Written by Karianne Tremain of New Hamburg, ON

Throughout the generations my family has passed down skills and traditions in quilting and knitting. My mother and grandmother (Nana) have been the most influential people in my life. Thanks to their influence, lessons and encouragement, ever since I was little the passion for design has become my strength. Out of all of the different things in this world, I hold most dear the ability to create.

I remember when I was very young I was often helping out with different projects around the house. I wondered what my mom and Nana were doing and felt a great desire to participate in what they were creating. To keep me from being a nuisance, they started to teach me many different knitting and quilting techniques. I started learning by helping organize the quilt pieces, trying to knit a stitch, and at time cutting the fabric. They never became agry or hollered at me even when I messed up. It was through their God-giving patience that they tried to correct me assisting me in learning how to sew or knit properly.

Throughout the years, my Nana has shown me how much compassion and experience she has. If something goes wrong or I make a mistake she is able to correct it. She has always enabled me to create, helping me buy my projects and showing me the best way to work. When she heard I was buying my own sewing machine she helped me pick out the right brand and level. Growing up she never pushed me to learn or create anything, but when I showed interest in a project she encouraged me to create.

quilts2I remember when I was little every year I went to my Nana’s for the summer. I absolutely loved going to the knitting store with her. It was at this store that many would gather, sitting around a table knitting. My Nana would allow me to do what I wanted, from reading to practising how to knit. The knitters that attended were very encouraging, guiding me when I was struggling with a new stitch or technique. Over the years many have become great friends, continuing to support me even to this day.

My mother has encouraged me all my life and has shown me you can accomplish anything if you put your heart, mind and time into it. I have watched my mom work full time and get a Bachelors of Science in Nursing and a Masters of Leadership, all while raising my brother and I. My father has supported my mom during this time, has providing for the family and encouraged us all to follow our dreams. He inspires me to always work hard at everything I do in life.

This past summer my mom and I created a quilt together called Fancy Forest. It was an amazing adventure to be able to work together with her and create. Being more at the same level as her was an experience in itself. She is an amazing woman and I am blessed to call her my mother.

Like quilting or knitting, our situation, people and actions influence our lives. At first glance all the parts may not look like they work together – the good and the bad- but in the end a beautiful piece is created.

God has taught me that in order to create what the designer intended, the raw material must be broken down and then rebuilt piece-by-piece and stitch-by-stitch.

This is how I look at the experiences that I have had in my life. God is taking me, and step by step reshaping me to be a woman of strong faith. He states this in Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”