Not every embroidery project you make qualifies as an heirloom. So when do you decide to add that title? I think that’s a very personal decision. I use that term when I’m sure it’s something I want pass down to the next generation. I want it to be something that will stand the test of time. I mean, will chevron pockets really be appreciated by the next generation? I don’t think so.
Will subway art designs be cherished by family members in the next century? I’m not so sure.
So what is an heirloom? The dictionary definition is a valuable object that has belonged to a family for several generations. Break the definition down and you’ll notice three key words: valuable, family and generations. Valuable is relative – there is no dollar sign involved. Value can increase because of scarcity and age. Family of course, means it remains in the hands one family. Generations speaks to age – the passing of time.
Heirloom status is not really determined by today’s generation. It’s determined by the next generation and the next and so on. Even though we may want our creation to be an heirloom, it may not pass muster with the next generation. We can pour our heart and soul into making an embroidered project but unless the recipient holds onto it, it’s not an heirloom.
When you are pouring your heart and soul into a project, enjoy the process. The process may be the only return you get. It’s the selecting of materials, the planning, the execution and the finishing that makes it an heirloom in my mind. The creation process is a loving act – it’s prayful. It’s time to reflect on the recipient, the occasion and the family members who will be in attendance when it is shared. That’s the heirloom moment for me.
What about you? When you’re creating, it is an heirloom moment or do hope it’s an heirloom object?
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