An Original Farmgirl

I’m fascinated by inherited traits, passed down like family heirlooms.  I come from strong, creative women on both sides of my family.  In the Farmgirl Sisterhood, I find kinship with like-minded women. “Farmgirl” ‘s in my veins.  We love the outdoors, the earth, cooking, baking, gardening, and crafts.  Many of us sew.  I’ve dabbled in sewing for years, and now I’m bitten by that ol’ sewing bug again! Sewing reminds me of  my grandmother, an “original farmgirl”. Little did I know, sewing would also teach me things about my family tree I didn’t know before. It started with a lost letter tucked inside an old sewing pattern…

Grandma “Shug” was a true-blue farmgirl, born on an Arkansas farm. She later married my grandpa in Joplin, Missouri, and then settled in Houston, Texas, to raise my mom, her twin, and my mom’s younger sister. My grandmother’s name was Carolyn, but everyone called her “Shug”, short for “Sugar”.  I remember being surprised as a child to learn Grandma “Shug” actually had a real name!

My grandparents, 1940

I loved visiting my grandparents’ house.  A cottage, it was lovingly cared for and always freshly painted, complete with a covered porch and wooden swing. Animal lovers, they always had pets and at one time, a rooster.   Shug had two green thumbs, especially with roses.  The yard was small but brimming with flowers.

Roses and Echinacea remind me of my grandmother. Her yard was always brimming with both.

The kitchen was big, and when the refrigerator opened,you could almost hear angels sing, it was so stuffed with good things to eat!  Grandma “Shug” taught us about fresh veggies and fruit, and in summer my mother and I would go with her to the big farmers’ market downtown, coming home with all sorts of produce.

“Shug” had a vintage art-deco dresser in the bathroom, and she always smelled of rosewater hand cream.  I inherited her dry skin, but as a teenager, my mom worried I’d get acne if I used moisturizer.  My grandmother would always pick up an extra bottle of her “Oil of Olay”, sneaking it to me when I visited.  Some teens were hiding alcohol (or worse) in their rooms.  Me… I was hiding face cream.  It was our little secret, my grandma and me.

Sometimes Grandma “Shug” would spend the night at our house.  I’d want to “camp out” on the living room floor like a real slumber party, in my “Strawberry Shortcake” and “Wonder Woman” sleeping bags.  Grandma “Shug” obliged, sleeping on the hardwood floor, even though it meant she’d be stiff as an ironing board the next day! She’d share tales of her childhood farm, and of life during World War II. Her stories sparked my love of the 1940’s.

I still have an obsession with all things 1940’s.  A very sweet knitting student recently gave me this in-mint-conditon hat from the 40’s. Isn’t it beautiful? It sits in my sewing room near photos of my grandparents.

With all her talents, including crochet, most impressive to me was Grandma “Shug’s” sewing.  In photos, she always wore smart outfits she made herself.  She could even take one of my grandfather’s old suits and refashion it into a chic dress, and she’d dress her girls up as cute as dolls. As a tween, I once found an old dress she’d sewn in the ’50’s, beautifully detailed.  She let me have it and I wore it all the time.  I just wish I’d saved it when it no longer fit me.

My grandma, looking chic at my mother’s birthday party.

In the mid 90’s, my husband bought me a fancy, new sewing machine. A lot of “modern” women would’ve been irritated by that gift.  Not me! Needing a few sewing pointers, I found a sweet elderly woman, “Tess”, advertising lessons. Unfortunately, Tess was a chain smoker, and would puff away the entire lesson!  I could hardly breathe from the ash trays with burning cigarettes placed around her sewing room.  I gave up when a breeze from an open window blew my pattern, and it caught fire!  That dress ended up sleeveless.

My heart broke soon after when my sweet grandma passed.  My mom sent me a package containing a few of my grandma’s old sewing patterns.  I put them in my sewing room, too sad to really look through them.

One of my favorite photos of my grandparents, married fifty years.  Whenever we would visit, when we said goodbye they would stand rain or shine on the curb, waving until our car drove out of sight. 

