Friday Night Family Heirlooms… telling their stories: The Sewing Needle

When “heirlooms” aren’t identified, and their stories never told, then they often become items that are tossed or sold – as they have no history, no ties to the family. So take the time to identify your family heirlooms history and memories so your treasures aren’t tossed in the trash. They are just as valuable as your family photographs and also need to be documented. Sometimes it’s not even the value of the item in question; it’s the story which holds the value.

Friday Night Family Heirlooms… telling their stories:

The Sewing Needle

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Granddaddy McKinley’s “sewing needle”

I’ve often wondered how this sewing needle survived through the years, but mama probably kept it in the cedar chest, just like I do today. This is the very needle that Granddaddy McKinley sewed his cotton bags with.

This cedar chest came from my mom – she was never specific if it was her mother’s, or just hers new. But whatever the story, it’s mine now!

It wasn’t a needle you could buy in any store – it was a needle he made – because he had a need for it – the need to sew his large cotton-picking bags. Granddaddy was very ingenuous in making what he needed!

But back to the needle…. Granddaddy fashioned it from a broken umbrella, cutting off one of the ends to form a point; the other end was bent to form the “eye” of the needle for string to be threaded through. He’d sit on the back stoop in the evenings to sew burlap into cotton bags or mend rips when needed. I often wondered why he never asked Grandmamma to sew them, but maybe he just enjoyed sitting there in the evening – in the quiet of dusk – listening to the call of the Bob White bird. That’s something I do remember, as I often sat on the back stoop with him as he taught me that call. I enjoyed sitting there listening for the return call of the Bob White. You made your own fun and games at the farm and dusk always signaled a quiet time – just you and the crickets – unless the Bob White bird answered your call.

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A peek inside…

Click Friday Night Family Heirlooms to read more stories…

© 2015 Jeanne Bryan Insalaco

Family Heirloom Bloggers:

I started a Family Heirloom challenge in November 2015 asking fellow bloggers to join me in telling the stories of their family heirlooms. Writing the stories of the family heirlooms I’ve been entrusted with, has been on my mind for a long time; the time is now and I plan to write their stories on a weekly basis.

Please check out the weekly Family Heirloom stories of…

Blogger: Cathy Meder-Dempsey at Opening Doors in Brick Walls
Blogger: Karen Biesfeld at Vorfahrensucher
Blogger: Kendra Schmidt at trekthrutime
Blogger: Linda Stufflebean at Empty Branches on the Family Tree
Blogger:  Schalene Jennings Dagutis at Tangled Roots and Trees
Blogger: True Lewis at Notes to Myself
Blogger: Vera Marie Badertscher at Ancestors in Aprons                              Blogger: Heather Lisa Dubnick at  Little Oak Blog
Blogger: Kathy Rice at
Blogger: Mary Harrell-Sesniak at  Genealogy Bank Heirlooms Blog
Blogger: Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks theme for 2015 Week 24 was Heirlooms. Check out her Blog at –  52 Ancestors Challenge 2015: Week 24 Recap  for links to more Heirloom posts.


About Jeanne Bryan Insalaco

My blog is at:
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4 Responses to Friday Night Family Heirlooms… telling their stories: The Sewing Needle

  1. Jana Last says:


    I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today’s Fab Finds post at

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. toni says:

    Is that floral carpet?? I have been looking and looking for some like that. No one makes it any more.


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