My maternal grandmother was Josie - also known as Jo and Sarah Josephine and Nana and Gramma Jo. I've written about her before and loved re-reading that post again just now. It's true - I often think of her when I'm sewing. She grew up on a farm, became a nurse (graduated in the same room at Washington University where the Palin-Biden debate took place), married a doctor and raised a family. She was gentle, practical, smart and self-reliant, and she was gifted in ways that made her so special to us though not necessarily noticed by others.
When I visited her as a little girl, I remember a spindly garden of colorful indoor plants blooming on the window sill. This stitch project I've been working on is from that distant memory.
It's another silkscreened design and I worked it the first time in stitches. I'm going back to put an initial in that open vase. Just have to decide which letter. It should be J. Maybe SJ.
And then I worked it again with bits of wool and scraps from my felt basket, using the print lines like a vague map. I love using up tiny pieces that are too little for most projects. I like the way the fair isle sweater felts mimic banded vases, the felt shapes like Colorforms, my favorite childhood toy.
Got out the precious jar of covered buttons too.
It was fun both ways. Nana would have liked it either way I think. She'd be happy that I'm using my hands to be busy and practicing some of the things she taught me.
Sarah Josephine Hagenbusch O'Keefe. A lovely woman with a knack for sewing, home-keeping and happy children. I wish she could see everything that came after. That little bit of love she shared grew into so much more.