Thursday, August 2, 2012

WARNING: It's about to get sappy up in here.

Many people have asked me how I learned to embroider. I have to agree, it really is a dying art.   As I wrap up last month's tea towel challenge, I thought I'd share with you where I learned this crafty skill.  I learned from the most amazing woman in my mom.
She was so stinking crafty.  I remember her teaching me how to embroider.  I can also remember her making each and every set, picking out the colors like they were a coloring book.

Mom used to make the flour sack tea towels as gifts for her favorite people.  My aunt had a set or two, Sis had a couple of sets, my brother had some, even my best friends had sets.  Did you notice I wasn't on that list?  She passed away very suddenly in January of 2006.  She had always said she would make me a set, but we never did.  
Everyone mentioned how much their sets had become keepsakes now that mom wasn't there to make them more.  Suddenly, she wasn't there to make more...or me any.  I never told anyone how jealous I was that they had her towels and I did not.  (I'm getting a little teary eyed as I write this.)  I held that secret close to my chest for 5 years.  I told myself I had something better.  I had the memories of embroidering with her.  I was the lucky one.  

After mom passed away, I moved around quite a bit.  I bounced from Las Vegas to St. Louis to Tulsa.  Most of my belongings stayed in storage for a few years.  By storage, I mean Papa's shop.  I finally made a trip up to see Aunt Pat and go through my boxes one weekend.  

I had my ear buds in and I was jamming out while I dug through box after box (wondering why I had bothered to save and pack half the crap I had had in storage) until I came to one box that stopped me dead in my tracks.  There, in a ziplock bag, was a set of tea towels.  It was a complete set of my mom's tea towels.  I burst into tears.  Full on tears.  I HAD MY OWN SET!!  

Look at the detail and all of those tiny stitches.

Mom had always told people to use their towels.  They were there for being used, not sitting in a keepsake box.  She said she'd make more if they wore out.  Well, I like to think it's okay if mine sit in a keepsake box now because I can make myself more.  This set of towels, each and every stitch, will be treasured and held close to my heart forever and always.  

People, if you have talents...SHARE THEM!  Teach your children, your nieces, your nephews.  Don't let the crafts or skills or talents your loved ones taught you die out.  I can't imagine my life without the skills and memories I learned from my mom.  In an age of technology, people love hand made crafts, gifts, and decor even more.  PASS THEM ALONG!    

I know I'm generally a sassy and fun kinda gal, but I tend to get sappy from time to time.  I promise to bring the sass back in the next post.  

If you missed any of the previous tea 
towel posts, you can find them here:

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  1. One of your best post ever! Love you Chachi!

  2. Not only do you have your own set, but you have a towel for every day of the week! She must have known. Beautiful. Maybe frame them for your kitchen wall. They are truly amazing...

    I think about passing on talents to my little girl as well. I sew, believe it or not, and would like to teach her the craft when she gets a bit older. I may even get her a little sewing machine for her birthday this year.

    1. What great memories she'll have along with a very handy talent.

      I've been trying to think of a way to use them. I was thinking of framing them for my Junk Gypsy inspired bedroom somehow. You know me, I'll think of something!

  3. My mom made embroidered pillowcases and BOY do I cherish those. She is still with us but is doing a lot less needlework now.

    1. Aren't they great! You are a very lucky gal. I look at mine and see every little stitch she made. It's very special. Thanks for popping in.

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