Both my grandmothers loved to sew. One – Granny Blossom I’ll call her after her favourite textile prints – had a sleek, black machine. Immaculately maintained, its foot treadle (and Gran) kept that needle in motion throughout her life – with quilted, blossom print jackets and pin-tucked dresses. Her signature, embroidered rose-buds detailed ivory, lawn, peter pan collars.
My other – let’s call her Granny Wood after the ‘Hundred Acre’ animals she stitched and stuffed – had an electric machine. It was a solid workhorse that sat centre-stage of the verandah sleep-out, surrounded by fabric stacks and scraps and bags of multi-coloured foam.
Eyesore’s tail end, illustrated by E.H.Shepard – appears in the above photo on the cover of ‘The House at Pooh Corner’ by A.A.Milne
Dozens of Granny Wood’s stuffed toys, found new homes as fund-raisers at country craft fairs. And her progeny of grand children were each gifted one. Though there were times, when we needed another – when the much loved Eeyore became so threadbare he could no longer be darned; when his button-on tail was truly and utterly lost and he couldn’t get by without another; when a cousin was ill and would be cheered-up only with what we’d now call a-bright-retro-patterned-Piglet.
Yes, the lives of both busy makers were happily engaged, enriched and embodied in the living energy of their craft. A still living energy, that today inspires new generations of makers, designers & artists to re-discover and re-invent artisan skill sets alongside the new.
Words & pictures ©Annmarie Scott 2016, all rights reserved.