Monday, August 2, 2010

Grandma with the red lips...

As some of you know, my paternal grandmother was a big influence in getting me interested in hand embroidery. She is now 87 years old and still makes the most beautifully stitched tea towels. For years I have treasured the two sets in my possession, using one and keeping the other in new condition. As we embarked on the incredibly long journey to visit her a few weeks ago, I had forgotten that I had asked for a new set from her a year ago. Imagine my delight at receiving this beautiful set!
Now, Grandma doesn't just whip these up. She is VERY particular about the quality of fabric, size of the towel and makes sure that the threads are pulled before hemming to ensure a straight towel. These babies are starched and pressed to perfection after washing. The stitching is exquisitely perfect in detail, as beautiful on the back as it is on the front. Grandma often muses about the times in her early life that she was in awe of her own grandmother's talent at making these towels. What an incredible history of loving care. And as I listen to her talk of times past, I'm reminded of those afternoons spent stitching with her as a young girl myself. Her kind attention and encouragement always made me want to do more. They represent a special place in her heart and in mine.
Here's to you, Grandma. And if you're curious as to how she achieved noteriety as "Grandma with the red lips," well that's thanks to my daughter who remembers this very special lady by the beautiful smile she always has. Grandma just relishes in being known by this, as she's got a tale about her very first tube of lipstick that'll make you just giggle...times were different then for sure, but this lady is timeless to me.


  1. You are so lucky to have a grandma with with red lips! Love the towels, and the care she puts into them! Two treasury!

  2. Thanks for sharing this with us Ilene. I admire your Grandma. She has made you some special heirlooms that you will be able to pass down to your daughter. Wonderful photo, you are all beatiful:)

  3. What beautiful treasures for you and she certainly does not look 87 !!

  4. How sweet! Thank you for sharing with us. Her stitching is just beautiful!

  5. That work is just awesome!! I too was inspired to craft by my maternal Grandmother. Memories of time spent with grandparents are precious.

  6. Your Grandmother is a beautiful lady and her work is awesome. I fear a lot of children today are missing that special gift of being close to and learning from their grandmas...and no, she sure doesn't look 87.