I was sitting in my sewing room the other day and looked around at the keepsakes I have kept through the years. I have wonderful artwork from my boys when they were young, quilts from grandmothers, embroideries and crochet from the women in our family, paintings from my mom, and many other things that have special meaning for me.
There were two things I wanted to share with you that have special meaning. One is my little ballerina cake topper from my birthday cake when I was in elementary school. I don’t remember my age, but I remember the “store-bought” birthday cake from the Pizitz bake shop, one of the greatest bakeries in the history of Birmingham. We all grieved when the doors were closed.
This little ballerina, complete with a tattered skirt and a missing hand, is made of china. She spins on her stand and was a popular cake topper of the day. To dispel any thoughts that I was a ballerina or even resembled one is my goal here. I appreciated those that were coordinated, but not me. But, my little ballerina has been a prized treasure that I will pass to my granddaughter (who is a ballerina) when she is a little older.
The second treasure is my little red sewing machine. This little machine made doll dresses and various sewn items that were unidentifiable, but to me, they were works of art. My love of sewing came from my mother, whom I am sure was instrumental in this Santa gift.
Today I love sewing and quilting, and I hope that my granddaughter will too. I keep this on display in my sewing room and still recall how excited I was when I got to sew. It reminds me that teaching people to do things with their hands is very important. That’s how girls learned in the past, at the feet of another woman, and that’s really how girls will learn today.
I am a firm believer that we must continue to teach sewing, stitching, handwriting, art, and anything creative to our young people. We have all had to embrace the computer world and this is the world our young people are in from now on. But nothing can replace the human mind and creativity. Crayons, paper, needle and thread, paint, ink, and time with a special child can yield life-changing experiences. I am so thankful that my mom instilled in me a love of handwork. I hope to continue passing her legacy on to my granddaughter.
Do have a special art or hobby that you learned as a child?