I didn't know my grandmother; she died nearly 10 years before I was born, but I've heard many stories about her over the years. She was a strong, determined, hard-working woman. When she was 16 years old she left her family in Austria-Hungary to travel by ship to the United States in search of a better life. She met my grandfather and they were married and had 10 children (my mother is the youngest.)
I don't think my grandmother had much free time to relax and enjoy needlework - she was always cooking, cleaning, caring for children. She also worked outside of the home at Schunemann's Bakery in downtown St. Paul and also did laundry and cleaned house for some of the wealthy families that lived on Summit Avenue in St. Paul.
My mother has given me the pillow case lace that my grandmother crocheted. The pillow cases wore out a long time ago, but thankfully my mother saved the lace!
Auntie Theresa was always crocheting - she crocheted afghans, hats, ponchos, etc. She was always crocheting "granny squares"! While I don't have any finished needlework from her, I did inherit her collection of crochet hooks when she died. These are just a few of them...
Auntie Betty was a special lady too. As far as needlework goes, she was probably the most talented of them all. A few months ago I posted photos of her embroidered dishcloths. Not only did she embroider, but she also did cutwork, she quilted by hand, she could knit, and she crocheted with thread. Auntie Betty (we always called her "Lizzy") had a wonderful sense of humor.
Whenever someone in the family got married, Auntie Betty always gifted a set of feather pillows at the shower. Of course, the pillows were covered with pillow cases which she had made herself. The set I received had crocheted lace edging - can you see the heart design?
I was fortunate to receive many other sets of pillow cases from my Auntie Betty including these cutwork ones, as well as some crocheted doilies.
Auntie Florence was special too...she often took care of me when I was a little girl. I spent a lot of time with her and Uncle Stan at their lake cabin during summer vacation. Auntie Florence loved birds and she loved football!
Auntie Florence was an amazing knitter - she knit sweaters, afghans, mittens, and slippers. I am lucky to have this beautiful afghan from her and still have several pairs of slippers and mittens left!
Of course, the most special lady of all is my mother...I know I am biased, but she is quite an amazing lady.
Like her mother, she is strong, determined, hard-working, and she has many talents -- she is a musician (plays organ and piano), loves to garden, and enjoys crocheting and tatting.
Most importantly though, she is just my mom...Happy Mother's Day Mom!