How Textiles Helped Transform My Home for Filming “Nowhere Normal”

14 September 2022

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Recently, my house became a movie set for the short film Nowhere Normal, written and produced by my talented friend Heather Morrow. Thanks to its 1950s origins and our collection of well-loved, hand-me-down furniture, the house was a good choice for the home of the story’s grandmother. Among the most important final touches to the setting was to add a proliferation of textiles that would, at a glance, provide a sense of presence for the grandmother, a character who had recently passed away.

One of the first things that happens after you agree to let a film crew take over your house is a production meeting where they check the space to see if it really will work. We showed everyone around and were met with frequent exclamations of, “This is perfect for a grandma’s house—no offence!” “None taken,” we replied, pointing out the Formica table, and my great-grandmother’s sewing box. I overheard, “I have a fever, and the only cure is more doilies,” so I showed them the ones that my Oma had made, pouring her time and love into them. Oma never did see our house, but her handiwork is part of our lives and the lives of the great-grandchildren she never met.

image description: two handmade lace doilies, and some small cross stitch embroideries lying on top

Doily and doll photos by Jessie McKitrick; featured photo and all others by Kristin Breitkreutz.

Copyright © Jessie McKitrick except as indicated.

About Jessie McKitrick

Jessie lives in Edmonton in Treaty 6 Territory, where she writes patterns for hand-knitters who can’t resist the lure of texture, cables, and colour in their next sweater, hat, or mitten project. She began to crochet and knit after becoming a mother, teaching herself from library books, and soon found herself designing projects. Feeling a strong need for a job that included creativity, Jessie would go on to submit patterns to various publications who supported and published her work, including Knit Now Magazine, Knit Picks, and Interweave Knits. Collaborations with Ancient Arts Fibre Crafts eventually led to working with the company in the capacity of Design Coordinator. When she’s not working, Jessie practices karate, draws, dabbles in other fibre crafts including spinning, sewing, embroidery and weaving, and enjoys playing board games with her family.

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