Gifts From My Grandparents – Maybe

While I have quilts in progress now they aren’t camera-ready. I am embellishing the black hole quilt – specifically making the event horizon, which is a more complicated design issue than you might think. The other quilt, well, to be honest it is merely a pile of fabrics on the edge of the cutting table, but it will be so much more someday soon.

The pictures that I have to share today come from staring time. I got the idea from circle time at my son’s preschool. The kids were supposed to be paying attention to the story the teacher read, but that didn’t always happen. I trusted that something useful was going on in my son’s little brain, even if it did look like he was merely staring into space, and decided to try it myself. Every week, I go into the sewing room and just stare – at the piles in the corners, at the jumble on the shelves, at the treasures hiding in bags behind the cutting table. Today’s staring time unearthed a plastic bag with a bunch of needles for a Singer sewing machine, some snaps for baby clothing, and two (2) special tools for making bound buttonholes, both in the original and unopened packaging.

Tools I will never use

I don’t own a Singer sewing machine, I never made baby clothing that required snaps, and while I have made a bound buttonhole it was strictly a one-off thing that I learned in a sewing class and was pretty sure I’d never attempt again, with or without specialty tools. So how did I acquire all this stuff?

To be honest, I don’t know. It could have come from my quilting grandmother’s sewing room. After she died, the family boxed up everything that could easily be shipped and sent it to me. My cousin got the sewing machine (because she lived in the same town as Grandma and needed one), so I would assume that she would have kept the needles, but if my uncles were the ones doing the packing they might not even have noticed what went into the box marked for me.

I have other odd artifacts from my grandparents tucked around the sewing room. My singing grandmother (really, she was in a choir; I have an album they recorded) was inordinately fond of two dolls and no one could figure out why. My mother took them from the nursing home when Baba died and gave them to me. She told me she didn’t know why they were important but couldn’t bear throwing them away, and since I’m a pack rat I could be counted on to keep them safe. She didn’t actually use the phrase pack rat, but I got the idea.

Someone else's toys

My woodworking grandfather (husband of the singing grandmother; also in the choir) made some gorgeous bowls and cups. I have some on display in the house, some packed away for my kids. He also made some wooden flowers that must have been all the rage back in the day but haven’t aged well. I have one of them in the sewing room, as well as a device that he might have made to hold thread. I’m not sure about the device – it could be something from my quilting grandmother’s sewing room, or another orphan artifact that someone couldn’t bear to toss out so gave to me, the local keeper of all things odd.

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2 Responses to “Gifts From My Grandparents – Maybe”

  1. TheaM Says:

    Hi Lani,
    Those dolls are sweet – probably reminded your grandma of vacations or something – a Spanish senorita and a London Bobby? did she travel much?
    I have a huge box of dolls – I wonder what my grandkids will think of them someday?
    That little wooden gizmo looks like something popular back in the early 90’s that was sold as a sewing accessory – you put a thimble on the little dowel, a small spool of thread on the slightly larger dowel, and the big dowel went through a spool of quilting thread. The groove on the outside was supposed to hold a tiny pair of scissors, so it was all handy next to your sewing chair – back in the days of handwork…..

    • Lani Longshore Says:

      Hi, Thea My grandmother did do a little traveling, but not to Spain or England. Thanks for the info about the wooden gizmo – I think someone else must have given it to me, because my grandfather didn’t make sewing accessories. Lani

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