Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Stitches and Memories

Inspired by Linda's lovely stitchery, I am relearning an old craft. I remember my grandmother and aunts doing redwork and other embroidery. I'm delighted to find out that my hands remember the needlework even if my mind is a bit foggy on particular stitches. I was intrigued by Lynette Anderson's adorable Noah's Ark BOM here and, since I have a dear friend who collects Noah's Ark, I decided this is a perfect stitchery to make for her. If you haven't seen this BOM, go to Lynette's site and scroll down on the left for the pattern. Here's my first BOM of the rabbits...I can't wait to see what comes next. (I did decide to make two so I can keep one for myself. I just fell in love with these tiny blocks.)

As I worked on the stitches, I remembered when I entered junior high and had to buy my first gym suit. The Tulsa Public Schools required this horrible twill one-piece garment that was short sleeved and had shorts with attached bloomers underneath! (Really I'm not that old...this was in 1960.) We were required to have our name above the shirt pocket. Some people wrote it in fabric marker while others paid to have it embroidered. I asked my mother to have mine embroidered but time was short. When my father heard that, he told me he could do it! When he was a little boy, he would sit under the quilt frame while my grandmother and other ladies quilted. To keep him occupied, my grandmother taught my father to embroider. He loved having a needle and thread and his own piece of fabric. All those years later, my father, an engineer who worked on the missile and space programs, embroidered my name on my gym suit...not in block letters, but in beautiful cursive handwriting!! You can imagine the reaction I got when people commented on my embroidered name and I told them "Daddy did it!" I was so proud!!

That memory is especially poignant right now as my father is now 86 years old and in very fragile health. Last week we moved him from his assisted living apartment to a nursing unit and called in hospice. February 2007 my precious mother went to be with Jesus. My father tried very hard to carry on but misses her very much. They would have been married 65 years last August. It's a very difficult time for our family. We are so thankful for faith in our Lord and His comfort and the promise of eternal life with Him.