Thursday, October 25, 2007

Spiders and quilts

Spiders are especially popular during this Halloween season. From candle holders to quilts and everything inbetween. Check out this site for spider inspired table settings and towels.

My grandmother's crazy memory quilt includes a spider web embroidered on it. Apparently spider webs are a common motif for crazy quilts. I'm not sure why. Maybe because spiders are such creative artists? Emily Dickinson recognized their merit.

"THE SPIDER as an artist
Has never been employed
Though his surpassing merit
Is freely certified

By every broom and Bridget
Throughout a Christian land.
Neglected son of genius,

I take thee by the hand."

~ Emily Dickinson

Or maybe spider webs have something to do with memories and old, or nature, or the fragile aspects of beauty? Or maybe those women were just into creepy crawly stuff? I would bet they mean good luck. After all spider webs have healing properties, can staunch blood flow and aren't bacteria laden so they don't cause infections when used with open wounds. They are ingeniously made....

Well, the spider quilt continues to be a favorite and the web has several examples from a child's doll quilt with the "Itsy Bitsy Spider" poem and embroidery, to a full-sized quilt for a son complete with embroidered spiders. A spider legs pattern looks inviting, too. HGTV offers a Halloween version of a spider pillow if you're looking for a holiday themed project.

The spider's den quilt block brings together my favorite nine patch and triangles for a fun project that isn't too challenging for a beginner like me. There's a great site online, "How to Quilt" that is a great help to beginner quilters.

If you have the chance to see spiders in their natural habitat, take time to appreciate their artistic abilities and forget creepy crawly.

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