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 Embroidered Signature Tablecloth
A big “Thank You” to Cathy Meder-Dempsey in reminding me about my signature tablecloth that had been shelved since 2007. It was her story – Tuesday’s Child’s Family Heirlooms: Mom’s Signature Tablecloth – that has given me my first Heirloom Story in 2016; technically it is a new heirloom in process.
It took a bit of searching, but I finally found my tablecloths that had been shelved since, well… as I unfolded the tablecloth I found dates of 2007 and 2008 – my first thoughts – why did I never finish this? Nine long years, what happened? I’ve missed out on so many signatures… but better late than never.
I quickly dragged out my embroidery hoop, opened my box of embroidery threads and threaded my needle; have to say it is not a fast process and I’ll have to be pushing myself as I not only have one to work on, I have two tablecloths to work on yearly. My granddaughter McKinley was eager to be the first one and let me trace her handprints for the tablecloth; she’s 3 1/2 and quite inquisitive. Now to work on gathering the other four little hand tracings.
First ones embroidered were of my daughter in laws parents – Mom & Dad P. – with many more to come this year.
As I sat there embroidering, I began to wonder who taught me how to embroidery, so what do I do – I call my mother. After first wishing her a Happy New Year and mentioning my project, she told me. “My mother taught me how to embroidery, I’d sit next to her in the evening and watch, then I would try. When you were young, I taught you how. I embroidered on many of your dresses I sewed for you. I even knitted when I was young, but I taught myself as my mama didn’t knit, she crocheted. Daddy wasn’t going to buy me needles so I made my own out of sticks; I skinned off the bark making them all smooth and shaved points on one end. I used thread that mama had unraveled from feed sacks. Mama saved everything!”
Thanks to Dawn Kogutkiewicz, who recently shared a photo of painted handprints around a Christmas tree skirt from Pinterest – a lightbulb went off! This photo gave me the idea to include embroidered handprints of all my grandchildren on the tablecloth. Their handprint would be their first signing on the new family heirloom signature tablecloth!
By the end of 2016, I hope to have embroidered many more names on both tablecloths; I Just might need to teach my daughter and daughter-in-law how to embroidery, so I have a little help on this project. In making this my first heirloom story on Week 1 new year, check back on Week 52 as I’ve already planned on making it my last heirloom story in December to show its progress. That should motivate me not to let everyone down…
Click Friday Night Family Heirlooms to read more stories…
© 2016 Jeanne Bryan Insalaco