As a faithful reader of Oprah’s magazine, I’m completely aware of all the hype surrounding Ellen DeGeneres’ debut on the cover of this month’s O. I certainly enjoyed the spread on Ellen and the insider interview. But there’s always so much more to O than the cover. As I devoured this issue, I was mildly amused when I turned to page 64 and saw in black and white, the word, SEWING in bold caps followed by a short – but positive – blurb about Heather Ross’ Weekend Sewing (Stewart, Tabori & Chang) along with a cover thumbnail. As my eyes moved down the page, aha, another bold cap caught my eye. This time the word was APPLIQUÈ and it flanked a cover thumbnail of Cath Kidston’s Make (St. Martin’s) along with verbiage touting Kidston’s minimal effort and big results projects. Wow. Being an avid Oprah reader since the inaugural issue, this is the very first time – to my knowledge – that there has ever been a reference/review on anything sewing.
I turned the page. And found a large red button with needle and thread at the bottom of page 66. The charming graphic graced the ever popular sidebar: If you only have…15 minutes. If you only do have 15 minutes, O encourages you to read a chapter of How to Sew a Button: And Other Nifty Things Your Grandmother Knew (Ballantine). Now I’m stunned. Three references to sewing in one issue of O? Maybe the rest of the planet is really waking up to the intriguing craft of sewing. Hmmm….
I move on to page 146 and gaze at the eye candy in the Beauty Gazette section. The colors of the eyeshadows are luscious. And they are shaped like, I can’t believe it, buttons! Ten different colors so luscious you want to buy fabric to match! And they are paired with cable-knit-embossed powder blushes. Uh? And oh yeah, the props they used to style the shot are actual needles, thread, a thimble and fabric-covered button blanks. I think I’m most impressed with the fact that they actually knew where to procure those items! Wow. Beauty and sewing, who knew?
Time for me to move on – head to the airport for yet another Stitching Sisters event. This time to Tampa with our friends at Keep Me In Stitches. I carried my issue of O on the plane so I could finish it before handing it over to my sister, Marie. Settled in my seat, I turn to Connections on page 213, the title: A Stitch In Time. A huge smile spreads across my face. And I sink into Meribah Knight’s memories of her grandmother’s sewing skills. Meribah’s own mother shunned the needle, but Meribah felt a pull, a draw to needle and thread. And much to her mother’s chagrin, enrolled in Home Economics in high school. Her mother thought photography would have been a much more modern and useful elective. But Meribah found her home. She sailed, she flew, she found herself. In college, she stepped away from it – mainly because of a space crunch in her Manhattan college pad. But years later, sewing pulled her out of a deep depression. She wrote, “With the passing of my depression, sewing took an almost sacred role in my life. It quieted my mind and engaged my hands.” I know the feeling. I have explicit memories of a prayer I often voiced during difficult times, “God, give me something to do with my hands.” And oh how those prayers were answered.
What a satisfying issue of O.