A Memory From Childhood


When I was growing up my mom had loads of patterns. She didn’t trace most of them, and pieces ended up getting ripped or lost eventually if they were used over and over again. Eventually she started tracing some of her patterns onto interfacing. I remember she called the “white pattern stuff that didn’t rip” Pellon. At the time I really didn’t understand much of what she was doing when she was sewing. I was so little. I remembered Pellon all these years later and bought some Pellon Easy Pattern 803 to trace my clothing patterns onto so I could keep the original patterns intact.

I watched her sew a lot though. It made a great impression on me and it’s what inspired me to find outlets to be creative.

I was not allowed to touch her sewing machines or any of her sewing stuff. She made a lot of things for art shows and a couple stores, and she didn’t want me to break anything or get it dirty. ( I most definitely would have done both those things completely unintentionally!) Sewing was her escape from household chores and mom-to-a-kid-under-the-age-of-6 stuff. It was also decent additional income at the time.

I remember going with her to a store called Wicker Works. Jeannie was the owner. There’s a furniture store with the same name now. I looked for the name with an internet search, but it’s not the same store.

When you walked in Wicker Works it smelled like eucalyptus and potpourri and was filled with all kinds of pretty things to decorate your home with. I seem to remember it being really quiet in the store too, there may have been soft music, but the quiet made a big impression on me. It also seemed more dimly lit then most stores are now.

One day I went with my mom to see if Wicker Works needed more stock of the decorative stuff she made. While she was talking to Jeannie at the register I was standing by my moms’ leg and was looking around the store. I saw a lady customer walk over to a teddy bear my mom had made from antique quilts. She picked it up to look at it.

I quickly turned around to my mom, since I was so happy and excited, and burst out; “Mom look! A lady is looking at the bear you made!” She shushed me quickly, really irritated that I interrupted her from talking to the owner of the store. The owner didn’t look too keen on my outburst either, but she didn’t say anything. She just did the normal dismissive ignore-the-obnoxious-kid-completely thing that adults always seemed to do to kids, and went back to her conversation with my mom.

I’m not really sure what triggered this childhood memory today, but it’s funny what odd bits stick with you your whole life.

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