I often wonder if I hadn’t had such an avid sewing grandmother if I would’ve still taken up the “needle and thread”. What if I didn’t have a grandmother to show me how to thread a sewing machine, cross stitch, tie a knot at the end of all my threads, show me how to read patterns and what pinking shears were used for?
What if I was like every other kid I knew growing up, obsessed with Barbies, Crayola markers, Trapper Keepers, BFF’s and summer vacations?
I think that there is creativity hiding deep in every child.
It shows up in imaginary play, curiosity with mud and sticks, fascination with paints and how things work, but somewhere along the way it dies and I can’t figure out why for some kids it stays so strongly rooted and for others it’s just fades out.
I do know that if I hadn’t had my grandmother to at least show me how things like clothing and dolls were put together, my curiosity would’ve never been peeked.
I feel so grateful for having had my grandma show me these things when I was so young and even for a mom who didn’t always have time to keep sewing like she used to (raising 5 children will do that to you) she always managed to show us how to be creative and clever with what we had on hand. It chokes me up a bit to think back on it. I can’t imagine not sewing quilts, building fences, or growing a garden. I learned all these skills from my grandparents and my parents because they felt value in what they were showing me how to do. Because it was important to them, it became important to me.
The creative crowd is becoming more hip, but true skill, the kind that is learned from generation to generation, is still very much a niche and in constant danger of being forgotten. While technology develops and makes doing some things easier and faster the basic skill, thankfully, remains the same.
There will always be a need for needle and thread and for people to know how to use them skillfully. I feel obligated to show my daughter how to do these things, not because it’s needed, but because it will open up a world of wonder and possibility and respect for how our world is made.