I adore working with vintage fabrics , maybe mostly for the stories they tell. New fabrics come ready for their story to start; vintage fabrics come with chapters of life already written. Working with vintage bedspreads piqued my curiosity for the stories they could tell of days gone by. As I dove into learning more about candlewick and its history in this country, here is what I found:
It is the pioneering spirit that feeds creativity. It is the looking to see what it is that you already have that you can use to create what you need.
Candlewick embroidery design was an example of creativity being fed by the hands of the westward settling pioneers. Packing “frivolous” items for their journey was not an option. Upon arrival, resources were hard (read: pretty much impossible for a long time!) to come by. A quick trip to the store for thread and notions wasn’t an option. Using what was already available, they created an art form that has had lasting effects. specifically, they used the wicking to make candles that lit the dark frontier evenings.
Instead of stitching a solid filled design of satin stitch embroidery, they conserved resources and created their own style of beauty. Outlining their intended design with knots of the candlewicking, a bit of comfort and elegance was embellished into to their practical way of life. The knot they used was even creatively altered from the traditional French knot used in embroidery to the Colonial Knot which further conserved their resources.
As is the case with creative thought, it sends out a ripple effect of more creativity. The candlewick bedspreads that gained a height of popularity in the mid-20th century, though factory made, nod to those humble knots tied to find beauty in what was already at hand. All because someone fed their creative thought: what can I create with what I already have?
What will you use that is already in your hands to leave your mark on the world?
Always be creative,