Thursday, August 14, 2014

Summer Days

I ordered a kit the other day. I had ran across this wonderful blog. It is called The Diary of a Rugmaker. Cee was making these lovely penny rug kits and she has videos to go along with them. I was so enthralled. I spent the day watching her videos. I ordered one of her kits so I can watch her video and learn how to make penny rugs too.

Here is what comes in the kit

It comes with this luscious wool. Pennies and the hand dyed thread. I wish I had had this when I was sitting in doctor offices early this year. I can't wait to start it. 

While I was fooling around so I could take a picture I thought I had never blogged about my treadle sewing machine.

Isn't lovely? I am the fifth generation of women to have this sewing machine. As I thought about it I was overcome with the women in my family who sewed on it. I remember my Mom telling me how she preferred sewing on this treadle. My mom was an incredible seamstress. I have a box of her old clothes that she made someday I will do a blog about that. (She watched Jackie Kennedy like a hawk and would make look alike clothes.)  So I was looking at this and thought I would take a few pictures.

 I love all of the workman ship that has gone into this. When I brought it home years ago from my grandmothers house, it was like a time machine. In it were World War ll medals, old bullets from
guns, ( That scared me to death.) Ration Stamps. It still has the attachments. The box lining is old velvet.

Then that metal container was a cold cream can from Max Factor. It was my grandmother's button can. In it are old buttons and my mom's buttons from her vest when she was in Camp Fire Girls.

I realized that I have a thing for old sewing machines. I have two Singer Feather Weight machines.
I have a old machine that was also my grandmothers I need to get out and look at. She made one of my Christmas formals on it one year. I always thought it was funny, that my Mom loved the treadle and my grandmother always wanted new. I wish I knew how to use the treadle. My Mom said it always gave a truer stitch.

The above photos are from the women on my Mom's side of the family. My Mom's family were very, very different from my Dad's family and my grandmother on that side.
 My Dad met my Mom in a dance hall that my grandfather had dances in on Saturday night. My Mom was the hat-check girl.

 My Dad's family were extremely religious. Hyper religious. My dad was of course the black sheep and you know what happens when worlds collide.  I was though, surrounded by very strong women. I think I have befitted from both worlds.


 Since I have been meaning to show you this Grandmother's Flower Garden. I was using it as a back drop.
 My Dad's mother, my  Granny was left a orphan in the flu epidemic.
She was 12 years old. A man came upon her house and she was sick, but her family had passed away. Silas had lost his wife and children as well. He buried her family and then nursed her back to health. Then he married her.
She always spoke of him with kindness and such love and gratitude. It was always hard to get my mind around. Then he died when she was sixteen and she was on her own again. After WWI was over she married my grandpa and had my Dad and his family. Her quilting frame was an old one that let down from the ceiling. How I wish I had not been so busy then, and I had learned from her as well. This quilt isn't made from a rotary cutter, but cut with scissors. It is all hand quilted. They used their own templates they made from boxes. I was out of high school before my grandmother made quilts from fabric she bought. Most of the quilts she made were made from clothing people gave her.

As I was looking at that sewing machine today. It dawned on me.

Sewing, doing needlework, knitting and the things I love so much are because of the generations of women who did the sewing as a way to bring beauty and comfort to their family and their homes. I never feel as content as when I have fabric or wool or a needle and thread in my hand. I think it comes from the generations of women who have left me a bit of themselves in the legacies they passed down, of a love of a needle and thread.

Thank you for reading. I hope you have a lovely day.


" What makes the desert beautiful," said the little prince, " is that somewhere it hides a well."
---The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, 1943


TexWisGirl said...

i LOVE that old sewing machine and the treasures you found in it! the history of your grandmother - wow...

Kerin said...

Hello Kim,
What a wonderful, and heartfelt post. Thank you for sharing!!!

I love your old machine. How nice for you to have that heirloom, and the lovely memories of your mom to go along with it!
I loved reading the story sketch of your grandma. A woman of fortitude, and spunk!