The last decade,  I’d sew here and there, but recently I’ve been really inspired.  Wanting to earn the merit badge for sewing, I decide to sew one of my favorite things: an apron! In the envelope of Grandma’s patterns were several for aprons.  Some she’d mail-ordered.  I imagined Grandma “Shug” as a young woman, excited to receive a new pattern in her mailbox. It looked like the pattern was never opened, but tucked inside was something I hadn’t noticed before.  There were several cut-outs of things she wanted to make, photos of styles she liked, and clippings of places she wanted to visit…and then I found notes in her writing! She listed catalog items she wanted, colors of fabric and rick-rack she’d need, and my grandparent’s measurements, all scrawled on what looked like the back of old stationery.  Opening it up, I discovered it was a letter from July 1964, signed by  “Kaye”, writing to my grandmother about a recent heat wave, a big church revival,and bursting with happiness that she’d be visiting my grandmother that fall.

Some of the treasures I found in the bag of patterns.

Phoning my mom, I read it to her. Kaye was one of my grandma’s sisters, and she died before she ever got to make that visit to my Grandmother.  It prompted me to learn all my grandmother’s siblings’ names and as much info as my mom could remember.  I wrote it all down, and will give it to my daughter someday.  I only got to meet one of her eight siblings, her sweet sister, residing in Arkansas, once when I was eight and again when my daughter was a toddler.

I decided not to make a pattern from my grandma’s collection after all. For now, I’d rather leave them as she did, and every once and awhile I’ll peek back through and think of her happily sewing something beautiful.  I did make a similar one, with red cherries and gingham, and lots of rick-rack. I think my grandma would’ve loved it.

My apron I recently completed. Thanks to my friend, Laila, for helping me get started sewing on patterns again. Here I’m channeling 1940 at my recent Farmgirl Chapter brunch.  The bow on the pocket is from a dress of my daughter’s from when she was two years old.  It was special, but too worn to save or pass on, so I kept the trimmings.

Do you have special memories of your grandparents? Share them with me in the comments below…

Until next time…Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  1. Denise S says:

    Loved your story today! Makes me think of my Grandmother and Mom who did a lot of sewing over the years! I love "vintage" things that remind me of past family fun times.

    Thank you, Denise.  Sewing seemed to be a "lost art" for  awhile, but it looks like it is making a comeback again.  Glad I got you thinking about your loved ones.  Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  2. diana henretty says:

    Loved your post this morning about sewing, it is my passion, I learned at age
    10 and have made most all of our curtains, pillows, dolls, thru the years.
    Aprons are popular here in the Ozarks now, so I buy the vintage ones just for the patterns, then display them in my kitchen.
    Love making long skirts too, and when Wal Mart had their fabric on sale for
    $2 a yard, I could make a farmgirl skirt for under $5, so now I have a collection for a great price that are for garden work or for special occasions.
    Hooray for sewing, I hope every farmgirl can enjoy that hobby, its very
    addicting! Hugs from the Ozarks, Diana, Noel, Mo.

    Hi Diana, thank you!

    I’m glad you enjoyed today’s post.

    About a month ago, JoAnn Fabrics had a sale on patterns.  It was a 5 for $5.00 sale on Butterick patterns.  I didn’t see the ad for it, another customer told me about it.  I was thrilled to get almost $100 in patterns for $5.00!  One is a simple skirt pattern, and I plan to make some ‘farmgirl skirts’ for different occasions, too.

     My daughter got to take a sewing class last summer here in town and she shows an interest, too.  It’s such a great skill to have.

