It's ever so quietly that I invite you in part 6 to step into the "Birth Room", both on the linen and in life.
As you may have noticed, there are very few symbols in this section: ribbon, wreaths of flowers, keys and hearts.
The ribbon at the top represents a big "welcome" to the person who is stitching the Marquoir. In some ways, it is the entryway to our very existence. It's a symbol that represents gaiety and joy, gentleness and kindness.
Ribbons are something we also often find in childhood: tied around the neck of a teddy bear, on the edge of a crib blanket, tied in a little girl's hair. Whether satin or velvet, ribbons infuse childhood with sweetness. It could be telling us, "Never forget where you came from..."
A bit farther down, on either side, are two keys.
In most old-time samplers, keys stood for power, prosperity, beginnings and discovery. This symbol is also associated with everything that has to do with deep secrets. One can't be close to someone or know their deepest thoughts without having the key to that person's heart!
In this sampler, the key represents the legacy and the "baggage" that we inherit at birth; it should be viewed as a present.
The key on the left is located under the initial of the first name of the person making this sampler. This letter was given to us on the day we were born and allows us, over the years, to open our hearts and souls. It's the key to our lives as time goes by.
The key on the right is located under the initial of your family name. This key is also part of our set. It quickly opens the "doors" to our everyday lives, both the happy and sad moments... It's a key that can open or close doors, depending on your personality.
Sometimes it's possible to misplace this key -- most often, this happens when we are depressed, sad, lost or hurt... It's in these painful moments that the first key takes over our lives and works for both until time allows us to rediscover the key to our everyday existence.
Let's hope that those who might be having a problem with their right-hand key have a safety catch to open those doors...
The hearts that accompany each key symbolize our love of life but also fragility. A key with a heart is often associated with great sensitivity.
The year stitched is usually the year the stitcher was born. It's in tribute to time as it passes by.
The initial in the wreath on the left is the first letter of your first name, the initial on the right is the first letter of your family name.
If you stitch your year of birth, you should stitch the initial corresponding to your maiden name.
All the letters were given to you before so that you could personalize your Marquoirs, except the letter "R", which will appear in another section of the sampler. But for those of you who need it for this section, here's a preview:
The diamonds in the center represent sapphires. It's a precious gem stone that I have always liked and that our ancestors considered to be a talisman with great powers that could guide travellers, help us find lost objects...
I'd like to finish this "Birth Room" section by thanking my parents for giving me the keys to life.
Textes et illustrations ©Isabelle Vautier
Thank you very much to Susan Stumme for the translation in English of the pages of the Marquoir Story.