"Buttons and patches and the cold wind blowing,
The days pass quickly when I am sewing"
~Author Unknown

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Of mops, mold, pickles, beginnings and endings...

Did I get your attention with that title? And now you are thinking what does most of that have to do with stitching or, in fact, with each other? For the most part, I wish it did not have a connection but let me start at the beginning...

I have not blogged in over a week as life is very stressed at the moment. We had a problem with flooding in our home due to a burst pipe in the kitchen. Although we acted quickly to get everything mopped up, we have now had to face the fact the loosing the solid wood floors was not the worst of our problems. We are unsure about the floors still but there is now mold growing on walls in our laundry room, hall, kitchen and living room. Later this week, we will be having someone come out to inspect the damage from the insurance company but in the meantime are having a few made up at their request. We found out from one company that our best thing to do is rent an industrial strength dehumidifier which we got today. What a horrible noise it makes. It being summer is a bad thing. The humidity in the air is only making the walls damper. In the end, if we are lucky, they can treat the walls and scrap off a layer of plaster. They will need replastered and then painted. In the worse case scenario, they will have to remove some of the walls and have them redone. I just cannot believe it will be that bad?

So that takes care of mops and mold and why I have not been stitching as much as normal. My worm garden is calling me but will have to wait. Why?


I am blaming it all on Margaret and Annemarie. Hey, this is the second start I should not be doing involving Annemarie since I am doing the worm garden as part of her Lovelorn Sisterhood. You are bad for my stitching health my dear friend. *grins* We are doing our own little Mary Wigham SAL. It is going to be the slowest SAL on the planet and we will see who carries away the slow stitching queen prize in the end. I have a feeling it will be me. *more grins*

I tried to talk myself out of beginning this even as I was thinking over colors. So many WIPs lay in my basket calling out to me. I had already started on my idea of a wall of Quaker samplers all done in autumn shades and while I was debating that it would be a great one to add to the other two, I remembered the pretty DMC threads that my little Zoe Pickle (my 6 year old grand niece) gave me for a Christmas gift. I was saving them for something special. Well here it was! I could use them for this beautiful sampler. I finally got a start made on it this week. I am using a cream Flemish farmer's linen in 32-count. I am stitching 1/1 and it is really coming out nicely on this linen. I love how Quaker samplers feel like you have many little finishes with each motif.

So that takes care of pickles and beginnings but what about endings?


Those of you who used to read my first blog NeedleNecessities will know how I love to 'connect' to the past when I am doing any kind of needlework. I was reflecting about how wonderful it would have been to lived in these times (Mary Wigham's sampler is from 1790) when a girl was sent to school to learn things like perfecting her needlework. Or how mother's invested their time in teaching their daughters, among other things, to sew. It is sad to me that girls are no longer interested in sitting down and creating their own samplers. Look at the glorious samplers and quilts we so enjoy reproducing today because of those times. Girls in my neighborhood are outside for hours on end hanging around on the streets. I just find it sad that needlework has faded away and it is not trendy to do any handwork. If I would have had children, I would have wanted to give them the same encouragement I received from my own parents to go ahead and try the things I wanted to do. But are they not interested or simply not shown these things anymore? Is it a catch 22 situation or a hopelessly old fashioned idea? Do you or have you taught your own children some needlework?

So I leave you with the endings part of my entry to ponder. I hope the next generation will discover the joys of stitching, quilting and lacemaking as we have.

25 comments:

Maggie said...

Heidi, I agree that it's sad that children don't sew or take part in other things we used to. I have 3 girls and i did encourage them when they were little, but as they get older they get their own ideas of what is 'fun', and unfortunatly stitching/sewing is not considered cool :-( I think the world is a very different place for children today than it was for us, we could go out and play safely but now i think thats gone, more of less, they are more interested in MSN and 'hanging out' doing nothing in particular, it's a shame but there you go. phew!, i could go on about this, i think we have the same thoughs on this topic :-)
I too have been tempted to start MW, i keep looking at all the starts & i'll probably give in like you! I'm really sorry about your flooding, you certainly don't need that to worry about, water damage is horrible.
Wishing you well x

Tam said...

