Wayyyyy back to the beginning. Well not THE beginning, but my beginning. At some very young age I discovered sewing. Of course, I’d probably been watching my mom sew since the day I was born, propped up in a little seat while my mom sat at the kitchen table with her sewing machine. The kitchen was the first sewing “space” that my mom had in the house. She found a more permanent home for her sewing space in the downstairs hallway, once my dad developed the basement more fully. Many years later, my mom was finally able to take over one of the bedrooms and convert it into her sewing room, once my oldest brother left the nest. That room was still in the basement though, so it wasn’t until the day that my brother Aaron and I moved out together (eeek, the last two children leaving in one go) that my mom finally claimed a sunny room upstairs to sit and surround herself with her ever growing fabric stash. And there she sits today, in front of the sewing machine, creating the most lovely things.
It’s simply no wonder at all, that I too have the sewing bug. Not as some fleeting hobby that will eventually be replaced by another, but as a way of life. That seems like a rather serious statement, but it’s true. Sure there have been periods of my life where the sewing machine was left untouched for a time, but I always came back to it and generally with a renewed love for sewing.
I recently asked my mom what she thought one of my earliest sewing projects were and wondered if they were still lingering around. We both thought of a small wall hanging quilt that remains hanging in that basement hallway where my mom’s sewing room used to be. It’s probably one of the earliest examples of my own sewing and quilting. A project where my mom helped a great deal, but I was at least able to use the sewing machine on my own (sorry I don’t have a photo of it to share here).
However, the other day, my mom pulled out what is undeniably one of my earliest sewing projects. A rather ugly square of scrap fabrics sewn randomly. I admit, it has some charm, knowing that it’s so very old and I was so very young. My mom said that she used to sit me on her lap and let me choose bits of fabrics from the pile of scraps. Then I would plop them down on the square she had prepared and she would control the sewing machine pedal. Some moms might be cringing at the thought of having small hands near that sewing machine needle, but all ten of my digits survived just fine, thank you very much.
Last weekend my mom and I were at a friend’s baby shower. Our gift was a gorgeous baby quilt that my mom and I collaborated on. I picked the colours and fabrics and she did all the beautiful piecing. Doesn’t that sound familiar? I also gave my friend some baby bibs that I had recently sewn and seeing the quilt and bibs, someone at the shower said, “I see where you get your sewing talent from.” And I couldn’t agree more.
In light of some recent news, it seems very important to acknowledge just how much my mom has influenced my life. I’m so grateful for all that she has taught me and continues to teach me. I still know where to go when I need help and not just sewing help. I can’t imagine our lives without the bond of sewing between us and that is a gift we can both give thanks for. I can only hope and pray that one day my mom will have the opportunity to teach all these many things to her grandchildren. It would bring nothing but joy to see her with a little one in her lap again in front of the sewing machine.
So thank you mom, for teaching me how to put all one’s love into bits of sewn fabric, how to hold my life together with colourful threads, and adorn the best days with buttons.