December 17 2010 Friday at 10:13 AM

For Grandmas

with my Grandma Hart in 1979

Yesterday I asked: who taught you to stitch? The responses were overwhelming. People said they learned to embroider from their mothers, their grandmothers, sometimes even grandfathers. Many of you said you learned to embroider from me, which is well, just about the nicest thing a gal can hear.

Then the emails started coming in. Stories of grandmas, the lessons they taught and the heirlooms they left. I hope my correspondents don't mind me sharing a few things with you that they shared with me:

Your stitchery may not be my Grandma's but I can guarantee that my [Grand]Mama would have loved it. I wanted to learn to sew at a very early age. First, she taught me to embroider. We did some crewel with DMC flosses, some kits and some free-form. She really encouraged that. I miss her every day. I think I stitch for her. -Becky S.

My grandmother recently passed away and I found embroidered tea towels in her linen closet. I had no idea she once embroidered and I feel so lucky to have them. Now when I embroider pieces for the people in my life I love the idea that they will live on long after I am gone. I'll be the cool grandma who had the pin-up tea towels. -Hillary B.

Who taught me to stitch? My mom did. I learned a few beginning stitches in the summer of 2000 and an obsession was born. Then, I wanted to share my obsession, and I started this website a year later. And here we are. So much has changed since then! 

What about my Grandma? My grandma Hart was born in 1896 and lived to be 99 1/2. I have many examples of her fine needlework, but this one is my favorite. She was a Nebraskan farm-wife, a published poet, a maker of enormous cookies (the size of my face), and goofball. She had just moved next door to us when this photo was taken, and I was so excited that I was going to see her every day.

Here's to our grandmas, and like Hillary said, here's to us: the next grandmas who'll be leaving pinup tea towels as our heirlooms.