My Grandmother’s Embroidery Box

My mom recently mailed me my grandmother’s embroidery box. I had been telling her how I have this bizarre urge to embroider something, like a kitchen towel, even though I don’t know how and don’t have the stuff. So she sent me this:

Isn’t it fabulous? I’m so happy to have it!

The story with my mom’s mom is a bit sad. Her name was Polly and she had my mom when she was 40 (an accident; my mom is a lot younger than her siblings) so my grandparents were already pretty elderly by the time I came along. My grandma looked after me when I was a baby, and apparently took really good care of me. My mom says she never, ever let me cry and loved me dearly. But then she died shortly after I turned one, so I have no real memories of her. Apparently I’m quite a lot like her so it makes me really sad that I don’t know her. Is it possible to miss someone you never really knew? Well, I do miss her and I wish I knew her. It seems like she was a pretty cool lady.

My grandmother and my aunts apparently did a lot of embroidery during “the war”, in the evenings when they weren’t allowed to have lights on. Some of the contents of this box really are old — metal hoops and such. The floss, though, is fantastic and I love all the colors. I can’t wait to sort it out and use it!

The other thing in here that’s particularly charming is my grandmother’s darning egg. Since I now know how to darn socks but don’t own one of these, it’s nice to have hers. The handle comes off. Isn’t that funny? It’s been well used too.

Somehow these sorts of connections make me really happy, like I’m participating in some history I didn’t even know I had.

Anyway! Just like my dad giving me his mother’s dressmaking shears made me exceptionally happy, I’m now thrilled to have my mom’s mother’s embroidery box.  I am one lucky girl.

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3 Responses to My Grandmother’s Embroidery Box

  1. Miss 376 says:

    I understand perfectly what you mean. My mum’s mum died when my mum was 13, yet when I was a teenager, I got really upset that I had never known her. She enjoyed doing all the things that I did, the knitting and embroidery etc. Funny thing is, my mum was adopted so there is no genetic link, but my grandmother on my fathers side didn’t have a creative bone in her body. Enjoy every minute of using your bits, I have loved every minute of using my great grandmothers and grandmothers stitiching and knitting equipment and patterns, and now my son is too

  2. Liane says:

    What a wonderful gift! It’s so neat you can use her things now and feel a connection.
    PS Have you gotten your shears sharpened? I need to take all my scissors in but I’m so lazy…

  3. Elizabeth says:

    I know what you mean about missing someone you never met. My granddad taught himself to play the accordion – wish he had been around to teach me. Don’t eat mayonnaise and peanut butter sandwiches, people. But seriously, you are a lucky girl!

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