Today I want to share with you something very special, and as it is International Women’s Day, I thought it would be a perfect time.
I have fond memories of my Grandma H sewing, my sister and I were frequently given dresses handmade by her, she taught me to cross stitch at the age of about 6.
What was not as well-known to me was how much talent my other Grandma had too. I knew during the war she worked in a factory sewing uniforms but what I didn’t fully realise how amazing she was at embroidery! I mean yes my mum had told me about it, but I had never seen it for myself.
Sadly she passed away in 2010 and how I wish I could go back in time and sit with her and talk about not only her life working in the factory making the uniforms, but to have a pot of tea and sit with some stitching and learn a thing or two from her! She was one amazing and very interesting woman, who despite all her challenges always rose up and kept fighting.
I had the fortune of being handed some of her embroidery recently and I was blown away by the incredible neatness of her stitching, and the beautiful colours she used. Some of the pieces have clearly been well used, a tea-pot cosy for example and I just love that. So many times I make something and then tuck it away for it to never been seen again, which seems such a shame when so much work has gone into it. I really must make more of an effort to display my work.
This particular piece was stitched in 1946, before my mother was even born! My Auntie understandably wants to keep hold of this table-cloth but kindly let me borrow it to take 100 photos. You will notice in all the photos the fold lines where they have been stored away. I simply couldn’t bear to put my iron anywhere near them especially as most are over 70 years old! So I hope you can forgive a few creases and can understand why!
What is special was in the pile of linen were pieces of practice work by my mum and aunt from a time when they would have been taught by Grandma. My mother then went onto to teach me, and I will teach Mabel. It is such a special thing to be able to do, to pass on a loved hobby through the generations. Sewing didn’t just start with Grandma, my Great Grandma used to sew beads into beautiful flowers and sell them in the city to the workers. Unfortunately there are no pictures or pieces to see, I really would love to have seen them! My mum has told me how intricate and neat they were though.
I’m not entirely sure what I will do with the ones I am allowed to keep. It seems such a shame for them to be buried away never to be seen. Especially as it is some of the only things I have of hers, and yet the thought of it being out and potentially getting spoilt fills me with dread. It’s another reason why I wanted to write this post, not only because of pride but also a way in which she will be remembered. I know it makes me want to get out my threads and do some embroidery, I love her use of colours, they are such an inspiration!
I hope you enjoyed this little trip down memory lane with me, I hope that maybe it has inspired you too.