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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Quilts and other comforts ~

Hi there! My name is Deborah and I thank Madame Samm for the opportunity to share some of my
 Passions & Pursuits with you today. I gained a love of the womanly arts from my grandmothers ~ one who was a prolific knitter and the other who was a talented lingerie seamstress who came from Scotland to Canada in the 1920's to work in the mill in Hespeler, Ontario. As a little girl, I was taught by one grandmom to knit my first sweater. It was pink. (I think I finished it...or maybe she did!) I have many fond memories of time spent with this grandmother and....I still enjoy knitting.


From my other grandmother, I have in my possession many of her hand crocheted bits of lace a bit of 
it was incorporated into a grandmother's fan block in my very first quilt made back in the 80's. (so long ago...)








Peach and blue were popular back in the day...this quilt was drafted on paper, machine pieced, and hand quilted...by me!








I inherited Nana's pink sewing case which contained packages of sewing needles from the 50's, old wooden spools of thread, tiny embroidering scissors, and thimbles.


Nana's Sewing Basket made by the Singer Sewing Co.

Nana's crocheted lace, some Kiddies Buttons...25 cents per package...

An old blue biscuit tin is filled with old buttons...

Wooden spools of quilting thread...Lily Brand


This little bag hung on the end of the quilt frame and would hold scissors, thread, needles, etc. A cute carryall to take to the quilting bee.

 And this little hanger was used to secure her pins and needles. I love the fabric...the pockets store thimbles and thread, and the bottoms of the legs are stuffed with batting so they hold pins and needles. 
The waistband contains these faded words in her handwriting:

Put your thimbles in my pockets, put your needles in my leg;
put your thread inside my armpit, and hang me on a peg.

The little felt blanket stitched mittens hanging on the left are stuffed with batting and hold pins and needles. Dainty, just as Nana was!

...and this pieced quilt. She used fabric from Papa's shirts and many of her aprons and dresses. I think I will hand quilt this one. When my mom sees this she weeps as she sees bits of her father's shirts, and her mother's apons and dresses.


Sew...you can see why I love quilting and stitching and knitting...there is emotional history in my sewing room and it is my happy place!


I have a little granddaughter who lives close by. While Ella is just a toddler right now, I will at the right time take her on my lap and sit with her at my sewing machine. I will pass on to her a love for the womanly arts, just as my grandmothers did with me.

What is your history? Why do you quilt, sew, knit, stitch? We are shaped and influenced by the women in our lives - past, present, and future - who shared their knowledge and love of the womanly arts. There is something healing in creating something with our hands that will bring comfort and joy to another. Find someone with whom you can share what you create. What you do is valuable.

Last week my second granddaughter, Annie, was born. (Grandchild #8!) She has 2 pink and chocolate coloured quilts waiting to be labelled with her name...Anneliese. And some day I will take her on my lap at my sewing machine and begin to pass on to her what I have learned.

I enjoyed our time together today. Thank you Samm.



Deborah

34 comments:

  1. I've been inspired to go through my great-grandmother's things now...she made so many beautiful and also useful objects which thankfully my mother kept in a cedar chest all these years untouched. I never met her, but she's always near. Thank you for sharing your special memories.

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  2. I must be the odd woman out. I was taught by my dad. Till this day we still talk about sewing machines, threads, and needles. I show him my quilts in progress or finished. No female taught my dad. He taught himself out of necessity.

    Thanks for sharing your story with all of us it was very enjoyable to read. A lot to this quilting besides a stash. :)

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  3. Lovely post. I enjoyed everything you shared and love that you have enjoyed the legacy that your grandmother's passed on to you and that you will pass it on, too. You might like a poem I wrote that I have posted on my blog. Just click on over and to A Legacy of Stitches (dot) blogspot.com and scroll down to read it. :-)

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  4. †hanks for sharing these memories and items. It was great!

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  5. I thoroughly enjoyed your blog spot today. Such treasured memories last forever. That is a true gift for you to carry with you forefer. A lucky lady you are. Enjoy your day. Blessings: Dianne.

