Thursday, August 1, 2013

Embroidered Pot Holders

 How many little girls, I wonder, begin working with embroidery at the age of six?  How many, I wonder, even know what embroidery is?  I started my life as a needlewoman at the age of three when my mother introduced me to Lacing Cards. I loved weaving that shoelace through the holes in the thick, chunky, cardboard picture. I would do it again and again and again. When I was six I graduated to perforated sewing paper and a fat, blunt-ended needle.  It was magic watching a picture emerge out of a series of Xs.  Gradually, as I got older, I was introduced to thread, and various embroidery stitches - running, outline, back stitch, lazy daisy, etc.  Tea towels (though, at that age, I never once had tea) and pillow cases were my specialty.

It's been a while since I've talked with young girls to see if this skill maintains. Sadly, I think operating a keyboard seems to be the only skill at which modern young people excel.  I mention this because I came across this worn set of potholders the other day. 
My mother had given them to me long ago. She made these, she told me, when she was sixteen. They were one of the first things placed into her Hope Chest (a chest or other storage unit in which young women collected household goods in anticipation of marriage).  
Take a look at them. The tiny, perfect stitching is phenomenal. 
The sweet pattern is certainly reminiscent of earlier days, but also the great skill in their creation. In all my years of stitching with my oversized, Mississippi Valley farmer-sized hands, I've never been able to accomplish what seemed to be natural to her.

If you have a young girl in your life, do encourage her to set aside her iPhone and learn to stitch. Her progeny will find her creations to be such treasures.

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~~louise~~ said...

Aren't they simply adorable Pattie! Your mom sure had a steady hand:)

I've never been any good at anything that involves thread and a needle. And I'm afraid you might be right, children may not be learning these skills any longer. Not to mention the rewards of the finished product.

My granddaughter is learning how to sew both by hand and machine. As you can imagine, I'm thrilled!

Thank you so much for sharing your mom's darling artwork with us...

From the Kitchen said...

I learned to embroidery as a young child. Dresser scarves and pillow cases were the projects. I often wonder what happened to them. I recently looked for pieces to embroider and couldn't find any. Perhaps an internet search is in order. I've been reading your blog all along but, since having trouble commenting ages ago, have not commented. I'm trying again. Here goes!


GratefulPrayerThankfulHeart said...

Oh, Pattie, you and I think alike! I just bought embroidery supplies for my granddaughter (her 10th birthday is coming up) and her best friend so I can teach them to embroider. Got some at a craft store and found the sweetest (vintage-looking) transfers at WM. I thought about purchasing a pair of pillow cases for them to complete but bought fabric instead that I will sew into a small-ish dresser scarf. Keri is left-handed and I am having a very hard time teaching her to crochet, but I think embroidering will be easier.

Your moms stitching is perfect and it is so special to have her potholders!

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

I learned at a very early age to embroidery and I loved it. As I got older and got married my husband traveled a lot and I didn't work so I took up embroidery again and have made so many wonderful items.
You are so right we are not teaching our children and grandchildren any of our home making skills.
Thanks for taking me back to my childhood.
Have a wonderful weekend.

Linda said...

Good, good stuff. We are preparing to move close to my grandkids, and my granddaughters actually have an interest in learning anything "Gee-ma" wants to teach them. I will bookmark this to remind myself to spend the time to teach them the lovely, peaceful art of embroidery.