Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Sewing Circle

My mom learned to sew at her mother's knee.  As a child, it was part of survival - she had to make her own clothes.  As a young adult, it was part of frugality - she made beautiful and stylish clothes for herself and me, without having to spend alot of money.  As a grandmother, she enjoyed making clothes for my children.  Somewhere in the midst of all this, it became art.  Mom took up quilting, then got into machine embroidery.  It was all upgrades from there.  As each new machine came out she just had to get it.  But she just couldn't bring herself to let go of the old one because "it does some things that the new one doesn't".

When I started putting the machines away after her death, I counted five.  Plus three sergers.  Mom thought she had allocated all her machines, but she really had only made arrangements for three.  A machine and serger for my daughter, a machine for my daughter-in-law, and the newest model for me.  That left five orphans.  One machine and serger I decided to leave right where they were in the original sewing room (mom had branched out into several locations around the house).  This way I have something to work on when I'm visiting dad.  I put my daughter's machines in the shed, gave my daughter-in-law her machine and cabinetry, and brought a machine and serger home to give to a good friend and sewing pal.  As I am still learning all the bells and whistles on the embroidery machine mom gave me several years ago, I convinced my cousin that she needed to take the newest machine and delve into machine embroidery.  It will be good for her, all her children have flown the nest.

I brought most of the excess cabinetry home with me to replace my crafting table, which is an old door set up on two non-working box fans, and the old camp table with the wobbly legs.  Now I'm getting into the stash.  Oh, right, mom said now it's called "resources".  At any rate, there's a whole bunch of it.  Mom's sewing library filled up six file boxes.  Her embroidery software is taking up another five, not including the designs she saved on a dozen flash drives.  And thread, stabilizers and fabrics?  Well, maybe not as much, but let's just say that it oughtta be enough to last each of us well into learning how to use our machines, with enough left over to supply several other sewists to boot.

I know I could have just packed it all up and dropped it off at Goodwill.  I'm sure it would have blessed somebody.  But knowing my mom's love for her craft, and her desire to share that with us girls, I just had to find good homes for all her cherished investments.  I hope, with mom, that the girls will someday enjoy the relaxing hum of the sewing machine and delight in creating a beautiful piece of embroidered art.  I know my cousin and I will.  I know two sewing friends who will also be enjoying brightly colored threads, fabrics and notions.  I know six women who will have enough sewing reference and how to books to become experts in the field.  And I know one special lady who will be smiling down on our little sewing circle, and maybe - indirectly - offering her input on color combinations, project ideas, and (ahem) upgrades.

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