Thursday, March 14, 2013

Comfort is hand-made....

 I have been taking advantage lately of the pleasures of hand-made comfort. I have been wearing handknit socks and sweaters. I have been baking bread. I have felt the need of 'comfort' as the winter was cold and long, and I have lately had a dreaded head cold, followed by an eye infection.

One of the things that I am comforted by lately are hand embroidered pillow cases. When I got married, almost 40 years ago, a small and very old lady in our church gave me some pillowcases that she had decorated with some crochet. They were not beautifully done, but I have always treasured them because of the work she did on them for me. Later, I got some beautifully embroidered cases that my mother-in-law did, and then I purchased some at a charity fund-raiser at church. On one of my visits to my parents last year, my Mom gave me a pillowcase made by her mother, my grandmother. All of these have always delighted me. I would take them out of the back of the linen closet and think fondly of those who had made them. Then I would put them back.

But when I got back from Paris last spring, I found several very old softened-by-time white pillow cases at our cabin. We've had the cabin for 30 years, and these were some that 'came with' the cabin. One is even patched on the  back. I decided I wanted to use these soft cotton cases, maybe even use them completely up! But I wanted them to be a delight to use; a comfort. So I stitched on them.

Soon thereafter, my grandchildren were coming to visit, and I wanted each of them to sleep on a 'fun' pillow case. I had two cute bear cases; the ones I had purchased at the church auction. So I needed two more. I stitched the ones above. I don't even know if the kids noticed the cases, but I know they were resting their sweet heads on hand-stitched love.

Then I found a partially-stitched case my niece and I had started to work on years ago when she was young. I finished it up (the cat one.) Now, whenever I find an unstitched case in the linen closet, I pull it out, whip out my trusty marker (that washes out in the laundry) and I start drawing and stitching. I do not try to be fancy or even artistic. I am loving whimsy on these, and I want them to look hand-drawn and stitched.

I sleep on all of these. I do not iron them; you may have noticed that. If I have to fuss and iron, they will not get used. And I think they are softer un-ironed, and they are all about comfort to me.

The middle one was one of the original wedding gift. I love the bottom one,which says, "sleep well friend" in lace.
Top done by Mother-in-Law, middle from charity auction, lower by my grandmother.

When you are in need of comfort, think of actually using something that came from the work of your hands, or the work of some other woman's loving hands. I can not tell you of the comfort it gives me every night now, to rest my often-weary head on labors of love.


Kathe Todd-Hooker said...

well, said. I love sleeping on my grandmothers fribbles. Comfort food for the body and soul. I just had oral surgery and am sleeping on dogwood and a pillow case with an antebellum style fringed skirted edge skirt pillow case . makes one feel tresured and safe. Luck grandkids!!

Tal Landeau said...

Lovely. How nice it is to be comforted by the work of loving hands...I am particularly fond of my handknit socks right now! And I just love the Paris pillowcase!

K Spoering said...

Thanks, Kathe, and Tal.

Kathe, I'm not familiar with the word 'fribbles' but I like it! Does it refer to something specific, or is it just a better word for 'stuff?'

Tal, the Paris pillowcase is one I frequently put on my husband's pillow, hoping it will give him ideas!