Sunday, January 31, 2010

Her Mighty Throne

Not the toilet, get your minds out of the gutter - oh, was I the only one thinking that?  I am talking about my grandmother's chair.  This is the chair which supported the backside of the matriarch of our family while she did things like sew six granddaughters matching Christmas dresses, or my cousins' first communion gowns, or jackets that went with our prom dresses, or hem oodles of choir robes. 

She was kind of amazing on the sewing machine - not because of intricacy but because of practicality.  She could make almost anything that was needed.  My mom tells stories of her brothers and dad dressed in matching dress shirts that Grandma had made.  There is a photo of my uncle dressed in a little man suit that Grandma had made out of Grandpa's old one.  She was re-purposing  long before it was hip.  Oh, Grandma, you clever woman, you. 

Sometime in the 1970s my grandmother received, as a gift from my mother, this glorious chair.  This particular chair is a sewist's dream.  Originally it had quite a cushion and the seat flips up to reveal a compartment for stowing all your notions.  Need a button?  Look in your chair.  Broke a needle?  Look in your chair.  Measuring tape? Chair.  And though I am seldom organized, I love the idea of organization like this.  Everything you need right under your butt!

Moving to my own sewing space I found that I didn't have the advantage of the chairs I used at the dining room table.  Since I haven't mastered sewing standing up, I set out to look for a sewing chair.  I thought about Grandma's chair and where I might get one of those, and it dawned on me, uh, ask Grandma for hers.  This would be huge!  To have Grandma's chair here - a little piece of her (ADDers frequently assign serious sentimentality to things).  She was happy to pass down the chair to me, sending it along with my Mom when she road tripped to TX at Christmas.  And here I sit, in Grandma's chair, making it my backside now that is firmly placed on the sewing throne. 

(A P.S. on the over-sentimentalizing things:  I don't over sentimentalize dates as I noted in a previous post - usually because for ADD mind time is categorized as "now" or "not now" therefore negating a reason to sentimentalize it.  However, THINGS!  Oh things, how you get us in trouble.  Usually things remind us of a person and if we got rid of the thing it would be like getting rid of that loved one.  We are worried we will forget them without a physical reminder - just like we forget our wallets, keys, gift card for the store we are going to, diaper bags, checkbook, phone, or anything else we might daily misplace.  I am glad to report that I still have my Grandma so if I want to remember her I could just go visit.  But having her chair was something I thought about for a long time because I knew if I received it, I would keep it forever.)

1 comment:

Kathi D said...

My mom was that kind of sewer--whatever was needed, she would sew it up. She even took special orders for wacky things I wanted as a teenager.

Ahhhh, the "now" and the "not now." Sounds like my favorite Dr. Hallowell talking, and so true. I never remember dates, or years, and most days I'm hard pressed to tell you if it's summer or winter without thinking about it first.

I do love that chair. I keep most of my necesseties right under my butt, too. Except I don't have a chair. I have my mother's old sewing machine cabinet, though. I had to fight My Brother Bob to the ground for it.