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  6. It was such fun to read about your inspiration.... and see the lovely items you have...
    Hugz

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  7. Such a wonderful post, it's wonderful to hold onto precious memories and family traditions, and pass them on, imho :) Thank you for sharing them with us all!

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  8. What a great post!!! My Mom taught me how to sew when I was about 12 yes old. I didn't really like it that much then. My Mom sewed out of necessity!! She made quilt out of old clothes to put on our beds. Nothing fancy, but they were warm and cozy!! I'm so glad I quilt now. I love to share it with my daughter!! Wondeful post!!! Hugs Ariane

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  9. How fortunate you are to have learned those skills from your grandmothers. I enjoyed reading your story, and the warmth, love and respect comes through your words.

    Hazle

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  10. Good Morning Deborah, your wonderful memories will set many of our thoughts into motion. I too was fortunate to have a grandmother (Mamere) who taught me how to sew and knit and I am sew grateful for those countless hours in her tender loving care. Your grandmother gave you the most cherished gift of all, her talent as well as some wonderful keepsakes...a lovely tender post t.y.

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  11. My mom is my crafty hero. She didn't quilt until she was much older, but she did sew, and knit, and crochet,paint and tat. I picked up my love for crafts from her. I don't tat, or knit, but I do love my crafts! I found quilting on my own (I think) but she nurtured the love in me.

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  12. Deborah... I too gained an appreciation for the "womanly arts" from my Grandmother. She taught me to needle point when I was very young. Being a young boy, i resisted, but ultimately gave in as time with Grandma was precious and I enjoyed just being with her.

    I then taught myself to cross stitch in my very early twenties. In my mid twenties I learned to sew.

    Grandma went to be with her Savior two years ago, but before she went home she brought out her sewing box and dug into it and pulled out a pin cushion I made for her nearly 40 years ago. She pulled the pins out of it and handed it to me and said, "I've used it since you gave it to me, but I think it's important that you have it now. It should be a treasure for your children."

    I will pass on my knowledge of the "womanly arts" to my daughters, they both show interest in learning and I look forward to doing so.

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  13. What a sweet post! I remember seeing my grandmother at the treadle sewing machine with her legs pumping. I still have that machine and there are still bits and pieces, buttons and snaps and thread, in the drawers. blessings, marlene

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  14. Delightful post! Now you've inspired me to think of the many ways I've been blessed generationally in the crafting/sewing area. I'm going to have to do a similar post on my blog.

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  15. What a lovely post. I had no grandmothers to teach me to sew, but I had a wonderful great aunt who taught me to embroider. She was the crafty one in our family. I remember her making the most beautiful flowers from crepe paper and hooking rugs. I have her sewing basket which I cherish. What wonderful memories we have!

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  16. Thank You for sharing the photos and your history. My granddaughter got to sew for the first time last week and she was so happy doing it. She made something for her mother.

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  17. Deborah...love the name!....I am so privledged to have had my grandmothers and mother pass down their love for handwork to me, and I've done the same with my daughter. I start my first quilting class this week teaching their techniques. While I understand the need for improvements on how the quilts are made, I think we all need to experience how the women in our past put quilts together. I as a similar sewing machine sitting in my studio...my great-grandmother's.

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  18. Thank you for sharing a great story and I, too, hope to pass down my love of the womanly arts to my grandchildren. My grandmother was my inspiration as well.

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  19. I was inspired by my great grandmother. Although I never met her, I believe her genes got passed down to me. I have always had some sort of needle work going. My favourite thing to do in kindergarten was lacing cards. It is hard for me to sit and watch TV without something in my hands. My dad teases me and says quilting is for old ladies. I say I might not be able sew when I am old so I do it now!!! Happy stitching!

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  20. What a fun post bringing back so many memories. Thanks for sharing with us.

