Both of my Grandmas loved handwork. One of them knitted, sewed and smocked and the other one embroidered and crocheted (oh, she did plastic canvas too...can anyone say "1980s"?). I love to think that I am honoring their memories and carrying on family tradition when I create beautiful things.
My mom recently gave me this set of embroidered dish towels that my paternal Grandma made. She has been gone for over ten years, so who knows how old they are...but they've been tucked away, waiting to be used and loved. These make me so happy, almost like having Grandma in the kitchen with me.
This is the Grandma who taught me to crochet, made applesauce flavored with red hots, bought us donut holes and all-bran cereal when we visited her Colorado home, and didn't hesitate to give us a swat on the rear end when we misbehaved. She sang us "Shave and a haircut, two bits!" and sent us lamb-shaped birthday cakes packed in stale popcorn and cookies with m&ms in them. She sent us wild asparagus and home-canned salmon, and until dementia set it, she never forgot a birthday.
I miss her.