Monday, April 12, 2010


This has been an exciting year for me as I have had the opportunity to be in the studio audience for 2 MARTHA shows!  The first was back in February for the couples Valentine's special and the second was just last week with my friend, Alexis.  

I couldn't really enjoy the first one - I was way too anxious about actually seeing someone I have admired for years.  But it was really about more than that.  I've been sewing and knitting for as long as I can remember.  In fact, the desire to do needlework is in my blood.  On my mother's side, my mother, grandmother, great-aunt, their mother, their great aunt all knit, sewed, and embroidered.  Part of the family folklore is that a great-great-great aunt of mine, Cassandra Burgess, sewed a stunning trupunto quilt using her old ball gowns from the antebellum South.  She had been disowned because she married a sickly man who subsequently died and left her penniless.  Nonetheless she created beautiful things out of such misery. Another of her creations is a whole cloth quilt meticulously quilted at 12 stitches per inch.

On my father's side, my maternal grandmother sewed and knit keeping her Singer Featherweight set up and ready to go in her home office where she made decisions about investing in oil wells.  Her mother sewed a bit but her grandmother, my great-great grandmother was quite an accomplished seamstress who also did intricate beadwork.  The remnants of her work that still exist are breathtaking.

Now I am not suggesting that I am nearly as accomplished as these women were but I do think that I was born to work with needles.  You may ask what this has to do with Martha Stewart so I will tell you.  Through the years my hobbies seemed like something that old women do, sitting in their rocking chairs.  But Martha Stewart gave all of this crafting street cred and she elevated it to the level of art.  Her magazine and television show profile needlework artisans as great artists, which they are.  They create the art that surrounds us everyday, that we use on a daily basis.  They make the functional beautiful.

So, to meet this maven of craft completely freaked me out!  I was a wreck.  My stomach in knots, my brain in a fog.  Having my husband with me (remember, it was the couples show) didn't really help as he found the whole thing a bit on the silly side.  Although he was quite happy to receive his free ipod nano!  But at the second show, I enjoyed myself immensely.  I sat in the front row with my dear friend Alexis and I even got on TV a little bit (I'm the one sitting next to the pregnant woman, smiling in the orange top and red classes).  There were no giveaways but just being in that gorgeous studio again was enough of a gift for me.

I hope that Lucy will also inherit this love of needlework.  I'm starting her early and so now she sews on that Singer Featherweight though we don't invest in oil wells while we sew - we watch MARTHA.

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