Saturday, August 1, 2009

What Not to do with Bleach - or - Fishing or Sewing?

I thought I'd share my collection of sewing boxes I have inherited over the years. Ok, so it's only 2 that I've inherited, but they're special to me, so I want to share them with you.

This is one I received when I was about 13. It belonged to my mother's mother's mother, my Great-Grandma Hesterly. The top is a satin fabric that used to have little blue and yellow flowers with green leaves. It was also very filthy when I came to own it. I tried cleaning it without getting the inner lining wet, but nothing was working. My mom suggested bleach - and me being 13 - I didn't realize I should have at least diluted it. I guess I should be thankful the fabric has stayed intact after all that.

I don't remember if anything came inside it, but I use it to store my vintage threads now.

I received the next one almost 2 years ago. It belonged to my mother's mother, my Grandma Nielsen. When she died from pancreatic cancer near Thanksgiving of 2007, this is one of the things I asked to have.

I have very fond memories of this box always sitting on the floor next to Grandma's recliner in the living room. She didn't do any quilting, but she was always mending something - Grandpa's shirts, patching my jeans, even darning socks! She was famous for replacing the elastic waists in her slacks, so they wouldn't "fit so tight." This also explains why there was so much elastic in the box when I inherited it.

Inside the box, besides the elastic, were all these wonderful little things I don't really use much, like little bits of chalk, a disk magnifier, containers of buttons, packets and packets of needles (all different sizes).

My favorite thing that was in there are her dressmakers scissors. She used that one pair of scissors for everything from cutting out patterns for clothes to snipping threads when sewing on a button. They aren't very sharp - and as soon as I find a sharpener I trust, I'll remedy that.

Grandma's sewing box also had this wonderful tomato pincushion that was bristling with pins and needles. I have a lot of great memories of that, as well, but my Aunt Jean asked for that part of the box - and since she got first dibs, it lives with her now.

I'm having trouble moving this box into my working tools - for now, I've cleaned out all the things I knew wouldn't last (i.e. all that elastic) and it is now living in the closet - waiting for the day I can bring it out in the open again.

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