Who she is Mary Caldwell is a homemaker and mom to four boys.
Where she goes For the past 10 years, a table in a bright corner of Mary’s open-concept home has served as her happy place. Covered in gorgeous fabrics with a view of the nearby forest, the table is where Mary sets her creativity loose by sewing. Though she began as a teen making clothes for herself, today she has become a quilter and an avid fabric artist.
What it’s like When household and volunteer activities are wrapped up and her kids are at school, Mary heads to her table to concentrate on trickier projects, such as an elaborate wall hanging. Surrounded by crystals dangling in her windows and a bulletin board decorated with her works-in-progress, she’ll contemplate the right perspective for a tree or study patterns in the fabric. When the kids are home, her space provides another bonus: she can do her thing but still hang out with them. “I can be here, working on my stuff, and still be part of everything else that’s going on,” she says. “I know what my children are doing. I know where they are and what they’re talking about. I can keep a very straight face and not hear a thing.” And on days that she’s too busy to sew? “I can at least get over to my table to look at the fabric or touch it,” she says. “This is a very tactile activity.”
Why it’s worth the trip “The rest of my life is repetitive–there’s the laundry, the floors, the meals, the dishes and, as soon as I’m done, I start all over again,” says Mary. Factor in the cycle of volunteer activities and the orderly rhythm of her weeks continues. Sewing puts her in touch with a part of herself that she can’t get at through her daily routine. “To get away from that and have some sort of personality of my own, I’ve got to do something creative,” she says.