Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentines' Day

I don't often use spray starch
for my sewing projects.
It came in pretty handy, though, when making this
Valentines' Day wallhanging
from an old chambray jumper.
The fabric was stretchy and the starch made it
quite a bit easier to work with.

The 'aroma' of starch,
brings back lots of memories for me.
When I was in Jr. HS in the mid-sixties,
my dad was, in essence, a traveling salesman.
He would leave the house on Monday mornings
and not return until suppertime Friday nights.
Because he had to wear a suit every day,
my job was to launder and press his white dress shirts
and hankies.
He liked lots of starch!
I took the obligatory home economics,
a half year of sewing, a half year of cooking.
I didn't care much for the cooking portion of home ec.
We made biscuits one time
and they tasted like a monkey house smells.
It scarred me for life!
I loved working on the sewing machine, however,
so he bought me one.
An old singer cabinet model.
Basically, this is when I learned to sew.
We didn't have a lot of money,
so when the collars on his shirts became worn and tattered,
I'd unpick them,
turn them around,
and restitch them onto the shirt,
something, I think, he saw his mom do during the depression.
He made a deal with me - for every skirt I made,
he'd buy me a coordinating blouse or sweater.
(This was back in the days
when you weren't allowed to wear pants to school.)
I took him for his word,
and a love affair with the sewing machine
was born.

Another olfactory trigger is Wrigley's Juicy Fruit Gum.
My mom always had a pack in her pocketbook.

What scents trigger your memories?

Have a very Happy Valentines' Day!!



Nancy said...

My mother was an amazing baker. Even though she worked full time she would make beard ever weekend. I was in charge of French bread during the week because I could make it after school and have it done by dinner. So the smell of fresh bread is an instant trigger for me.

Julie Cefalu said...

Love your Valentine wall hanging! I hadn't thought of Juicy Fruit in so long, but I can still taste it in my mouth! Coppertone sun screen is a trigger and so is Bain d'Solei (which I actually haven't smelled or seen since the 70's).
Julie @ The Crafty Quilter

Fiona said...

lovely wallhanging and so fun to read some of your memories.... I can't think of any scents that bring back memories off hand... there must be some though...

O'faigh said...

Hi Karen, my Dad worked away from home as well and came home Friday nights and left Sunday memories are triggered with home style cooking/baking...every Saturday without fail Mum would cook all sorts of treats, sponges, cream puffs, Sunday Roast Lamb Dinner..Hugs, Lyn

julieQ said...

My fragrance triggers include jergins lotion...that cherry almond small is my mother through and through! And ivory soap too! I really enjoyed this post!

Stephanie said...

That is a very beautiful wallhanging. The scent of a rose always reminds me of the meticulous and gorgeous backyard filled with roses at my grandmother's house.

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

lilacs! I love them and they grew in our yard when I was a kid and then when DH and I lived in Idaho when the kids were little we had several bushes next to the bedroom window - we would sleep with the windows open (no worry back then) and the smell was divine!
Handy hint about the collars - I never would have realized you could do that.

TexWisGirl said...

cute 'beginnings' of your sewing love. :)

Sheila said...

Thanks for the smile Karen , oh the memories , for me sunlight soap brights back memories , mom would have us rub the collars and cuffs of shirts before putting them in the wash , it worked wonders and I still love that smell . Love your wall hanging and loved reading about you , always nice to learn a little more , your dad sounded special :-)

Montanagirl said...

Happy Valentine's Day to you! Fun bit of history that you wrote.

Linda said...

Happy Valentines Day to you! What wonderful memories. Thanks for sharing. Your wallhanging is just the cutest.

Carrie P. said...

such a sweet post and wall hanging.
two scents bring back memories of my grandparents. Oatmeal because my grandma used to make it for me when I was little. Green onions! My grandpa ate them raw every dinner meal.

Just Ramblin' said...

Thanks for the memories, Karen. The smell of bread baking always reminds me of when I was little. Mother would bake bread and have it hot and ready when we came home from school. There is nothing like hot bread smothered in butter and honey. Often times she would save a little of the dough and make us scones. Love your experiences of sewing and home ec. It's always fun to learn more about you. I love how your wall hanging turned out. It is beautiful! Have a wonderful Valentine's Day, my friend. Nola

Rambling Woods said...

Happy Valentines Day

Julie G. said...

Wonderful story! I enjoyed reading how your love of sewing began. Sweet wall hanging! Gosh, as soon as I saw the photo of the Juicy Fruit gum, I could taste it. Good memories!

Teresa in Music City said...

Cooking is definitely not my thing either! My mother made the most delicious homemade biscuits, but every time she tried to teach me how to make them, they were hard as baseballs LOL!!!!

I've made the hearts wallhanging too! I love it and look forward to it coming out each year in February :) I've been using a lot more starch lately too since I've begun pre-washing my fabrics. It really does make them easier to work with - and I'm all for anything that is easier!!

Kerstin said...

Happy Valentines day!
the wallhanging looks good

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

We made biscuits one time
and they tasted like a monkey house smells.
It scarred me for life!......too funny!

Loved Juicy Fruit was always my choice.

DeniseinVA said...

Wonderful reading about your memories. One of mine is of my Grandmother's old treadle sewing machine. What I would give for one now.

FlourishingPalms said...

What a thoughtful post. Got me to remembering how I learned to sew, and made just a few of my own things because my mother was such an amazing seamstress. I'm sure I was one of the best-dressed girls in high school whose clothing cost the least. Yes, I remember the days of wearing only skirts and dresses... and my junior year of HS when pants became acceptable, but only as a pants suit! Fresh ground coffee beans make me think of my grandmother. My dad swore that grandma's fresh-ground, fresh-perked Folgers coffee was the best.

A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

Gorgeous wall hanging. Love your story of ironing and repairing your Dad's shirts. I learnt to sew on my Mum's old singer.