Friday, February 22, 2013
My grandmother was a great stitcher. As with many women of her generation (she was born in 1908), she was very skilled with a needle and thread. Throughout my childhood, I had handmade shirts, trousers, skirts and art smocks. This was utilitarian sewing. Then there was 'fancy work' - embroidery. Her house (and ours) was filled with embroidered doilies and cloths of every description.
When I started high school in 1985, we studied 'needlecraft' (it was a girls' school - that's what girls studied in those days - in second form we learned cooking and in third, typing...on a typewriter). I was absolutely hopeless. I took so long with my embroidery stitch sampler that the teacher assigned another girl to watch me work (oh, the shame) and my patchwork cushion and nightshirt were pulled apart with the teacher's stitch-ripper more times than I care to recall.
But now, weirdly, I love it. I have just started the piece of embroidery above, and to my surprise, it's very relaxing. Sort of like colouring-in with thread! It's really quite lovely to watch the picture come to life before your eyes. My mother, who dislikes crafting of all kinds, said "It's all come from your grandmother".
Would Grandma be pleased? I hope so.