The Quote Garden
 “I dig old books.”
 Est. 1998




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Quotations about Needlework



I keep my end tables full of needlework and quilting so I don't have to dust them. ~Author unknown


Plain Sewing and Cooking are so old-fashioned that they are fast becoming new Fads. ~Minna Thomas Antrim (1861–1950), Don'ts for Bachelors and Old Maids, 1908


WANTED: A needle swift enough
To sew this poem into a blanket.
~Charles Simic, 1969


All my scattering moments, are taken up, with my needle—
~Ellen Birdseye Wheaton, diary, 1851


The girl who sits in the porchway low
Sings to her needle as to and fro
It weaves the seam with its glittering glow,
Close in the garment she holds to sew.
            Sing to the seam;
            Sing it your dream;
            Lodge in each stitch
            Part of its gleam...

A song's good company while you sew;
It helps the needle to onward go
And trace its work in a dainty row
As the tossed threads shorter grow.
Tune and labor, together aglow,
The richest blessings of time bestow.
            Sing to the seam;
            Sing it your dream;
            Lodge in each stitch
            Part of its gleam.

~Sara L. Vickers Oberholtzer, "Sing to the Seam," Come for Arbutus, and Other Wild Bloom, 1882  [a little altered —tg]


Sewing mends the soul. ~Author unknown


As ye sew, so shall ye rip. ~Author unknown


I am a soul in process. I am life in the making. I am a weaver with shuttle and thread, and back in my loom the design begins to show. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912


A quilt will warm your body and comfort your soul. ~Author unknown


Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to weave. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1963


Needle, needle, dip and dart,
Thrusting up and down,
Where's the man could ease a heart
Like a satin gown?
See the stitches curve and crawl
Round the cunning seams—
Patterns thin and sweet and small
As a lady's dreams.
~Dorothy Parker


When I learned to sew, I forgot how to cook. ~Author unknown


When life throws you scraps, make a quilt. ~Author unknown


Advice for a new knitter: When choosing a pattern, look for ones that have words such as "simple," "basic," and "easy." If you see the words "intriguing," challenging," or "intricate," look elsewhere. If you happen across a pattern that says "heirloom," slowly put down the pattern and back away. "Heirloom" is knitting code for "This pattern is so difficult that you would consider death a relief." ~Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much, 2005


Stitch your stress away. ~Author unknown


Methinks it is a token of healthy and gentle characteristics, when women of high thoughts and accomplishments love to sew; especially as they are never more at home with their own hearts than while so occupied. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne, "Miriam's Studio," The Marble Faun, or, The Romance of Monte Beni, 1859


...women — be they of what earthly rank they may, however gifted with intellect or genius, or endowed with awful beauty — have always some little handiwork ready to fill the tiny gap of every vacant moment. A need is familiar to the fingers... The slender thread of silk or cotton keeps them united with the small, familiar, gentle interests of life... ~Nathaniel Hawthorne, "Miriam's Studio," The Marble Faun, or, The Romance of Monte Beni, 1859


Weave in faith and God will find the thread. ~Proverb


She watched and taught the girls that sang at their embroidery frames while the great silk flowers grew from their needles. ~Louise Jordan Miln, The Feast of Lanterns, 1920


I found a quantity of sewing waiting with open arms to embrace me, or rather for me to embrace it, and I could hardly give myself up to "Nature's sweet restorer," for the ghosts of out-of-order garments crying for vengeance upon my defenceless head. ~Emily Dickinson, 1846


May your bobbin always be full! ~Author unknown


She can sew...
She can knit...
She is proud...
~William Shakespeare, Two Gentlemen of Verona, c.1594  [III, 1, Speed]


Most of the time occupied in sewing. It seems as if there was no end of that branch of work in this house. ~Ellen Birdseye Wheaton, diary, 1851


Give me that life that is seamed and riven with living. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912


If I could patch a coverlet
From pieces of the Spring,
What dreams a happy child would have
Beneath so fair a thing!
A centre of the dear blue sky,
A bordering of green,
With patches of the yellow sun
All chequered in between.
Bright ribbons of the silky grass
Laced prettily across,
With satin of new little leaves,
And velvet of the moss.
In every corner, violets,
Half-hidden from the view,
With many-flowered squares betwixt,
Of pinky tints and blue..
Embroideries of little vines,
And spider-webs of lace...
With gold-thread I would sew the seams,
And needles of the pine;
Oh, never child in all the world
Would have a quilt like mine!
~Abbie Farwell Brown, "Spring Patchwork," 1901


Take your needle, my child, and work at your pattern, — it will come out a rose by and by. Life is like that, Myrtle, one stitch at a time, taken patiently, and the pattern will come out all right like the embroidery. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, The Guardian Angel, 1867  [Byles Gridley —tg]


Hem your blessings with thankfulness so they don't unravel. ~Author unknown


I'd rather be stitchin'
than in the kitchen!
~Author unknown


Jane Austen was successful in everything that she attempted with her fingers... spilikins... cup and ball... handwriting... Her needlework both plain and ornamental was excellent, and might almost have put a sewing machine to shame. She was considered especially great in satin stitch. She spent much time in these occupations, and some of her merriest talk was over clothes which she and her companions were making, sometimes for themselves, and sometimes for the poor.... the same hand which painted so exquisitely with the pen could work as delicately with the needle. ~J. E. Austen Leigh, A Memoir of Jane Austen, By Her Nephew, 1870


