Textile Family Tree
It’s Mother’s Day! I would like to thank and honor the wonderful women who raised and influenced me.
My dad’s mother had seven children and something like 37 grandchildren and 73 great-grandchildren. She was always traveling and always creating something for us. I have a baby sweater and doll quilt she made for me, as well as 2 afghans she made for my kids.
On my mother’s side, there was also a very strong tradition of creating textiles. I didn’t get to see my great-grandmother and great-aunts much, but I always felt them in the background. I was surrounded by things they had made and by stories about them. In our family, you gardened, cooked, cleaned up, and then sat down with some sort of handwork while you visited. In any circumstances, the consistency of doing handwork provided an undercurrent of stability and comfort.
My great-grandmother could knit, crochet, tat, quilt, sew, and embroider. I have many pillowcases with her finely crocheted cotton trims along the edges. My great-aunts shared many of her skills.
My grandmother could embroider and sew but loved to crochet the most. We have a lot of her afghans. She also made crocheted animals for the kids when they were young, and now they crochet their own creatures, without even needing a pattern!
My mom also embroiders, knits, and crochets. She sewed many of my clothes as I was growing up, and more importantly, at least to me, she sewed my doll clothes. I loved to come home from school and see Barbie sitting there to greet me in a brand new dress.
My younger sister follows the textile family tree too. Her specialty is counted cross stitch.
I was slow to learn to sew, but I became the first weaver in the family back in the 70s. A few years ago, my mom passed on her sewing machine to me, and got me hooked on quilting. I use her sewing machine and my grandmother’s iron all the time.
In all of my textile work, I feel so connected to my family members, and the larger community that finds comfort and creativity in textiles.
The baby quilts you have made and donated to the Police Department have brought so much joy to people too! Just a couple weeks ago, another one sold at a fundraiser auction. You are awesome!
Yeah! I will make some more! I love making things for a good cause.
Did you know that I have an afghan that grandma Grace made me? Granny squares, not that cute – but I have it. Also one from Jeanne and a couple from Gay. They are all precious to me. Thanks for including me in your family stuff – that was sweet. Wish I could check in more often.
I’m glad we have traditions we share!
What treasures, these are the ‘threads’ of a family, pieces handed down through the years… I have wonderful pieces from my grandmother and aunts, my mother, mother in law… all so precious and inspirational… I love all things to do with sewing, fabrics, laces, embroidery… the list goes on… Thank you for sharing.
I really want to document them all to the best of my knowledge, so that when I hand them down to my daughters they will know who made them.
Your family is Greatly Talented. I enjoy looking at your things.
Thanks! I love crafts and handwork and I’m happy to document them and preserve them on the Internet!
There’s a lot of family history there, great you know who made each piece, thanks for sharing.
I do think of each relative whenever I see their work – it makes me feel happily surrounded by family even though most of them are gone now.
Pingback: A Fruitful Small Business Saturday | Deep in the Heart of Textiles