Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Nimble Thimble

My thoughts are again returning to watching my mother and grandmother as they sewed away.

I ran across some handiwork my mom worked on as a young girl so many years ago.  She enjoyed embroidering and tried to teach me the art of it.  Though I can do it, it's not something I'm very good at.  I treasure the work she and my grandmother did so many years ago.

When my daughter was a young girl in Young Women's, her church leader decided to teach them the art of needlework, sewing, crocheting and knitting.  She would bring the girls to her home, have them organize their materials, pop up some popcorn the old-fashioned way, serve some root beer and have some apples on hand, light up a couple of kerosene lamps and instruct them as videos of "Little House on the Prairie" or "The Waltons" would play in the background.  My daughter loved it.

The leader asked me one time if I thought this was too boring for these young girls.  I emphatically said, "No!"  This was a calming and a relaxing activity that would benefit the girls later on.  And, maybe someday when their own lives would be frantic, it would be a great way to settle themselves down and work on something that could prove productive for themselves and their families.  It would be better than turning to substance abuse or other means to accomplish the same purpose.

I collect thimbles from around the world.  Whenever a friend or a relative is traveling abroad, I ask them to bring me a thimble from wherever their travels may take them.  They're usually inexpensive and can easily be packed away with little or no bulk. 
This is one of two cabinet drawers I use for my thimbles.  I found them at antique consignment shops and garage sales ($1 and $5).  They were drawers that were used to house numbers and letters used in printing.
A close-up of some of my foreign thimbles.  Some are from Turkey, Paris, Germany, Italy, Romania, and Ireland.

These two thimbles belonged to my mom, Ida Stevens Clemens, and her mom, Bertha Agnes Gearheart Stevens.

So today, I am washing up some of the dresser scarves and pillow cases that were embroidered by my mother and grandmother.  Some that are fragile are being stored away.  Others are used on a daily basis where I can see them each time I pass by. 

It's one more way I can remember and honor their lives from a time not so long ago...

1 comment:

  1. I also use the antique typeset trays for my thimbles. They work perfectly!
    Theresa (Tangled Trees)