Do you know someone who has taught you something which has changed your life?

Think of one person.

What has changed your life in a positive way that you could never imagine a life without it?

For me, that one person is my mother and what I’ve learned from her is sewing.
Life without sewing is unimaginable.

Mom and me

My Mother and me

Each summer, I would visit my Grandma V. on the farm and she was always embroidering something new. She made pillow cases, dish towels or hanging images. She would use amazing colors in her embroidery work and this caught my interest.

Around the age of 7, I began my own project by selecting options from my Mother’s craft collection. Before we went on our yearly road trip to the farm, my Mom helped me iron a blue print onto fabric which would be my first cross stitch pattern to follow.

We went to the store and now the decision I was to make: gazing at the brilliant embroidery thread colors, I was to select 3 pinks and 2 greens for my first embroidery cross stitch sewing project which would be a small table runner with roses at each end. My Mom introduced the needle and thread to me and my Grandma showed me a trick for tying knots close the fabric to finish the threads.

Unfortunately, this table runner does not have a happy ending to the story…It wasn’t long before I realized embroidery was not for me. At the age of 7, there was not much patience for this type of detailed work and I never finished the table runner. However, what did stem from it was a desire to sew and create.

My Mom sewed two flower girl dresses for me which piqued my interest. This was the first time I can recall watching my Mother using the sewing machine. I loved the dresses she made me and had so much fun dancing in them all night long at the weddings.

Flower Girl dresses sewn by my mom

My Mom sewed our flower girl dresses. I’m the little one in the pink dress, my sister is in the blue dress and my Mother is center.

Later, I took scraps from these flower girl dresses and hand sewed a hanging quilt (as shown in the photo below). During this same age range, I made a pillow with a heart on it and purses out of old jeans. I cut a leg from a pair of jeans and sewed a circle on each end to create a cylinder bag.

Hand Sewn Quilt

This is one of the first Items I sewed. It’s all sewn by hand. I believe I made this around the age of 7. The fabrics used were leftover from the flower girl dresses above.

On one of the road trips, I remember making a red scarf for my Mother which I cut fringe and tied knots around the entire scarf. Years later, my Mom showed me the scarf and it was so small. It’s funny because at the time, I thought it was so big and it felt like it took ages to make. It’s interesting how perspective changes.

Though I was too young to use the sewing machine, I was still able to create many items by hand. Creating something you have a vision for gives an overwhelming sense of accomplishment and offers fulfillment in achieving a goal.

It’s not always the most important point to always finish what you’ve started (as I never finished that table runner!), but it was important to take what I learned from one project and apply it to many others that were better suited for me. I think at any age, it’s good to pivot and to know that if something isn’t right for us, we choose a better path.

I have an overwhelming sense of gratitude for my Mom because she taught me to sew. Being exposed to her sewing on the machine and seeing my Grandma embroider gave me a vision of what could be.

Flower Girl dresses sewn by my mom

Mom Sewed my flower girl dress and her bridesmaid dress.

And so, when you think of that person in your life who taught you something important to you, please think of the effect it had on you. At some point, someone gave you an opportunity to learn something and that person effected your life in a positive way. They may have planted a seed or guided you in the process of learning.

Please take a moment to think of the gratitude you have for that person and I hope your heart smiles. And If it’s possible, send the person a message of thanks. Reflection is a beautiful thing when appreciation and gratitude comes from it.

Now I’m asking you:
Who has impacted your life in such a positive way and what have they taught you?
Please share in the comments below.

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3 Comments

  • Dianne Vogt says:

    Wow, Gina! That’s beautiful. Thank you so much. You were and are a willing learner. Your “never-give-up” attitude has been a testament towards striving for the best.

    You are my inspiration.

    Love, Mom

  • Kim Hornburg says:

    My special person is my grandmother. She gave me a safe home and loved me as a mother, as I loved her as a daughter. She also taught me to sew and inspired a lifetime of creativity. She patiently tried to teach me knitting. It didn’t stick! I had no patience for that laborious time-consuming process of creation. I gave up on my first project, and she finished it. Same story for crochet. I had a brief fling with embroidery under her tutelage, but that fell by the wayside. But sewing remains. I NEED to sew.

    • Gina Renee says:

      That’s a beautiful story Kim. I really love the words you chose to describe what she’s done for you, “…inspired a lifetime of creativity.”
      It’s so amazing how much patience loved ones have with us 🙂 It’s so fun to look back at things we’ve tried and things that stick with us. Thank you for sharing!

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