Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Handmade Treasures and More

Well, folks, I have not touched my sewing machine since last week! I came down with a stomach bug Friday night/Saturday morning (why do these things always strike in the middle of the night?), and was down for the count the entire weekend. Monday, I was out of bed, but only barely, because I had a show to go to on Tuesday. A show? You know, the crafty kind, where a group of (in this case) stay at home moms that make stuff (or rep product lines) get together and try to sell it. This was my first, and not terribly successful for me, but not really for too many others there either. Very low attendance. One of the casualties of my illness was a practice set up, and you can tell by my cluttered and unattractive table, a practice would have helped.
On to prettier things.

Since I have nothing to show sewing-wise, I thought I would share a little bit about the woman who initially taught me to sew, my grandmother, the late Wilma Lawton. On a visit to her house in Seabrook, Texas when I was 12, I made a vest and skirt outfit for my upcoming confirmation. I still remember how she made me rip off the patch pocket and start over because the stitching wasn't perfect. I've named my seam ripper "Wilma" in her honor! One of these days when I'm visiting my mom, I'll try to dig up a picture of that outfit. (My mom has also had a huge influence on my sewing. I'll do a post on her sometime in the future.)
There's Wilma, and there was probably nothing she couldn't make (although I don't think she ever made any quilts). She made many, many of her own garments, and if she were here today, I would love to sit her down and talk about sewing, style and fashion through the decades. Sadly, she passed away in 1996. Besides sewing, she loved to try new crafts. Many of these were needle-oriented, as in some form of embroidery. I have several of her pieces, and want to share two with you.

I don't know what the technique for the first is called, so please share that with me, if you do. It is some sort of cross stitch on a needlepoint canvas type of thing, with other embroidery stitches, and ribbon and seed pearl work.
She made this small one for me, and I believe she made another small one for my sister. My mother has a much larger piece, and they are all done in these beautiful, muted colors.

Wilma had a way with yarn as well, and enjoyed knitting and crocheting. I confess that she did not pass any of those skills to me, but my mother is quite talented at knitting. I have this lovely pillow that she made, and I believe the "lace" is a crocheted piece done with cotton thread. I'm not entirely sure, so if you what it's called, I would love to know.

The pillow has had quite a bit of wear, which you can see along the piping around the edges, but I love it, and think of her whenever I pass by.

I do have several other things she made, but wanted to share these two with you today.


  1. What a wonderful entry! I loved seeing your grandma, and hearing about all that she passed down to you.

  2. What a lovely grandma you had. I also learned to sew through my grandmother. I wouldn't trade those memories for anything.

    The needleworked hanging I believe, is called "whitework". And you are right about the pillow. It is crocheted. The openwork areas toward the corners is called "netting" The little balls are called "popcorn".

  3. Elle, loved reading about your Grandma --- yay for Grandmas :D! My Grandma taught me to sew, knit, crochet, and tat. We also spent lots of time in other crafty pursuits --- she was a big contributor to my idyllic childhood :D. I've heard the white embroidery piece called "hardinger" (my spelling may be off). The gorgeous pillow cover is filet crochet (it is worked from a graph) which I've done loads of over the years, I'm super fond of filet :D!

  4. Thank you for sharing such a lovely history. I really love the work on the pillow.

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    Guess what? This is exactly what major companies are paying for. They need to know what their customer needs and wants. So these companies pay millions of dollars each month to the average person. In return, the average person, like myself, answers some questions and gives them their opinion.



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