Thursday, September 16, 2010


Certain things come naturally to people and I am thrilled to be able to tell you that my granddaughter will one day be a seamstress like her mother, both her grandmothers, her great-grandmother and on back through the generations!

Yes it is true. Clare loves to go to the fabric store! When she was a child, my daughter was the only one of my children who could tolerate the fabric store. I hate to classify by gender, but… the boys HATED going in there even for a quick errand. They’d be cheerful, obedient, cooperative children in any other store, making soldiers or airplanes out of the clips on the floor or hiding in the racks or chattering amiably until we stepped into the fabric store. Then their bladders were bursting, they felt sick, their hands formed a fist that struck others (somehow!)and their litany was a chorus that sounded like, “when, oh when are we going hooooome?”

Clare sits up straight and reaches her hands out to touch the fabrics. Her eyes are alight, full of joy and interest.

At my house I have a little sewing room. I don’t allow people under 5 to play in there or to walk in there barefoot because of the possibility of pins on the floor (I have a creative temperament which means I can be a bit messy when I sew). My grandsons are fascinated with my sewing room chiefly because it is off limits. Both of them have had seasons in their young lives where they’d stand just inside the doorway eyes alight not with interest, but with daring and mischief waiting for that strange joy obtained from getting in trouble.

But when I walk by the door to my sewing room with Clare she reaches out her hand toward the cloth doll I made years and years ago when her mother was a girl.  At first Clare was afraid of it but still compelled by it. When I carried her in to see it, each week we got closer and closer and now that she is a bit bigger than the doll, she loves it.
hugging Bridget the cloth doll

Last week my daughter and I had to get something out of the sewing room. I said to Clare, “Let’s go into Grannie’s sewing room.” She squealed with delight.
She waved her arms up and down and bounced with glee.

She loves the funny old innkeeper from our nativity marionettes that I forgot to put in the box. I’m keeping him in the sewing room until Christmas when I get the marionettes down. Now the innkeeper is not so cute. 
the bling he's wearing was Andrea's brilliant idea!

We made him kind of scary looking even though I suppose it was not his fault that his inn was filled up with people that night long ago.
It was really Clare's idea to kiss the innkeeper. 

She loves it when I shake the bottles of buttons and she can say “button” now.

I think of the days when we were cleaning out my mother’s home after her sudden death. From all of her many possessions, my daughter took the big can of buttons and called it her inheritance. If you look around my sewing room, you can see things I have from my mother’s sewing room, the little finger paint jar where she kept pins and where I now keep rotary blades for cutting quilts,

 the cards of needles probably fifty years old that fill my needle tin,

 the scraps of lace, the darning bulb, the sleeve iron and the jar of tiny mother of pearl buttons from her days as a children’s clothing designer.

 There are things from her sewing room that I regret letting go, things that meant home and heritage to me, but I suppose the love for sewing, the wanting to create beauty with fabric and scissors is deeper. At least I think so when I hear my little granddaughter giggling and laughing as she holds the colorful cloth. That’s exactly how I feel, too. I think I have a wee, kindred spirit here in Clare, don’t you? 

Clare, modeling an apron I made her, with her beautiful mommy

1 comment:

  1. You are both...forgive the pun...cut from the same cloth