    Happy sewing and farmgirl hugs! – Nicole

  3. Your story brings memories to me. I and my daughter also love the vintage patterns and collect some of the aprons. My grandmother wore several everyday and her aprons were a fashion statement for a farm wife!! I am so impressed with young people keeping the family history and stories to pass on. Best wishes for continued family memories. Karen

    Thank you, Karen.  I’ve been missing my grandmother a lot.  She would have turned 98 last month.  I think it’s important to keep our loved ones’ memories alive, passing them down to our children and grandchildren. Happy vintage apron collecting!  That too, is another one of my favorite things!  Farmgirl hugs, Nicole

  4. Karen says:

    What a treasure you have there. I think the best part is that you have her very own handwriting to read. In this electronic age hardly anything is handwritten any more.
    One of the best compliments my mom ever paid me was to tell me that I could "sew circles"around her. My mom was a knitter and every family member had hand knit sweaters that she had made. One year she knit 16 sweaters for her siblings and their families for Christmas. She taught me how to knit and although I didn’t do a lot of knitting when I was growing up, the knitting bug bit hard about 10 years ago. My oldest daughter is really the only one of my kids to remember my mom and one of her favorite memories is when she would have sleep overs at grandma’s house, she got to play with the needles and yarn. This same daughter now sells hand knit and crochet items on the internet. Her girls have also had a nibble from the knitting bug, and on occasion will come up with creations all their own.
    My mom would have loved all of the yarns that are available to knitters/crocheters out there now.

    Karen, What a sweet story about your mother.  I love that your daughter carries  on her  grandmother’s  knitting.  It’s true, our mothers and grandmothers would love all the beautiful yarns!  And you are right, there is so very little handwritten anything anymore.  It’s sad.  Thanks for reading and commenting!  Happy Knitting, Nicole

  5. Jody says:

    Nicole, Thanks for sharing this wonderful story about your grandmother. It has brought bittersweet memories and tears as I remember my own grandmother who has inspired me to learn to sew on a machine. All these years I have only sewn by hand, but she made a living with her machine by making slip covers for people in Missouri. I sadly did not learn from her, but inherited a quilt top and when a quilt shop opened in my town, I decided to finally take classes. I was very close to my grandmother and miss her terribly, even though it has now been 19 years since her passing. She truly was an inspriation to me in many ways, including how I decorate my kitchen (vintage) and me starting my apron collection 20 years ago! I have yet to make one though, but MJF has got me on the path of doing that soon! Thanks for sharing your sweet memories of your grandmother and her lovely pictures. Your apron, by the way, is adorable!

    Hugs from Colorado,
    Farmgirl Sister #5000

    Thank you Jody! I have a vintage decorated kitchen, too, and an apron collection. Too bad we don’t live nearby, we sound like we are a lot alike.  Thank you for complimenting my apron, it’s the first one I have made, and I made it to match my kitchen.  That’s so awesome you are taking quilting classes!  I always say learning to quilt is on my "bucket list".  Someday…

    Farmgirl hugs,

  6. Carol says:

    What a great story about heritage and family! You have a wonderful legacy to pass on to your daughter! Have fun!

    Thanks, Carol!  Another item on my bucket list is to organize all the photographs, like the ones you see here.  Right now many of the unframed ones are in boxes.  I’d like to make digital copies and organize the originals in books with captions, so my daughter will know who the pictures are of.  -Nicole

  7. Joey says:

    Oh Nicole, what a WONDERFUL FIND!! You mast have been so surprised and delighted. I absolutely love the pics of your grandparents and your writings about your grandmother.
    I used to sew own clothes, my daughters nursery, curtains, pillows, doll clothes, aprons, whatever. My Nana, mother and I would go to New York City on the train, to get material and trims. My sewing machine has been in storage for so many years and I miss it so much. I’ve been collecting material only over the past few years. Hope to start sewing again soon. REALLY nice apron you made. I love that Audrey’s bow is on it. Your post brought back so many fun memories for me. Thanks. Miss you. Hugs to all. Wish we were close enough for tea, Joey

    I feel the same Joey.  I still think of that wonderful day my family and I met you for lunch in Massachusetts.  If we lived closer, think of the trouble you and I could cook up!

    I was so surprised by finding what I did in the patterns.   Such a treasure.  Every outfit in the pictures above my grandmother made herself.  My mom sewed a lot of my clothes when I was little, too. 

