Heirlooms? No Family Crafted Items survived, but memories do. A little current patchwork therapy too !

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I just read a lovely post, Blankets and Blessings, by thechickengrandma.wordpress.com and it has made me feel thoughtful about life, past and present (reblogged here on my site for interest and musings).

We all come from somewhere and someone.  When we are gone what do we pass on?

What kind of material history do we leave?  Some people say it’s not the material stuff that matters, and true, memories might matter more.  However, I am sure I am not the only one who would love to have more physical reminders occasionally.

I lost both parents (a mother and a stepfather I considered as my father for 30 years) but I often still feel a little lost myself, like a ship without a compass. I am in my 40’s, with a family of my own, and siblings too.  My parents were great influences, and of course I took them for granted, as all children do. I have many wonderful memories, and can pull those up in times of sadness.  I also have a couple of pieces of jewellery, of no value at all apart from sentimental.

There wasn’t a big collection of family hand me downs, not a heirloom christening gown, wedding dresses, memory quilts.  My mother and grandmother crafted all the time, however, nothing much was really kept.  Once it outgrew it’s purpose or fashion changed,  it was usually gifted to charity (that in itself is a kind and brilliant thing).   Perhaps some would say this was also a blessing, my siblings probably would, clearing the house there was lots of ‘stuff’. I kind of miss my grandmother’s handmade hexi quilt for one thing. I remember her making it, showing me how to cut hexigan shapes with card and cover them in fabric and I remember the quilt on her spare bed. Indeed, I have used this method myself to quilt and it reminds me of her (see below!). I miss my mother’s wedding dress. She had made it herself in 1961, though that’s a whole story in itself (my mother and true father divorced and my sister and I as children were allowed to play dressing up with her wedding dress!)   My mother sewed and knitted, she dabbled with macrame, tatting, crochet, many other things.  I remember she made floral displays from coloured stockings and wire (one even for her best friend’s wedding tiara!).  She made cards too sometimes.  She was pretty much an all-rounder craftwise (oh the hundreds of tea cosies she made for a local charity shop too.. flew off their shelves like hot cakes!) Nan was slightly less so, but she still knitted and sewed, and as a keen WI member she baked cakes and made jam, even writing this I can smell her kitchen.  The one thing I have of my Nan’s is a mixing bowl and I love using it occasionally, though also terrified of accidently breaking it as well. My Dad’s material legacy to me is very little, it’s more things he said and things he did that make me smile.

So, what will my own craft legacy be – if anything?  I knit, I sew, I dabble.  I have a son who has never wanted to craft and has no interest in anything I make.  I have a husband who tolerates the crafting chaos, and fakes an interest in completed items! I have gifted various knitted and sewn things to friends over the years and currently am doing so for new babies in the family and for friends.  Perhaps they will become their family heirlooms, or perhaps not.  Who knows?  I would like to think in years ahead someone might find something I made in a long lost storage box and be delighted to rediscover it!

Many current WIPS. One is this …..

I started with a few hexagons about six years ago, a project that was going to be a large cushion, but having rediscovered it I am going to make a lot more and turn it all into a throw for a sofa.  Not an urgent project, more like an ergonomic past time that will be dipped into over months and years!  Don’t expect to see the finished item here too soon! 

Signing out for now. Feeling nostalgic having had a couple of recent big family celebrations.



8 thoughts on “Heirlooms? No Family Crafted Items survived, but memories do. A little current patchwork therapy too !

    tierneycreates said:
    April 30, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    Hexies! Grandmother’s Flower Garden – I am thinking on settling on that pattern myself for my EPP hexies. I enjoyed this post and the food for thought on our legacies!

      tinaor responded:
      April 30, 2017 at 6:55 pm

      Thank you. It’s very therapeutic to quilt by hand with hexagons.

    carentaylor said:
    May 1, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    What a lovely post Tina 🙂 Truth be known I think we crafters all feel we would like to leave a little heirloom behind 😉 Sometimes reminiscing with ourselves is a great way to catch up with those no longer with us…

    tinaor responded:
    May 2, 2017 at 7:56 am

    carentaylor, perfectly said. Thank you.

    handmade habit said:
    May 2, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    Beautiful, thoughtful post, Tina. How interesting to read about the crafting legacy inherited from your mother and grandmother. Great hexies – so many crafting talents! I’ve been thinking a lot about legacy, too (no crafters in my family, believe it or not!). I would really like to teach craft in some (very basic) way to share the joy I get from my work with new generations of makers. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

      tinaor responded:
      May 18, 2017 at 6:47 pm

      I guess the new crafting ‘family’ is the likeminded souls we find in daily life if not actual family. Good idea to teach so your craft would be passed on. Actually I was talking about this exact thing just a few days ago. If it was successful someone would think of you every time they crafting – so the legacy would live on ! x

    Fred the Needle said:
    May 17, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    What a lovely post! Those hexies are pretty patchwork is a labour of love! I’ve been de cluttering lately and came across a quilt I’ve had for over 20 years! It needs repairing but an real old friend. Like your baby quilts they will be there for the ups and downs of the baby’s early years – made with love I believe it wraps the child up I that love too. You only get that with home made.

    tinaor responded:
    May 18, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    That was a lovely thing to say Fred the Needle, yes, the love eeks out of handmade gifts indeed!

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