A Treasure Worth Keeping: A Stitcher’s sad discovery

If you are a quilter or a seamstress of any kind, you have probably been told that you should ALWAYS sign and date your work for future generations.  I have done pretty well keeping up with that tradition on any quilts or other fabric work that I have completed.  But sadly, not everyone in my family (my ancestors) did so.

Mom.jpgMy mother passed away in 2007.  She was raised in The Episcopal  Childrens’ Home in Pittsburgh., PA.   I always knew her to be a talented seamstress.  She sewed my clothes when I was young, and even made my prom dress.  Mom had a best friend, Alma, and they were buddies all through school.  I am the owner of a quilt that she made for Alma’s daughter after she was born.  Unfortunately, she did not sign the quilt at the time, so I don’t know what year it was made.  Alma lived in Las Vegas, and we lived in Michigan. I only saw her once.  After Alma died, her daughter contacted me and asked for my mailing address.

She wantquilt.disney.jpged to ship the quilt to me so that I would have it.   She said she had “no need for it,” as she was not going to have any children and wouldn’t need a crib quilt.  She didn’t see a reason to keep her baby quilt.  My heart was heavy after hearing that.

Somehow or another, at some point in time, my mom learned how to sew.  I don’t know who taught her, but I DO know that she taught me well.  I have her old Singer Sewing machine in my sewing area, and would never part with it.  My dear husband spent a lot of time cleaning it up so that it sews like a charm.  Mom taught me how to sew a straight line when I was quite young, how to sew buttonholes, and so much more.  Those times togeMom1.jpgther are precious memories.

As I mentioned above, mom passed away in 2007.  My father recently moved from Michigan to Phoenix, Arizona.  He is now going on 96, and is in an assisted living facility.  My brother lives nearby.  We are in the process of preparing for an estate sale at his home.  If you have ever had to do a sale such as this, you know how grueling it is.  Because his home is in Michigan, and we are close by, my husband and I are primarily the ones who are taking care of his property and the preparations for the sale.  In going through an old trunk in his home, I came across something that I found to be very interesting.

This embroidered object, above, which I believe to be a pillow cover, was found in a trunk in their bedroom.  I assume that mom made it, however I have no proof other than it has her name embroidered on it.  I can also see the precision in her machine stitching.  Mom4.jpg

Take a peek at the close-up! I also don’t know when it was made, or for what purpose.  I would LOVE to have that information; alas, I am almost certain I will never know.

Also in the trunk, buried at the bottom, were five sweaters which, over the years, were made by me for my dad.  They were never, ever worn by my father, or by anyone else for that matter.  Each was wrapped in the plastic bag in which I put them many years ago.  They are now sitting on the couch in his home, waiting to be purchased by someone at the Estate Sale.

This is a lengthy post, however it has a purpose.  Please, please, please, when you make something for someone, or even something to keep for yourself, include your name and the date on the item.  If there is a purpose or event that the item is meant for, mention that!  Future generations will want to know who you are, who the item was for, and when it was made.  If you want to add even more information, please do so!  Your work is a treasure… share it with others!

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4 thoughts on “A Treasure Worth Keeping: A Stitcher’s sad discovery

  1. It is a good reminder, as I too have items made by either my grandmother or great grandmother and even one made by my own mother that is still in use. For many years I have kept a paper quilt diary with pictures and details on most of the quilted items made. More recently. because of a post like yours, I have been more attentive at labelling those I give away.
    I think that item is made to go over a hanger and store small items that can’t be hung. I have used some very much like that, without the pretty embroidery, back in my youth… even for laundry when at girl scout camp.

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  2. I had never even considered this! Thanks so much for posting about it. I just finished my second quilt (yea me, it looks good too!) and I want to leave them to my son’s. What a terrific way for them to remember where they came from and why!

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  3. My mom had one of these. It was used to hang upon the clothesline to hold the clothespins. You would slip a small wooden hanger in the top has a hook. She would bring it back inside after taking down the last load of laundry for the day.

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