Mementos from my mother

I had a couple of hours in my mother’s apartment. One thing that was very important to me was to bring home some of her old photos. So I took some of those, but then I wanted some tangible objects. This is something my parents owned my whole life. I don’t know where they got it. It is a Saddlebag for a donkey. Clearly, it is from Central Asia, but I have no idea the actual location. So this has to be over 60 years old, and yet, look at how bright and vibrant the colors of the wool are. This always was draped over a footstool. I’m thinking I need to do the same. It has such an interesting, yet simple closure. Loops of handmade rope that are woven together. Here are the individual loops. And here is one of the pouches open. Not clear how much could be stored in here.  Notice that edges of the pouches were bound in leather, the leather hasn’t fared well over the years, unlike the wool. The back is also interesting. A very tight weave, the colors are so vibrant. You can’t see those blue and red stripes because they are under the pouch. Looking at the center section, the front is as vibrant as the back. It was always out on display, which means sunlight. Not direct sunlight, but 60 years of sun should have caused fading. The back side was protected, but really, there is very little on this piece. So along with memories of growing up, and of always seeing this in my mother’s homes, I treasure it for the incredible piece of textile that it is.If you wonder where my crafting talents came from, look no further than my great grandmother Sarah Singer. She knit, and crocheted. I’m not sure if she sewed. She died when I was three, so I have vague memories of her, by then I’m not sure she was creating any more.

My mother owned three afghans she had made. Two were made out of sweaters that Sarah knit for my mother and aunt. When they outgrew them, she would unravel them and make afghans. She made a few from scratch, like this one, that wasn’t scrappy. I wasn’t familiar with this one.I then realized that my grandmother held onto a few of the afghans, this was one of those. Thirty years ago, my mother brought my grandmother to Israel along with some of her special possessions. When she died, my mother kept this in storage. Almost 40 years ago, I crocheted a baby blanket for a friend using this same wave design. I made it in shades of orange, yellow and brown. I don’t have a picture of my creation, but I do love that my great-grandmother and I made similar items.  This is wool, not acrylic, look at the vibrant colors, very little damage, unlike many of my newer wool creations that have already been attacked by moths. What a great color sense she has as well.I made many things for my mother, I didn’t want to bring them all home. But this really spoke to me. Up until the end, this was by her front door, full of bills and letters. It is pieced, not quilting here. I probably did use a rotary cutter, but I don’t think any of this was strip pieced. I like my workmanship, I also like how I have improved since I made this.At 12-14 my mother was in a painting class, these are a few of her paintings. After that period she never painted again. Some of these hung on my grandmother’s wall, but my mother never displayed them.I brought this one home. I think this is one that hung on my grandmother’s wall. It’s the Pied Piper of Hamlin. That story always resonated with me, I think because of this picture. I’m guessing that when my mother brought this to Israel, she took all the pictures out of their frames.

Another item that she brought over was a simple stripped Navajo Rug, in blue, black and off-white. It’s there in her apartment. I told my niece that I don’t have room for this, but it is something of value. I’m sure my grandparents bought it on a trip west. It used to be on their floor, and yet, the colors are still vibrant and it is in good shape. I hope someone else in the family takes it and uses it.Final item, my great-grandmother’s sock darning egg. I know it was my great grandmothers because neither my grandmother nor my mother ever darned a sock in their lives. So not only do I have items my great-grandmother made, I also now have one of her tools. No, I won’t be darning socks either. I did look online, young women are using light bulbs instead of eggs.

That’s it. Until my son in law and I go through the old pictures.

Leah

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