Thursday, September 26, 2019

The Butterfly Hours Memoir Project: SEWING

For 2019 I'm running a year-long series on my blog in which I share my responses to the writing assignment prompts found in THE BUTTERLY HOURS by Patty Dann.

I welcome you to join me, if you like! I've divided the prompts by month, and the plan is to respond to 3 (or so) a week. For some of these I may write poems, for others prose. The important thing is to mine my memory. Who knows where this exploration will lead?

For links to the prompts I've written on so far this year, please click on The Butterfly Hours tab above.

This month's prompts are pipe, playground, prayers, recipes, ribbon, rice, road, saltwater, sandwich, school, sewing.


wee me with a sewing card
I am the daughter of a seamstress, who is a daughter of a seamstress, who is the daughter of a seamstress. Sewing is in my blood! Though I must confess: my skills are quite basic, especially compared to the artistry of those women who came before me. 

I went to sleep many nights to the hum of a sewing machine only to wake to find a beautiful dress hanging from the doorframe. My mom takes pride in her craftsmanship, too – no mismatched seams, no shortcuts. Her vision is clear, and she strives for perfection. (She learned to sew and competed with great success through her local 4-H program.) At one time she taught sewing classes. 

I have fond memories of going with her to the fabric store, where we would search the pattern books for just the right one. She'd let me go to the giant drawers and locate the correct pattern in the correct size. And then the real fun would begin: my mom never followed the pattern's suggested fabric lengths. She knew she could use the fabric more efficiently, so she always had less fabric cut than the pattern called for. When we got home, she'd trim those thin pattern sheets and lay then across the fabric in all sorts of creative ways – very much like piecing a puzzle. And she always ALWAYS had enough fabric. Even better, there was always fabric left over. I can still see the triumphant look on her face when she'd beaten the pattern once again. 

And oh, the bins of leftover fabric! Mama always imagined the glorious things she'd create – if only she had time! These days she rarely has a chance to sew, and she recently told me her machine is in need of updating. She still has all that fabric, though – just waiting.

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