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.