Hi Heidi,
So sorry to hear about what the burst water pipe has morphed into..I hope all can be easily fixed and will not become a major ordeal.
I'm glad to see I'm not the only one that has more than one project going at a time ;-D
All your projects are so lovely. Love the idea of a Quaker Sampler wall.
Hugs
Tam

Marjorie said...

What beautiful colors you have chosen for the Mary Wigham SAL! I am starting this one too and could give you some serious competition for "slowest stitcher" since I too have tons of projects going at one time.

Saskia said...

Well, now I already know your sad, sad story!
Mold on cheese is called "Yummy", but mold on your walls is 'Yak'!
I hope it get fixed.
Yesterday a friend asked me lots and lots of things about quilting. She knows I'm a creative kind of person. I tolled her the story that my great aunt learned me how to knit, sew and be creative.
I was a six years old little girl (hmm... I'm still little)who got on her bike and peddeld over to her for tea and lessons.
today your more 'old fashion'if your loving neeldle work.
So I'm old fashion...
See you tommorow!
Hugs Saskia

anneke said...

your state of your house sounds like your worst nightmare at the moment. I would feel not at home in my own house after such events. But you have to deal with it, so good luck.
I'm not joining any SAL for the moment, that's how I started my Jan Houtman many years ago... But have fun with this great project.

DonnaTN said...

How awful that your home has turned into a mold haven. I hope it is fixed without too much hassle and that it doesn't smell terrible! I have printed the Mary Wiggins charts, but have resisted the urge to begin. I can't seem to make much progress with Beatrix Potter, so I'll stick with her for the time being. My Mother and Grandmothers all did some time of hand work or sewing, but that is not the case any more and that is too bad.

Colleen said...

First of all, let me say I'm so sorry to hear about the water damage! I'm sure it will be rectified and everything will be back to normal soon, but it can be a real pain in the meantime! :)

Yes, it is too bad that needlework is a dying art. There are too many other things (and I don't think they are all good, either) that girls find more interesting. Our culture is on a moral decline. Too often there are no rules at home and kids are left to fend for themselves. I never had girls so I didn't have the opportunity to pass along my love of sewing or needlework.

I have downloaded to MW sampler but have not started it yet. I'm afraid to join a SAL because I get distracted so easily that I'd be afraid I wouldn't keep up...LOL I've been working on some Christmas projects and I did start the Beatrix Potter sampler last week. One big project at a time for me!

Margaret said...

Just as I started reading your post my sister called from Canada. While I was talking to her DD arrived. Now it is time for bed but will drop by first.

Love Zoe's colors for your MW. Oh my - she is going to be so pleased that she had a large part in this SAL.

So sorry that you are still in the damage control mode. Water damage is horrible and now this mold problem. Hope the dehumidifier helps.

Both our kids were always into crafts. They had such fun. Oma taught DD how to knit and I remember they loved klosje-breien.

hazel said...

Oh Heidi, I am so sorry to read about the water damage to your pretty little home and hope it gets sorted soon, you really don't need anything else going wrong inyour life.

I am thinking of stitching the MW sampler but has you know I am a one project at a time person and I so want to get my quilt finished in time for our W.I. show at the beginning of September.
Hope you are feeling a bit better.
Love Hazel (UK)

Pondside said...

I've just started another 'on the road' project so completely understand the desire to have something new on the go.
I don't know about girls and stitching. It's certainly not something that they are learning at a young age anymore, but I think that its attraction is timeless and that when these girls are women they will look for something that creates beauty, allows contemplation and provides an escape to a quiet place for hours on end - and they may well find stitchery.

Ginny said...

Heidi, my heart goes out to you and your husband with those mold problems. I hope you get things cleaned up quickly. Please, if you start feeling the least bit ill, get out of the house. You don't need to find out that you're hypersensitive to mold.

I was blessed to homeschool my two girls, and part of their high school curriculum involved extensive training in keeping a home. Among the subjects we covered were sewing and various types of needlework. My oldest is an avid needlewoman, turning out gorgeous tatted, knitted, and embroidered (cross stitch and traditional) projects. My younger daughter isn't a huge fan of hand work, but she surprises me sometimes, as she did some weeks ago when we were at the local needlework store and she spotted a sampler she wanted to do. I seized the opportunity and spent the money for the chart, fabric, and good-quality threads. She's been working on her project and doing a great job.

