Tiny Stitches

In 1982, Gail’s daughter, Cynthia Ross wrote this poem. She posted it to the Our Echo site which is now offline (hopefully it will return soon).

Gail Lee Martin admiring a vintage crazy quilt.

Tiny Stitches 

My life is patterned
On a crazy quilt
Fabric pieces of my past

Moods pivoting around in
Yellow and red
Mixed with a somber brown

Pulling that crazy quilt
Around my shoulders
Drawing comfort from within

With my hand I will follow
The tiny stitches
Along a textured course

Some stitches are wider
Ones I did as a child
Others more even and precise

Now with age my hand trembles
Cataracts cover my eyes
Leaving me searching for the needle

I’m taking a journey 
Along a fabric trail
One stitch at a time

A small group of ladies in Andover, Kansas get together the first Tuesday of the month to make prayer quilts to be give away to those in need. After nearly 25 years together the bond of friendship we’ve made while quilting has helped each of us through the tough times in our own lives. We are doubly blessed as we visit, share private matters or health concerns, while pulling needles through fabric. Over time our lives have become woven together, friends forever. 

Building friendships while making quilts.

I saved the comments from other writers on Our Echo. Some of the writers are no longer with us.

  • What a lovely poem – excellent job. – Kathy Baker
  • So very nice, Cindy. An apt analogy of the quilting and your life. Women are so fortunate to belong to groups such as the one you mentioned. We build solid friendships in these groups, and they become our support groups when needed. We only need to remember to lean on them at the right times. You’ve been in my thoughts a lot lately. – Nancy Koop
  • My memories are drawn to the quilters I’ve know in our family. Grandma Viola Matilda (Tower) McGhee; Mother, Ruth (Vining) McGhee; my sister, Melba and her mother-in-law; Clyde’s Grandma, Marie (Kennedy) Joy; Clyde’s mother, Cora Myrle (Joy) Martin; Clyde’s sisters, Vivian Stafford and Dorothy Jones. Also Vivian’s daughter, Lorna who had the quilting machine shop. You are following the footsteps of your heritage. – Virginia Allain
  • Cindy, a really meaningful poem that could apply to many of our lives. Congratulations on being able to apply yourself to poetry with all the stress going on in your life right now. I hope to see more soon. – Sabina Benjamin Thomas
  • Such a beautiful poem! Reminded me of a song called ‘Tapestry’ by Carol King. “A wondrous woven magic of bits of blue and gold ” but the beauty of quilting is you can hold it in your hand and share it with others. Thanks for sharing. – Sabina
  • Reply: Thank you for your compliment in comparing it to a song. Many poems & not just my own–I put to song. I find it important to read a poem out loud to hear the sounds, not just see the words. – Cindy Ross
  • I really enjoyed reading your poem. I like the connection to quilting and growing through life. – K.D.
  • This beautifully written poem brought back precious memories of my mother. Strange how a tiny snippet of fabric has the power to instantly take us back in time. – BJ Roan
  • Beautiful poem. I liked the “crazy quilt” analogy very much. – Karen Kolavalli
  • One of our family quilters passed away May the 25th, Vivian Ruth Stafford my husband’s older sister but we know she will soon be finding quilting friends in heaven. As ever, Gail