A knitter only appears to be knitting yarn. Also being knitted are winks, mischief, sighs, fragrant possibilities, wild dreams. ~Dr. SunWolf, professorsunwolf.com


Shall I stitch and stitch that my flesh may be covered, and leave no time for the weaving of fabric for my shivering spirit? ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: XVIII," A Soul's Faring, 1921


I'm itchin' to be stitchin'! ~Author unknown


Sewing forever, housework whenever. ~Author unknown


...the innocent sleep,
Sleep that knits up the ravell'd sleeve of care,
The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course,
Chief nourisher in life's feast,—
~William Shakespeare, Macbeth, c.1605  [II, 2, Macbeth]


Sleep knits up the raveled sleeve of care, but it doesn't sew on buttons. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor


Many a bachelor could be lured into society if someone would start sewing-on button parties. ~Mary Wilson Little, Reveries of a Paragrapher, 1897


I cannot count my day complete
'Til needle, thread and fabric meet.
~Author unknown


Don't needle the seamstress. ~Author unknown


Quilters never grow old, they just go to pieces. ~Author unknown


I couldn't sew on a day like this. There's something in the air that gets into my blood and makes a sort of glory in my soul. My finger would twitch and I'd sew a crooked seam. So it's ho for the park and the pines. ~L. M. Montgomery, Anne of the Island, 1915


A family is a patchwork of love. ~Author unknown


Sewing is cheaper than a psychiatrist. ~Author unknown


Every day a thread makes a skein in the year. ~Dutch Proverb


Out of life's tangled skein
      Draw here and there a thread;
      And one is black with pain,
      And one with grief is red,
      To show a heart hath bled.
And one is white as youth;
      It marks its perfect time,
      When life, untouched of ruth,
      Mounted toward Summer prime,
      Through love, romance, and rhyme.
Beside Love's glowing threads,
      Here one is cool and gray,
      Where passionate morning weds
      A neutral-tinted day,
      And Peace comes down to stay.
Imperial purple weaves signs,
      Hints of loftier bliss bespread,
      Memories in royal ray tread
      With pallid and paling lines
      Of youth forever fled...
Yet, touching them, they glow,—
      Again the young, warm thrill,
      The tones all sweet and low,
      The hushed heart waiting still,
      As eyes with love o'erfill...
We seat us down some day;
      And from life's tangled skein,
      That Memory holds alway,
      We smooth out lines of pain,
      And love-threads hold pure gain.
O myriad-tinted threads!
      We gather you all at last;
      You mark our whitening heads,
      You bind us to our past,
      And we hold you close and fast.
~Mary Clemmer (1831–1884), "Life-Threads," 1882  [a little altered —tg]


Love is the thread that binds us. ~Author unknown


I mean, that my heart unto yours is knit
So that but one heart we can make of it...
~William Shakespeare, Midsummer Night's Dream, c.1595  [II, 2, Lysander]


To make you brothers, and to knit your hearts... ~William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra, c.1606  [II, 2, Agrippa]


Our lives are like quilts — bits and pieces, joy and sorrow, stitched with love. ~Author unknown


Those who sleep under a quilt, sleep under a blanket of love. ~Author unknown


But no matter what's said, there's something like a line of gold thread running through a man's words when he talks to his daughter, and gradually over the years it gets to be long enough for you to pick up in your hands and weave into a cloth that feels like love itself. ~John Gregory Brown, Decorations in a Ruined Cemetery, 1994


Grandma-quilts have love in every stitch. ~Author unknown


My granddaughter came to spend a few weeks with me, and I decided to teach her to sew. After I had gone through a lengthy explanation of how to thread the machine, she stepped back, put her hands on her hips, and said in disbelief, "You mean you can do all that, but you can't play my Game Boy?" ~Author unknown


Angels mend our patchwork hearts with threads of love. ~Terri Guillemets


A bed without a quilt is like a sky without stars. ~Author unknown


Threads do not break for being fine, but for being gouty and ill-spun. ~Portuguese proverb


The priest was on a roll: "Each person you meet is worthy of your compassion!" he prayed loudly. "Sheep, too," the knitter mentally added. ~Dr. SunWolf, professorsunwolf.com


Buttons and patches and the cold wind blowing,
The days pass quickly when I am sewing.
~Author unknown


If the knitter is weary the baby will have no new bonnet. ~Irish proverb


In Seattle you haven't had enough coffee until you can thread a sewing machine while it's running. ~Jeff Bezos


Golden threads of imagination will always be found woven into the fabric of a human life, and it affords one of the sweetest pastimes to old age to sit down and slowly unravel them, recalling the hours when first they were spun. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882


Yesterday's weaving is as irrevocable as yesterday. I may not draw out the threads, but I may change my shuttle. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912


If I stitch fast enough, does it count as aerobic exercise? ~Author unknown


Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years. ~Simone Signoret, 1978, as quoted in Jilly Cooper and Tom Hartman, Violets and Vinegar, 1980





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