Across Generations

The two of us

My granddaughter and I did embroidery today. It was her idea! Now that I’ve astonished you all, I will admit that I owe her art teacher a big thank you. I think I’m going to take a good box of chocolates to that school before the Christmas holidays and leave it there for him. Yes, him. What art teacher gives a sewing project to a mixed class of 14 year olds?

She practiced her stitches, actually completed a bath mitt for herself, complete with monogram and came up with an idea for her dad’s birthday present. Oh, the book? I got it when I guided the Jean-Paul Gaultier exhibit years ago.

There was no music playing, no phones, no TV, just the two of us talking about the role of hand sewing in fashion, the good news out of Iran today thanks to women’ courage, and how wonderful it is to create things. I even pulled out a neglected project and started working on it again.

Out of the drawer I took a tablecloth my mother embroidered decades ago. It featured cut-work or “ drawn threads” as she called it and it is jaw dropping in its detail and complexity. I’m sure I’ll never manage anything that wonderful. However, it’s good to know some skills are not completely lost. It was such a happy few hours. Thank you to that teacher, to my granddaughter, to every woman who ever plied a needle.

Mum’s handiwork

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