Hands and Heritage

This post was originally written last week but its publishing got pushed off due to our move into a new home. I chose not to change it before publishing other than to add this note.  I felt today was a perfect time to publish it because this afternoon my sweet Grandmother, that I mention below, went home to be with her Jesus today. The following words bring tears and I am sad because I will miss her. I am not sad her suffering is over and that she is now able to rejoice with her Savior.

This post is dedicated to my Grandmother Theresa Mencl Close Goble. I pray that I can pour as much love into my future grandchildren as you poured into me. I love you and miss you.

HANDS AND HERITAGE:

I was reading a blog post today that was talking about culture and why embroidery has been a means of women throughout the years to express themselves and change their lives for the better. It has made me think of my own embroidery experience, which is just beginning.

E embroidery

My mother gave me the basics for starting to embroider as my Christmas gift. I have been interested in learning for a while but never jumped in. After thinking about it today I realize that I was waiting because I wanted to be able to say my mother taught me. I wanted that connection. Over her visit she taught me the basic stitches and I have shared with her my projects by taking photos and texting them to her.

I also realized I want to learn for some of the same reasons that many women have learned this craft…. Heritage. My Grandmother has embroidered and been lover of needlework all the time I have known her. When I was a teen she taught me how to tat. I do not tat that often but it is a joy to know I have that knowledge and it hasn’t been lost. Giving her one of my pieces of tatting was very special to me. My Grandmother this last year has had some serious health issues and now has full blown dementia. Her love for embroidery has been lost in the changing of her mind. In fact, the last items she embroidered were given to my children for Christmas. I have held them aside for a moment when they are older and will understand more fully this precious gift.

Grandma's Embroidery

In this gift I have realized more fully that if you do not cease the moment the opportunity to learn from those with a lifetime of experience will be lost. I am glad I ceased the opportunity to learn to tat from her. I want to send her a piece of my embroidery but it is hard knowing that with her short term memory gone she will not know who sent it and understand her role in its inspiration.

With my Christmas “starter” gift came three sets of printed pillow cases. I have finished five out of the six. (I am saving the last one for later when I am between projects and want a simpler project to complete) This is my first set of pillowcases:

Cat Pillowcases

They quickly were claimed by my girls as their own. My Second set:

One was quickly claimed by my son.

I think what surprised me the most was their great enthusiasm for claiming them once they were washed and ready. They immediately grabbed them with a hug and ran off to their rooms to put them on the pillows. It was very special for them to get something they saw me create. That is how I feel about some of my Grandmother’s embroidery and my Mother’s cross stitch. They are treasured because I know the work and love that went into them.

Four generations of hands
Four generations of hands

This is a picture I took the last time I saw my Grandmother. It is her hand, My Mother’s hand, my hand and my daughter’s hand. It is so beautiful. I get tears in my eyes every time I look at it. I love that these hands have all done needlework in one form or another.

So, I head into the creative world of embroidery inspired by my beautiful grandmother, taught by my wonderful mother and established by women in generations going beyond my Great Grandmother. My hope is that I can make some fun, beautiful art and that one of my daughters will have the joy of taking with her this wonderful heritage of needlework. There is something beautiful about knowing that my grandmother many times sat over a piece of embroidery making a lazy daisy stitch or a French knot envisioning what her finished projects would look like and smiled. When she knew that finished work was going to be mine, she smiled thinking about me.  I do the same as I make my own stitches.

-The Frabjus Lady

Do you have a skill or craft that has been handed down through generations or one that you are starting and hope to hand down to your children? I would love to hear about it!

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