Well, I've had a couple of really UNproductive days here. Sunday I was overtaken with a feeling of absolute directionlessness.....is that a word? It is surely a feeling and it continued into yesterday!
Late yesterday I realized why I might be drifting. My husband's doctor called with some test results that necessitated a visit to the calendar to note the date of his next test. It dawned on me that Sunday would have been my Mum's 99th birthday!
This morning I decided that I had to do SOMEthing to get out of this funk, so here's a picture of Mum from whom I learned the basics of embroidery. So I guess she ultimately gets the credit for starting me on this crazy path.
I learned embroidery at about age 10. I don't recall the exact moment, but I still own the first piece I did. It's truly awful and humbles me when I look at it. I guess that's why I have kept it all these years.
I continued though the years as Mum did by decorating the basic essentials of household life - pillowcases, guest towels, dresser scarves and once a baby pillowcase for my only niece who was born when I was about 13 years old.
Mum quilted when I was much younger when we lived in Minnesota. I remember her making Sunbonnet Sue quilts and I even have her pattern and one block which I found at the bottom of her sewing basket when she died.
By the time we moved to California in the 1950's when I was 10, her treadle machine was gone and she never quilted again. She kept on embroidering even into her later years. I think though only my eldest daughter was fortunate enough to receive "Nana's" special Christmas gift of a set of pillowcases with her unique and fancy crocheted edgings that she made up herself.
Mum never embroidered anything that was pure decoration like pictures for the wall or clothing.....unless you count all those dresser scarves. Everything was useful and I'm sure this direction came from her upbringing. My grandmother, who died before I was born, was an avid traditional quilter. In fact I have two of her quilts that Mum had kept folded in a closet since the 1930's.
When Mum got to know my mother-in-law, Dodi Tuggle, she appeared to admire her crazy quilt work, but never seemed very interested in it. (I'll post more about Dodi some other day.) Perhaps it was daunting to see all the different stitches when she had never done anything beyond outline stitch, lazy daisies and buttonhole stitch around those Sunbonnet Sues!
I think Mum would be surprised at where my embroidery skills have taken me. AND, if she was here today, she'd tell me to pull myself up by my bootstraps (!), get on with it and take care of business.
A lot of you know me as a fiber artist of sorts. I have been teaching crazy quilting and embroidery for years now, but I also love good food. I have collected and experimented with recipes for over 45 years. I have even edited a cookbook for our local garden club. I also am happy to say that I own my Mum's handwritten recipe book which contains recipes from my grandmother and recipes Mum collected since she and my Dad wed in 1925. When I was searching for a name for my recipe blog where I will be sharing a lot of Mum's recipes this blog name just popped into my head. When I was a child I used to hear ladies at church functions like weddings, potlucks & picnics ask "who is that little girl sitting over there all by herself?" Someone else would always answer "Oh, that's Lulu's Girl; she is very shy!" Some of you know that I've overcome the shyness, but, believe me, it took a very long time!