My grandma also used old clothing to make quilts with... that is one of the reasons that her quilts mean so much to me :)
Later, she worked at a store that sold fabric, and she would use her employee discount to buy fabric by the yard, and then she would stockpile the fabric for quilts.

I LOVE your new penny kit!! Thanks for the link too... I will check it out.

Have a sun filled, and blessed day.


Kessie said...

What a lovely blog post! Thanks for writing this down--I didn't know that about your grandma (married at 12!). And that old sewing machine! I wish I knew how to sew. Someday I'm going to get a machine and butcher lots of fabric. :-)

Nellie said...

What a lovely post, Kim, as you relate who you are today to the women in your past. Real stories to remember relating to your heritage. xo Nellie

Debbie said...

oohhhhh that sewing machine is such a treasure!! The colors in the quilt are so fun, and I am curious about that rug, please post a picture when you make it!!

Miss Debbie said...

What a lovely heritage you have! I come from a line of sewing women, too. I am not as gifted as they were not do I enjoy it like they did, but I do fine satisfaction in a completed project! Look forward to seeing the penny rug...can't imagine what it will look like!

Meg said...

This is the best post! I do love your sewing machine. Mimi has one tucked away in the house and I used to treadle it all the time. I told her to never get rid of it, I will take it when she is ready to let it go. I love hearing stories about your family. They are always the best stories!

Julia said...

Like everyone said , it's a lovely post today. You are so rich in history from your family.

I used to sew on an old treadle Signer sewing machine when I was young. it was so simple to thread it but I know nothing about White Sewing machines. You may find some tutorial on the web on how to thread it.

I can't wait to see your penny rug. It looks like a lot of fun.

Take care,

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

There are so many fascinating glimpses of stories in this post . . . it brings to mind a few novels I have read. If you ever write them all out I think it would be a best seller! And what a love affair with the needle and thread runs through your family. That is wonderful. Finally, the penny rug fascinates me. No idea what it will look like when done, but there is something so satisfying about all those little disks of felt (if it is felt?)...guess I need to google and find some images to satisfy my curiosity about the finished product.

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

PS: I went to Debbie's link in your post and so now I know!

Also, forgot to say that old treadle sewing machine brings back memories . . . my grandmother had one.

Kim said...

That is a beautiful old machine. And I love the stories that came with it. Women worked so much harder to create in those days and I guess that's why we cherish the results now.

Jacque. said...

Kim...well, another fun read! Love all your looks into your past. The treadle machine would be fun to use. Look on YouTube for tutorials. If the machine is not operable, I am sure you could find someone in your area who would work on it. xo

Three Sheep Studio said...

Your old sewing machine is lovely Kim, as well as the treasures that came with it. I love the stroy you told of generations of women. You have a rich legacy to carry on.

Kathy ... aka Nana said...

I too am most content with a needle of some kind in my hand. I use my sewing machine to piece, but I'm going to teach myself how to piece by hand, too. What lovely stories you have ... I always look forward to what you have to tell.

Pom Pom said...

Hi Kim!
I feel this way about cooking, too. And washing dishes. I am so thankful for my achey little hands!
Bless you, sweet friend.

Empty Nester said...

That is an amazing story of your dad's mother. I am from a long line of women who sew quite well. too. When Breezy got married, she drew the dress she wanted and my mother made a pattern and put the dress together. Birdie taught herself how to quilt. I missed out on all of it. LOL

annie said...

I so very much enjoyed this post!
I love your quilt and the treadle.
I learned to sew on one, I no longer have it.
But they are very forgiving, and before you know ,
you can get the hang of it. If you have everything
on it the old girl should go. Like any other machine,
the main things seem to be threading it correctly,
getting the tension right, and steady flow of fabric under the foot.
These old girls are war horses, they can conquer anything, and are great for heavy jeans. I always loved the old bullet shaped
bobbin holders, and the way they wind! a work of art in motion I think... There should be some online sources regarding parts if you are missing any, just a thought.
And one other thing, I think those red sunflower photos looks like they would make beautiful designs for hooked rugs.