Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Memorial in Needlework

My grandmother passed away November 8th. She and I were very close and words can't describe how much I have missed her these past two months.

Grandma loved to embroider dish towels and she gave them away generously to friends and family alike. I have worn out several sets, knowing she would always make me a new one. She made a set for each of her grandchildren and had them put their sets away. When they grow up they will have a token of her love for them hanging in their kitchens.

Grandma had several old patterns. If you're at all familiar with this craft, you may remember cute kitties, bunnies and other animals, children in various forms, fruits, vegetables and florals. The patterns were quite nostalgic...like you were receiving a gift from the 1940's, 50's or 60's.

Last spring Grandma complained that her patterns were wearing out and that she needed new ones. I tracked several down at JoAnn's Fabric Store and sent them off to her. I sent patterns that I knew she had used before and a few new ones that were a little more up-to-date.

When Grandma passed away and I was asked what I would like to have of hers; the first thing that came to mind was the embroidery patterns. I wanted to carry on the tradition. I seem to have an affinity for this as you can see here. My mother bagged up two bundles of patterns that now sit in a pretty basket on my bookshelf and I'm looking forward to using many different designs.

Last spring I purchased a set a cotton towels, some of my own patterns, thread, needles, etc. with the thought of taking up this craft. I went to visit my grandmother in May and was hoping to have her teach me some of the different stitches. About 500 miles down the road, I realized that I had forgotten all of my supplies and thought to myself that I'd do it another time.

Then she passed away and that opportunity vanished. After returning home from the funeral I decided that I wasn't going to wait any longer. I went to the library and checked out three books. I just put my mind and hand to the task and this is what I created:

The first two towels were given as a Christmas present to someone very dear to me.

The second two towels will soon be wrapped in birthday paper and given with love.

It just seems like the thing to do. I can't keep them for myself yet; the spirit of grandma compels me to share the tradition. I miss her, but she's with me every stitch of the way!


Catherine said...

A beautiful tradition and a beautiful memorial to someone you so dearly loved.

2cats said...

A wonderful thing that she has passed on to you. Everyone loves the homemade, handmade gift.
You do beautiful work. I have been embroidering for 4 years now and I think your work looks way better than mine. I love the pattern of the flowers. It is different than the one I have. Do you have a pattern number or design name? I would love to do that one.

Hi, I'm Angie! said...

Thanks! It's an Aunt Martha's Hot Iron Transfer, #3605 - Posies for Linens.