One of the stories shared on our CoatsandClark200years website was a beautiful poem titled “Quilted Memories. We asked the author Kelline Collet to share a little more about the poem with us and here is her story:
“Quilted Memories” was written about 20 years ago for a college poetry class and has spent all these years in a notebook. The assignment was to write a poem about what made us who we are. Any girl blessed to learn sewing from her mother and grandmother also learns about life. Through “women’s talk” young girls are inducted into womanhood. I am blessed to have learned sewing from two past generations as well as aunts and family friends. I have written poetry since the age of 12, but I’ve never published anything outside of a college class anthology. I have always been too busy with family, work, quilting, and teaching quilting to send anything in for publication. “
We are so very glad that we could be the first to expose Kelline’s poem with the world!
Dyed in blue and toast burnt brown
Wait patiently for tiny stitches
To blend and draw them together
In a pieced design that is exclusively mine.
In the quiet space of this old house
I can stitch far into the night
And like the weaving of the threads
Fragmented images flex and surge:
In and out the needle jumps
With entwining threads that weave
Like memories through a life time…
Grandma and Mother taught me to piece
from an old bag of scraps.
Up and down the needle sews
To the soft treadle hum…
Grandma used to rock and hum as she tied her quilts
in the soft glow of lamp light.
Over and under the thread locks
Tying us to the past, sustaining us in the present…
When Mother lost the baby, Grandma said
piecing in peace would mend a broken heart.
Back and forth the shuttle swings
Like the pendulum on a clock…
This time there is only Mother and I
to stitch, and tie, and rock.
Loop and twirl the spool spins bare
The past is the present and the cycle repeats
With that slender thread
That loops and glides
Slipping me one day at a time into the future
Where some call me Mother
And others with smaller hands and childish voices ask,
“Grandma, can I tie a memory quilt?”