Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Thread of A Quilter's Life....or Thread Happens

I have thread.  I need thread. I like thread and its many beautiful colours. Check out the lost thread I have been saving, for no particular reason.
      I use to keep spools in containers, and it was a bother keeping it sorted and for clients to
see the possibilities. So I put them out in the open. Mostly they have wee bags on them, and 
they are out of the sunlight. There's no dust in the attic so I don't worry about it.  Or maybe there is but I still don't worry about it.

 This Quilter's darling husband likes thread too, read on.

    My wife is a professional long arm quilter, with a geezly (can't use geezly in scrabble, Wilma!)
great machine that could only fit in the bowling lane side of our attic.  The house is approaching the century mark and has settled as much as it's going to, but I still do a double take when I look at the wobble to the old pine floors below her machine.  But along with the knots in the pine...there are other things lurking at foot level. But first a little clarification on the division of labour is required.  You see when the long arm sewing machine arrived and the resident quilter turned pro, I offered to take on increased duties, vacuuming among them. Big mistake.  You see, not only do we have a brown carpet and a yellow lab (she who has already devasted 3 vacuums in her 13 hair ridden years) but said resident Quilter is also a devout stair climber.  She is up and down, to and from the attic a couple dozen times a day, bringing hand projects to work on while sitting on the couch, her collection of cups and plates and so on.  AND unbeknownst to her, every time she does so, she carries with her enough thread to keep the local spring flocks in nest lining for years to come. Bits and pieces of multi-coloured spaghetti cling fervently to socks, pants, blouses and particularly polar fleece, all of which participate in the thread transfer process from clothing to carpet and just about any other surface. Try as she may to de-thread at the top of the stairs (please note de-threading is different from de-materializing), by the time she reaches the main floor she has succeeded in turning our brown wool carpet into a rainbow berber. But I am the vacuum guy. I take my job seriously.  Yes the current vacuum is up to the increased duties, and as I've discovered it also does double duty as a sewing device.  As a professional, my Quilt Queen winds umpteen bobbins a day and has dozens of spools of thread scattered about the house in working stashes of project gear.  The cat enjoys her play time and not surprisingly the not-so-occasional spool hits the floor. Enter the vacuumer, blithely doing his duty, said vacuum turns into an industial bobbin winder with a voracious appetite.  The spinning carpet brush snags the leading edge of the thread and even though I am vigilant and fast on the foot switch, the beast usually doesn't stop before the spool has done its dizzying disappearing dance across the floor, following a retreating vacuum and its unwitting driver.
That vacuum can clean off a spool like nobody's business...the spent naked spool continuing to spin like a the delight of the cat,  and the dismay of the resident Quilter and her vacuum meister. "Gone in 60 sec0nds" is an under statement.
Next to fabric, thread is the stuff of my Quilter's life and it is with mixed emotions that we turn the vacuum over to follow the thread of her life. I used to dutifully cut the thread, cleaning the carpet head back down to plastic and rubber but recently I have begun to leave it.  It's not only colourful, but I imagine and or rationalize that it also acts as a 'pre ' air filter, as well as a vibrant reminder that life is too short to continually cut thread. Thread has become the multi-coloured link in our mechanical lives....her long arm and my vacuum.  And now that I've come to accept the inevitability of the threads in our lives mingling, I am a more relaxed cohabitant.
I've become zen like in my approach .  In order for quilts to appear....threads happen.

Wishing you a Good Day,

ps the carpet is a rust colour


  1. Your DH has quite the flair for writing... the fact that he wields a vacuum too, is definately a bonus!

  2. Your husband is a good writer and yes a keeper. Your house sounds like mine with the thread everywhere. Have a great day.


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