Months passed, carefully hand stitching,
convex to concave, each fine seam.
This German woman prided in her work.
Searching through scraps saved from years
of sewing for children, grandchildren;
she cut the shapes needed for each block.
Mother gently touches the fabric from
dresses worn as a child. We wonder why
this was used twice, others just once.
A sociable woman, how Hanna loved
chatting on that candlestick telephone.
Hands always sewing; time never wasted.
There was not enough green for the gently curved
pieces that pulled together the beauty of the whole.
It was difficult finding more in that small 1920s town.
The quilt assessor notes the substitution,
perhaps a later dye lot. A valuable quilt,
Iím told. Completely hand made.
Top finished at last, women gathered around the
frame that great grandfather built. Conversation
lively as fingers flew. The quilting soon done.
Her friends admired the unusual design. Four muslin
patches alternating with five calico. Each surrounded
by a ring, the border a series of crescents.
Great Grandmotherís gift hanging on my wall.
My sewing machine whirs, stitching fabric
bought, not saved. Quilting a new tradition.
Anne Johnson is a retired primary school teacher, a
grandmother, a quilter and a poet. Her poetry can be found in the book
"Women on a Wire" edited by Georgia Jones and on her Chapbook
site at http://www.womenfolk.com/anne/contents.htm.
She is the publisher of "Womenfolk - In Celebration of Creative
Women," a website for women. The women in the poem "A Gift of
Tradition" and her quilts can be seen at http://www.womenfolk.com/grandmothers/balster.htm.
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