I don’t know when mom learned to sew or knit. I know my grandmother knit beautiful things and made little doll clothes and sweaters that were donated to a children’s support group. I do know that mom had a sewing machine when she and dad got married because she told me a story about making a shirt for dad. She must have been a novice at the time because she sewed the shirt sleeve closed when she attached it to the body. By the time I learned to sew at age 5, mom’s sewing machine and box were the source of hours of exploring and making.
When we moved mom and dad to their new retirement place, mom was no longer sewing but I packed her beautiful sewing box and put it on the dresser in her new bedroom. When she passed away, I brought the box home. Inside were pins and threads and scissors that brought memories of my own sewing life.
My sewing box is not quite as elaborate. Mom gave it to me when I was in high school. I spent a lot of time at the Girl’s Club and sewed most of my own clothes. Later it would sit next to my machine as I stitched my wedding dress, baby clothes, and later a dressmaking business of my own. One of the side handles has fallen off and the little pin that held the front look closed is gone. Two boxes, lots of memories, and abundant gratitude for a mother who valued needle and thread.