starry night

My friend Shira recently took a trip to South Africa and brought me back this amazing fabric:

fabric

I love it. Now I just have to figure out a project that’s worthy of it. I’m thinking at least one throw pillow for the sofa, and after that I’m not sure.

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the bar cart got a new look today (see previous incarnations here and here):

also, check out that stack of fabric – that’s only part of the stash I picked up from Purl Patchwork when I was in New York. (Yes, I flew in with an empty suitcase.) And no, it’s not all for me, in a few weeks I should be able to share the project most of it’s going towards.

it also keeps the kitchen much warmer

noren

I’m managing to get some projects done that have been on the back burner for far too long. Example 1- this weekend I finally got around to sewing this noren for our (doorless) kitchen doorway. Now it’s much less – welcome to my house, and check out the messy kitchen, and much more – welcome to my house, isn’t my foyer charming? But don’t look too closely, because something’s off with my sewing machine’s tension and those seams are not quite as they should be. (also – it’s hard to take photos of a room when the thing you’re trying to focus on is backlit.)

linens

towel

My mom has been cleaning out closets at her house lately, and yesterday she stopped by my house (we live a mile away from each other) with these embroidered linens, made by my great-grandmother and/or one of my mom’s great aunts (my mom doesn’t remember exactly, but thinks that my aunt might, so I have to remember to ask her when she comes down here in September.)

embroidery

embroidery

embroidery

(click on the photos to make them larger and see the detail.)

I love things like this because they help make me make sense. My grandmother, who died when I was 12, taught me how to sew. She was an amazing seamstress who, among other things, sewed and hand-beaded my mom’s wedding dress. Somewhere I have a box of doll clothes that she and I sewed together, little dresses and aprons and bloomers. All of the women in my mom’s family were great seamstresses, and the pile of quilts and linens at my mom’s house is a testament to their skill.

As far as I know, I’m the only member of my generation in the family who has continued to do any of this, and while I enjoy it, my skill is just not at the same level. But all of these things make the “crafting” that I do into something a little more than it is, not just the desire to make beautiful things, but also a connection with family who for the most part I never met. So bit by bit I slowly get better. And maybe one day my great grand-daughter will be handed something that I made and think “Yes, now I see where this part of me comes from.”