Friday, April 22, 2016

Pincushions and Memories

At a recent neighborhood meeting of the American Sewing Guild, the program was on pincushions. Members brought pincushions they had made, received as gifts or those with sentimental value.  I was moved by the latter most of all. Many women had pincushions made by their mother or grandmother. My mother and both grandmothers were sewers. Recently my mother died and I had an opportunity to look through her sewing things. She had the ubiquitous tomato pincushion and seeing it brought back many lovely memories. My sister is going to take her 1950’s Singer on which scads of garments were made. I have two sisters and we often had matching dresses made by my mother, especially at Easter or Christmas. One Easter photo shows one sister, my mom and I all in dresses and COATS she had made. I wonder how she found the time! Mom also made my Homecoming Court dress from velvet (they were always velvet for some reason), combining patterns to get the look I wanted. She also made a quilt for me when I got married.

My Grandma Lura sewed all her own clothes plus literally hundreds of quilts in her 93 years. She wasn’t bothered too much with being a perfectionist (I could have learned a thing or two from her about this). She had or saw a need and went about filling it. My Grandma Ruth Jane loved embroidery, especially pre-stamped cross stitch-patterned blocks. She was quick about finishing these blocks and then wanting my mother to sew them together with strips for her.

I love that I’m carrying on in a long line of sewists and that I can feel a connection with my mother and grandmothers as I sew.

I made a couple little pincushions from a pattern I found at Annie’s Crazy World. The yellow stripe is stuffed with steel wool and the linen with batting. I wanted a pincushion close at hand and had considered a wrist version. These thumb beauties hold just enough pins for a single seam to use while at the sewing machine.  They take just minutes to whip up. The adorable bird pincushion was made for me by my friend Deb and is filled with buckshot, so he is a sturdy fellow.

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