Thursday, December 29, 2011

The truth...

I am inclined to develop fictional novellas in my mind regarding the women whose quilt blocks or other sewing items are being sold at estate sales.  They are loved, kind, always lending a helping hand to a neighbor or family member.  The good deeds are endless and on the cusp of "Queen for a Day" material.  I've decided that as a creative person who spends hours sewing that I am projecting my wanna-be image  onto these women from the past. 

My fictional novella was tossed out the door this week when my husband brought home a pillowcase filled with crocheted items from his grandmother.  HIS GRANDMOTHER - a name over the years which was never synonymous with kind, loving - you get the picture.  His grandmother was a talented woman with the crochet hook?  Oh, let me explain.

My husband's grandmother is the smiling woman who is seated on the right - Helen Sloma Sedor (originally spelled Helene Sidor but the spelling changed to reflect her Americanization).  His Mom, Ann Sedor is the young girl standing on the left.  Ann was born in 1916, so I am guessing this photo was taken in the late 1920's.  Ann's Mom, Helen had eleven children,  nine who survived infancy.

Ann lived to the young age of 94 and her stories of her Mom don't match the face of this smiling woman!    There are accounts of her unfriendly behavior towards her daughter and son-in-laws (she refused to speak to them even after marriage), how children were babysat by tying them to the backyard tree and one of the saddest stories I learned from a next door neighbor.  He said his mother's clothes hanging on the line would  frequently be met with Helen's coal dust flying from her bucket.  He never understood why she always did this causing his mother more laundry to be rewashed. 

As you can see, no kind words have ever....yes ever, been spoken about this woman

And despite her pack with the devil or whatever was the source of her unhappiness, she married a man who my husband and mother-in-law, if not everyone who knew him, liked and admired.  My husband fondly recalls outings to the ball park and eating candy bars, having his grandfather cut his hair or holiday time when all the grandchildren were lined up and each given a dollar (which was big bucks back then and could buy some amazing toys at the five and dime.   

And, shocked as I am, she crocheted and she did it well. Colors were changed with ease with knots hidden and patterns were consistent. 

A ruffled crocheted pattern from the late 40's early 50's.

I'm not sure how functional this doily was, but it is colorful.

A favorite of many, the pineapple design in a dresser scarf.

Part of the pillowcase contents.

So I will wash these items of family history and put them aside.  The truth.....  she was not novella material, but oh she knew how to use a hook!


  1. It always amazes me how the sourest of people end up with the nicest spouses (maybe nobody else could stand them?) Anyway, I think I'll continue to pretend that all quilters are kind, lovely and generous (it is fiction, after all!)

  2. I find needlework relaxing and a diversion from the world around me. It perplexes me that Helen wasn't able to allow her unhappiness to be released through her creativity.

  3. that colorful doily as functional as a wedding veil, duh!!

  4. I'm hiding them until the wedding is over!!!