    Miss you, Joey!  Farmgirl hugs, Nicole

  8. Barb says:

    Another wonderful article written by you Nicole. This article brings back many memories of my grandmother whom I miss dearly. I see you have inherited a lot of her hobbies, because boy reading this sure made me think of you and your many talents that you are so good at. I am sure your grandmother is very proud of the person, wife, mom you have become.


    Barb, thank you so very, very much.  Big hugs to you, farmgirl sister! -Nicole

  9. Laurie Dimino says:

    Hi Nicole,
    I loved reading your story about the special memories of your grandma! Its so great to have those memories and to be able to share them with Audrey too!
    To say that I was "close" to my grandparents would be an understatement. My mom and dad divorced when I was just 9 years old, but fortunately for me, my grandparents lived right next door. Basically, my grandma and grandpa raised me and were "parents" to me. I used to do everything with them, gardening, cooking, fishing, play cards- you name it!
    In 1993 we lost my dear grandma to failed open heart surgery. It was a devastating blow to me, as well as the rest of the family. That year I turned to my grandfather and told him to pick anywhere in the world he wanted to travel to and I would take him there. He chose Alaska and so our journey began. We spent 2 weeks cruising Alaska, and then taking the scenic railway up to Denali National Park. It was the trip of a lifetime! Grandpa was bitten by the travel bug, and we were fortunate enough to go back again to Alaska, and then to the Canadian Rockies, and then on a Scandinavian Cruise for 2 weeks. We traveled the world together, and enjoyed so many wonderful memories together. It was awesome! 3 Years ago, I lost my dear grandpa at the age of 98 1/2! He lived such a good long wonderful life, and I will forever cherish our very special relationship.
    Thanks for a wonderful heartfelt post Nicole!
    Big Farmgirl Hugs to you!

    Laurie, what a beautiful post you’ve written.  You’ve got me choked up.  I’m so sorry that you and your grandfather lost your grandmother as early as you did.  But how beautiful that you gave your grandfather the trip of a lifetime.  What blessings you were to each other. I know both of your grandparents were wonderful people to have raised you, you are such a dear, wonderful person.  Farmgirl hugs my friend, Nicole

  10. Debbie says:

    Dear Nicole,
    I loved your post and your apron is just darlin’ Shug! 🙂
    I think its’ wonderful you’ll be able to share this story with your daughter and the memories of your grandmother. My aunt recently send me some craft magazines with crochet patterns in them that my Grandmother used to make baby blankets, booties, hats and sweaters for our two when they were born… I was so happy to see where she got her inspiration for the things she made…It just makes them all the more special…
    Thanks for sharing your memories…:)
    your beach farmgirl sister!

    Hey Farmgirl sis! How special those craft magazines are that your aunt sent you!  Maybe someday they will be used again for your children’s children.  Wouldn’t that be neat?  My baby is an only child, but I dream of being a little ol’ granny surrounded by grandbabies, making aprons for my daughter when she grows up and has a home, and lots of knitted goodies for her babies!

    Big hugs to you, darlin! -Nicole

  11. What a beautiful post! Shug sounds like the perfect grandmother. I bet you wish you could go back in time, that’s how I feel about my grandparents who passed away. Thanks for sharing this story! X

    Thanks, Janice! I do wish I could go back in time.  When I was little, it just seemed like they’d always be there.  -Nicole

  12. Becka says:

    Nicole, I think it’s wonderful that you found such precious bits of history! I think I’m probably closer to being in your mother’s generation. I didn’t have the chance to know my grandparents and I am always touched to hear wonderful stories from the grandkids about their experiences with their grandparents. I’m determined that my grandkids will know me and remember good times, even tho they live all over this great nation. Just gives me good reasons to travel! I’m a quilter and they each have had quilts from me. I plan to be around long enough to make them several more. Keep up the good work! Becka

    Hi Becka,

    My daughter’s grandparents are so scattered all over, across two continents even. But she knows them all and thankfully we live in an age where we can see each other, though I wish we could see them all more often.  I didn’t realize how lucky I was to live in the same town as my grandparents.

