Open Line Friday-Mothers

Mother's DayHappy Mother’s Day!

This weekend marks two very important events in my family’s life:  Mother’s Day and my mother turns 90!

Happy Birthday, Mom!Mother's DayI’ve really enjoyed reading the comments from one of our followers, Rosemary.  Last week she wrote in about her 90 year old mother who was born without a hand, but could do more knitting and other sewing than most people!  —Comments HERE

Mother's DayMY MOM

Today, I’d like to tell you a little about my lovely Mother…

Dorothy was born in 1925 in Cicero, Illinois (home of the infamous Al Capone, too!).  Her parents were both born in Czechoslovakia and came to the US as children.  She had three brothers and she loved to play baseball and marbles with them in the prairies around their home.  Her early life was shaped by the Great Depression and her Dad died while she was in high school.  She worked as a secretary during World War II and after the war she married my Dad.  They had seven children (including one exceptionally bright, talented  daughter.)  And she now has 16 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and two on the way.

She has always put family first.  (And we appreciate it!)   I have never heard her say an unkind word about anyone.  One of her favorite sayings:  If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all!  (She has a whole book of Motherly Sayings.)

She taught us all to cook a little and sew a lot!


What about your Mom?  Can you tell us a little about YOUR Mom?  Did she teach you to sew?  Did she have a favorite saying?  Is there something special you can tell us about YOUR Mom?

We’d love to hear!

Happy Mother’s Day!


80 thoughts on “Open Line Friday-Mothers

  1. I had to smile when I read your Mom’s words to live by. Those are the same words I grew up on. my mom is going to be 86 next month and she is learning how to piece neonatal quilts! God bless our mothers for all their wisdom.

  2. Enjoy your Mom while you have her. We lost mom last year shortly after she turned 89. She too was born in 1925 and worked through the war at a insurance company. Mom taught me how to sew, knit, crochet and some cooking. Mom had lots of memories and stories to tell us growing up in a house with 7 children on a truck drivers wages. I still remember those stories very fondly. We miss her terribly. She died rater suddenly last year after becoming ill and spending her last 10 days in intensive care. We thought she was getting better and even been up walking the evening before she passed. Cherish your mom they aren’t here forever.

  3. What a nice story. My Mom was a teacher and she allowed us two girls to test and try a lot. She let us use her sewing machine (there would not have been replacment if wie had broken it) and encouraged us to sew. At first clothes made from bed linens (they were VERY colourful in the 80s), later other things. If it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t quilt today…

  4. Hi Lori,

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your mother. I could just reach though the computer monitor and give her a big hug. She sounds like a very special lady.

    My dear Mom passed away two years ago and not a day passes that I’m not in wonder about how she shaped my life. She was a full time nurse, but somehow was able to make amazing meals and teach us how to cook, sew, garden, paint and a gave us all a love for nature.

    Mom was my best friend and although we lived 3000 miles apart, we talked every day. Mom was and still is part of my heart and my soul and I still talk to her every day.

    Happiest of Mother’s Day to Everyone,


  5. My mom didn’t teach me how to quilt, she says it skips a generation. She only learned to quilt in the last ten or fifteen years. She did buy me my Bernina tho…

    She has her own sayings too, like “If you don’t have anything nice to say… sit next to me and whisper it.” and “She who dies with the most fabric WINS!”

    She goes to enough thrift shops, the staff knows her by name and she knows when they put out new stuff. She wears designer outfits and has designer bags and never pays more than $10 for anything.

    She calls me on Skype every Sunday, even if we’ve spent Saturday together. Sometime we spend ten minutes yelling at how terrible Skype is on Windows.

    THIS Sunday, I’m heading down to her place, a log cabin which sits high on a hill in the country, overlooking a river. 3 of my 4 kids will be there, plus 3 grandkids. She’ll be cooking locally grown chickens (from the farmer next door) and some lamb from the guy down the road. The rest of the food will be brought by us.

    And at some point in the day, she’ll look across the room at all the people, the noise, the chaos and the groaning tables of food and say something like,

    “Well! I wonder what the poor people are doing.”

