Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Handmade rescue

Hello, friends. In between weaving and working in the garden, I've been doing a bit of redecorating at home. The guest room has a new coat of paint, new pillow shams and cases, and a few homey touches. I stopped at the local Goodwill to see if I could find a mirror in a nice frame that I could hang above the small dresser/bureau.

I'm not much of a thrift store shopper, so I don't know how commonly one finds pieces such as the one that I found languishing in the back corner of the store:


The embroidered piece is beautifully framed (check out the detail below) and has the maker's initials, "SW" and date (2000) stitched onto the fabric. The price: $4.99.


I can't even begin to guess how many hours the maker spent making this -- there are at least 20 different thread colors used and a variety of stitches. As an artisan, seeing this fine example of craftsmanship for sale at Goodwill made me a little bit sad. Did the person, "SW," who worked on this item pass away? Perhaps there was no friend or family member interested in her work. Or maybe a relationship went sour and whoever possessed the embroidery simply didn't have the need for it anymore.

Well, it has a new home with me, and I was proud of my 16 year old son who said, "Some people don't appreciate how much time it takes to make something like that." I cleaned up the glass, washed the frame with Murphy's Oil Soap (it was really dirty), and gave it a bit of polish.

Here it is in our guest room, where it seems right at home (I think I'll put it on the wall, above the dresser):


Do you ever wonder, dear readers, where your handmade items will end up someday? My experience at the Goodwill did give me pause. I hope that "SW", wherever she is, would be content knowing that her embroidered item is much appreciated and is a delightful addition to our home.

Be well,
Kate K.

3 comments:

Thistle Rose Weaving said...

What a lovely find, it looks perfect in your guest room. SW was a talented needlewoman, very lovely.

Cindie said...

What an incredible find on your part but so sad that it ended up at a thrift store.

When we moved my grandmother into assisted living we had a garage sale - imagine my surprise when I found a box of embroidered pillowcases and Swedish weaving handtowels that my aunts had stitched when young. Two of my aunts had put them in a box marked a quarter a piece (one of them had done some of the stitching) - I quickly retrieved them before the sale started and still have them to this day.

I hope one day when something happens to me my friends will come take all the handmade items as my family wouldn't really care about them.

Kate Kilgus said...

We put so much of ourselves into our work. My experience at Goodwill sort of opened my eyes to the fact that not everyone understands or appreciates this. I am glad, Cindie, that you rescued your family's items. These are the things that are part of our history.