Thursday, February 28, 2013

To Hungary With Love

On Tuesday evening I had the opportunity to share information and stories about my family history, Hövej embroidery, and a special lady, Mrs. Istvánné Szigethy, at a meeting for the Needlework Guild of Minnesota.  Now, I know you've already heard lots of stories and seen lots of pictures, but this is important to me and it is a topic that I am passionate about.  Not only is it a connection to my heritage, but when I visited last fall, they were so very kind to me - sharing their story enables me to give something back to Mrs. Szigethy and the other women from Hövej who are trying to keep this beautiful embroidery alive.

I brought nearly all of the pieces that my mother and I have collected over the years and displayed them for the ladies to see.  Tablecloths, doilies, handkerchiefs - some were done on fine cotton, others on organza.  The red tablecloth helped to accentuate the intricate filling stitches.

My story started at the beginning, with my grandparents, Hungarian immigrants who came to the US searching for a better way of life.

What's interesting is that our family here in the U.S. has maintained contact with the descendants of my grandparents siblings for almost 110 years.  Don't you think that is amazing?  My grandfather's father (my great-grandfather) was born in Hövej.

I also shared the story of Mrs. Istvánné Szigethy, a lady who has dedicated her life to God, to her family, and to her needlework.

Included in the display were these dolls dressed in Hungarian folk costumes.  These were gifted to me by Mrs. Istvánné Szigethy when I visited her last fall.

I also explained everything I had learned about the embroidery itself.

It was a wonderful evening.  A large group of ladies had come to hear my story.  I am grateful that I had the opportunity to share it with them!


Margaret said...

I wish I could have come to hear your story and feast my eyes on all the lovely work! I'm sure it was a treat for all who attended.

Siobhán said...

How fun! I'm so impressed that you've maintained the connection to your family in Hungary as you have. I used to joke with my dad that he fell to earth fully formed as a father of four, because he rarely talked about his childhood. My maternal grandmother didn't see the point in discussing who came before--what mattered was what happened in the present. Same with the in-laws. :(

Laurie in Iowa said...

I will never tire of reading about your trip, learning more about your family and seeing photos of the beautiful embroidery.
I wish I could have attended your meeting.

Giovanna said...

You are doing wonderful work preserving your heritage. What a lovely collection.

The Inspired Stitcher said...

Congratulations on a wonderful opportunity. I'm sure your audience is richer for having had the experience!

Vonna Pfeiffer said...

Cathy, what a very beautiful way to not only share your pride and love for family and your heritage, but also for your love and devotion to needlework!
I'm proud of you, as I know you put on a fabulous meeting!

Mrs. DillyDally said...

Oh I would love to attend your presentation! I love hearing about your family history and the culture of Hungary! Your story is such an are you!

Marsha said...

I think it's great that you are keeping your family history alive. My Dad is in the process of writing his own history for his family.

akaber9598 said...

I have been truly enjoying all of your photos of this lovely embroidery. Thanks so much for sharing!