Monday, January 26, 2009

Nanna's Handwork

I have a few items given to me from my mother that were embroidered by my great-grandmother, after whom I was named. Mom says that Nanna had a neighbor who crocheted and together they would make beautiful items, some for the neighbor and some for Nanna. Nanna would embroider/cross-stitch and her neighbor would add crochet edges.

This table runner I've had since I was a teenager. It was always at home on my dresser until recently when I decided I wanted to have it more on display.

I moved it to the old radio in the living room that belonged to my grandparents. My mom remembers listening to radio programs on it as a child. On it, my children listen to Radio Disney.

Handkerchiefs that were very nice to have during my "cry through church each Sunday" phase.

A tablecloth Nanna likely used for weekly card games with her friends.

Though I'm sure I met Nanna on several occasions, I only remember one. She was seated on a chair by my grandma's front door. Nanna wanted me to give her a hug, but I was a little scared. I didn't understand who she was. I hugged her, but even still, I feel badly for having those nervous feelings. She died when I was only six-years-old. I'm told all of us little kids sang at her funeral but the only things I remember about it were eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the car on the way to the cemetery and the snow that was on the ground, taking cautious steps so as not to slip and fall or be disrespectful and step on a headstone.

I wish I could know her now, as an adult.


Ellen said...

Marcia, what a beautiful tribute to your Nanna! I love the items you have been left, and the memories tied up in them for both your mother and you. You will be able to pass those memories along to your girls too.

My mother's mother passed away only a few years ago, but like you, I only have one memory of my Nanna Caroline, who my Caroline's named for. I remember her taking me into her lap, and reminding me that I could be whomever I chose to be when I grew up. It's fleeting but powerful. I have tried to pass this onto her namesake too.

Jen said...

Those are beautiful. My mom has everything from my Grandma. Someday some of it will be passed to me.

Nancy said...

What a treasure to have some of your grandmother's creations. Embroidery is becoming a lost art.

I have one item that my maternal grandmother made - a four-inch wide, crochet trim on a small round table cloth. I never knew her, but I do cherish this tablecloth.

Mama Bear said...

They are lovely. Do you have some idea of what period of time they might have been made over? Do write down the information about the neighbor working with your grandmother so it can stay with the pieces! I wish there was more information about the pieces I have.

I have a collection of similar items made by my husband's grandmother. My children each have a few and then Lord willing, I want to give a few to each grandchild when they marry or set up their own home, along with a disc filled with scans of their great-grandmother's and great-great-grandmother's letters.

knitalittle said...

Lovely. I love the old hand stitched items. You don't see such grace like that any more.

Momma B said...

I think it is soooooo neat that the two worked together to make masterpieces!

I remember some similar pieces, growing up. It feels like love and grandma and home.

Wool Winder said...

How wonderful that you can know your nanna through her handiwork. It's beautiful!

Jenny said...

I remember singing "Families Can Be Together Forever" at her funeral. I remember her sitting on the flower couch. But I don't ever remember interacting with her. Isn't it nice to know that mom is like Nanna? I'm sure it'll be almost like meeting an old friend when we see her in heaven. Now I'm wondering, did I get any of her cool old stuff? Where did I put it?!

Marcia said...

psssst Jenny, next time you are at Mom & Dad's ask Mom. I'm SURE she'd give you something. I'm thinking, one of the drawers of the coat closet or the cedar chest. Or both.

I'm glad you remember her at our house. That is a comfort to me somehow. Oh and don't forget about Jenny being the new Marcia. :)

Alison Boon said...

Those are very beautiful and precious heirlooms.