Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: In and Out (04/30/09)
TITLE: The Masterpiece
By Anita Ellis
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In and out of the fabric, the needle progresses slowly, steadily. The trail it leaves in the fabric appears to be random, even erratic at times. It begins to pass through a patch of delicate rosebud-sprinkled cotton and pauses. The Quilt Maker’s hand gently traces across the piece. Mother’s favourite dress. She used to wear it on Sundays and special occasions in the summer. Memories flooded in of Mother’s laughter, her antics, and most of all, her humming tunelessly while going about her daily chores. The sunlight dances through the window onto the patch, breaking the spell.
In and out of the fabric, the needle weaves, binding together the patchwork of her life: Father’s faded red work shirt here, a patch of her own childhood coveralls there. Each swatch had been deliberately selected for its part in her own story. Joy and sorrow, laughter and tears, and almost too much love for her heart to hold were in each patch. Snippets of precious memories bound up in tiny pieces of cloth.
With one final, sure pull on the thread, the Quilt Maker finishes her last stitch. Releasing her quilt from the hoop, she spreads her handiwork out over the sofa and steps back to examine it in the fading light. Up close, the quilt had seemed a jumble of mismatched colours and irregular shapes, threads crisscrossing, textures clashing. But from a distance, it is breathtaking: a beautiful, vivid masterpiece made with skillful hands. For without the darker shades, the lighter ones are not nearly so prominent, creating rhythm and balance in the design. Without the valleys, stitched meticulously in white thread, the plush quilted pattern would be lost, robbing the quilt of its depth and surprising beauty.
The Quilt Maker gazed on her work with a sense of satisfaction. It was time to rest.
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