    Keep up creating memories for your grandkids, they will always treasure each moment. 

    Farmgirl hugs,

  13. nita says:

    What a wonderful find! I don’t sew much, my daughter does, she learned quilt making in middle school and has made several. It reminds me of my grandmother who was a quilt maker she mostly tied them. She wanted to try her hand at hand quilting, so I gave her fabric with little kids print and a flannel sheet for the back and she made her first hand stitched quilt for my daughter (so maybe that is where my daughter gets her love of quilting from) I remember my Grandma telling me "Watch so the kids don’t jump on it too much because the stitching isn’t real tight" She made one more beautiful quilt for my neice that was the sun bonnet pattern before she died in 1988. I miss her still.
    I am a scrapbooker, so one visit home recently my mom let me dig through all Grandma’s sewing baskets, which I found many treasures of lace and fun things to use in my scrapbooks.
    My Grandmother and I always wrote letters back and forth since I lived away after getting married, I treasure all of them and so glad I saved them. I kind of felt bad for my mom because she said " I never had a letter from my mom" because they always lived close to each other.
    So thank you for sharing your find.


    I love your idea of using notions from your grandmother’s treasures for your scrap booking!  It’s great that you have that, and the quilts she made. 

    I think it is getting more and more common with email and texting not to have handwritten letters from our loved ones.  It’s really kind of sad. 

    Thanks for sharing here today. 

    Farmgirl Hugs,

  14. Amy Dingmann says:

    Love this post, Nicole – dripping with sweet memories of your grandma. Thank you for sharing this story! Love that she snuck you face cream. 🙂

    Thanks, Amy! 

  15. jMary Jane says:

    I did not have a grandmother when I was growing up. We lived in Michigan. My grandparents, those whom were alive, lived in Tennessee. My mother’s mother, died when she was 11. My dad’s mother, I saw one time, when I was a little girl.
    When I grew up almost all my female relatives wore aprons!
    I taught my daughter to sew making an apron as a project for 4H. She won a blue ribbon! I still sew. I have made a few aprons. I have won prizes for my sewing skills.

    My daughter and I just became involved with 4H!  So much fun!  Congratulations on your winning ribbons!  It’s great that you’ve passed that on to your daughter.  Some of my happiest memories are of being in my mom’s sewing room with her.  She even bought me a little child’s sewing machine way back when. I still phone her for sewing advice when I get stuck, but wished we lived close enough to sew together.  Thanks for commenting.  Happy Sewing! -Nicole

  16. Beverly Battaglia says:

    This is beautifully told about your memories of my mother, Shug, who was so creative and always loved you. She and your gradpa were proud of you and said "she has personality"! You were only two years old at the time. It brought tears to my eyes about the comment of the closeness of the lady who was so close to her grandfather. I always wanted Audrey to feel close to me and love me like that. But we are living so far away. I hope she will have good memories of her "Nana" like you do, but you really got to know my mother well and she was my "idol" growing up. Love you always. Mother

    Hi Mom! I know, it’s so unfair that we live so far away and can’t see each other more often.  At least you and Audrey talk on the phone, email and text between visits.  I know you only got to see your grandma a handful of times.  I’ve always loved hearing your stories about your "Grandma Maude".  Oh, and some of my happiest childhood memories were of hot summer days spent in the cool sewing room with you. 🙂  Love you, Nicole

  17. Maria Slowik says:

    I love her story……I would have loved to find a treasure like that from my grandma..we never knew her because she still was in the Ukraine…..I sat here and read the whole story it is very interesting ….I loved it..Thank you

    Thank you, Maria.  I’m so glad you enjoyed it.  Thanks for stopping by!  -Nicole

  18. drMolly says:

    I have many vintage patterns – none however, from my grams, but some from my mum (& she is still with us, for which I am so greatful!).
    Anyway, I wanted to tell you how I preserve my vintage patterns so they can be used. I adhere the tissue to "iron-on" Pellon interfacing – the very lightest that they make. In this manner it preserves all of the markings, etc. and the patterns may be used with no damage what-so-ever.
    I, too, am an apron wearer – have been since I was a little girl……………and I make lots of them, too.

