About Harriet

Harriet was my Grandmother.  A woman ahead of her time, she traveled to Europe on her own, dyed her hair bright red when her own beautiful auburn locks began to fade with age, and happily became one of the first women in her community to work outside of her home - a shocking idea in those times.

Despite her leading edge ideas, she was very much at home with anything handmade.  I rarely remember her without a sewing basket in her lap and a needle in her hand.  Whirring away on an old Singer treadle machine, she made clothes for everyone in the household, even the pets.  When she wasn't sewing, mending or darning, she would be crocheting or knitting.  Sometimes she indulged in her favorite of all needlework:  embroidery.

Despite a life as a hardworking Farmer's Wife, doing backbreaking  work, she was the happiest woman I've ever met, especially when cooking on her wood stove, or making bread on her round oak kitchen table.  But her special joy was her handiwork as she called it. 

The saddest day I remember was one morning in her farm kitchen when her old wringer washing machine malfunctioned, tearing apart a brand new hand embroidered set of cotton pillowcases.  Somehow, she put those pillowcases back together again with her meticulous stitchery using a thin gold needle in one hand and an ivory-handled pair of embroidery scissors in the other. 

This site is a tribute to Grandma, who taught me to hold a needle and stitch big bold messy stitches on old pieces of flannel oh so many years ago in her warm and wonderful Farm kitchen.  She acted as if I'd made the First Lady's inaugural gown with her excessive praise tempered with some corrective suggestions. 

Thanks, Grandma, for all the buckwheat pancakes, homemade maple syrup, apple pies and homemade hand cranked ice cream.  Thanks for showing me how to love the four-footed friends you cared for like children - the horses, dogs, cats, birds, pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, rabbits and the orphaned litters left on your doorstep. 

Most of all, thank you for your very special brand of Grandma's LOVE that you left behind in your beautiful stitchery.

This site, and the handmade items displayed here, are a tribute to my Grandmother, Harriet, and to all equally inspiring Grandma's everywhere, who stitch lives together every day with their warmth, creativity and economical approach to all things handmade.



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