Wednesday, June 21, 2006

One of my treasures

I keep seeing all of these great pincushion ideas on blogs and I keep thinking, I could really use a less ratty pincushion. But sewing without this by my side would feel all wrong. When my Grandma passed on (13 years ago), I was given her old Singer and I made sure I got my hands on this pincushion, which was easy because no one else wanted it. She is the one who taught me to sew. And taught me to garden and taught me to see the actual value of things. She would darn socks and meticulously take care of things. She also canned and never wasted a bit. She grew up in Poland and Russia and fled during the war so the things she had later in life did have the enormous value only someone who had truly lived with nothing could respect. She is probably a big reason why I like to can, and grow things, always plant "Early Girl" tomoatoes and buy very few things new. Before she died she put a little slip of paper with my name of it and taped it to the inside of the case that the Singer stands on top of. To get to the bobbin you lift the machine on a hinge and whenever I do that, I see the little piece of paper with my name shakily written down. I still miss her so much. She was such an unbelievable spirit. So strong and loving and she had the most incredible laugh. She always made her own dresses from the same apttern, with or without sleeves. And she would make pajamas for all of us, mom and dad included. I will never forget the pair she made for my dad of white polka dotted turquoise cotton. She probably got a good deal and he wore them for years though, trust me, he was never a white polka dots on turquoise kind of guy! She would always have big plastic tubs of cookies in the freezer for us and we would run down for them as soon as we got there. I still like my oatmeal cookies frozen. I like to suck all the cold out of them and eat the crunchy frozen raisins. (You should try them that way!) Another reason I can't let this pincushion go is that it was made by my Dad, for his Mom. The brown stain on the left lower corner is his blood. He poked himself making it but forged ahead. She saw the charm in that and I do too. The Dad I grew up with was not the one you could easily envision as a joyful child, or a child at all. He was stern and his word was the final word and he was pretty trapped by what the roles of men and women were in those days. He has really mellowed with age and has developed a softness that I am really enjoying. I say "developed" but I suspect it was there all the while though buried pretty deeply.
I am feeling a tad on the sentimental side today so I wanted to share this.


Blogger molly | said...

the part about your name being taped inside the sewing machine, in shaky handwriting, just got me all teary. what a wonderful post. and now that I live, basically WITH, my grandmother I can completely understand. I know you must cherish that pincushion in the same way I cherish the fabrics my grandmother has given me. I'm so grateful that i was given the opportunity to live close to her and learn from her in these late years of her life....

6:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This reminded me so much of my own grandmother that it made me tear up. Thank you for sharing.


9:37 AM  
Blogger Leslie said...

Mo, what a wonderful piece of history you have right there in your pincushion. I was touched by the history behind it, and then finding out it was made by your dad makes it even more meaningful!

And I can just see your grandmother's handwriting too - -I'm so glad that you left the tag on your machine as it's a constant reminder of your sweet grandma! I love this post!

5:36 PM  
Blogger kathy b said...

It is such a precious pin cushion! I don't sew, but I am on the hunt for a cute pin cushion. No strawberries or tomatoes thanks. I am looking on etsy without success. Any other ideas for me Mo?

12:42 PM  

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