Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Wednesday This and That . . .


In, and out, the needle goes
along the folded seam . . . 
while your heart is following
some lost and lonely dream.
In between the stitches,
you can go a long, long way . . .
when you're sitting sewing
at the quiet end of day . . .

I often sit in the evenings while we are watching the television plying my needle into some hand sewing, embroidery or the like.   It is a mindless kind of thing that I can enjoy without having to apply my full attention to either it or the television.   I just sit, lost in my own little world and my fingers work the needle in and out and the television weaves words and sound around my head . . . 


One of my favourite semesters at school in Home Economics was the semester in which we learnt the home arts . . .  which included the art of mending, embroidery, smocking, darning and such.   There is a special comfort to be had in performing these simple duties.   You can create something beautiful for the home, and for the heart.   It is an act of love to darn a pair of socks . . . or hem up  a pair of trousers.  Oh, I know that things like hemming can be done on a sewing machine, and done much faster . . .  but I love to sit with my needle and thread in hand and do it that way.  Quite simply put, I enjoy it.

O the things that you remember
as you draw the thread!
Odds and ends of memory
come back into your head.
Names and faces,
times and places.
Round the world you go.
Many miles you travel as
you watch the stitches grow . . . 


I've been working on  making sewing kits in decorative tins lately.  Making small pin-cushions for in them, and needle books, scissor holders . . . I've carefully gathered materials for in them.  Pins, safety pins, buttons, scissors . . . I was in town the other day and I saw the cutest little tins for holding the pins and safety pins, and I have drawn and coloured small cards to hold threads and buttons.  I've made dolly pin holders for ribbons.  I think they will be quite nice when they are done.  Perhaps someone will be inspired by them to pick up a needle and thread and perform some of these gentler arts . . .  perhaps they will make the perfect gift for a budding seamstress.  We will see.   In any case I am having fun putting them together . . . I have two tins, one is a saucy Scottie dog (a shortbread tin) and the other a pretty forest tin, decorated with painted animals and such, in a forest . . . squirrels and bunnies and . . .  birds.  I may keep that one for myself, or I may not.   I have not decided.


My grandmother had a pedal sewing machine . . .  one in which you had to move the needle by pressing your foot up and down on the pedal underneath.  It is somewhat difficult to describe, but I think you probably know what I mean.  My mother had/has a beautiful Singer Sewing Machine.   I sewed many an outfit for myself on it.  I can still remember the smell . . .  sewing machine oil and leather . . .  from the cover I suppose.  It has plastic bobbins that you add for each different stitch . . .  it did embroidery.  I am not sure if it still works or not.  It has not been used in years.   My mother always liked working with her hands as well . . .  embroidery, knitting etc.   I did her a sewing kit in Plastic canvas many, many years ago.  She still has it in her cupboard in the hall outside her bedroom door.  Many stitches of love went into that.   My mother has lovely things that both my sister and I have made for her through the years.  Doilies and pillows and wall hangings, quilts, etc.  We love our mother and always have done.  I think that the fact we have made her all these things by hand are a testament to that great love we have for her . . . and an act of gratitude for all of the love that she gave us when we were growing up and still . . .  and all that we learnt from her.

See . . .  there is so much love
which springs from
a hand that plies
a needle and
thread . . .


One of the projects we did at school was a smocked pillow top using large squared gingham.  I remember mine was blue.  I wonder what happened to it . . .  long since gone.  I dug out a bunch of my counted cross stitch the other day and I am going to launder them and press them up and then gift them to my children I think . . . I would rather see them enjoy them while I am still alive to see it, than after I am long gone . . .

We had taken them to the dry cleaners first to see if they might be cleaned, but the dry cleaner said she was worried that she might ruin them.  The stitching was so well done she said  . . .  I was flattered.  There is a huge part of me that wants my children to want them, and another part of me that is afraid that they will get lost or abused, or that they might not want them . . .

But then again should I die
and these pieces still
be here with me
they will go
where?

Better to at least think that they are with someone I love and that they mean something to them, even if they don't . . .  I have so many things and I need to begin giving them to my children now, these small treasures.  They are doing me no good and they are in all likelihood my only legacy to them.  I have no riches to send down . . . or to leave.  Just these things and my art and writings . . . 


Speaking of writings, I have three chapters done.  Only six to go.  It's all very exciting and I am really enjoying it!  I best let you go . . .  the day is getting on and I must be about my work.  I do so enjoy your visits and this time we spend together each morning.  Thanks for listening/reading.  It means the world to me.

A thought to carry with you  . . .


.° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★

 *.˛.° ˛°. . 
˛*If you wouldn't say it to a friend  . . . 
     don't say it to yourself.
           ~Jayne Travis   •。★★ 。* 。


 Spiritual Enlightenment



 

 In the English Kitchen today  . . .  Broccoli and Cheddar Chowder . . .  so good.


