Silver Threads




I was about to put a slice of tomato into my tuna sandwich when I spotted it. There, clinging to the surface of the tomato, was a blue thread. "What's this?" I asked my Darling Wife as I plucked the thread free and held it up for her to see.

She reached over for the thread and looked at it closely. "Kona cotton," she said. "Blue. From the half yard I was cutting."

"It's a piece of thread unraveled from a piece of fabric," I said. "Why was it attached to my slice of tomato?" I asked. How she could identify it as Kona cotton, I would never understand.

"Sometimes that happens," she said.

"I could have swallowed that, and when ER doctors X-rayed me, they would have said I had a threadworm," I protested.

"It wouldn't kill you," she said, and she put the piece of thread down on the side of her plate and continued eating her own sandwich.

"One wouldn't kill me," I said, "but there's never just one, is there?"

"Finish making your sandwich, Dear," she said.

I added cheese to my sandwich, but I was careful. Too many strange things had been happening in our house the past few months. As Halloween was approaching I began to wonder if we didn't have our own spirits circulating throughout our house. Quilting spirits and quilting goblins, no doubt.

"What about the trail of three-and-a-quarter-inch triangles I found going from the hall to the bathroom last week?" I asked.

"They were for the paper-pieced sailboat," she said. "I wondered where they had gone."

"Probably looking for a large body of water," I said.

"Sometimes a piece gets lost," she said.

"What about the square I found under the blanket when I rolled over in bed yesterday morning?"

"Mary's Flower Garden," she answered quickly before her next bite of sandwich. "I was looking for that."

"And last Sunday when I went to clean off the counter and almost used the nine-patch square that was wrapped around the paper towels by the sink?"

"I don't remember that," she said innocently.

"Then how about the strip of marbled red fabric in the TV Guide?"

"That was so I could find Thursday's listing for "Simply Quilts."

"And the morning I found my white T-shirts were pink and my shorts stuffed with fat-quarters?"

"I forgot your underclothes were in there when I pre-washed the fat quarters. That one piece of batik ran a little red." She looked up at me. "Anything else?"

"Since you're asking, yes. Why was there a paper-piecing pattern for the perfume bottle in the refrigerator?" I had found it by the milk.

"I was putting back the milk," she said. "I must have left the pattern there by mistake. Thanks for finding it for me."

"That's it? A mistake? Thanks for finding it?"

"I was looking all over for it."

"Were you also looking all over for the rotary cutter?" I had found that in the medicine cabinet when I discovered my razor was missing three days before.

"You know where that is? I've been looking for that for days."

"I tried to trim my beard with it but it didn't work," I said. I finished making my sandwich and took a small bite, my tongue alert for thread.

"I hope you didn't ruin the blade," she said.

"Talking about blades," I said, remembering all too well how my backside was almost pierced by the tip of her seam ripper when I accidentally sat down on it. "I put your seam ripper back in your sewing room." I wouldn't ask her how it got into the living room. I was only glad that it hadn't been the new stiletto she bought for her appliqués.

"I made that star square and attached one of the pieces backwards. Do you know how hard it is to rip out those tight stitches?"

"I know how hard it is to dig down into the shower drain to clean out the clog from all the fibers and thread and lint stuck down there after your shower last Tuesday."

"I worked on three projects that day. I'm a quilter. Quilters sometimes get a thread stuck on their clothes or in their hair. Do you want to hear about the grass clippings and pine needles and leaves your feet dragged in after you raked the front lawn?"

"There was only one leaf, one pine needle, one blade of grass," I said in my defense. "You drag threads and bits of fabric and pieces of your projects all through this house. Do you remember the piece of interfacing you just 'accidentally' ironed onto my pants?"


"What's with this 'Hah!'?"

"That was my last piece of interfacing. I'm all out and I need to buy some more."

"I'll go get my pants...."

"And a yard of....

"I'll stop if you stop," I said.

"All right, but I do have to go to the quilt shop."

"Looking like that?" I asked as I looked at her.

"Looking like what?"

"Your hair is full of thread," I said.

"Thread?" She ran her hand through her hair.

"Lots of thread," I said.

"What color?" she asked. I reached for one of the threads and handed it to her. "Metallic silver," she said. "I'm learning how to use metallic thread."

"It's in your hair," I said.

"How's it look?" she asked.

"Better there than it would look on a slice of tomato."

"Better there than it would look stuffed down your throat?" she asked as she used her fingers to comb more thread out of her hair.

"Looks good," I said. "Yep, looks very good," I agreed. Well, she is my Darling Wife and I have many sandwiches left to eat before I sleep. Thread-free sandwiches, I hope.

Copyright 1998 by A.B. Silver

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