Thursday, June 21, 2007

A Time for Family

This is earliest piece of my needlework that still exists. I remember doing some stamped cross stitch and crewel work when I was a teenager, but I have no idea where any of it is. This was a Dimensions kit that I finished in 1972 or 1973. I was quite proud of all the fancy stitches. All I do know is that the french knots were a lot easier to do in wool than they are in cotton or silk!

The only reason that this piece can be found is that my mother-in-law framed it and hung it on the Family Needlework wall. I remember how proud I was that could join this long line of family stitchers. Although my mother's mother was a dressmaker and famous for her doll clothes for the original Barbie (including feathered pillbox hats!), my parents are only children, so I grew up with my parents and sister and no other relatives. I am fascinated by my husband's relatives and all their complicated relationships.

On this wall at the top is a needlepoint done by one of my MIL's cousins. The white crocheted piece below that is the oldest piece. It was part of a blanket eaten by moths and mildew made by my MIL's great-great grandmother, who raised sheep in Kentucky and spun the wool herself. My husband's family has been in North America since before the Revolutionary War. The needlepoint cat was done by mother-in-law when she was a teenager. She since has done many different needlepoint projects, especially Bargello. She needlepointed eight dining room chairs and dozens of pillows. As her eyesight has diminished, she is now doing 10 point canvas, but still does a piece or so every winter. The appliqué piece was part of a chest cover that was used by another of my MIL's cousins who worked for a famous quilting and design company during the Depression. The crewel work tree and squirrels was done by my sister-in-law when she was a teenager. She now sews curtains, pillows, and bedspreads for decorators, but doesn't do any needlework. The fancy work was done by my MIL's mother. She was a seamstress during the Depression and sewed occasionally for Eleanor Roosevelt. The last piece is mine. I love seeing it hung with all the other work by women in this family.

Unfortunately my niece does not sew or craft. Neither does my nephew's wife, who now has her hands full with a new baby. I don't know what will happen to all these pieces of family history when my mother-in-law passes on. Probably my sister-in-law will take them, but then?

On the luggage front, we did get our luggage late Tuesday. We didn't want to wait for delivery, so went to the airport to pick it up. I was certainly glad to see it. I am still annoyed that the airlines seem to take it so casually. I don't mind missing it for a day as much as I mind then not being able to tell us where it is at all.

I did do some stitching on Flower Fairy on Tuesday afternoon, but all I have done the past two days is work on the convention. As it gets closer, there are more complications and more drama. We will be driving up to Cincinnati tomorrow morning and back to San Francisco late Saturday evening. I should be able to work on my June Christmas ornament in Cincinnati and on the planes. And if our luggage goes missing again, at least I have clean clothes in San Francisco!


Dawn said...

Wow! That is an awesome wall of stitching! I am the only who stitches in my family. At least I was able to pass it on to my middle daughter:)

Jennifer said...

This is so neat! What a wonderful display of family.

stitcherw said...

Loved the family needlework wall, what a great idea. I have some pieces scattered around my house done by different generations, and I know my mom does as well. I think I'll gather some of them up, label the back, and put them together to start one also. While not everyone in a generation appreciates and/or does needlework, generally there is at least one individual that a collection can be passed on to. Even if they don't stitch themselves, they'll hold it in trust for the next generation.