Ode to Crafty Ladies

 

Seeing how we just celebrated Mother’s Day, I thought it would be appropriate to write a “blog of appreciation” to two very talented women in my life—my mom and my aunt. My mom is a seamstress who works with interior designers to create beautiful, custom-made draperies, bedding, pillows, etc. It is her job (and she’s great at it) to be extremely particular with respect to the details of measurements and construction so that each piece she fabricates fits exactly right into its intended space, hangs straight, and withstands wear and tear. She tends to leave the designing to the designers!

My Aunt Dee, on the other hand, who is a nurse, has a very fun and eccentric sense of design. She gets some color scheme in her head or finds a wildly patterned fabric at the store and off she goes! She sews, knits, quilts, hooks rugs, and makes clothes, pillows, and simple draperies, in addition to all the other non-textile related projects she attempts. She doesn’t bother with measurements or worry about patterns matching up. She just designs as she goes with (usually) amazing results.

Although they are sisters and were taught to sew their own clothes by my grandmother (also a quilter) in the same house, I have to laugh at how differently their personalities, and thus their creative techniques, manifest themselves. Where they are very similar is in their love of making things for other people. My aunt didn’t have any girls, so I became the favorite niece. I am also my mom’s only girl, so my life has been full of some beautiful, ugly, funny, and meaningful gifts from them both.

Now that I have a daughter, she has become the primary recipient of these handmade treasures. It gives me such pleasure to walk into her room and see the window treatments, crib bumpers, and bed skirt that my mom made for her after we picked out the perfect toile fabric together. To celebrate her birth, Aunt Dee made her a small wall quilt with little hand-embroidered sun bonnet girls with a border to match the other fabric in her room. This past Christmas it was a gorgeous knitted poncho from Aunt Dee, and from Mom, a safari-themed bean bag chair with matching pillow. For her recent second birthday, Aunt Dee went all out and sent her a huge, heavy quilt with matching pillow and a dress with matching hat. Knowing my daughter’s love of animals, she was sure to add some patches with animals on them. These details are what make these items so special to me and even to my young daughter.

I sincerely appreciate my mom and my aunt for their seemingly “old-fashioned” talents and for showing their love in such a significant way. The thought and time that goes into these gifts will hopefully be passed down and valued by many more generations of women in my family.

Stephanie Hebert
Registrar

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