This second tapestry cushion I worked for my daughter's school chapel was dedicated to my eldest son. I chose this design because it contains most of the letters of his name. And if you squint a bit and join the first "i" on to the next symbol, you can imagine an "m", thus it has all the letters of his name. Well, it may seem like a strange thing to think but it occurred to me the first time I saw the design, and it was just one of the idle thoughts that kept flickering through my brain throughout the hours I spent stitching it. I spent some time meditating on his name and why we had chosen it; being our first child we spent hours discussing names and drawing up lists, rejecting ones that resulted in funny initials and ones with dubious meanings, honing it down to the perfect name.
It's often funny, the kinds of things that occupy your mind during a long and drawn-out project, like these cushions were for me. Sometimes you are just thinking about the mundane nuts and bolts of your life, like bills that are due, what you need to buy next time you go to the supermarket, a meeting you have coming up and what you should keep in mind to say... Other times you find yourself musing on the big questions in life, or the lives of those close to you. Once I helped finish a quilt for a friend who was too ill to finish it herself, and she passed away shortly after it was finished. As I was working on it I found myself meditating on her and her life, and thinking about her circumstances a lot. It was a very sad time; I'm the sort who usually pushes away grief and painful thoughts, and working on my friend's quilt was an enforced period of time for me to reflect as I knew she didn't have long. She died too young, and it was an introduction to the sad time when we begin to lose our peers, friends in our own generation.