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Prim and folkart needlework designs of drab reds, browns, golds and greens are what I fancy.

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Friday, June 17, 2011

Stitchers That Go Before Us...

Hi Sweet Friends, hope everyone has been enjoying some stitchy time and getting some much needed sunshine bling!

This post shares the passing in 2009 of a retired elementary teacher and how her stitching devotion continues to unite her family both old and new, as shared by me, the newest member and her only daughter-in-law.

For stitchers that go before us there is reverence, honor and duty, or at least I believe there should be.  In 2008, my soon to be DMIL Katie made an offhanded comment to me that she'd like me to look after her stash down the road.   Sadly, we lost her in 2009 at the spunky age of 88, five months after our wedding.  Katie was more than my DMIL, more like my DM.  While saying our final goodbyes in private, before the lid was closed, we all agreed she would want to be laid to rest with a scrap of fabric, needle and any Prairie Schooler chart, and so it was.

My husband once quipped he liked animals more than he likes most people, a very telling sentiment don't you think?  Katie never forgot his Freudian slip and stitched this large sampler for him years ago.  Appears to be some light staining, perhaps some Fray Check that bled, I'll give it a gentle scrub and see, wish me luck.

So, last month my DFIL (a strapping 90) asked me if I would go through Katie's overflowing Rubbermaid bin and add her initials to some of her stitching, for the family.  I immersed myself in several solitary hours fondling finishes she treasured, reminiscing cherished moments of discussing designers, projects, flosses, fabrics and techniques, and giggling at our many frantic phone calls back and forth across the driveway asking do you have DMC such and such ~ wishing all the while she was beside me.  I took note of her progress from her self-taught beginner 7 ct to her it's the best my eyes can handle 18 ct, observing knowingly how her skill and confidence grew bit by bit.  Having started stitching after retirement her eyes were not that of a youngster, she stitched feverishly for over 20 years and prevailed admirably.

And as you might have already guessed, of course more than initials were needed, these pieces needed to be finished.  I choose ones I thought Katie would have chosen with no particular number in mind.  After choosing a handful, I realized I had chosen 6 ~ enough so that DFIL, his 2 daughters and 3 grand-daughters could each choose one for their home.

And so I stitched Katie's initials, added approx. dates, measured, trimmed, added a bit of floss here, tucked a loose thread there, backed each ~ making do, as she would have done, with fabric from her stash and wool from mine ~ a labor of love and respect, of simply honoring Katie.

I'll wrap and give these to DFIL on Fathers Day.  It was such a simple thing he asked of me, and I'm so glad he did.

Here's a very small sampling of Katie's work, finished by me.  I'm happy to share these with you, pics are clickable.  Thanks for your visit today and for letting me share these sweet memories with you:)

Tootles, Sue


  1. Sue, this is the sweetest post. It's wonderful that you did that for your FIL and I am sure that your MIL is smiling down on you. The finished pieces look wonderful!

  2. aww that made so pleased and so sad at the same time ... they look lovely finished and what a wonderful tribute to your DMIL :) take care and happy stitching love mouse xxxx

  3. Sue, What a wonderful gift you have given your DFIL. This one comes straight from the heart and will be treasured always.

  4. What a tribute! You did a beautiful job on these treasures. I'm sure your father-in-law will be so pleased!
    Sounds like she was a very special lady!

  5. Sue, what a wonderful post. I love all the stitching your sweet mil stitched and you finished for here. What a labor of love. And howbwonderful to have such a special person in your life. I know you must miss her still.

  6. What a fantastic post!! Your finishes are lovely and I'm sure your MIL is smiling and was right there with you.

  7. What an absolutely beautiful blog; I love it. And such an inspiring post. I hope my sweet family will cherish the things I have sewn and stitched for them long after I am in Heaven.

    Thanks for sharing this.

  8. What a wonderful post, Sue--your dear MIL would be very proud. How lucky you two were to share a common passion!

    Your finishes of her work are lovely--I know her family will treasure them :)

  9. Job Well done Sue! I think it is lovely that your father in law asked you to do this. Often times while I am stitching I wonder what will happen to all of these things I have created. Will anyone want them?? Now I know my answer, maybe not now but definitely they will be wanted in the future.

  10. What a wonderful story. Love all your finishes. I am sure she was wathching from above and guiding you with every stitch.
    Teresa's Heartfelt Stitches

  11. How very, very precious and special!
    You have certainly finished off these amazing pieces so perfectly!
    A lovely, touching post and thank you so much for sharing!
    Best wishes

  12. Thanks for sharing your precious memories with us, Sue. I know your tender love must always be so evident to your DFIL and MIL for him to even ask this of you. What a blessing to him and your family you are, and such a proud honor you've done for MIL. I hope the family members will cherish the pieces with joy and respect.

  13. What beautiful thing to do. What special heirlooms you have created for your family.

  14. What a beautiful gift you have given Sue, one that will be remembered for years and years!

  15. What a beautiful thing to do for her family and your friend's memory. It's a wonderful tribute. *hugs*

  16. What a wonderful thing you did. You've inspired my heart.

  17. What a lovely thing to do! I really enjoyed reading this post.

  18. What a wonderful thing to do, your MIL must have been right there beside you smiling at every stitch. Beautiful family pieces that will be treasured for years to come.

  19. What a wonderful time you had finishing those pieces. The love for her and her work is pouring out in each piece. I am sure your FIL was thrilled.

  20. What a beautiful post...it truly honors your MIL and the stitching legacy she left behind. :)


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