Monday, May 11, 2009

Remembering the women in my family

A little late for Mother's Day . . .

The girl cousins on my mother's side of the family love fiber - knitting, sewing, quilting. We love to touch the yarn and fabrics, we love to create things, and we probably came by this trait naturally. Diane is a knitter. Julie is also a knitter who has dabbled a little into quilting. I can knit, but not well. But I love to sew, although I rarely make any garments anymore. I just quilt.

My mother (Jane) loved sewing and passed that love to me. She was an expert seamstress. During WWII she worked in garment factories. Later in life she sewed most of my clothes, and made quilts, curtains, and a lot more. She didn't like to make fancy pieced quilts with handquilting. But she loved to "use it up" and "make due" by putting together blocks or strips into functional warm quilts and she hand tied them all.

Two of my mother's 3 younger sisters also had a love for fiber. June was a knitter and Lois had her own successful business making draperies and slipcovers. Both could sew garments expertly as well, even though they usually chose not to.

They all probably inherited this love of fiber from their mother. My grandmother could knit, crochet, and tat lace. She also did quite a bit of fancy embroidery. But her knitting is probably one of the things her grandchildren remember the most. I don't imagine anyone could even guess how many sweaters, scarves, mittens, socks she made for friends and family over the years. A beautiful white crocheted table cloth won a ribbon at the Minnesota State Fair sometime in the 1960's. I still have that table cloth. And I have the red angora sweater she made for me to wear for my high school graduation photos. Not that it still fits!!!

Another generation has the fiber bug. My younger daughter Laura has become a knitter - thanks to lessons from cousin Julie a couple of summers ago. My older daughter Jerilyn loves to scrapbook and run, but maybe she'll be bitten by the fiber bug later in life. Who knows?

My grandmother passed away in her 90's nearly 25 years ago. My mother died the summer of 1991. But the love of fiber still exists. Thanks Mom (& Grandma & the aunts) for passing it along to the next generations!!


  1. Yeah, I'm so grateful for the fiber fanaticism that was passed down from grandma Johnson. It has made me many friends, taken me to many places and resulted in so many pleasurable creative hours. Oh, and scrapbooking? That's technically a fiber art! Run, Jerilyn, run! Laura--will the blanket be ready for the winter of '09? Thanks for blogging, Sara!

  2. Sara, this is very special and I am so glad you are sharing your talents with others. You are a very special friend and I thank you for encouraging me in the realm of quilting.

  3. I'm glad to have you as a quilting friends as well . . . along with Tina, Marilyn, Pam and the other ladies we've quilted with the past year. Friends keep us inspired and also give us someone to vent to when needed. Thanks friend!