  6. My mom is 78 years old and one pf the nicest people i know! She raised three children and some how always knew when to speak up and when to butt out. She started young (20) and had 3 kids in 3 years. After having my own children don’t know how she did it – I’m sure. Lori does!. Life kind of gave her a bad deal when my dad got cancer when she was only 58. She cared for him and he was able to pass away at home. Really took a toll on mom and she was a widow at 59. All their “retirement plans” gone. I could never payback all she has done for me. It should be mother’s week instead of mother’s day!

  7. While my mother is now in heaven, and I could tribute her for a multitude of influences she had on my life, I often think on this fond memory, one that has to do with my love for sewing and quilting. I remember her making our clothes while we were young. The machine was in the standard sewing cabinet of yesteryear. It was kept in the dining room pushed against the wall when not in use. But when she was sewing, she’d pull it away from the wall just far enough for me to stand behind it. I stood for many hours in between the sewing machine and the wall watching that needle go up and down, seeing those dress pieces become my dress, and listening to the rhythm of the machine. Creating by sewing is what she taught me as I stood there. Thanks Mom for that and many other wonderful memories. They make me realize what a gift you were and still are!

    • I can just picture you peering over the edge of the sewing machine. Is there a photo of that? Wouldn’t it be great in your sewing room? Seems like a Norman Rockwell portrait.

      • agree, just a beautiful memory. Life is full of good Norman Rockwell memories. I wish we could all make them into pictures

  8. Happy Birthday Ms. Dorothy!

    My mom was also born in 1925, in rural Tennessee, but they moved to a large farm in north Alabama when she was a baby. She lost her oldest brother, Russell Wade, in WWII on a Navy ship that was torpedoed off the coast of Iceland. He was the first casualty from Alabama in the war. There is a memorial to him and others from Winston County erected at Arley (a tiny town near Smith Lake).

    Also growing up with 7 siblings and being shaped by the depression, she learned to sew at a young age and started teaching me at about age 7. I started hand sewing Barbie clothes, then graduated to her old Singer by turning the wheel by hand because I couldn’t reach the pedal. By the time I was 13, I was making my own school and church clothes with her help, and helping to piece and make quilts. Both of my grandmothers had quilting frames which hung from their living room ceilings, and several ladies would come and we would have quilting “bees”.

    Mom’s married name was Gladys (Wade) Knight, so when I married I had two “famous” people at my wedding…Gladys Knight and Jesse Jackson (my minister’s wife)!!!

    I will forever be grateful for mom’s teachings. She passed in 1992 when my daughters, Leiren and Lauren, were 2 1/2 and 18 months old. I remember how thrilled she was that Lauren had just learned to say “Maw Maw”.

    The girls are now 26 & 24, and I’m a grandmother now. I know she would be overjoyed to know her great-grandchildren, Leiren’s kids, Tristan and Leionna, aged 7 & 5. I sew for them both and they have expressed a desire to learn. Mom would be excited to help teach them.

    Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I love you and miss you.

    • I don’t think I have ever seen a frame suspended from the ceiling. I will have to look that up. Very interesting about your mom and her brother. I think Barbie clothes was how many of us started sewing. In retrospect…they are very difficult to sew (though they don’t require much fabric!)

      • Lori, in the days before electric lights, suspending quilting frames from the ceiling was quite common. My mother had my grandmother’s frame, but we never had a room that would accommodate the suspended frame.

      • My mama’s mama had a frame suspended from the ceiling..The sisters, cousins, aunts and grandmothers would gather round it and finish a bed quilt in 2 afternoons..All the extended family brides received one.

