One thing that time cannot spoil,
The love made into those garments
Sewn by midnight oil.
Almost from the beginning of my love affair with sewing I felt a connection to other women that have taken up a needle and thread in years past. My collection of antique sewing tools has always been a nod to the history of sewing. A trip to Europe gave me an opportunity to view the extensive collection of antique textiles at the iconic Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and at home I have a few pieces that mean a lot to me.
The blue and pink cross stitches that adorn the piece were insurance that it would suit either a boy, or a girl.
I can feel the love that went into the handwork on this tiny garment.
My mother's mother Clara spent part of every day at her sewing machine. She made beautiful cotton flannel nightgowns and pajamas for all of her grandchildren. Each nightie had tiny mother of pearl buttons and perfect little hand worked buttonholes. Despite my grandfather's many offers to purchase an electric sewing machine she continued to use her treadle sewing machine. I can remember the soft, rhythmic sounds that the treadle made as she worked it with her feet.
My grandmother also made beautiful quilts using her plentiful scraps. She and the neighborhood women would get together in my grandmother's dining room and sit around the quilt frame visiting while their fingers made perfect little stitches almost without any thought. There were numerous coffee breaks where trays of delicious little buttery cookies would appear, and more than a little competition to see who could make the most even quilting stitches and the flakiest baked goods.
My mother has never used a sewing machine but she did spend many happy evenings doing needlework in the 70's. She embroidered this sampler in 1971.
Occasionally I think that perhaps someday my granddaughter may pull out the little batiste christening gown that I made when she is born, or that my daughters will happen upon their wedding gowns that I sewed for them. It will be O.K. if these garments sewn with love are a way that they remember me....