Thread is a simple thing found in every home. As a material, it evokes memories of handwork done by our grandmothers, binding the past with the present, speaking across generations. As a means of expression, it creates images, direct and graphic, that connect with the past and makes us ponder the future. My grandmother, Jenny, taught me to love needle and thread. She did this by buying me, for my sixth birthday, a stamped cross-stitch pattern that was a copy of an early American sampler whose letters spelled out “The way to a friend’s house is never long.” When finished, this piece hung in my mother’s house until she died.
I have used needle and thread to explore the idea of time as a measure of one’s life. How does the past affect the present and change the future? How will the future reflect our present actions and give new meaning to our past?
Image credit: All images courtesy of Marjorie Forte.