  9. My mom was one to quietly observe what was needed in any given situation, then take action…her “motto”? Be useful as well as ornamental! Sometimes this meant doing a frontline task, but more often it was the less glamorous, but much needed, background support, so that another person could shine or an organization could feel a little teamwork…

  10. My momma recently passed away from cancer (Age 59). This will be my first Mother’s Day without her and it’s breaking my heart, to tell the truth.
    My momma wasn’t much of a quilter, but she was an amazing seamstress and tailor. She sewed all of my Prom/Christmas Dance dresses and even made my wedding dress (and dresses for all of the women in the wedding party). She learned to sew from her grandma, and we still have her grandma’s Singer sewing machine. She used that machine to sew much of my wedding dress.
    She was a very strong Christian, and her favorite saying was, “Remember WHOSE you are and WHO you stand for.” We couldn’t leave the house each morning without her telling us that.
    She was fascinated with all things sewing. I once got out of a scolding when I looked down at the table cloth and said, “This table cloth’s been surged.” She looked at it and totally forgot what I had done! I love my Momma and miss her very much!

    • Debra, I am so sorry. But she IS still with you! Loved your story about distracting her from your scolding! Do you have her picture in your sewing room?

      • I do have 2 pictures of her in my sewing room. And I have her grandma’s china cabinet in there too, with her dad’s courthouse clock on top (he passed away this past September).

    • Debra, big hug from me to you. Your mother loved you. Those words she marked in your memory about who you belong to, are very powerful. She knew the truth. You will be in my thoughts on mother’s day. Your mom is safe now, and still with you

    • Debra, My heart is with you. This is my first Mother’s Day without my mom too and I’m sitting her crying reading all these wonderful stories about peoples Mom’s and the influence they have had on their lives. Mom’s are wonderful things to be cherished for all of our lives. We miss them when they are gone, but again they are always with us in our hearts and our minds. Even though special days like this are a bit hard.

  11. Gosh, Cicero!! I grew up in Berwyn, went to HS in Cicero. Wonderful place to grow up, raise kids, etc. Close neighborhoods and parents. Brings back memories.

      • My husband says he can’t remember whether he knew a Phyllis from Morton in 1956 Class…Our TN granddaughter made trip with quilting group to Lancaster in Spring. Her family is in NH for summer and went thru Lancaster a week ago. I am amazed at how life is sometimes…And I am also amazed at how closely my mama and yours had a similar journey thru their sewing career. Miss those times together with mama.

  12. What a wonderful opportunity to reflect on our moms. My mom will turn 88 in a few weeks. She was a wonderful cook and as for her sewing skills- the only items I can remember her sewing were a cute set of Barbie clothes for me – one Christmas. Soooo tiny- no wonder she stopped using the sewing machine!
    However I think it was that Xmas gift that started my sewing adventures.
    Which transferred from clothes making throughout high school and college to Quilting in the last 5 years.

    I can attribute my sense of humor and ability to laugh at most anything to her silliness, and I thank you for helping me to remember that!

    • I’m glad to hear that other Mom’s sewed Barbie clothes for them for Christmas. My mom made me a whole coat box full of barbie clothes for Christmas one year while I sat and complained that she always made things for others but never for me. What she had done was make a deal with another Mom that she would make Barbie clothes for her daughter at the cost of the material if she would buy enough to make 2 outfits, one for her daughter and one for me. Mom put each outfit on a card with the accessories to go with them. I was so surprised at Christmas and couldn’t believe she sat there and made them right under my nose. She love to do things like that.

  13. My mom became my mom (and my 2 siblings mom) because she married my dad when I was 3. She was a great lady with a huge heart and she was loved by everyone. She passed away unexpectedly after a stroke at 75. She stayed with us through tough times with my dad and was never ashamed to call us “hers”. She didn’t teach me to sew except by example as she made many of our clothes as we grew up. Among other things, I remember being taught the same thing as you – if you don’t something nice to say don’t say anything at all!

