friends came by the studio as i worked today. i cut squares of fabric for quilts and ironed scraps that will be cut into smaller squares. the sun was strong. the energy was bright. i planned a new size for a quilt. and i talked to courtney about letter writing. after she left, i continued to ponder on the fading art of hand-written correspondence. there is an intimacy about a hand written letter that is rarely equalled. letters come from a silent place. ink and paper, such a physical extension of the hand and mind. the writing of a letter becomes not only a transfer of thoughts and ideas, but also an aesthetic communique. the variations of hand-writing. a coffee stain. the rapid scrawl of a sudden idea. the jagged edges of paper ripped from a spiral bound notebook. or the creamy silk of fine stationary. i have boxes of letters, saved from different stages of my life. the round loopy girlish writing of letters received while i was in boarding school. the longer, more serious missives while in university. and living in paris, the swoon when i saw a white envelope and it's angular address. letters from men i loved. and from men who loved me.
i also have collections of letters i have purchased from estates. they are fascinating, even without knowing the full extent of their context. i have one little bundle, tied in a tattered and faded light blue ribbon that are saved from the 1920's. letters of a summer love and the heartbreak that ensued. another collection that ranges from a son's letter to his parents, in the 1890's, telling of his intention to marry, letters from his father to the future daughter-in-law, letters between the newlyweds, letters from this couples child to her parents, and ultimately letters telling of the death of her father.....3 generations of a family, distilled to pages of writing.
will we have such historical treasures to leave future generations? letters carry more than words in them.
i feel like quilts are alive. they reflect all the little joys that make life special. they emanate love and warmth. the quilts i make blend a grandmother's ideals with a fresh youthful flair. there is a nostalgia for seasons past combined with hopefulness for a bright full future. you can find me online at www.chasinglightningbugs.com