Monday, April 29, 2013

Warm Love

by Lin Hsin-Chen

Thank you, Misik, for giving us this meaningful challenge. By this challenge, Image from Tradition, I got the chance to take a look at the vanishing culture of Taiwanese Aborigines. Then, as I tried to explore the definition of “tradition”, an image that has existed in my life for 25 years rose before my eyes. I decided to use the image for my quilt and share the story with everyone.

Admittedly, every contemporary culture will become ancient traditional images in another generation. New culture that has been influenced by traditional culture must be recorded. The red sweater that my mom gave me not only gives me warmth but also appeases my negative emotions. The power of it is as beautiful as flowers. The sweater is worn out and now it becomes part of my quilt. I would like to dedicate this quilt to my mom and thanks for her love and support. Happy mothers day and stay healthy to mothers around the world!

Marriage is a tradition itself. It’s also the hardest challenge in my life. My mom was definitely worried and anxious about my new life. She bought me some clothes, so that at least she could make sure that I wouldn’t feel too cold. One of them was a red sweater, which was just like an angel to me, and it “escorted” me through my “hard times”.

In Taiwan, following the tradition is the most basic obligation for a married woman to obey. I was assigned to prepare for traditional ceremonies and 3 meals a day for the entire family of 30 people or more during Chinese New Year (usually for 10 days). During the 10 days, no one else could help me. I had to do all the preparing and cooking by myself. I was pregnant, but it wasn’t an excuse to escape.

I didn’t have any cooking experience at my maiden home, not to mention housekeeping. The traditional value was just like a monster, and it made me wanted to run away. Beside the household chores, I had to try to get along with my husband’s family and adjust myself to the new living environment. All the things just came to me at the same time, and I was extremely struggle with them. I used to cry a lot and feeling helpless like a melancholic.

It was a cold winter, so I wore the red sweater that my mom gave me. Magically, the red sweater not only gave me warmth, but also brought me joy and luck. I started to look at the bright side of life and learned to do those things step by step. The interpersonal relationship was the first problem that I overcame. After that, life seems become easier gradually.

Techniques: hand pieced, hand quilted, yoyo
Materials: sweater, mono printed cotton, commercial cotton, beads, paillette


  1. Wow, cooking for 30 people for 10 days?? I really admire how you were able to handle it all. Doing things step by step is the key I guess. Thank you for sharing some of the difficulties and joys of family life!

  2. Also, (I forgot to mention) your challenge piece is beautiful!

  3. Thank you, Kate! My experience is probably every woman would face and a chance to improve ourselves. This challenge is really a great learning opportunity. Transferring my emotion to quilt is always interesting and brings me different surprise! I’m so glad to be part of Viewpoints 9 and thanks to every challenge!

  4. What a challenging time that must have been. Your piece is beautiful and a wonderful way to preserve something meaningful. I know, even now, I will wear a piece of my ancestor's jewelry when I am going into a stressful situation. Somehow, through it, I feel a sense of security.

    1. Thank you, Martha! We do need the sense of security. After I saw the works from all of us, I found out that creating is like a magician that shows us stunning images! Everyone has done great job! All my best wishes to everyone!