 Have a fab Wednesday.  (Can't believe it is Wednesday already!)  Don't forget!


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And I do too!


9 comments:

Suze said...

Good morning Marie,

Like you I like to do something while I watch television or wait. Often the needles are knitting kind but at present I have started a cross stitch of the House of Liberty that I bought in the store in London. As I said the other day so many things to do and make and so little time.

Do let me know how the cleaning goes. Will found that my ex's new live-in used my cross stitch of the poem Footprints while she polished finger nails. There is a nail polish crescent on it and I am a little sad about that.

God bless your day. Enjoy your day.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

My grandmother had one of those sewing machines and she taught me how to sew on it. She was a good teacher and sewing was s big part of her life. I'll always remember the thrill of making my first dress. Hope you have a wonderful Wednesday!

La Table De Nana said...

It is my humble opinion that home ec and cooking should be on school schedules..truly..
You make beautiful things Marie..cannot wait to see the book.

westessexdeli said...

Hi Marie,

My mother has/had an old Singer pedal sewing machine.

We did sewing, embroidery, knitting and crochet at school, but nobody ever taught us darning or mending.

Maria

Sybil said...

Oh Marie, I do love the way you weave a story with your words, when I read today's they just seem to....flow....that's one thing that we are different I am not good at sewing...in fact I don't think I am good at very much. People tell me I am, but I know myself that whatever I make could be so much better. I think that is one of my failings.....among many......if I try to do/ make something and I can never get it as perfect as I think it should be I just don't do it again...for instance when I was Young I got. Piano lessons, I knew I would never be perfect so I gave up trying....I went to cake icing once and I did do some lovely cakes but they did not come up to what I saw as perfect so I gave up doing that as well.....looking at written down I can see how daft I am, but there you are that's me your daft pal LOL.....I think it is a good idea to give some of your treasures to the family. IT would be heartbreaking to see them thrown in the rubbish bin by whoever might be clearing up once you are no longer able.....that is a thing I have been doing lately giving some things away if I think someone would like it. I am sure my niece won't want things I have,....with these thoughts I will say night night God Bless. Xxx

Colleen Gander said...

I understand how you feel but you can not control how others receive a gift. It will will be given from your heart and that is what counts. I try to pass along hand made items to those I feel might appreciate it but you can never tell for certain. But do not let doubts stop you from giving. I have had good success laundering cross stitch work in a very mild dish detergent like Ivory (in cool water) if that is something you can get where you live. Rinse really well and allow to dry on a clean towel and then press after from the back side over the towel. And enjoy your handwork as quiet stitching allows you to steep love into everything you make.

Marie Rayner said...

I guess I just don't like wasting time Suzan. We were never allowed to just time waste when I was growing up and it has stuck with me! House of Liberty, ahhh . . . . bliss! That would make me sad also. I do know that one time when I went to pick up my children I saw some of my work in the house and it made me a bit narked, but I have taught myself to let all of that go. It was for my own sanity. God bless. xoxo

I hope you had a great Wednesday also Pam. What a lovely memory you have shared with us. God bless! xoxo

It used to be mandatory Monique, but I am not sure it is nowadays. If not it should be! Thanks, I can't wait to see the book too! xoxo

We never learned crochet at school Maria. My sister taught both my mother and I how to do that and I have always been so thankful for that! What a treasure that sewing maching is! xoxo

Sybil, not all of our talents are patently obvious! You have many talents. One is to care about others and to uplift them. You have me on many occasions and I know that your friends/family would also feel the same. I think you have a gift for being a loyal and loving friend. I think those gifts are the most important of all! Love you! xoxo

You're very right about that Colleen. You cannot control how others receive a gift for sure. Thanks for your tips about laundering. We don't have Ivory soap over here. I have long missed it as I used to use it to clean my paint brushes and loved the smell. I will have to see if I can get some online maybe. xoxo

LeAnn said...

Loved your thoughts on this one. It brought back so many memories of my dear mother. My grandmother had a pedal sewing machine too. My mother was a wonderful seamstress and I did sew but not well and I would alwalys get a neck ache. My Mom made my wedding dress and it was so lovely. When she passed a way I inherited her Singer Sewing Machine. I gave. My nice one sewing machine to my daughter who enjoys sewing. My Mother's Singer still works and I can use it to do repairs and etc.
My sweet mother did a lot of handiwork and did some beautiful needlepoint and I have two hanging in my home. I used to do some of the more gentle arts but haven't for a very long time. I hope to go back to doing some crocheting at some point. I liked to do that while watching TV.
Anyway, thanks for the memories that came flooding back of my dear Mother and my days of sewing; once upon a time.
I too have been thinking about giving some of my things away to my children before I pass away with the hope that they will treasure some of my favorite things.
Love and hugs for you~

Marie Rayner said...

What a lovely memory of your mom LeAnn! My mom's is a Singer also. They used to make the best machines. They lasted a lifetime. Love and hugs right back. xoxo