My grandmother even wove sheets, and they had a seam down the middle (the loom wasn't large enough.) They had a loom always set up in a big part of the upstairs bedroom at my grandmother's. Mom never had a loom in the places where we lived, but she always wove rugs when we spent the summers with my grandparents. She still has some of these brightly colored rag rugs on her floors, and if I peer closely, I might recognize the rag line from one of the dresses from my youth. I do have a lot of her things that she embroidered in the "old days," things that are truly vintage now.
In her youth, she was pretty much self-sufficient in making her clothing, and later those of my dad, but with modernization, she stopped those habits, though her hands were always busy. During the 2nd World War the women used to knit hundreds of mittens and socks for the soldiers. That was before my time.
I asked her if she remembers some of my fave sweaters she made for me when I was a kid, but she doesn't. I had a really comfy gray and blue patterned sweater that I wore ALL the time; I still remember it clearly.
She loved to sew clothes, made fabric collages, embroider, needlepoint, cross stitch, knit; she even dabbled in porcelain painting, but my dad complained about the fumes. She could knit and crochet anything. We used to get excited about some new pattern; I would start it and she would finish it because I always got bored somewhere in the middle.
I have the patience now, however. I don't know how that happened--with age maybe. I have been more of a dabbler than making something "useful," though. In one of the pictures below I made a fabric collage from a picture in a book about Medieval life. I now marvel at how large the horse is compared to the women, but I didn't think of that at the time. I could never finish it since I couldn't decide whether to frame it or make it into a pillow. It now lives with my mom's things in a plastic bin.
My mom's hands are twisted and stiff due to Parkinson's these days, but she can read without glasses, so that's how she spends her days. She has all her marbles still. :) She's the kindest person you could ever meet!
I haven't worked with fabric for a long time, but I'm following some really cool fabric art blogs, and getting more inspired to get out those bins. Check out this great blog, Spirit Cloth, by Jude Hill. It's a whole different feel to explore creativity through fabric. (Though I usually prefer paint--get my hands down and dirty as they say...! :)
This is a really old piece, possibly embroidered by Mom in her youth, or Grandmother might have made it. I don't remember. But look at the needle work! These cloths were hung on decorative rods to hide the everyday towels used in the kitchen.
I have two tablecloths like this. Mom crocheted those from a very fine cotton yarn, then patiently crocheted the flowers/snowflakes together. It's fine like a glorious spiderweb!
Another lifetime, but everything runs in cycles.
BTW, I love my Mom. :D My dad could've been a painter, but never really pursued it. He passed on in 2004, at ninety. I do have a couple of his beautiful paintings.