Monday, October 12, 2009

New Curtains

I'm not sure if I've got too much time on my hands, or if I'm keeping a family tradition alive.

The beautiful weather that we've had in Hilo disappeared under rain clouds today, which is much more typical weather for windward Hawaii. It gives me an excuse not to be outside, hiking, biking, snorkeling, swimming or not learning to surf. So this morning, I made new curtains.

Or sort of...I took an old sarong that had a hole or two, cut it in half, hemmed both sides, and then rolled it over for a tab for the curtain rod. Not very complicated. In fact, I think I probably did a much more involved project when I was in fourth grade.

But somehow, I took a great sense of satisfaction from making my curtains. Maybe it was that I can look at those curtains and know that I spent an hour (embarrassing that it took so long) and fashioned them. Or maybe it was working on my grandmother's 1929 Singer treadle sewing machine. It's been in storage for about a year and a half, and not used in probably five years before that. Still works like a champ, especially after my mom sent it for conditioning a few years ago.
The story I've been told about the sewing machine is that Grandma got it as a gift when she finished nursing school. It was always a source of curiosity and treasure-hunting when we visited as kids. So many cool buttons and snips of patching material to sort through. All that stuff is still in there now. I even found a hand-stitched pin cushion, carefully wrapped in plastic, with a note in my grandmother's writing labeling it, "pin cushion, made by Nancy Mundy (age 4)." My curtains show about the same level of sophistication.
Not sure if this is really bl0g-worthy material. But I think it's cool that (a) I made curtains and (b) I made them on this wonderfully useful antique that my grandmother used eighty years ago.


Jane said...

what a great story! Very, very blog worthy! blogs are like journals, only with pictures!

Just a Girl said...

Thanks, Jane!

Sometimes I wish I could be more poetically descriptive, maybe weaving a reference about the grain of the wood into the story, or the feel of the pedal beneath my feet.

Maybe I'm just a lazy writer.

Or maybe ten years of military writing has beat it out of me.

But I do enjoy writing about non-work related stuff.

Azulao said...

That is a fab story. I like your grandma. :-)

Dad said...

Thanks soooo much for the picture and story of your Grandma's sewing machine. I did not know what had happened to it over the years. I am so glad that you have it and are using the machine. I especially like the part about the pin cushion. I am going to try to send a copy of the picture and your story to Nancy.

Aunt Nancy (Mundy - of course) age 66 said...

You missed your calling - you should be writing instead of chasing drug boats! I was absolutely floored and deeply touched by your story, which brought tears to my eyes - but happy tears. I told your dad that Grandma made me untold numbers of dresses, coats, and I can't remember what all. I learned to sew on that machine, and I'm so happy you have it! I was also interesting to learn that your mom had had it reconditioned and how well it performs. You should send your story to Singer! I'm sure your curtains are way above my pin cushion in sophistication! Do you remember that photo of your dad as a little boy (about 3 yrs. old) in a scout uniform, saluting? I think Grandpa was also in the picture in uniform. Anyway, I recall Grandma's mentioning that she had made your dad's uniform out of an old one of Grandpa's - on the Singer, of course!

I hope you are doing well and hope one of the days we'll see you. Please come visit the next time you're on this continent! We'd love to see you, as would Robin, Jane and their families.