pastel ribbon plait and lace

I feel as if the threads were always meant to come together.

My granny.

Early memories of standing in her garden, lavender buds at my eye level. Choosing floral squares from drawers of neatly folded fabric while the lavender lay drying on her porch. My granny’s hands over mine at her sewing machine, joining the squares together to form sachets to hold the lavender. Threading silky ribbon through the sachet and pulling it into a bunch, struggling to tie a bow. My granny taking over and deftly weaving the ribbon together.

My mother.

The sound of the sewing machine stop-starting as I watch television in the afternoon sun. Sitting on the shop counter as my mum flicked through the huge pattern catalogues. The trouble I got in for using the sewing scissors to cut cardboard for a project when I was 10. Watching my mother sew wide black satin ribbon to the hem of my school formal dress, feeling cross at not being allowed to buy one off the shelf.


Feeling a magnetic pull towards scraps of lace. Buying wool even though I still need my mum to cast on. Pinning sewing projects I have no idea how to do. Frustration at threading needles. Easing squares of felt towards the blades of the scissors to form the letters of my children’s names. Looking at patterns for the first time in decades and unearthing knowledge that has been quietly buried, waiting for me to bring it to the surface.

. . .

My granny can’t remember how to form threads together any longer. She forgets some of the threads that form the fabric of her family nowadays. Dementia eats at her memory and she no longer knows my children came into existence despite having made a quilt for my son just 5 years ago.

My mother holds us together now.

My mother who silently packed up my granny’s sewing room last year, setting aside for me the lace my granny’s grandmother made over a century ago. When I visited my mum in November she handed me a package of delicate laces and silk bonnets that my granny had kept safe all her life. It’s my turn to be their custodian now.

As my granny’s thread unravels I sit watching my daughter set lengths of ribbon free from their reels. Mesmerised, she rubs her fingers along the grain and swirls them through the air.

. . .

I find myself holding my granny’s fabric, hearing my mother’s voice, feeling a pull to weave threads together and form something new for my daughter.

Memories, knowledge and passion that I hope will continue to plait and bind our family together.

I’m joining in the The Photo Gallery this week. Take a minute to look at some of the other posts if you can.


22 responses to “Together

  1. That’s a very touching post. I think we are all threads in a sort of tapestry, and the pattern is so intricate and delicate that we don’t fully understand it at least in this life…

  2. Such a beautiful post. Powerful words on such a delicate subject. I’m sorry your grandmother is unwell, but it is lovely that you want to guard her legacy.

  3. So evocatively written. A wonderful post of family changes in structure but where the underlying strength continues on. Thank you.

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