Yesterday a friend showed me one of her most treasured possessions, a quilt her grandmother had made by hand. Even though it was layered between a stack of newer blankets in bright colors and patterns, I couldn’t help but reach past those to touch its frayed edges and time-faded yellow squares. There is a power that stretches across time and space when you recognize something made by hand with love. It’s not the toil, the time, or the materials, but the care behind the making that resonates.
So much of what ties us together in families and friendship are those things created by women and passed down through time. My grandmother’s embroidered designs hang framed in my studio, and my great aunt’s paintings line our hallway. My mother’s crocheted afghan is in the bedroom. The recipes these three women shared across a century will be cooked and prepared in a few weeks on Thanksgiving Day.
The power of making and creating something real, something non-digital, something tangible and intentionally crafted with love is the everyday work of artists. We may not have generations ahead, some of us have no children, but there will be a legacy of created works in our wake. Is it any wonder that there are so many women artists in this world? And aren’t we powered equally by the act of making as we are rewarded in the giving of these precious gifts we leave behind?
What precious thing has tied you to this Earth with memories and love, made by someone in your past, a family member, or loved one? I would love to hear from you!