    Molly, thank you for telling me this…I had heard from two friends about tracing it, or ironing on wax paper, but not the Pellon interfacing.  I will definitely have to look into this…thank you so much for suggesting it.  I am sure many of us farmgirls can use this tip!  Happy sewing! Nicole

  19. Adrienne says:

    My mother had the sewing bug and when she bought her "new" vintage Singer, she set to work with fabric donated by her friend who worked in a drapery factory. My junior high clothes were made from drapery fabric including the light sateen used for cafe curtains and the heavier knobby fabric long window drapes. I had forest green skirts, dark brown skirts, light brown skirts, forest green blouses with light green sleeves, light green blouses with forest green sleeves, dark brown blouses with light brown sleeves and light brown blouses with dark brown sleeves. There were forest green, dark brown and light brown vests that used the drapery material. She used every bit of the fabric and was proud of her color coordination. Unfortunately for me, I looked like window dressing that year! Thank goodness I outgrew them. Mom would also purchase some nice fabric, find the perfect pattern, make a dress for herself, my sister and me, and have enough left for doll clothes. She took my communion dress and dyed it deep turquoise so I could use it for a few more special occasions until I outgrew it. She knew how to make do. I didn’t inherit the machine sewing gene but I did sew the hems, embroider, and did crewel and needlepoint. French knots were my specialty. Thank you for the memories!

    I love your comment!  Cute!  My mom sewed many of my outfits, too, a child.  I remember one quilted calico jumper that was so cute, but the only thing holding it on me were four buttons, two on each shoulder.  The pearly buttons were pretty, but too small for the buttonholes.  On the way in to a big supper club, we were in the church parking lot when the buttons gave way and the whole dress fell off, around my ankles!  I was mortified!  I was only four or five but remember it clearly.  Another church dress she made during a growth spurt.  By the time it was finished, I was too tall and remember being worried that it was too short, that the other kids would start singing "I see London, I see France…" But I also fondly remember when she’d let me pick out my own fabric.  There was top and skirt with hearts all over it that I loved, and a she made me several circle skirts that twirled.  I loved that.  And some really great Halloween costumes.  I also loved going through my mom’s button collection.  Happy memories. 

    Thanks for reading and commenting. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  20. Kristy says:

    Both of my grandmothers sewed, one knitted and the other tatted. I never had a store bought dress until I became a Brownie. In the 1950s you could get Brownie patterns, fabric, and buttons, but there was no way to put the machine embroidered Brownie on the pocket. My grandmothers discussed the problem. Their solution was to get me every thing, dress, belt, beanie and socks, as well as a handkerchief. (Every thing I wore besides socks, underwear, snowsuit and shoes/boots was provided by my grandmothers until I learned to sew.)

    When my parents married, Dad suggested that the wedding dress be made with a train like the one on Eleanor Roosevelt’s 1941 Inaugural gown and Mom’s mother made that dress. When I married (that grandmother was deceased), I wore the dress my mother wore, my father designed, one grandmother made and the other altered to fit me! Mother’s tiara had gotten very weak, she made a hat, covered it with left over fabric from the dress and appliqued the tiara to that. The surviving grandmother was also my cousins/bridesmaids grandmother; she made their dresses too. I made my going away dress and coat, and the bridesmaids’ hats.

    I’ve got samples of everyone’s needlework in addition to the wedding dress. I also have samples of everyone’s handwriting, including my grandfather’s.

