That is how Beth feels whenever she enters her sewing room. The women of her family, past, present and future are reflected throughout this room. She has been gracious enough to share it with us so that we may sense that kindred spirit.
Let's start the tour...
As you step over the threshold and through the doggie gate, the impression of something special is evident.
On the right hand side wall, there is an atmosphere of unbelievable organizational skills; whether it is future ideas bagged in plastic, UFOs stacked neatly in clear see-through latched cases (she hates to admit how many of those she has stashed away) or patterns and sewing references in bins, Beth has easy access to whatever on which she hopes to work.
The back wall displays the first hint of past generations to future generations. The Raggedy Ann doll (and Andy) was sewn by her mother's paternal grandmother for her mother when she was just a toddler.
Beth's children and hopeful future grandchildren are also present on this back wall. She rotates several finished outfits by season as part of the wall art. The above dresses are among some of her favorites. The summery sailor dress from Susan Stewart she calls "Rainbow Sherbet" as well as a peach batiste heirloom dress and complementary doll's dress of her own design hang at this time for all to view.
The Raggedy Ann has been restored and Beth is working on the Andy doll. Gazing at the dolls as Beth sews, she is touched by the love that was sewn into them.
Moving around to the other side wall, there are several items that attest to Beth's family's love of needle art.
In the below shadow box is a baby dress made in 1920 by Beth’s great-grandmother (for whom she is named) for her only daughter. The photos included are of Beth’s grandmother (left) who wore it first in 1921 and Beth’s youngest daughter, Clara (right) wearing the dress in 1997.
What treasured memories!
Beth’s maternal grandmother did beautiful crewel work which is exhibited in the stitching hanging over the wing back chair. Her paternal grandmother’s perfect candlewick workmanship is unmistakable on the pillow.
On the back wall we begin to see some of Beth’s work in progress.
Here is a precious yoke dress that needed a slip…
She now sews almost exclusively on her Pfaff Creative 4.0 machine at home and loves the IDT (built in walking foot) and the auto presser foot lift. The lighter weight Pfaff Passport 2.0 is her travel companion for classes. In her sewing room she keeps her grandmother’s Sears Kenmore and her mother's 1960 Singer, she plays with them for quilt piecing.
Beth has her sewing tools orderly arranged in the rolling caddy, ready to be taken to any class workshop or tucked under her sewing desk.
Beth loved the opportunity to take classes at the ‘Martha Pullen Schools’ several times and attended the first ‘Sassy Southern Sewing’ retreat in San Antonio, TX last year.
Here is Beth in one of her favorite spots to do handwork, it has tons of natural light! The other spot she uses is her sitting room with her hubby at night as they enjoy watching TV together.
She started sewing when she was about 10 years old and was taught by her mother. Her first garment was a nightgown, as her mother considered that any mistake visible would only be seen by the wearee, Beth herself. Beth admits that sure enough, the bottom ruffle of the directional fabric was sewn on upside down. She recalls it with fond memories.
One of the reasons she loves being a member of the Midnight Oil Smockers chapter are the educational opportunities available throughout each year and spending time with other stitchers with similar interests. The mantra she continually strives toward...
‘Done is Better than Perfect’.