I’ve been fortunate to receive a few pieces of my grandmother’s fine hand work. Not necessarily things I would make for myself, they are nonetheless, a treasured legacy from a woman who influenced me deeply. Hilda Elizabeth Packer Preston lived with my family for 10 years — my ages 3 – 13 — and it was at her knee that I gained a true appreciation for working with needle and thread. Her mantra was, “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.” I took out a lot of clumsy stitches along the way to gaining the skills that I use today.
Many of the things she left were stored carelessly and became water damaged. I received a few of these damaged pieces from my cousin. I have been working at conserving them one by one. Not one to store things simply for the sake of having them, I find ways to bring them to life and use. Here is an embroidery piece that I turned into a pillow.
And in my quilt Hellebore, Hellebore, Ginkgo, Daisy (My homage to John Singer Sargent) the daisy panel is more of Grandma’s hand work.
I recently pulled out this piece of her embroidery and put it on my design wall. It measures roughly 22″ x 20″. For now, I’m just enjoying having it with me while I work in my studio.
One day it will have a new purpose. I know Grandma would approve.