When I was young, Grandma’s house was the quintessential grandmother’s home. She made dolls of all sorts, carefully sewing their bodies, painting their faces, and making their clothes. She quilted and made beautiful masterpieces that adorned our beds. She made me skirts with matching bonnets, then later made my daughters the same. She made furry stuffed bears and buffaloes. She created childhood happiness.
In the 1980’s when every child was begging Santa for Care Bears, my parents couldn’t afford the overpriced stuffed animals. But, in glittering wrapped packages from Grandma and Grandpa came three Care Bears. One for each of us. They were not as fat, they looked a tiny bit different, but they were perfect and my sister, and brother, and I considered them the “real” Care Bears and lugged them everywhere.
Her sewing machine was often set up by the dining room table, near the large bay window filled with plants. A cheery place to sit and listen to the whir of the sewing machine with a tiny cup of coffee and a cookie. Downstairs a giant quilting machine and kiln loomed. A house full of magical instruments and a toy world all our own.
She taught me how to crochet a blanket and I took first place in the seventh grade art show. Sure it was a bit crooked and Grandma helped me finish it up, but it began a love affair with yarn…and now spinning….and fiber animals.
The next year she taught me how to make a quilt. Large purple and pink printed blocks came together. We went shopping to pick out a matching back to the quilt. I picked out a large sheet that was soft, brown, and had lion cubs all over it. Not matching whatsoever, she simply asked, “Are you sure?” We took it back to her house and I undertook the painstakingly slow process of tying yarn strings in each corner securing quilting in my heart forever. I took first place at the eighth grade art show.
Up until recently Grandma could always be found with a project in her deft hands. A scarf, a baby blanket, a quilt started on the dining room table, new fabric or yarn, or inspiration. Chronic pain has robbed her of these gifts and she asked that I come and take much of her sewing items to clear space in the closet for blankets. Twas bittersweet loading up a truck load of fabric pieces, multi-colored spools of thread, plum colored yarn, and unfinished projects. How time flies.
In our small farmhouse I have been allotted a corner in the living room for my ever growing art and sewing center. With the bounty of new art and creativity waiting in the truck, I have to find a place for an art room. Alas, the dining room is the Apothecary, the second bedroom is Emily and the baby’s when they come over, the kitchen and the living room quite out of room. There is a hundred year old creepy basement.
Farmgirls must make the most out of what they have, I suppose. There are shelves already erected and space to fill. We cleared out the unused linens and the mix matched gloves from the shelves. We gave away any junk sitting about. We vacuumed up the cobwebs. A good scrubbing will ensue today. Three rugs and a space heater that looks like a fireplace are the only purchases I will make towards this grand transformation. I will look in the garage for furniture, use creativity in storage options, and create a light filled, perfectly charming craft room. I am a grandmother, it’s time I had one.