The lost art of letter writing is often lamented. Maybe it is one of those things we romanticize in retrospect, but I’ll admit I love the feel of a personalized piece of mail in my hand, opening it and reading the contents, and maybe tucking it away to revisit in the future.
When I think of love letters (or notes) I think of the flowery verbiage presented in movies or books. By this criteria, I can’t say I’ve ever been the recipient of real “love letters” or notes, although I have saved letters from my husband, before and after being married, that are dear to me. And I’ve certainly received my share of fun and meaningful correspondence.
Years ago my college roommate wrote letters to me and my husband although we lived only a couple of miles from her and saw her somewhat frequently. She and I were still in school, and I had moved out of our shared room to marry and move into family housing. Her letters always had a surprise of some kind that matched her sense of whimsy. In one she included carefully cut out Betsy McCall paper dolls and dresses with the instructions that whoever wasn’t reading the letter could play with these while waiting for the other to finish.
I also enjoyed writing letters when I was younger. One summer my best friend spent weeks out of state babysitting for her nieces, and I wrote to her diligently, even drawing pictures of the new school clothes I’d purchased for the fall. In high school my friends and I enjoyed writing each other letters that included cutting out words and images from magazines. And expanding on that I’ve created some one-of-a-kind cards that use this collage technique in a humorous way to create a story befitting the celebration in question.
While I do miss letter writing, I like the ease technology has brought to our communications. I’m more in touch with family and friends far away than I was for many years before email and social media. I like the immediacy of texting and the way it allows brief but frequent contact. But I do think my experience as a letter writer and recipient is part of what drew me to make this fun quilt called Love Notes, reminding me of the beauty of the written word on a piece of paper.