Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sewing, Part of My Past

Sewing machines are part of some of my earliest memories.  In Beaumont TX, I was 3-4 years old, sitting on the floor by Mother's sewing machine, playing with spools of thread while Mother sewed.  We were listening to Arthur Godfrey on the radio.  Mother made my play clothes, school clothes and church clothes until I was well-trained enough to sew for myself.

Mother's mother, Grandma Capron, had a sewing machine in the dining room of her house in Lincoln NE.  It was a treadle machine that Grandpa had motorized long before I was born.  I only remember a couple of times when we visited that she used the machine.

Dad's mother, Mom Jones, in Lufkin TX had a treadle machine that, from my earliest memories, sat on her big screened-in porch.  I don't remember her sewing much when I was around but she did some mending and made some quilt tops.  My first sewing experience was on that machine.  I cut squares of fabric, sewed them together and put a long border strip around them for a doll blanket.  I was probably 7 years old.  That treadle machine is now tucked away in a corner of our storage in the workshop in Midland.  One of these days I'll dig it out & see if it will still run.

My parents gave me a Singer Featherweight machine as my high school graduation gift.  Even if it just did straight stitch, I was thrilled with it and used it for many years.

Fast forward many years to the early 70's.  We lived in KS then and were coming to TX to visit.  My mother-in-law had found a magazine article with a pattern for some cute kids cuddly comforters she wanted me to make.  When we arrived in Andrews we bought the fabric and some butcher paper to make the pattern.  All the magazine had was a gridded box with the pattern pieces drawn on it.  I made big grids on the butcher paper and drew off the actual pattern.  Then I sewed the cute comforters up.  My MIL did all the hand tufting with embroidery thread to make each comforter like the photos.

These are photos of ones I made many years later.  The applique was zig-zag stitched on and tufting was done by machine.  There is only a little hand embroidery on these later ones. 

The butcher paper patterns were copied onto brown wrapping paper, then onto poster board and eventually onto foam core board.  Don't remember how many of these blankets I've made but nieces & nephews along with some of their children have Elephant blankies or Lion blankies.

1 comment:

Knitrageous said...

Love the comforters! My grandmother, same one who taught me to knit, tried to teach me to sew. It didn't take too well. I do have her Singer treadle in storage. I should get that out. I got a toy Singer when I was little and still have it as well. Just does chain stitch. My little granddaughter will appreciate it some day!