Tuesday, April 25, 2006

An Unfinished Object

Sorrowful news: last week DH's father passed away peacefully after a difficult illness. One of his few requests was to have an unfinished needlepoint chair cushion placed in his casket. DH's mother had been working on it when she died some years ago and of course I had saved the UFO.

Unfinished needlepoint chair cushion

So far as I can tell, MIL had no pattern, but was reproducing freehand a design she had seen somewhere. She stitched the flowers first, then the background, all in half cross stitch, using heavy tapestry wool on a double needlepoint canvas more usually used for petit point. The resulting fabric is sturdy, heavy, and only slightly biased. The stitched area tapers slightly from the top (the back of the chair seat) to the bottom (the front of the seat).

FIL's request surprised and moved me. He was never a sentimental person. He discarded the chair; had the cushion been completed, I imagine it would have been discarded too. I got to keep it only because it was unfinished. Interesting he thought of it at the end of his life.

Sometimes it seems there are more UFOs buzzing roundabout Exit 151 than around Area 51. It can be a nuisance. But quite unexpectedly one of them has provided an opportunity for generosity and reconciliation beyond words, at the time when love and necessity meet in silence.

9 comments:

writinglady said...

What a neat story!

--Melissa (a sock sister)

--Deb said...

I'm so sorry to hear this, but yes, it IS a sweet story!

Petra said...

So, so sorry to hear about your family's loss. What a beautiful needlepoint and sentiment.

Debi said...

What a touching story, thank you for sharing it. So sad for your loss.

Melanie said...

My condolences on your Father in Law. I have some needlepoint chair seats that my late grandmother made and they are the only example of work we have from her that is not purely functional. She sewed many of her clothes but those were worn. These were never used. I plan to have them framed at some point.

Brianne said...

I'm so sorry about the passing of your Father in Law. I'll be keeping you and your DH in my thoughts and prayers.

Maureen said...

So sorry for your family's loss. How touching that your father-in-law would make the request to have the needlepoint buried with him.

KnitNana said...

You and DH are in my thoughts and prayers. The needlepoint story is lovely, and bears witness to the love your FIL had for your MIL.
(((hugs)))

Will Pillage For Yarn said...

How lovely that he remembered that and that you still had it to give to him.

I am so sorry for your loss. *hug*