Grandma Freda was a quiet and reserved woman, a lot like me, but when she was sewing she had a fire in her blue eyes. Grandma Freda could make anything – quilts, clothing, baby items AND she crocheted, cross-stitched and knitted. You name it, she could create it!

I remember when I first asked her if she could teach me how to sew. She smiled with that coy, quiet smile of hers and said “of course.” At the time I didn’t possess one spool of thread, let alone a sewing machine. We went to the fabric store and walked around for hours (I still lose track of time in a fabric store) searching for the perfect pattern for me to begin my first sewing lesson. I chose a stuffed teddy bear pattern. Grandma Freda helped me select a pink and mauve calico fabric, we gathered the notions and supplies needed, and headed home.

I could bore you with the days spent learning how to read pattern directions, identifying naps and salvages, cutting the material correctly, tracing wheels, transfer paper, pins…I’ve already lost you, but it was quality time. Grandma Freda taught me valuable lessons, not just about sewing, but about life.

Hundreds of hours and many mistakes later, my project was near completion, and we decided to write a special note and stuff it inside the bear. A note that not only expressed the love we shared for each other, but the love that went into the teddy bear project. It also represented a mutual bond that had forever been sealed, and the passion shared by two people for a dying art. Thank you, Grandma Freda!

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