From one generation to another...
Tomorrow I get to spend the afternoon with my six year old granddaughter.
I just love saying I have a granddaughter for multiple reasons. First and foremost because without my wonderful second husband (and as I jokingly say to him, my present husband...) I wouldn't have any grandchildren at all. I married a man with a grown son and I'm blessed to have a warm and lovingly relationship with him and his wife and through them, two beautiful grandchildren. It touches my heart every time I'm called grandma because I realize what a privilege that is. And secondly, because I'm just not old enough yet to be a grandmother! To have these grandchildren I would have had to have given birth at 15 - and this is not the case. I was smart. I married into the joy of grandma-hood without the years of tween or teenage angst.
I've been teaching my beautiful granddaughter what my grandmother taught me - how to sew. And I have to brag (as all devoted grandmothers do...) that she's really learning well. I started by letting her play with the fabric and being fascinated by the colors. We then moved into her sitting beside me at the sewing machine and pressing the numbers on the digital keypad needed to sew the fancy stitches. Next we picked up needle and thread and sewed little handbags and coin purses by hand. For Christmas this year I gave her her own sewing box complete with all the important sewing implements as well as playful bits like beaded trims and ribbons. This progression of learning has been happening slowly over the course of a year or more - just like I learned from my grandmother. Sometime soon I'll suggest to her that we work on a small dolly quilt together and the seed of growing a new generation of quilter will be planted.
There is something wonderful about passing on a skill such as sewing and quilting to the next generation. Not all of us quilters learned at our grandmothers knees and some had to seek out these skills on their own. I think for us fortunate ones, the ones who had a loving hand guide us in our first attempts at sewing one patch to another, the act of sewing isn't only to reach the ultimate goal of creating a quilt or piece of clothing. The process takes on a meaning of it's own remembering the first time you achieved a straight line and the fuss grandma made of it.
But perhaps now that I'm in my dotage I look too much to the 'spiritual' (for lack of a better term...) side of my craft. That's what happens when you become a grandmother. You get all emotional when you see even a small glimmer of yourself in the eyes of a six year old.