It is sad to me that young ladies are not being taught needlework. I've also had a number of women tell me that they wish their moms had taught them more domestic arts. We need to do all we can to pass along these crafts to the next generation. (I've already said that I intend to teach my future granddaughters to crochet, sew, smock, cross stitch, and whatever else I can!)

Letty said...

Hi Heidi, sorry to hear about your water troubles, hope they will be over very soon!
My mother taught me how to cross stitch, crochet, knit, make postcards, and I love her for teaching me all those great hobbies. She is now almost 80 years old but still she crafts almost every day and made her own clothes for years!

mainely stitching said...

Oh no, Heidi! I'm so sorry to hear of your mold problems, and I do hope it can be cleared up without such a total upheaval!

Love your MW start!

Elizabethd said...

I had such fun teaching my grandaughter to use my machine. She is now 21, and too busy to sew, but has happy memories of those lessons!

Kaaren said...

Heidi, I am so sorry to hear about your flooding. Mold is not something to be taken lightly as it can cause long term health problems. Please be careful and try to get it resolved with your insurance company as quickly as possible.

I think there are too many distractions for children today. The trend today seems to lean toward 'instant gratification' and people would rather buy something than take the time to make it. Hopefully the things that we are creating today will be as loved and treasured in the future as are the 'timeless treasures' that attract us.

History has a unique way of repeating itself, so maybe as the children of today grow older, they too will learn to appreciate 'hand made' creations and will take the time to learn and enjoy as we have.

Take care.

Linda said...

Hi Heidi...I'm so sorry you are having to deal with all these mold problems...it can be so aggressive and we have to be aggressive too. Just when you were ready to enjoy your re-do this happens...I hope things are coming along.
Your latest sampler is off to a nice start...I love Zoe's floss colors, this will be so pretty.
I'm happy to say my daughter loves to stitch, knitt and crochet...she has started some of her friends creating too. I think when you get involved doing these things you will always enjoy them...even if you lay them aside for awhile...hugs, Linda

Maren said...

You know, I was never taught to stitch or sew, but I found my way into the hobby after I was an adult. My sisters were the same. Hobby's come and go, wane and explode back into popularity. Some of these patterns have been around for a very, very long time. I really think stitching and embroidery will be around for a very long time more.

The Cross Stitcher said...

The Mary Wigham sal looks awesome!! My two kids are only little yet... but I'll definately be teaching them to sew and stitch!!

Nancy said...

Since I was able to talk to you today, I know about the Woes you are having right now.
That stitching is beautiful. So small and fine. Ahhhhhh. Zoe did so well on the choices, but since I don't see pink, I bet her Mommy steered her. LOL.
Hope things will all get better soon.
Love you, Mom

Sonja said...

Wat een pech met al dat water in je huis. Het huis krijgt nu noodgedwongen een grote opknapbeurt.
Ik hoop dat je toch nog tijd hebt "to eat worms".
Liefs Son

Tone said...

Hi Heidi!
we had a flood in our house as well when we moved in in 1996. The former owners knew this, but did not tell us... - so we had to dig around the house, down to the basement floor...it was a complete mess!! - ended up in court.
Hope the insurance money can help you redecorate....
I was tought how to do needlework by my grandma. At the age of 5 i made a lot of stuff. And since then I always have something going on...! - but I do not have all the time you have!
My sons also know how to do these things (8 and 17) - and they are also shown how to make food and help me in the kitchen.
I will not have any daughters in law telling me my boys are unable to do such things!

Had a fabolous weekend, but it is SO SO HOT in Norway now, that Greece is colder!!
Saturday evening my friend came with a lot of strawberry, I have a "blender" - and also some Rhum, - and icecubes made from rhubarbjuice.....and with a fireplace outside, some blankets and good friends....chat chat chat!
But we did agree that Strawberry Daiquries includes a lot of vitamins!!
Tone

Anonymous said...

