I feel that I am a fairly crafty-type person, but there’s one lady who totally puts me to shame with her ridiculous body of work. That lady is my grandmother, Winnie.
Back in the day, she was a crocheting, quilting, pottery-glazing, porcelain-doll-collecting machine. She made quilts for every single member of her family in all stages of their lives. The ones for me featured Cheer Bear and little gingham cats cavorting in a field of flowers, lots of pink and purple. The quilts she made for herself were a great deal more classy, flying geese and flowers, interlocking rings and nine patches. She has much better taste than my twelve-year-old self, obviously.
When Dan and I first moved in, we had to go through a bunch of boxes of my grandparents’ old things, and we found – amongst the copious amounts of Christmas decorations, model cars, and porcelain dolls – a number of treasures like photo albums, diaries, and a project journal that my grandmother started that featured photographs of every quilt she had made since the early 80s. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting to find another treasure.
I was going through closets to find Goodwill donations today, and I found a super-cute kitschy little project bag that I wanted to try to use for some knitting projects.
There were some bedsheets or something tucked in on the top, so investigation commenced.
Is that embroidery?
Yes, this is a giant cutwork embroidered tablecloth, in progress, with everything needed to finish it. Just sitting in my closet. For months, at the very least. Who knows when my parents picked this up and stuffed it in here, not knowing what was inside?
Look at all that beige goodness!
And all that incredibly complicated work that has yet to be finished.
I wonder when she stopped working on this, if there was any particular reason. Did she put this aside a really long time ago because it wasn’t capturing her attention or because it was too much work or just not what she wanted to work on at the moment? Or was this a casualty of her quickly developing Alzheimer’s a few years ago?
I wish I could ask her, but she doesn’t often remember who I am.
Back to the moderately amusing observations, eh? What on Earth are “japanned” hair pins?
I’m assuming it means that they are black lacquered. What do they have to do with embroidery?
And what was the plan for all this crochet thread? Matching placemats and coasters?
So many questions!
Well, we have a very large dining room table that needs covering with something classy, and think this may be just the ticket. Loads of satin stitch might seem boring, but it’s much more my speed than attempting to repair the quilt that she gave me before I left for college that has slowly succumbed to age.
Now I just need some sort of long TV series to get on Netflix to accompany me through all this work. Any suggestions?