  14. Lovely stories to read here today. Our mothers are everything!
    They really are amazing. Think about the time they grew up in, and when they got married, how different times are now

    Yes, my mom is epic amazing. Lena Magdelena was the first born of my grandparents and she was born with only a left hand! My grandparents were shocked and did not know what to do. They lived in the city of Rotterdam
    They had many good connections and found the right path for my mom. She went to school and then to “home ec” school. She thought she would be a spinster and be a tailor all her life. (She has a younger brother Jan, who is very interesting and annoying…. and artistic)
    My parents did not know each other when WW2 broke out and the Nazi’s bombed everything in Holland, I have seen photos and it is devastating. Could you imagine a 9-11 situation almost every day. My mom would go out to help at the church to give food to starving children soup and old bread, and see people get shot on the street by the Nazi’s. Her friends helped many Jewish families and if and when they were found out they were shot. My mom received many awards from the Prince after the war for all of the help she did. She received a brass pin I have in my china cabinet.
    my dad had equally harrowing stories, but this is about mom.
    So after the war, they met at a young Christians Youth Group. Actually mom went with a friend and saw dad across the room and asked her friend to introduce her.
    It was love at first sight. My dad thought mom was feisty and adorable, mom thought dad was smart and handsome.

    My mom had 4 kids, we traveled the world with the State Dept and lived almost everywhere. I went to international schools. My mom got her first machine in 1956 and started making clothes for me and my two older sisters. then one day they brought my new born brother home, and boy was a disappointed lol

    My mom taught all of us how to sew.
    When I started nursing school/college my parents moved to Brussels and my dad took a job with NATO. My mom as usual was involved with everything in the church. Usually Missions for poor nations.
    My mom can sew anything, reupholster furniture, make curtains, designer dresses, she can knit, and made sweaters, While in Brussels she got hooked on making lace, and needlework. She was a machine. Unbelievable the beautiful specimines this lady churned out! I learned from her, never ever give up, and you can do anything.
    My dad’s mom was the complete opposite of my mom, she could not even cook. So she adored my mom, and lived to be 90 years old and learned to crochet.
    Okay both of my parents live 4 miles from me now. I take care of them every day, They are living at a place called Ashby Ponds, google it, they place is incredible.
    I love my mom and dad so much. They are both so wonderful and they make me laugh every day. At 92 years old, both of them, they are sometimes like two 5 year olds.
    Mom had a stoke two years ago, and the hospital had this discussion with us about letting her go, just letting her die peacefully. well I was very mad about this and refused to do that We pulled her out of the hospital put her in a rehab center that was just okay, and over those three months I was able to convince my dad to move them to Virginia (they lived in Annapolis) My mom made a full recovery. My daughter made a blog here. Not sure if you can see it.

    Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers. You are beautiful, you are angels,
    and mean more than words can convey.
    Those of you that have lost your moms, just know, that they did know you loved them dearly, and they know the mark they made on your life
    Love always
    Sorry for the short novel here

    • A beautiful family,the link to Lena’s recovery still works-thanks for sharing it with all of us.Enjoy them.

  15. Lori, your mom is incredibly beautiful.
    I love this story. God bless your mom. I wish her many many more years of happiness and health.

  16. My mother in law turn 90 in April, she is a feisty lady even today. She supported her parents and sister during the depression after her father lost his job, her two brothers finished school and joined the service. She married after her younger sister so she could she her safely cared for, then nursed her mother through cancer until her death. (At he same time she was sending a weekly package from her pay to her brother in a POW camp for 4 years). Then she married and had her father live with her for the rest of his life which was well into her marriage and with two small boys to care for. You can see she was devoted to her family. She had four children, the oldest is my DH, the youngest has Down syndrome. Nothing gets in her way she is upbeat and full of love and always has words of wisdom to share. Happy Mother’s Day dear Jane.

  17. My Mom grew up on a farm in MN and did what all farm girls do…chores. She and her best friend quit highschool half way through their senior year and took the train to Minneapolis and went into nursing school! LOL! She was a nurse her whole life and worked off and on while raising us six kids. She taught all four of us girls how to sew, and garden, and get the chores done and cook and how to make do with what you had. Most of my best creations have come from making do with what I had. 🙂 Mom’s waste not want not has stuck…and sometimes it’s called hoarding now…LOL! She is 82 and still creating and making and showing us how to be brave and strong in older years. 🙂 Love her to pieces.
    I love the picture of your Mom. Happy Mother’s Day Lori!!!

