Growing up we had a sewing machine in our home. It was an old Singer built into a blonde cabinet and would probably be considered midcentury modern now. (Pictured is a play sewing machine I tried to use before I was allowed to use mom's sewing machine!)
Mom spent many hours in front of that machine. As an accomplished seamstress and perfectionist, our mom sewed a lot of clothes for my sister and me. Yes, some of it was matching. Mom also made the bedding for our canopy bed—complete with yards of ruffling. And curtains for different rooms in the house. Our brothers were never the recipients of Mom’s hard work, just me and my sister. Then at some point, she taught us how to sew.
I think I was in 4th grade or 10 years old when I began to sew in earnest. The first project I can remember finishing would be a one-piece outfit for my Barbie. It was not sewn well. As a novice, my ¼” seams were crooked and I never did get the snap to stay closed. With a child’s eye for color, I used red fabric with white thread--nothing like emphasizing your errors. I know I kept that outfit for years. Looking back, I am thinking that it might not have been a good starter project but my mom did an excellent job of allowing me to make my own selection and learn from my mistakes at that young age.
In junior high and high school, girls took Home Economics. I do not even know if that life skills class is even taught any more. However, by seventh grade, I knew how to use a sewing machine and my sewing prowess had improved greatly. I made a pair of dressy jean slacks. Miss Weinrich, my teacher, was not sure of my project when I began but was quite happy with the finished product. Did I wear them? Probably not. At that time, I was discovering store bought clothing and did not appreciate the quality of the home sewn, or handmade, ones or the precious time my mom put into each item.
Now, years later, both of my daughters know how to sew but do not have sewing machines in their homes. While they do not embrace the art, they do appreciate the results. Not long ago, I finished a quilt for one of them and she said the right words to make me think that she loved it. I am not sure that they will pass this knowledge on to the next generation and, unfortunately, I have done very little to help my grandkids learn this life skill since we do not live close. Nevertheless, they will bring mending to grandma when they visit.
My daughter-in-law from Ireland sews. She makes matching clothes for the whole family or did. Now that she and her husband, our son, have 3 kids—Numbers 5, 6 and 7, the sewing has taken a bit of a back seat for her. Every good parent knows how that goes.
As for cross stitching, I do not remember when I started. The memories of cross stitch, embroidery, crewel work, and needlepoint all come together in one big jumble so I am not sure of the craft that began it all. Whichever one it was, I believe that I may have been about the same age as the one granddaughter that showed an interest in, and that I have taught, cross stitch. It was a happy time for me and I took great delight in getting her kitted out with all of the “necessities” including a Blooming Daisies Crafts Grime Guard to protect her WIP for when she works on it and a Blooming Daisies Crafts WIP Bag for when she does not. You may ask, “Does she practice it?” The answer is probably, “no,” but that does not matter. She is young and, it is my hope, that as she gets older, she may pick it up again-just like me.
I did not really start cross stitching in earnest until I had children. The rudimentary skills are timeless which makes it a pretty easy hobby for all people of all ages. How did you learn how to cross stitch? Was it a skill you picked up due to learning how to hand stitch? Did you learn it from an earlier generation? Are you surprised with all the extras that now are associated with cross stitch? I think I started out with a hoop frame, needle and floss, not kitted out with all of the pretty accessories available through Blooming Daisies Crafts. Remember, it is not too late to do that now!
Easter Friday there will be no blog. We hope you have an enjoyable Easter with family and friends. :)
This week’s featured product is in honor of RenFaire Time!
Game of Thrones!
Now for Needle Minders!