Posts Tagged ‘gifts from the dead’

My mother died in 1995. She left behind a lot of things, a few of which were projects she was going to do “someday” or that she was in the middle of and would finish “someday”. My father got rid of most of her things and not a few of those were projects she was going to do “someday”. I collected a few and put them into a file for projects that I will do “someday”.

Dad died in 2011. I collected what was left of Mom’s projects and put them in storage in Reno, where they languished until last year.

I set out to finish three of those projects before Christmas: three little animals that I assumed were meant to be puppets (they weren’t). I wanted to include them in a box bound for grandchildren (her great-grandchildren) as a “gift from Nana and Great Grandma-You-Never-Knew”.


Unfortunately, this meant I had to tackle the Sewing Demon. The bobbins are an example of what the Sewing Demon does to me.

Mom made it look easy. My daughters make it look easy. My cousins sew quilts with great detail and make it look easy.

I can’t even thread a bobbin without it becoming a production. (Yes, by the way, it was human error and I did figure out what I was doing wrong, so – no snickering!) (I can hear you!)

I rarely uncover my sewing machine. I avoid sewing for exactly this reason. I spend more time ripping out seams sewn in backwards than I actually spend sewing. I use iron-on tape to hem things I make. I’ve been known to leave safety pins in the hems of slacks because I don’t want to sew.

When I do sew, I can sew. I’m just not overly thrilled with the hassle I just know I am going to run into.

The bobbin thing didn’t come up until tonight, when I had to change the color of thread in my sewing machine (which I have used exactly once since I purchased it a year ago: I sewed the cover for it). In my defense, I designed the cover, did all the measurements, cut the fabric, and sewed the thing without a hitch. Then I put the sewing machine away and I haven’t approached it again for 12 long months.

And this is how it treats me.

But enough about me. Let’s talk about the three little critters my mother left pinned together and unsewn.

I don’t know who she intended them for: my children? My brother’s children? My sister only had one child under the age of 5 when Mom died, so it seems unlikely that Mom was sewing for her. There were three fully cut out and pinned together, and parts of a fourth. I discarded those.

(click images for a larger view)

The lizards can be flipped over. I didn’t put eyes on them because I like the way they change when you flip them over. Little blind 1970’s lizards. the fish (whale?) was before Finding Nemo.

They’re adorable. I had to buy batting to fill them. Sewing the fish up after it was stuffed was a challenge.

BUT I FINISHED THEM. 23 years after they were started, I finished them. They’ll probably last fifteen minutes in the hands of my youngest grandchildren, the Little Monsters named John and Nolan, but I don’t care. I think Kori will hang on to the fish a little longer, because that’s the kind of child she is. Maybe she is even old enough (6) to understand this is a gift from the dead.

You all should stand up and give me a standing ovation. Yes, yes, I sewed something. And I didn’t throw the sewing machine out the upstairs window.

Thank you. Thank you, very much.

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