Wednesday 2 January 2013


This is my father's mother Heather, Gran to me and my siblings.  It is her 88th birthday today, but this photo was taken more than 50 years ago, after she was married but probably before she had children.

Gran looking pretty glam

Gran used to sew a lot of her own clothes, and used the scraps for English Paper Piecing thousands of small hexagons, which she would make into quilts or other items (at one stage, she had a housecoat, the outer layer of which was made of EPP'd hexagons).

I used to go and stay with Gran and Ina (my grandfather, whose name is really Ian, but I called Ina as a baby and has been called so by our family ever since) sometimes during the school holidays, and I remember sewing with Gran then - making dolls clothes, and an apron, and probably other things as well.  Gran also taught me to do cryptic crosswords - she doesn't sew anymore, but could still beat me at a cryptic crossword any day.

Gran and Ina recently moved into a home, and to clear out their old place, Mum and Dad brought back several thousand old slides.  After an extensive sorting exercise, Dad scanned a whole lot of them onto the computer, and this is one of them.  Dad made them into a slide show which was much appreciated by Gran and Ina when we went up to visit them in Auckland on Boxing Day.  There aren't too many slides featuring Gran - she is a more behind the scenes than front of camera type person - but this one was too good not to share.  I thought my readers might also appreciate the Singer sewing machine she is using as well.

Have you been catching up with family over the holiday period - and have you discovered any family sewing history?


Nancy said...

Your gran was beautiful! You mentioned the Singer. At first I thought the slide was printed the wrong way round because I've never seen a Singer with the wheel on the left and the needle on the right. But I looked more closely and sure enough, the slide was not reversed. So, this is the most unusual Singer sewing machine I've ever seen! Thanks for sharing and Happy Birthday to your gran. I hope she has a fabulous day.

Maggie said...

SO great you have this photo! I don't have any sewing photos, but I do have a quilt that my grandparents made for my mom who was born in 1929. It has a circus animal theme appliques with alternating squares of gingham.

Susan said...

Your Grandmother is beautiful! What a precious memory to have! Precious!

Cat said...

Love this photo! My Nana was a seamstress and the most amazing knitter and crocheter I wish I'd learnt more from her before alzeimers stole her

Puppilalla said...

What a wonderful picture and story. Thank you so much for sharing. I feel moved.