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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Vintage Sewing Notions and My Gift

Are you as crazy about vintage sewing notions as I am?  I found this mini ironing board in a shop in PA recently that just tickles me.
I believe it is a sleeve board and I don't really iron many sleeves....but does that matter?  NOPE

The sewing machine you see in the back ground belonged to my girlfriend, Mary Jane (you may recall she passed away Aug. 20th).  I remember when she got it brand new from Leon at Hoovers Bernina Sew in Mifflinburg, PA.   Mary Jane really enjoyed this machine and was always saying great things about Leon at Hoovers....which means there is a lot of positive energy in this beauty!  She insisted I learn to use her new machine even though I was very intimidated by the size and the fancy buttons.  We were sewing together one day and she said to me, "when I die, you are going to have this machine."  Naturally I burst into tears and told her I didn't want that sewing machine, I wanted her so she could just take that thought right out of her mind.  Thankfully several years went by before her pride and joy was passed along to me.  I only wish it had been 30 more years before her 820 came to live with me.

Mary Jane's sewing machine has been sitting where my machine used to be.   My mind was telling me..... turning on her sewing machine would mean she is really gone.   I know that thought makes no sense....but grief in my experience isn't rational or's just a process.  I can't seem to get used to seeing her things at my house.....this new reality will take time to embrace.  Today I turned on Mary Jane's sewing machine and began to sew.  The tears streaming down my face made it difficult to see to wind the bobbin....but I managed.  What an amazing, beautiful and life changing lovely girlfriend Mary Jane....not her sewing machine. I miss her every day.

Irrational and Appreciative Smiles!


  1. Hugs and wet eyes from Texas.......just sew for your friend.

  2. What a wonderful gift your friend left for you. Not only for you to use, but to remember her smiling face and generous spirit every single time you use it. You will remember I told about my BFF passing 10 years ago. Soon after she passed away, her husband was going to THROW AWAY all of her English tea cups and tea pots. I went to him and asked him, if his children did not want them, could I please take them. He most willingly gave them to me, and I with another friend divided these treasures. Now every time I look at my tea cup collection or use one of her tea pots, I remember my sweet friend and how she loved to entertain. She didn't need a reason or an occasion. Just being her friend was occasion enough. Enjoy your gift from Mary Jane. Remember how much she loved you.

  3. I'm so glad she had a good friend like you that she knew would appreciate such a gift.

  4. You know what? You two will be sewing together whenever you use that machine. Such love. Hugs!

  5. It will be so nice to be able to sew with her when you are using her machine! It will be a lovely way to remember and honor her.

  6. And wont she be smiling down on you! Shaking her head and wondering what took you so long!

  7. I am so happy to know you have Mary Jane's sewing machine and I'm sure she is delighted too. Yes it would be better to have her here, but this way we all know every time you sew you'll be sewing with Mary Jane sitting right next to you smiling big time in absolute delight knowing you are being creative.



  8. ((hugs)) With teary eyes I must say, your friend picked the perfect person to for her treasure. I am sure is smiling down at you and keeping all your stitches straight.

  9. May every stitch you make with the gifted sewing machine bring peace to your heart.

  10. Wow the sleeve board is so cool. I bet it belonged to a tailor.... who else would need one.... home sewers had hams...I still have my mothers hams from when I was a child....
    The sewing with that machine will get easier... and you know.... you can talk to yourself... (Mary Jane) will be there to hear and add her 2 cents worth.... as you stitch...

  11. One of my favorite authors said this about grief:
    “But grief still has to be worked through. It is like walking through water. Sometimes there are little waves lapping about my feet. Sometimes there is an enormous breaker that knocks me down. Sometimes there is a sudden and fierce squall. But I know that many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it.”
    The love between you and Mary Jane will not pass, but the grief will slowly fade. That is not to say that it is gone, for a sudden wave may crash against you years later. But you will grow stronger at standing against those waves. I know that Mary Jane would be happy and honored to know that you are using her machine to bring more beauty into the world.
    Big Hugs,

  12. What a special machine for you...

  13. There is a special connection between a quilter and her favorite machine. I remember when Mary Jane got that Bernina--and I am very glad that you, who understand her connection with it, will be using it and remembering her with every stitch. What a precious gift she gave you!

  14. Thank you for sharing. Grief is irrational, isn't it? On the anniversary of my mother's death, I had a fleeting thought of, "Okay, she's been gone a year. Now I can have her back." Made no sense and, sadly, it didn't come true, but somewhere inside it felt true. A year was more than long enough.

  15. What a beautiful way to honor and remember Mary Jane, it reminds of the days when fathers would hand down their tools to their use something your friend used every day you keep her memory alive.

  16. May God bless you on this journey. You will never sit at that machine without thinking of her & sooner than you think, you will be smiling (& maybe still crying) as you remember the good times you shared. She loved you & knew you loved her. This machine will just remind you of that. Stay strong.

  17. As I read your story about turning on the machine...I was thinking about how turning on the light in the machine would be the light from your friend's heart...shinning on to you. Every time the light comes's her light, to bring light *into* your life.

    I'm sorry to hear about your friend's "leaving". It's kind of nice that she left you things to remind you of how much she loved you.

    Can you feel my big CYBER-HUG?!


  18. There is something sooooo meaningful in remember a friend. So glad you spent many hours together before she passed. Now she is spending many hours with you while you sew. My heart goes out to you.


Thank you for reading the IHAN Blog. I love getting and reading every comment that is left here; however I may not be able to respond to all comments left during giveaways. There are times when I am juggling many tasks at one time and may not reply to all comments. Please e-mail me at if you need a reply quickly. I thank you for your understanding and-
More Later-Beth


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