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  21. This is such a beautiful, moving post. You are so fortunate to have had the love and instruction of two creative ladies; I am not so blessed, as I taught myself, but I hope to pass along what I have learned if my kids ever get busy and have some grands for me!! LOL Such a treasure, too, to have the sewing chest and pieces of handwork from your grandma. A lovely start to today - thanks for sharing.
    Jacque in SC
    quiltnsrep(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  22. Oh you are so lucky to have those special treasures. And you get to pass everything you have learned to your grandchildren as well. Thank you for sharing.

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  23. What a truly wonderful story -- thank you so much for sharing. I am the first generation to sew quilt and knit in my family. so no such great stories from my past but I am doing my best to pay it forward.

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  24. Hi Deborah. What a moving tale. I am the youngest so I did not know my grandparents as they were long gone before I came into the world. But I was indeed blessed with wonderful friends who taught me along the way. I love your treasures how fortunate we all are to experience this venue for tales of beyond and around us.

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  25. How VERY wonderful for you to have special treasures that bring back sweet memories. Thank you for sharing these treasures with us. And, giving us inspiration to gather and use some special treasured things we might own.

    Okay...head (and shoulders)...deep in my 50 year old ceder chest... =)

    hugZ,
    annie

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  26. What a beautiful post! I have some of those buttons in my vintage stash, and they were given to me by my grandmother as well. It is so special to have a little bit of the past and you are so fortunate to have so much.

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  27. How wonderful that you had two very creative Grandmothers...it's funny how much of our creative juice comes from our Grandmothers and not our mothers. My grandmother was a much greater influence on my creativity than my mom. Thanks for sharing your memories and projects.

    In stitches,
    Teresa :o)

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  28. What a privilege it is to be a Grandmother and the importance we play in our Grandchildren's lives is often understated. I did not have the influence of a grandmother and it is the reason I pour myself into the lives of my 5 grandchildren. Your post has validated my purpose and inspired me to teach my granddaughter "the womanly arts" as you so eloquently call them.
    Thank you for a delightful post!
    Blessings
    Gmama Jane

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  29. Thank you for a wonderful post , Deborah. My love of quilting comes from my mom. She passed on two years ago. I inherited her fabric stash. Just this spring, as I was expecting my fourth grandchild, I had the courage to open the boxes. Inside were many "started" projects. My new granddaughter has a quilt made from one. My great-niece/nephew to be in August, will have another. How nice be able to pass on to the next generation both the talents and memories of our ancestors.

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  30. I enjoyed your story. I learned to sew from my grandmother. My mother sewed, embroidered, crocheted, and quilted, but she was left handed and I had trouble learning from her. I did learn my love of hand work from both these women. Now, I have a toddler granddaughter, and she loves to play with fabric shapes on my design wall. She even has her own stash. She has two grandmothers who are quilters, and she loves to watch us design and stitch. She even designed a small quilt for the other grandmother. It is never too soon to pass on our love of fabric and things handmade.

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  31. I enjoyed your story and it brought to mind, my mother. Mom taught me how to knit and crochet when I was 4 and I still enjoy it and I am way way past 4. At 11 I made my first dress out of feed sacks and the rest is history. I seldom make clothing but I am forever working on a quilt or a doll. I passed my love of sewing to one of my daughters and hopefully she will pass it onto her daughter.

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  32. I learned from my great grans and great aunties. Quilting, lace (tatting), beading, felting, and canning/baking. My mother didn't and hasn't shared her quilting with me - that was on my own, but I love sharing the time with my daughter into adulthood. Now my grandson loves to help pick out colors and noodle scraps for making scrap quilts with me. Thank you for sharing your family heritage with us.

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  33. Thank you for a beautiful, touching post.

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  34. What a lovely post! I used to sit under the table while my mom sewed, if I was patient and listened carefully, she would let me press the foot control for her old singer. I could hardly wait to come out from under the table each time to see what she had created while I sat under the table! Gosh she was clever...how to keep a child quiet and entertained, AND accomplish something! I now sew with both my children and hope to one day pass what I have learned to my three grandchildren.

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You think they are just words...they are sew much more than that...your wee messages tell me, you are kind, smart and important...