by: Sylvia Gonzalez ~
We often weave ourselves through many faucets in a day. We weave ourselves through traffic- switching lanes. Sometimes we weave ourselves so tightly around our day that we’re unsure where we began, we cannot trace back the stitches.
Cindy Brammer helps bring people back to a place of comfort. She views quilts as something more than what we wrap ourselves up in on a cold day. Whether you are the maker or the receiver of a quilt; they are instruments of healing.
Cindy has worked with victims of strokes as a part of their recovery. The opposite of destruction is creation. A stroke is a war on the body that leaves its mark in pieces. The effects can vary, some have difficulty with fine motor skills. Cindy recommends those who suffer from this impairment not only take up quilting, but use a manual cutter in place of a rotary cutter while doing so. The manual cutter requires the use of both hands to feed the fabric through, this allows for one to experience a constant back and forth motion when creating a quilt. Whether or not you are familiar with the study of Reiki, Ayurveda, or Chinese medicine- all have one common factor in the prevention and aide of treating disease; keeping the energies of the body balanced. Stuck energy creates stagnation in the body, healing movement does not need to be a grand gesture; it can be small. Remember that love is a moving thing; it should never be still. After our body has fought a war, we have to pick up the pieces. In that moment, our bodies need love more than ever.
Cindy not only offers this information for those who want to work with their machines at home, but she has also made home visits to aide in the process and guide one through quilting. Cindy described one woman who could not open her hands more than a fist after a stroke. Cindy worked with this woman in her house helping her cut fabric. She explained that quilting has cognitive benefits as well due to the math it takes to create each square of fabric. A quilt needs to be put together with the same time, dedication, and patience as it would take to finish a puzzle. Therefore, she has witnessed physical and mental benefits to quilting.
There are other areas in life in which someone may need help stitching the pieces together. Cindy has also made t-shirt quilts for the families of loved ones who have passed. She can print pictures on the fabric of these loved ones as well. There is something extremely beautiful to taking something so simple as a t-shirt that gathered its own memories in the stitches every day- the time they spilled ketchup on it while eating that over-sized burger, or the time you laid your head against their shirt and it collected your tears. Quilts are another form of a hug. In life, we cannot take hugs for granted, in that moment- that person is safe in your arms. How special is that?
Quilts can also be a collection of memories in an important time in one’s life. Cindy has stitched together college and high school memorabilia, pieces for veterans, as well quilts for children in hospitals and situations of neglect.
There is a quote by writer Augusten Burroughs that says,
“I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.”
We are given a myriad of flaws, of moments of light and darkness, of hurt and joy. Our job is not to know the answer to all; it is to take all the material that we are given and create something beautiful. The grand quilt of your body is already adorned with softness, moments, and love. Wrap up in its warmth on days where you cannot find the sun or a cozy fireplace.