The Beauty of Handmade
Maybe it has to do with my love of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books as a kid. Maybe it was those days spent drawing and playing house as a child. Maybe it’s the way warm zucchini bread smells after I’ve spent a long day in the kitchen. Maybe it is just my taste.
But I love handmade things.
I’m reading book about fostering a creative environment for your children. The author encourages engaging in creative activities daily, alone and with your children. She knits, sews, draws, quilts, and so on and so on. I find her lifestyle to be perhaps a little too unattainable for me, but I am inspired by her commitment to the imagination, to creativity, and to the handmade.
There are a few possessions of mine that are handmade, and they are among my favorite things.
There’s the twin-sized quilt on the bed in Ainsley’s room. It was the first quilt I ever made. I picked out each piece of fabric, I sat through sewing classes with my mom and sister, I used it on my bed in the dorms, I used it on the couch after college, I put it in my daughter’s room. It is a beautiful piece to me. Not because I made it, but because of all the frustrating and wonderful memories I have of making it and living with it.
I have a hand-embroidered handkerchief from my Great Grandma Ruth. She sent it to me before I got married for my “something old” and “something blue”. I had been keeping it stuffed away in a drawer, but now I keep it at my bedside to use. After all, it exists to be used. I love it’s delicate stitching and the love with which it was given to me.
There’s Ainsley’s quilt and blanket that she sleeps with every night — EVERY night. The quilt was made by Aunt Grace before Ainsley was born. Grace picked out all the fabric while we shopped for curtains (another handmade thing I love). The blanket was hand-stitched by my Great Grandma Julie and was my baby blanket 25 years ago. My mom kept it and gave it to me to give to my baby.
Grace also just gave me one of her custom tie purses before she left for Maryland. I would gladly give up my two other purses for this one-of-a-kind item.
There’s the afghan in the basement, made by Scott’s great aunt. There’s the wedding quilt Grace made for us. There’s the Christmas quilt I made years ago with the hopes that someday I would bundle up my own baby in it. There’s Ainsley’s hand-carved wood rattle we bought for her 1st Christmas. There are Shana’s cards by the front door waiting to be mailed.
Each piece is unique. Each piece has it’s own imperfections, it’s own story. I guess I love the handmade because these things are a reflection of each of us. We are unique. We are imperfect. We have a story. And we are a handmade creation ourselves, made in the image of our Creator.