Heirlooms

That sounds rather grand doesn't it? I am not from a family that has Chippendale furniture and Turner paintings to hand down. There is no Cash in our Attics, not least because no one in my family has an attic, although we have managed a motley assemblage of lofts.
So when things are considered good enough to be handed down to future generations they become that much more precious, don't you think? Take for example the table coverings in the pictures below (or above, I seemingly have no control over where Posterous puts things). They were embroidered by my Great-Aunts, in Birmingham during World War II. When I mean during the war I mean it quite literally, these were the things they took into the air-raid shelters to distract themselves with whilst the Luftwaffe went about its terrible business above. Funnily enough with the revival of interest in 30s and 40s textiles you could find things like these in the shops, and I probably wouldn't be interested, but I love these table cloths more than seems appropriate for soft furnishings. They're a reminder that women in my family have been trying to tart-up their living space economically for a long time. They're a reminder that fashion may come and go but creative skills are eternal. They remind me to be braver with colour choices (burgundy and orange baskets? Well no I wouldn't normally either, but I love the combination here). Most of all they remind that when I'm stitching late at night, cursing my clumsiness, trying to hit an impossible-to-meet self-imposed deadline, stressing myself out and forgetting to breathe whilst using the sewing machine, that this is what crafting under pressure really looks like. And maybe I should wind my head in a bit.
 
The lovely russet chenille I have used as background in a few photos belonged to one of my Great-Grandmother's, as did my wedding ring. The boxers knuckles come from my Mum's family and are a reminder that I can order all the chai-lattes I like, but I'll only ever be a generation or two away from domestic servitude and genuine, grinding, ruddy hard work.
 
Thanks for reading,
Helenx

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2 thoughts on “Heirlooms

  1. I love this post. You’ve explained yourself very eloquently and it makes though provoking reading. Also, you do not have boxers’ knuckles!

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