I had been explaining the ‘recycling’ aspect of rug hooking and how my grandmother had made use of every piece of fabric in her household even after it had outlived its original purpose. It is one of my favourite themes; how we have begun to return to lifestyles that reflect a ‘reuse’ aspect and how we can incorporate so much of our own personal history into a lovely hooked rug by simply using clothing that means something. Everything we wear says something about us, about our special days, about our life experiences. Keeping those memories alive by incorporating those precious fabrics into a hooked piece will automatically start conversations that revolve around, “Remember when…”
Every one of us has a small hoard of children’s clothing, school uniforms, wedding dresses, etc-why not turn some of it into a piece of art that will reflect your story?
I could tell by the look on her face that her loss was still very fresh. She had been telling me about her own grandmother and how she still kept a collection of her clothes. She had no intention of ever wearing them but couldn’t bear the thought of throwing them out or giving them away. She spoke of a special relationship, of warm cookies and kitchen dancing, gardens and tea and her Granny’s life of love. So many good thoughts and treasured memories to snuggle close in her heart. I could see the wheels turning as she began planning a piece that would reflect everything special about her grandmother and she was going to do it with her own hands using bits of her granny’s favourite clothing. She excitedly began to tell me about how the design should involve tea cups, cookies and flowers. It was all I could do to smile, inside, I was choking up. Being permitted to share such a moment is an amazing gift and I sincerely hope that her granny’s legacy inspires others to think about doing the same.
Perhaps it is time to start your own ‘legacy’ piece?