Sunday, May 14, 2017

A Quilter's Tribute to Her Mother

I've wanted to write a bit of a tribute to my mother for quite a while, but never think of it in time for
Mother's Day or her birthday, which was also in May!

I'm so grateful my mother taught me to sew at a young age.  She earned a Home Economics Education degree from Penn State back in 1951, so it was only natural that she would make it a priority to teach her children those skills.  

I was doing embroidery by kindergarten (don't you love those wonky stitches!), and sewing my own clothes by fourth grade.  I'm thankful I grew up in the era when needlework was perfectly respectable and the norm.  

My mother would often help me finish projects if I hadn't yet mastered the necessary skills, 

such as stitching this little fish eye,

or adding the stars to my cross stitch sampler.

I learned to sew on her Featherweight sewing machine which she would have purchased shortly after graduating from college.

That probably explains why I still prefer sewing on a simple mechanical machine over a fancy computerized one!  (I sewed on a basic Kenmore for almost 20 years before upgrading to a Bernina.)

I'm still sure I would have learned to sew at some point and love it, even if she hadn't taught me, 

but I'm grateful I had such an early start!

Money was tight when I was growing up, but I was always allowed to order an embroidery kit from the Lee Wards or Hirschner's catalog - remember those?!

 I always had an embroidery project going that I stored in an old metal lunchbox.

My parents even bought me a Singer zig zag machine for my 12th birthday, continuing to provide what  I needed to keep sewing.

Interestingly enough, my mother (far right) confessed that didn't really enjoy sewing that much, but in that day and age, sewing was an expected skill, not an option.  She admittedly chose to study Home Economics because it was more appealing than the other limited options open to women at that time, such as becoming a secretary or a nurse.  

I didn't learn to quilt until 1991 when I took a Sampler Quilt class at a local church, but my years of sewing made the transition seamless. I do have to laugh, though - my mother always insisted that I finish a project before starting a new one;  she would be appalled at my current number of WIP's.  :)  

Thanks, Mother, for taking notice of my interest in sewing and nurturing it!


  1. That was a very endearing tribute. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I'm so glad you took the time to read it - good to hear from you! :)

  3. What a sweet tribute to your mother. The skills you've acquired over the years are paying off! Beautiful post.