Saturday, February 24, 2007

Stitching With My Mom 

February 24 was my mom's birthday and some of my fondest memories of her have to do with stitching and other crafts.

Mom would try any craft and was always willing to spend her hard-come-by household money for craft classes for her children. Over the years I went to shellcraft, leather carving and basket weaving classes. We had a small letter press at home and I learned how to set type, ink it up and print projects. Mom knit and was an exquisite seamstress. She made extra money when she and dad were both in college after WWII by doing mending, alterations and dressmaking for others.

Not that she didn't have a few disasters. I well remember the time she was using etching acid to make monogrammed sets of glasses for Christmas gifts and got a nasty burn for her trouble. And there was the time she managed to run the needle of her old treadle sewing maching completely through a fingernail, barely missing the bone and continuing out the other side.

She was always the one for saying "that's pretty good for a beginning, now let's work to perfect it."

Mom worked on teaching me to construct garments (it didn't take) but did succeed when it came to knitting and embroidery.

The photo is of a handkerchief she coached me to embroider when I was 7 or so and then she used it throughout the years. Until very late in her life, she always carried linen hankies in her purse and the first thing she taught me to iron was the family's handkerchiefs.


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