    Kristy, that is such a great story.  I also love that you have kept samples of everyone’s handwriting.  My grandmother also had amazing penmanship.  And my grandfather, too, he was a sign painter so he could make beautiful script and letters free-hand.  My father still has beautiful handwriting.  Thanks for sharing with me today. Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

  21. Tammy says:

    Loved your story. It reminds me a little of how in recent years I decided to begin quilting. I had always sewed but never thought quilting was for me. Finally, after I had 48 large log cabin blocks made from scraps (I needed 49), I asked my 87 year old aunt, who taught me to sew, if she would help me place them in a pattern for a blanket. She agreed, and one day on our hands and knees in her living room we placed them in just the perfect way – turning this way and that to make sure. Of course, there was one block missing in the middle. It was then I realized she had a couple of blocks she had started 25 years ago and sewed by hand. She gave them to me and said, "Well, maybe you can make a pillow with these." I took one of the blocks, made a little alteration so it would fit, and put it right in the middle of my new quilt. And get this: One of the fabrics in her block matched – quite by accident – one of the fabric scraps I had already used in mine. Now I look at that quilt and see her "window" right in the middle. It reminds me of a good life – learning how to do things for yourself – and good memories of being with her as a child, where I was always secure.

    Tammy, what a great story!  Thank you so much for sharing, and what a great heirloom quilt you have made. I’m sure it is beautiful! -Nicole

  22. Louise Marie says:

    How precious you are. My grandmother went to be with the Lord when i was seventeen in 1967. i remember a time, when i was in elementary school, that she sewed a 3-piece colonial outfit for my Barbie doll for a class project for me. It was made out of dotted swiss and was gorgeous. I don’t have it anymore, but the memory is beautiful. You brought that back for me. Thank you.

    Louise, thank you for sharing!  My grandmother made doll clothes, too.  She would actually use Barbie as a "model" for clothes and patterns she would design.  I’ve always been amazed by that. -Nicole

  23. Kathy Brown says:

    I too love the 40’s–my mother and father’s adult time. My mother was an excellent story teller. I thought all mothers were like that. She told us sitting in her kitchen all the stories of our family and because she told them so well, over and over, we remember them well. My first sewing experience was to make my 8th grade graduation dress at the behest of our Catholic school rule. Wow. I was a little nervous but got caught by the bug. I sewed everything from then on. My grandmother who lived with us knitted and I can still hear her knitting needles clacking as she talked and visited. She taught me to knit also. I didn’t keep it up but I am starting to knit again. Oh, I love your apron. I made one about 7 years ago that doesn’t tie anywhere. I love it. You put it over your head and the back area criscrosses. Cheers, Kathy

    Hi Kathy!  I love that your mom taught you all your family stories.  Everyone should know their family history, and I find it surprising and sad that not everyone does.  I’m ready to start another sewing project.  Another apron, perhaps, for the next level Merit Badge.  I love aprons like you just described.  I have one made from french toweling that I bought online when my daughter was a baby.  It was to wear when bathing her, then I’d hold her close when she was all wet, without getting myself wet.  I still have it, though it is old and stained.  But very comfy.  Thanks for commenting!  Happy Sewing and Knitting!  Farmgirl hugs, Nicole

  24. Jean Austin says:

    This is my first visit to your blog as I just received my sisterhood number and welcome letter.

    My grandmother on Mom’s side is such a sweet memory. She was born in Colorado and moved to Los Angeles, CA when she married my grandfather. Out of necessity she had to be working most of her adult life, so she didn’t really get to do the farmgirl life, sewing, baking, housekeeping… But oh my, did I terrorize her as a teen. I would spend my spring vacation in her apartment in Long Beach. She said she had to beat the sailors off with a baseball bat! I asked her to take me to the scariest movie we could find and she took me and let me stay up as late as I wanted.

    I was married to my dream guy who was in the Air Force (we’re still married after 48 yrs) and Gram used to try to sooth me when he had to serve at a remote station for a year.

    I still miss her and long to sit and chat the way we used to when I waited in CA for my husband to return.

    Hi Jean!  First of all, let me say "Welcome" to the Farmgirl Sisterhood! It’s great to "meet" a new farmgirl sister, and thank you for visiting the blog.  What sweet memories you have of your grandmother.  Thank you so much for sharing them with us here.  (And congrats on being married to your dream guy for forty-eight years!  Wonderful!)  Farmgirl Hugs, Nicole

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