Sunday, January 1, 2012

a knack for it



My mother's craft room had everything you could ever want and more.
This fall, as we sorted and shifted, a pattern for dinosaurs surfaced.
The packet cover featured three brightly colored stuffed toys.
She showed the pattern to me in the days leading up to Christmas more than once, and I knew she was wishing that she could make them for my grandchildren.
She has sewn since she was very young. She just had a knack for it. Her mother's treadle machine pumped out all manner of fabric finery.
But, her memory of how to sew has been swept away with so many other memories.
I suppose because all skill is laid down in our memory a layer at a time, and built upon, it should not be surprising that skill can be lost.
I am thankful that I learned to sew and that my mother can still vicariously enjoy watching the magical transformation of fabric into craft, fabric into art.
Two days before Christmas I pulled out a piece of polar fleece and cut out two stegosaurus.
"If I cut them both out at once and sew them like an assembly line, I think we can do it," I promised.
My mother cheered me on and was soon wielding the stuffing and choosing buttons for eyes.
Who knew dinosaurs could be cute?
"They look like pillows," I crowed when they finally stood under the Christmas tree.
"I think they are something even a teenager could lean against in bed while reading," I mused.
It was very special indeed to present them to my grandchildren Christmas morning, a gift from both grandmas.
Christmas night, my daughter tip toed into my granddaughter's room and found her fast asleep, her head on the stegosaurus.
In the next room, my grandson was asleep as well with a stegosaurus covering his face.
Choosing a gift that delights the heart is a knack.
My mom still has it.

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