Monday, July 6, 2009

Nine Women


Partnerships, collaborations and sharing are the things that make a project work. I don't think there is anyone who creates anything without lots of help and encouragement and the skills and talents of others. So it is with Second Seating. There are dozens of people who've gone out of their way to move this project forward. The list grows longer every single day.
I think of all the women who sewed on the very large 10 x 14 foot patchwork banquet tablecloth.
It's made from fabrics salvaged from Hurricane Ike flood waters. First, there was the lady who owned these fabrics and stored them in her garage where they flooded last fall during the hurricane. She hauled these sodden, mildewed fabrics out to the driveway and I walked past one day and asked about the mounds of velvets and brocades. "Take as much as you want," she said. "I can't look at them any more."

After washing and drying load after load, and ruining my dryer in the process, I arranged the fabrics on a big drop cloth in the Harrisburg studio, mixing and matching until it all looked like 'something'. Then we must have used a 1000 pins to hold it together.
Irina sewed with Catarina for several afternoons and then suggested that we move our work from drop cloth on the floor to a big table which made sense. we could sit in chairs.

Next, we scheduled sewing bees. Virginia came and so did Evelyn Pat joined us. Hedy took a turn in the early spring too. Each of these women arrived at a warehouse studio and together we pushed needles strung with embroidery floss through layers of velvet, brocade, silk and linen. It wasn't always easy going. We needed thimbles, so Evelyn brought a thimble or two with her. We ate strawberries and cookies too.

Catarina has given more hours to this sewing project than we can count. She spent almost every afternoon of her spring break sewing. She spent every afternoon last week working to complete this patchwork. Catarina was joined by Evelyn one afternoon, Irina another. Roanne was with us the last hour of the last afternoon. There were three of us sewing when the piece was finally finished. Roanne, Catarina and I put those final stitches in place. Perhaps a toast was in order?
Nine women stitched away until there we had one giant banquet table cloth. Thank you all for every single stitch.




1 comment:

Kate said...

I'm convinced, and now more than ever by reading this post and seeing the pictures, that CONNECTIONS with other people, and specifically WOMEN, are essential for good mental health. I long for it.

Wonderful post.