The story of a life, told in handkerchiefs....my most memorable job yet.
I had the extreme honor of going to the home of an amazingly talented woman who had recently passed on to her hereafter and taking a look at more than a roomful of sewing items she had used in her lifetime. The fabrics and the notions held the memories of childhoods, toys, proms, weddings, suits and decades of fashion. I wish I had taken pictures of some of her creations her daughter showed me-I almost fell back into childhood in fascination at a scaled down Christmas tree made out of beads with tiny ornaments and oodles of gifts both wrapped and unwrapped underneath and I know my daughter could have sat and played with the teeny toys for hours.
So I spent a few hours literally in the midst of evidence of the sewist I hope to one day be..... going through her fabrics and matching colors to each of the piles of hankies her daughter had chosen for the various Sisters, Daughters, Grandchildren and Great-Grandchildren who do not know they are receiving these for Christmas.
I was told that this woman collected and made her own (or embellished) handkerchiefs and usually had one to match each special outfit she made. Some of these were so fragile I would not doubt that they were from her childhood. There were ones with teeny stitches on tinier cutwork or fancy crocheted stitches in a variety of colors and designs.
I would love to have a woman like this as a mentor to learn these techniques no longer taught in childhood.
I was given complete freedom to add in some of the lovely vintage button, laces and applique. These are never going to be able to be used to put stuff on because of the fragility of the linens themselves but they will hold some special memories every time her family member brings these out to use and I sure the happy memory tears will be flowing this holiday.
One more detail I added were her initials and the year as well as a heart that says 'I Love You' because apparently she made a doll for each of the girls when they were young and put this over the heart so I think it will be quite a surprise and perhaps make the family members feel as if their Mother, Grandmother and Great-Grandmother was guiding my hands and in some ways I felt that she was.
Enjoy these details there were too many pictures to choose from....
Side note: After this woman passed several of the girls in her family saw butterflies at her funeral and afterwards so they felt that since she always loved butterflies that this was a sign to them from her so I tried to incorporate them into each runner and this is one of my barely visibly ones to match the white hankies. Can you see how fragile that linen is? Oh my ironing these was next to impossible but I will bet she could have taught me a thing or two about that eh?
Tomorrow I will show you the lace posies I made and some of the pictures of the vintage buttons I took pictures of before I returned them! What will you create today?
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