Crazy as a Loom

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Making memories

A few years ago, I did a show in Philadelphia. It turned out to be a bust as far as sales went. But I had never been there, and my husband and I got to spend a little time walking around the city, and together, so it was good.
And I met a lady who was selling dog collars, really beautiful and unique, who I spent quite a bit of time talking to. It turned out that she lived not far from the show, and commuted to it each day. And she had tons of fabric that she bought to make her dog collars, and she periodically cleaned out the stuff that she found wasn't working........cut to Sunday, last day of the show, she and I are loading BOLTS and BOLTS of fabric into the back of my Isuzu Trooper. My husband, who was watching my booth while I did this, cautioned me......."now don't fill the Trooper too full.....leave room for us".......well, there was room, not overly much room, I mean, how much room do you actually need???
He only grumbled for a little while.
So now a couple of times a year, she sends me her outdated fabric, I am an eager buyer, because I love her taste in colors and prints, and I make wonderful rugs and placemats out of it.
But this time, a few of the fabrics caught my eye, and with a 4 and a 5 year old granddaughter, I found myself at the kitchen table making dresses.
Now, in days past, when my own children were young, I used to sew for them all the time. I had a production line set up every spring, to pump out "Bermuda" term, not theirs.
And I made dresses on occasion, and dolls, and quilts.
But to be honest, since I have thrown myself into weaving, I don't sew much, other than to sew strips of blue jeans and fabric together to weave into rugs.
So this was a learning curve for my over 50 brain. I struggled with the first dress a bit....what the H------ were they talking about??? Then after a bit, I got it, and with the help of my mother........who was seamtress extraordinaire in her lifetime, here they are. My mother turned the straps right side out, pressed pieces for me, pinned the bodices of them.......and voila, three new sundresses! I actually did three more after these......a red one, and two blue prints, all for the 5 year old.
Now I have to do SIX more in a smaller size for the other granddaughter. Better than seeing the finished product, was the feeling of camaraderie, having my mother out in the kitchen all evening, working with me to get them done.

My mother, who unbelievably is 84, just loves her great granddaughters. Here she is with Gabs, who is 5. My mom has two rooms of her own in the back of the house, but the doors are always open, and it is like one big family home. The kids run back and forth from one living room to the other, and they thoroughly enjoy the attention they get in both places.
My mother and Gabby were laughing hysterically the other night, while I was finishing up sewing in the kitchen. My mother goes through her drawers, where she has all kinds of treasures stashed, and next thing you know, Gabby has a little goody bag all her own, one that will make her mother ROLL her eyes when she sees it.
When I hear these two at it, and the same is true when it is Ava and my mother, I think of that commercial......
the one that always ends with "priceless".
How many little girls get their doting grandmother, AND their doting great grandmother, in the same house, showering them with unconditional love and affection?

And I am so grateful to have my mother in my life still. She has been a steady source of support and love my entire life. I swear I can do no wrong in her eyes. She has been encouraging me in spite of myself.
She grew up poor, in England. She joined the army in WWII, she met my father, and came to America. We have a video clip of the first boat load of war brides coming down the gangplank in NYC, in 1946, and there she is, young, smiling, ready to start her new life.
I am her only child. Along with my children, and our husbands, and their children, we are her family. All the rest of her family is still in England. I can't even imagine that sometimes. How did that feel, at 21 years old, to leave your entire family and immigrate to be with your new husband? Back when making a telephone call to England was unheard of, because your family there didn't have phones, and air fare was too expensive to even consider?

My father and she were not always happy with each other, but they were faithful to each other til the day he died four years ago.
I love watching her with my grandchildren, because when they grow up, and look at pictures of themselves with her, they will have memories that noone can ever take away. Maybe Gab will laugh when she sees this one, of her under my mother's legs, and my mother laughing.
Does it get any sweeter than this?


Eulalia Benejam Cobb said...

Gorgeous sun dresses! I've had to relearn sewing too, in order to make a couple of things for my grandchildren. I'd forgotten how to read patterns, it turns out. But it's coming back.

Terrie said...

The dresses are beautiful. They will be something the girls will always remember. My mom used to sew sundresses for my daughter and for me when I was young. I still remember them and how proud I was to wear them. Now you have to post pictures of the girls in their new dresses.

Donna S. said...

No there is nothing sweeter than that & as you said "priceless". I have 3 grandchildren that live 7 doors down. I have kept them every Friday "my day off" since the first one was born 10+ years ago. When the oldest started school I went part time to get him to 1/2 day kindergarten & have them before & after school several days a week.

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