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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Craft (as in handcraft) (02/08/07)

TITLE: Grandma’s Sewing Lessons.


Grandma handed me the needle. “Here you go.”

“Why is it so hard to thread a needle, Grandma?”

“Everything takes practice, Sarah. You see, sewing is a craft and all crafts take practice.”

“What’s a craft, Grandma?”

“A craft is a skill, a talent. It’s also the gift God has given each one of us. Mine is sewing; your mother’s is writing.”

“Well, I wish I didn’t have to practice to be good at my craft. I just want it to happen, Grandma. I want to sew beautiful things just like you do.”

“How do you think I got to be so good? I had to practice too, you know.”

“So, when can I start using the sewing machine? I always have to do the tacking and unpicking. It’s not fair.”

Grandma smiled and patted my knee. “Nothing is ‘fair’ in this world, sweetie, but we can start by making the best of our beginnings. The foundation of a project is the most important part of every craft. Once we learn the basics well, we can move on to bigger things. Life is just the same as sewing and sewing is just the same as life….”

I remember the conversation with Grandma Fraser as though it were yesterday. I sit now at her old sewing machine and allow my mind to stroll through treasured memories. The scent of camphor still lingers in the cabinet drawers. Grandma’s favorite work-apron lies in the bottom drawer; its intricate needlework now faded and frayed with age. Grandma used to say: “Treasured things are meant to last.” Memories of Grandma always make me smile.

Funny—Grandma always turned a simple conversation into a profound mystery. It wasn’t until I grew older and faced the challenges of life that I really began to understand Grandmas sewing lessons. She had the most fascinating way of blending Bible stories with sewing patterns, and teaching life’s truths through pinning things together—all while she enjoyed the craft God had given her.

Lord, You know I taught my daughter, Jenny, to sew on this very same machine. I tried to remember Grandma’s teachings while we sewed. Jenny asked the same questions I asked when Grandma was teaching me. I hope and pray I answered them the same way as Grandma did, from Your Word. Mother was not a sewer but she was gifted writer—her words were inspired by You, through Grandma Frazer. I wonder Lord, if my granddaughters will be writers or sewers—whatever their craft, may they use it to Your Glory.

The back door banged, followed by the sound of small feet running on timber floorboards.

“Grandma, Grandma, we’re here. Can I have another sewing lesson, please Grandma?”

“Ah, Gillian, hello there, and where’s your sister?”

“Meagan’s in the kitchen with Mother. She wants to write a story about the dogs we saw on the way over. So… can I have a sewing lesson now, Grandma?”

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This article has been read 1151 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Kathie Thomas02/15/07
I loved the analogies and the family lines following through.

Just a couple of things that needed checking - Fraser or Frazer? 'grandma's sewing lessons' - sorry, my proofreading eye takes over when I'm reading but I did enjoy the story.
Pat Guy 02/15/07
I think I didn't catch the above little 'bloop' because it was so good, and I was so involved I didn't notice Very good, well written and I loved the format. Loved the connections in this story.
Marilee Alvey02/15/07
Wow! There was a lot of meat to this story...for me. So many of us are impatient and want to be good at something right away, myself included. I think of my Russian "son" and his brother. My son took art lessons since he was four years old and drew or painted for hours every day. He was the quiet, introspective type. His brother was the outgoing athlete. Big brother's car design was selected to be next year's prototype.... and younger brother...well, he is majoring in design, but he still isn't willing to put the time in to be the standout his brother is. Another thing I loved is how the two granddaughters have different pursuits already, one gravitating toward writing and the other toward sewing. I wonder if you realized how much you gave the reader to ponder. Great story. I learned a lot!
Shari Armstrong 02/15/07
A wonderful lesson wrapped up in a comfy story :) My daughter keeps asking when she can learn to sew :)
Myrna Noyes02/15/07
Lovely, warm story demonstrating how we can influence others to follow their own passions--whether or not they're exactly the same as ours! I loved the wise Grandma Frazer in the first part and had to jot down her advice: "We can start by making the best of our beginnings." How profound! I love the message of the importance of our "foundations"! Thanks for a well-written piece! :)
Amy Michelle Wiley 02/15/07
Good story with a great message! Sorry for missing the typos. ;-) Good job!
Laurie Glass 02/16/07
What a heartwarming piece. I could relate to the part about wanting to be good at something right away. :) I like how you stitched sewing lessons and life lessons together in this piece.
Betty Castleberry02/16/07
This was a warm, homey read. I am partial to stories about grandmothers, being one myself. You did a good job "crafting" the characters, and I like the ending, too. Very well done.
Jacquelyn Horne02/18/07
It's hard to put so much into a few words. This could easily be lengthened except for time and space here. When the callenge is over work on it some more. It's a good thought and good writing.
Jan Ackerson 02/19/07
This is so tender and sweet! It makes me long to be a grandmother myself.

My own grandmother taught me her craft--writing! And it looks like Meagan and Gillian are well on their way to being "crafty", too.
Joanne Sher 02/21/07
I love the circle that this makes. So wonderful.
Donna Powers 02/21/07
A very lovely story and I enjoyed the "full circle journey" too. Thanks for sharing this
Joanne Malley02/21/07
I love the reminiscent value of this piece. It made me think of my own grandmother and how she taught me to crochet. Thanks for sparking my own memories and for sharing a story that can do the same for many. Well done!Blessings, Jo
terri tiffany02/21/07
Wonderful story! Since I just learned I am to be a Grandma - this meant even more to me!!
Sue Dent02/21/07
I just had to have a talk with my seven year old son about how you have to try things even if you don't know how to do them. He doesn't quite grasp the prospect of practice either. He just wants to be good at something right now. Actually it's the failure part he can't grasp. He doesn't get that trying and learning is not failing. But your story has given me new ideas on how to help him with this. Thanks for sharing. My grandma tried to show us how to Tat one summer. I think my sister remembers. It was very tedious. But I DID try!!LOL
Sara Harricharan 02/21/07
Sewing lessons! Wow, that brings back memories. I like the character of the grandmother and the little mysteries woven in. I can't see much to improve, except maybe I wish it was a bit longer so I could have gotten to know everyone a little more. Otherwise-very nice! ^_^
Jeanette Oestermyer02/21/07
Excellent article/story. I like the way Grandma wove the truth of God's word into the story. Good details also. Thanks for sharing.

God Bless, Jeanette Oestermyer
Patty Wysong02/21/07
This was so good! There's so much to learn and to pass on--you wove it all together quite well. Wonderful story!