May 14, 2010

SEW Much Legacy

Sew & Tell Friday













Today's Sew & Tell post is all about my mother. The day after Mother's Day, I finally received her sewing things--she passed away 3 years ago. It's so exciting to have her Bernina sewing machine (yes, 18 years old but still computerized), her Bernina serger, her big fancy sewing table, and most of her notions.

She LOVED her sewing machine, as you can see form the above photo--it's all 90s, but it's a tribute to this baby that allowed her to applique and make lace to her heart's content! My mom LOVED sewing of all kinds (except, strangely quilting). Sweetly, I also found this Mother's Day card from me to her among her things--one I am proud to have written her (let's just say that at age 29 I finally got around to showing some gratitude).

Channeling My Mom















I have always thought my mom and me to be so different--yet while going through these boxes of her favorite things, I can see that I do indeed channel take after her in many ways:
  1. We love gadgets and tools. The wide array of scissors above I'm sure helped her with applique and other fancy sewing--I will have to do some research to figure all of these out. This is just the tip of the iceberg of what she had--scissors, marking tools, measuring tools, needles. If they made it, she got it. I'm sure she kept her local fabric store in business for many years. Fortunately for me, she had an unopened bias tape maker, something I was thinking of getting. Personally, it takes real restraint for me to leave that cool marker or ruler at the store.
  2. If 1 is good, 12 are better! Apparently, neither of us likes to run out of stuff. Witness just a few from an entire shoe box full of ZIPPERS my mom had. She must have thought they might become extinct. I guess I'll have to break down and learn to put a zipper in a bag--I have all kinds to use now.
  3. We love making things--it almost doesn't matter what. The creative process, and perhaps a resulting gift, is the thing. Look at this cute, but slightly strange (maybe in an early 90s way) handkercheif apron. Enitrely useless as an apron (too flimsy), yet I'm sure she had fun experimenting with this. Mom would have belonged to a dozen swaps!


As I've grown older (and now that mom is gone), I realize that sewing/creating is an important thread connecting the generations of women in my family. My mom was a fabulous clothes maker: she made her prom dress (spaghetti straps, tafetta, boning!), my wedding outfit (battenberg lace) and many, many other pieces. Her mother probably started sewing out of necessity, yet she loved her Singer with all the dials and feet that allowed her to smock and gather and do so much else--a big step up from the treadle she had when I was little. All of us often had matching dresses in the 60s when it was cool. Sewing well was not only fun but practical and frugal.

I am SEW thankful that my mom lived long enough for me to actually share this interest with her and for me to show her gratitude for the courage with which she lived life. And now, as I incorpate her sewing tools and supplies into my own stash, I can be reminded each time I sit down to the machine what a loving mother I was blessed to have. And if you made it through this post, thanks for taking the time! Be sure to check out all the other Sew & Tell posts by clicking on the sidebar button.

10 comments:

beth said...

yes. I made it through your post. :) What sweet memories and what a wonderful mother's day gift to YOU!

Sew It UP! said...

Thank you for sharing such a precious moment in your life with us. I got a big lump in my throat.

P. said...

I can so relate to this post. I lost my mother last year and inherited all her sewing supplies as well. Our moms were a lot alike. She made her own wedding dress (as did I), and countless things for herself and our family through the years. In retirement, she rediscovered quilting and crafting. And you're so right about the sewing/creating connecting the generations in a family. Thanks for sharing and putting into words what has crossed my mind these past 10 months.

Michelle said...

Such lovely memories of your mom. Thank you for sharing.

Michelle said...

Thank you for sharing your Memories of your Mom with us.

Kristen said...

Thanks for sharing such a wonderful post about your Mom! Such beautiful things and memories! :) If these are the flowers outside your window you are too lucky!

Dayna said...

I enjoyed the journey on which this post has taken me! What a wonderful tribute to your mother's creative influence.

em's scrapbag said...

What a wonderful mothers day gift and a great connection to your mother. Good memories there.

Marjorie said...

Funny thing is...that my mom always told me about how "you could make that for less" and she bought me a sewing machine when I was a teen. And yet, it retrospect...despite knowing that she owns both a sewing machine and a quilt frame...I have NEVER seen a finished project. You would think that by the age of 82 I'd have seen some finished product from the ol'broad eh? Your post reminds me to appreciate the intent more than then end-result. And maybe I should start thinking about what I might do with yards of rick-rack and polyester fabric.

Jeanette said...

OH MY GOSH! Can I just say you are going to die when you get your quilt. I think your mom might have given me a little nudge from above!