Mary L.

My memories associated with cloth are bountiful.  My grandmother taught my mom to sew and she passed on her skills to me at a very young age starting with how to thread a needle.

One of my earliest memories is my First Communion dress the mom created and I still have tucked away in a box.  The dress is white cotton and organza with a full "twirly" skirt meant to have several lacy petticoats underneath.  It has puffy little sleeves, a scalloped hem line and long wide ties that mom starched heavily so they would form a lovely huge bow in the back. With the fabric scraps, mom designed a small draw string bag as an accessory.  In it I carried my prayer book, rosary, cloth hanky, and a dime for the collection basket.  I remember the care my mom took in making sure my hair was set in pin curls the night before First Communion.  The long veil and wreath of flowers would sit upon my head full of delicate curls.  I wore the dress every chance I got which was usually just church on Sundays.  Autumn and cooler temps came too soon and I had to give the dress up for warmer clothes.  Fortunately ,my mom had sewn a hidden tuck in the skirt and was let out in the spring.  I was so grateful to have a second summer with my precious princess dress.

There were few pictured in those years and most are faded, bent or cut.  Here are two pics that I have of the dress and me.  The one is on First Communion Day.  I am on the left.  The other is family photo of the eight of us...there was one more to come.  I sit on top and have my brother pushed way to the side so I could have the dress spread out properly.  I, also , noticed that my hair is in casual mode.  I am guessing that a group picture was going to be taken and I ran inside to put on the dress....princesses do that :)

I wanted to respond to Jane's reference to runners high in the video.  I love the comparison to the creative practice.  As a runner,  I often have people tell me they started trying to run regularly but are always out of breathe and can't keep going.   I tell them ... most runners experience it at first and that I don't get in a comfortable rhythm till several miles in but then everything just flows ( well most of the time).  I find the same thing with creative projects.. often walking into the studio and picking up my work is the hardest part.  One of my favorite running quotes is by Priscilla Welch. "If you want to became the best runner you can be, start now.  Don't spend the rest of your life wondering if you can do it."  I replace the word runner with lots of other goals often.