A Gift with a Story, and Some Lessons

HoboFront Designed and hooked by Libby Armstrong. Framing by 100 Aker Wood, Norway, Maine.

This was given to me by Maine hooker and Tuesday group member Libby Armstrong yesterday. It's a cherished gift with a funny but informative story.

One of the services I provide free of charge to anyone who walks in to this studio is serging the edges off of finished pieces, or just serging unserged patterns anyone might have from another source. Libby asked me to serge two of these lovely hobo sign pieces she had completed, both on the same piece of linen. I have done this probably more than 100 times. Way more than 100 likely. I had never messed it up...until that morning.

With my mind not focused appropriately, I serged this one from the wrong side and cut so close to the loops we had to do emergency glue therapy to stop it from coming apart. Additionally, binding it in any traditional way was now off the table. I.felt.horrible and immediately called Libby's attention to what I had done and apologized all over the place. Had I done this to my own piece, I'd have been annoyed but laughed it off. To do this to the work of a friend and customer was unforgivable, at least to myself. But Libby did not react that way at all. She laughed, and was gracious, and wonderful, and immediately forgiving. And a few weeks later, here I am with this gift.

Every time I look at this I will remember several things:

  • Never serge with your mind elsewhere (the old measure twice, cut once thing).
  • Forgiveness of others is essential and often difficult. Accepting forgiveness for yourself can feel even more difficult, but is just as essential.
  • Good and loving family and friends are the real gold of our lives.
  • Our craft community never stops giving. It just never stops.
  • When the world seems like one big cluster of negativity, look no further than your own circle for faith in humanity.

So, thank you, Libby. I will cherish this wonderful little kitty for the rest of my life and cherish your friendship and generosity when you had all the right in the world to act very differently. Your gift is not only this piece of art; your gift is the way you chose to respond to my mistake and the example it sets for all of us.

Happy faith in humanity and happy hooking. - Beth

P.S. For more information on hobo signs from the Great Depression era, click HERE.


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