I have been reading about the way people used to get together and share the work that had to be done. Things like barn raisings and quilting bees brought people together, and the work that resulted had the imprint of each pair of hands. I wanted to start a project like that, but I wanted something that wouldn't be intimidating to a generation (or two, or three) who haven't necessarily spent their time honing hand craft skills. I settled on a family/community tapestry. Embroidery is easy to explain, and one's involvement only extends to the end of one's thread. I gathered the supplies; a cotton blanket for the base, the thread, the hoops and needles, I added some vaguely tree shaped Sharpy marks as guides, and then I just waited until what felt like the right time to introduce the idea. Except for one important person, Grandma;
who lent her hand to the task earlier in the week, no one knew of the project until after our family bar-b-que dinner on Sunday.
I was so nervous! I had visions of everyone declining; it's intimidating to be asked to do something you may have never done before! I could just see everyone saying "no thank you", and I would be left there with my giant Sharpy tree blanket.
I told everybody that I had a project that I needed their help with. I explained that I wanted to make a family tapestry, and I needed everyone do do some sewing!
I was so(!) pleased, surprised, and flattered when everyone, EVERYONE! agreed to participate. And I was amazed: the least experienced were the most eager to get started!
I had threaded the needles ahead of time, and decided that we would just start on the trunk and branches of the tree (nice straightish lines). I told the story of the flying fish who swims backward to give those who needed it a little lesson in back stitch, and they were off!
Hover your cursor to see who is under the blanket!
We have a looong way to go, but I was anticipating that this project would take us years. Benjamin really wanted to be part of the project, and I am glad that, probably, someday he will be.
I am a amazed and pleased by how these few lines of stitching mean so much to me!