Thursday, July 14, 2011

July 13, 2011

Look what I found yesterday...
I've been meaning to dig out some old family pieces, thinking I may have a piece to bring into my MD cloth.  I won't use the two large pieces here...they won't work for what I am doing.  I don't know where they are from.  For some reason, that bothers me.  They may be family pieces...or not.  This is something I think about a lot...the history and the story.  I swing like a mad pendulum between wanting to know and preserve every morsel of family or personal story...and...feeling that the story, the history, the tradition and culture of who we are gets woven into our very existence.  Although we may not recall it specifically, it becomes a part of who we are.
I important is the total recall?  All of the details, all of the moments - do they really need to be remembered to have played out their have had an impact?  Doesn't time change those memories anyway?  What if those memories have been passed down to you...the story told and retold over time...does that change that story's true nature?  Does that even matter?  How absolute does the story need to be?
This is part of the reason I decided to tell the story as I saw it, as I lived real time.  This blog is a record of my days, which in turn is a record of my life.  This feels important to do right now.  One day I may want to reflect.  One day my children or other family members may want to know my story.   So in addition to the wonderful conversations and community that I've discovered in Blogland...there are the moments made into memories.  I like that.
The 3 little doilies were made by my Daddy's Grandmother.  There is one more little one not in the photo.  I may use one of these.  However, my concern is in the wash-ability of them.
It is important to me to be able to wash and really use this MD cloth.  It is not a wall-hanging.
Some of these handkerchiefs belonged to my Nana (maternal side) and others I am not sure about.  My grandmother's name was Marian, the one with the green "M" and a couple next to it were hers.  They are in beautiful condition.  If they belonged to a stranger, I may not feel such trepidation in adding them to the dye pot, cutting into them or covering them with stitches.  
Their perfection poses a white canvas effect on me.
I'm sure glad I don't have to make any decision today!
As they danced in the breeze, I walked along the line and smelled each one.  I may never know the stories locked inside these small pieces of cloth.
But I must say, they smelled just as I knew they would.
The distinct sweet odor of all of my linens.  Remember the pillowcase posted during SunMoonStars?  Yep, same sweetness!  I guess this is one of my quirks, but it totally fascinates me!  No matter where they're stored, what house or what state I'm living in, what year it is, what laundry soap I've used (I used odor-free soap now)...for all of my adult life my linens have smelled the same!  Fascinating!
Anyway, aren't they beautiful?!
 This is part of a small tie or scarf.  It belonged to my mother.
Her name was (is) Marjorie, but most people called her Marge.
This is one that I am planning on using.  
I want to have her near me in this way.

This is something I made when my son was an infant.  It was framed and hung (for many years) on the wall of the bedroom I shared with my ex-husband or in my son's room.  I was about 21 years old and becoming a mother was The Most Important thing to me.  I had seen this 'blessing' somewhere and though I did not consider myself very religious in the formal practicing sense of the word, the heart of it spoke to me.  Yes - small things that have no words...yes.
I believe the bird, butterfly and flowers were traced, but the letters I wrote out free-hand each one in a cross stitch design.
I love the simple innocence of this cloth and 
I am so glad to have it after so many years.
I am considering the use of this one.
Here I have some cloth in waiting.  I'll use these when they come out.   I will soon be ready to begin adding on to the heart sampler.  I'm planing on using my shades of brown for much of the foundation.  I have done these dye jars as experiments - on a whim.  
They are (from left to right) red dirt - pansy flowers - rust - ? (I forgot!!! lol)
This belonged to my Grandmother and I wonder who did the stitching.  I love the color and fanciness of it!  Upon closer inspection, as it hung in the sunlight, there are several very very tiny holes were the fabric has worn through.
A  nice day of sunshine
and time for cloth!   

Photos by NAE @pomegranatetrail ©2011


Jeannie said...

Beautiful cloths and wonderful histories to go with them. My Mom's name is Marjorie also, but she has always gone by Bunny - her little sister named her after a sweater she wore with bunnies on it. Have a wonderful weekend immersed in stitch with your cloths.

Nancy said...

Thanks Jeannie! BTW I am open to suggestions for use!

Kim said...

I love the inside, behind the scenes, peek at your process and all that fabric. Great family heirlooms.

Nancy said...

Yes Kim- Aren't they wonderful! DO you still have all of the table cloths etc. for the table? Just know that they can always be re-purposed for something else if you should not want them for the table! Jus' sayin'!!!

handstories said...

i've been thinking about this for a while now, whether it's ok to use these family cloths? I've a quilt my grandmother made me, that I've rarely used, it's just not me, I don't think it was particularly her either- but is it ok to throw it in the dye pot? cut it into pieces to use? other things too, that will never be used as is- just sitting in my mom's old cedar chest. but they are history, will they stop being history? will their makers ghosts come to get me?!? what to do

Nancy said...

Cindy- I laughed out loud when you wonder if their ghosts will come and get you! I have no answers to these questions, but I do know that I will not do a thing until I feel very sure. Once ya cut, rip or dye...ya can't go back! And I laugh to myself over Jude's comment about cutting things apart to put them back together! HA! I have two very old quilts that I bought in my 'antiques days' - but I think they are still in pretty good shape!