O jee wat een gedoe, dat is akelig zo nat alles.
Hoop op het minst erge voor je, sterkte.

Deze lap is prachtig, mooie kleurkeus.
Ja ik ga ook voor historie.
Alhoewel ik mij tegenwoordig laat afleiden door 'nieuw' werk, ook leuk !!

Ik heb mijn zoon (24) pas een handwerk/borduur setje gegeven. Stof/garen/naalden etc.
Als 13 jarige heeft hij orduren geleerd en heeft dat een tijd gedaan.
Totdat de meisjes in beeld kwamen :-))
Maar hij verteld het trots aan iedereen.
En nu hij een eigen huis heeft met vriendin wil hij wel weer eens borduren !!;-))

marian'ne m

Barbara Allen Moore said...

Heidi take heart there are young people who are discovering needle arts. I recently saw a news show on the "new" trend of young women in England joining the older (grandma's) in womens groups at churches and doing different types of needlework and crafts. They said they enjoyed the company and the way the older women were teaching them the old crafts but also that it was so much more fun than sitting in a bar and hoping that someone would like them. And one pretty young woman said that when she meets with the women in the church she not only gets good company but she is creating something and that was the best part of all. I was taught to embroider at six, made my first dress (with darts) at 8, knitting at 9 and crocheting at 11. I just finished my first quilt top at 56. Its redwork embroidered turn of the century children playing. I placed the floral fabrics around the embroideries, piecing as needed. It took time and patience and I wondered why I even felt that I could take on a quilt with no one teaching me how but I did it anyway. I felt so creative afterwards kinda like when I knitted my grandaugher a sweater last winter and had forgotten how to do cables so when I got the first four rows done....I liked it so I carried on creating my own stitch. And since the sweater is hand made I can add to the length as she grows. Have heart, the young are starting to see that all the old ways are not best forgotten. They just have to come to them in their owm time. Some say the sixties was when we took the turn and stopped doing the womens groups, family gardens and putting up the food, kids playing outside till dark and making cakes from scratch without following a recipe card just doing it as taught by the mom's and grandma's before. People like Mary Jane Butters are reminding us that the old ways were not bad ways but ways to use what we have, make what we need and share with others. If the apron can come back so can the creativity that is needed in these time of financial hardship. All things have a season and all things come around again. You inspired me to try my hand at quilting, Thanks, I've got another idea to work on.

Barbara Allen Moore said...

Heidi take heart there are young people who are discovering needle arts. I recently saw a news show on the "new" trend of young women in England joining the older (grandma's) in womens groups at churches and doing different types of needlework and crafts. They said they enjoyed the company and the way the older women were teaching them the old crafts but also that it was so much more fun than sitting in a bar and hoping that someone would like them. And one pretty young woman said that when she meets with the women in the church she not only gets good company but she is creating something and that was the best part of all. I was taught to embroider at six, made my first dress (with darts) at 8, knitting at 9 and crocheting at 11. I just finished my first quilt top at 56. Its redwork embroidered turn of the century children playing. I placed the floral fabrics around the embroideries, piecing as needed. It took time and patience and I wondered why I even felt that I could take on a quilt with no one teaching me how but I did it anyway. I felt so creative afterwards kinda like when I knitted my grandaugher a sweater last winter and had forgotten how to do cables so when I got the first four rows done....I liked it so I carried on creating my own stitch. And since the sweater is hand made I can add to the length as she grows. Have heart, the young are starting to see that all the old ways are not best forgotten. They just have to come to them in their owm time. Some say the sixties was when we took the turn and stopped doing the womens groups, family gardens and putting up the food, kids playing outside till dark and making cakes from scratch without following a recipe card just doing it as taught by the mom's and grandma's before. People like Mary Jane Butters are reminding us that the old ways were not bad ways but ways to use what we have, make what we need and share with others. If the apron can come back so can the creativity that is needed in these time of financial hardship. All things have a season and all things come around again. You inspired me to try my hand at quilting, Thanks, I've got another idea to work on.

Brigitte said...

A burst water pipe is always the beginning of unpleasant stories. I hope that soemthing could be done in the meantime against the dampness in the walls and floors.