Nana’s Helper

I remember when I was a young child, my Grandma Sveen traced an outline of some of her silverware on a dish towel and then patiently sat with me and taught me how to embroider.  Little did she know what she had started… or then again, maybe she was well aware.  Sewing was a very important part of her life.  She did not use her abilities as a seamstress for a hobby or recreation, but instead as a highly valued skill that was necessary in order to cloth not only herself, but also her family.  The leftovers from her garment sewing were carefully stored away to be utilized later on in a quilt, pillow, etc.  She also collected the fabric from the sacks that flour was stored in as this was another important source for fabric.

Today, as I was babysitting our grandchild, Belén, she began to play with some spools of thread that I have on a rack near my sewing machine.  She has shown an interest in thread before and will very carefully follow a long strand with her little fingers, and seems captivated by it.  Today, she took it one step further and proceed to first remove the thread from the spool pegs.  Once she had taken a spool off, she would then try to put it back on.  She is only 14 months old, and struggled getting the spool back on the narrow holder, so I got a little pail for her to put them in instead and she was delighted.

I couldn’t help but smile as I watched her gleefully remove each and every spool and often times she would proudly pass one to me.  When I gave it back to her, she would put it in her pail.  Sharing this experience, took me back to the time I spent with my Grandma when she also had the patience to allow me to explore with color and thread as I eagerly attempted to retrace her outline on the dish towels she prepared for me.  I hope that I can instill in Little Belén some of the passion I have for sewing and that she too will benefit from the satisfaction it provides in allowing a creative outlet for me to express myself and to share something special I have made for others.

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3 Responses to Nana’s Helper

  1. Molly says:

    Jane — LOVE it! You can bet that I’ll be checking in!

    I need your help with making LARGE button holes on my Bernina! I was making a hooded bath towel for Isla — using the ‘Snuggle Wrap” pattern in the Amy Butler book. Anyway … couldn’t figure it out – so I simply stitched the belt to the towel. Check it out. Are you still working Thursdays only at QC? I may bring Isla in tomorrow!

  2. Paula says:

    I love your blog….my grandmother on my mom’s side was a seamstress also. (my mom actually wanted to be a tailor but got married instead) Grandma sewed for people since she had been a girl and then when married. She sewed for Miss ND many years, and lots of wedding dresses. When I lived with her she had a wedding dress in her sewing closet from girl who decided not to get married but grandma saved her dress. I wish I could sew like she did. She would hand hem everything, she was very meticulous. Great memories even though I only saw her maybe every 3 years or so since my dad was in the AF.

  3. Evie says:

    This is great, Jane! You are a wonderful model to the adult fast paced world as to what is really important to growing babies and young children. I am so glad you are able to share yourself with Belen and then also share those experiences with us!

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