Her life wasn't an easy one. There were no modern conveniences like electricity and the village's only telephone was in the post office.
Nanie and the other woman of the village spent their days making sure the children were cared for, the house was clean, the gardens were tended, and the men fishing in little boats out on the Atlantic had three nourishing meals a day. I never thought she had a lot of time for 'fancy work.'
Not long ago, my Aunt Rita called to ask if I would like to have a coverlet my Nanie had embroidered. The tears welled up. We have so little of Nanie. She and her newborn daughter died in July 1934 from complications following childbirth.
|Delicate, precious stitches|
When I first saw it, I was struck by how delicate and pretty it is -- such a contrast to Nanie's rustic life. The stitches are so delicate, so neat. You can't tell the right side from the wrong side.
Nanie traced the design, likely from a magazine pattern. These magazines were published in Boston or England, sent to Newfoundland by mail ship. Over the course of year, the patterns were traded around the village. Women made items their own by the choice of fabric and floss.
In this coverlet, there are parts of the embroidery pattern not covered by the floss. It is magical to me that these ink marks were made by Nanie 77 years ago. I am also surprised that the floss colours have not faded. I think I am going to turn the coverlet into a duvet cover by adding backing fabric and some ties to close it. It will be used and loved, because Nanie meant for that to happen. I just know it.
|Aunt Rita's flour sack fantasy|
Later this winter, once the Christmas crafting is over, I am off to Ikea for a lightweight duvet. I will use a cotton sheet for the backing of Nanie's coverlet and before long, her handiwork will be on display once again.