Crossing the finish line

November 23, 2019

This calico clucker has been roosting in my sewing box for 40 years.
       When I began the project I was living in Toledo, a stay-at-home mom caring for my toddler son. Sewing projects were my creative outlet. Remember those crocheted dolls that used to disguise a spare roll of paper on the back of the toilet? Well this homespun hen is from the same genre: kitchy coverings with a useful purpose. This quilted fabric chicken is designed to perch atop the bread basket to keep fresh-from-the-oven biscuits and buns nice and warm. To get a bun, just lift a wing and reach into the basket.
        Unfortunately, over the years I have started many more projects than I finished. This crumpled hen, lacking only a few finishing touches,  was under a stack of fabric scraps with several other unfinished embroidery and needlepoint. I’m embarrassed to admit I have hauled that box of sewing stuff to six homes in four states, through my divorce and journalism career and into 10 years of retirement.
        Last summer I opened the box searching for a piece of fabric. I realized, reluctantly, that I should pitch all those unfinished projects. But I just couldn’t. Each piece I picked up rekindled that spark of interest that had inspired me in the first place.
     The de-clutter edict says to get rid of anything that doesn’t give you joy. To my surprise, since opening that box I have found enormous joy remembering simpler times, solving the conundrums that caused the projects to be set aside, and completing pieces that joyfully add to the clutter of my couch and kitchen.