  18. My Mother was a teacher. She would have been 87 yesterday. Grew up in a small town in Indiana and participated in 4H. When I was about 7or 8 I was clamoring for a cute sewing machine I had seen somewhere or other. She said she’d just show me how to use hers and off I went! Mother taught me how to sew, knit, sing naughty songs, make chicken gravy, do laundry with a suds saver washer, give children a teacher “look”, and passed on a fondness for nature. I find myself thinking of her when I do things she taught me and I know she guides my hands. My daughters also had her as a teacher and now they, too, carry on her legacy.

  19. My husband graduated from Morton in 1956..We lived in Berwyn first few years of marriage and I birthed our first 2 kiddlybumps at Memorial Hosp. We lived only 5-6 blocks from hosp.My husband’s parents lived in Cicero until they retired to Neillsville, WI. Mom tried to repair small rips in clothing and sew buttons back on with any color thread she could find ! When my husband bought me my first sewing machine so I could sew curtains for the Berwyn house, she was so amazed.It was 2 story and had 52 windows. I could do that because my own Mama taught me how while I grew up in Alabama. I made my first dress on her machine age 10.. It had piping all over.. how crazy was that !! She insisted I take Home Ec in high school. ,,learned how to make an apron ! Mama went to work part time the summer I was age 14. My dad came
    home for lunch every day and I was elected to cook. Our big meal of the day was the noon “dinner” and we ate the leftovers for supper. Once I put my younger sister in charge of stirring the creamed corn and all that was left was about half cup for the meal ! Our Mama taught both of us to sew. Mama used to sew ALL the costumes for our ballet recitals, the school cheerleader and majorette costumes. She made our clothes and winter coats.. People thought we bought them in Atlanta. My sister went on to sew draperies, headboard covers, etc etc as well as clothing…suits etc.. I sewed for our growing family and branched out into fake fur sleeping bags, furniture covers,. I tried a doll’s quilt in 1972 and made a mess. LOL.. put it in a box. I found it again when we retired and I joined a quilt guild.. Been trying quilting for 4 years now and wish I had always quilted.Our mom developed dementia and eventually was in a nursing home near my sister. I traveled to see her for a week every month. I hated seeing her sitting in a wheelchair with her head leaning over..Once I took a variety of fabric pieces with me. She perked up and held them and smoothed them and seemed happy. I cried later. I also later took pencils and paper and other things. I inherited most of her sewing things.. mucho fabric too.It has been a revelation to find her sketches of dresses and outfits.. She was born in 1922 and died in Dec 1999,
    I wish she could have gone to fashion design school. She loved us and always pointed us to trust in the Lord. My husband and I both miss both of our mothers more than we ever expected and more all the time. I wish mine could make quilts with me..

    • Marta, what a lovely story! Do you have the sketches? Something to cherish! Funny that you lived in Berwyn!

      • Yes, I do have my mama’s sketches..I am planning a collage with her photo, the sketches and some smocking samples she made.I couldn’t keep all her clothes so I photographed them. They still need to be changed from digital to hard copy to be included. In the nursing home a group made and distributed wood name plates for the door of their rooms. I have hers and it is posted for my sewing room. I also have her paper body form hanging in there. When I was about 12, one night in the kitchen, daddy wrapped her torso in gluey brown paper strips. When it dried, he carefully cut it off and she then had her own body to fit her clothes on..We all laughed ourselves silly that night.

      • A tribute to a son…My friend has a gorgeous new quilt for Mother;s Day. Her middle age son is a computer geek with successful national business. He went out and bought a new sewing machine, got advice at a fabric store, bought supplies, went home and sewed his mom a quilt for Mother;s Day. I saw it couple days ago and was allowed to touch it..LOL…It is absolutely gorgeous.I have been to a few national shows and it could stand with them! His points match perfectly.. He did a Log Cabin
        pattern with Civil War reds, browns, and some golds….9 blocks at 18 inches each and then 4 ! The points and corners match perfectly.Now his wife wants one.

    • Correction…Memorial hosp is in town where we live now while retired. lol…..Our first two children were born at MacNeal in Berwyn.
      And thank you to Rosemary and Lori…

  20. Yes, my Muzzer (our name for her) did teach me how to sew, and a Singer Zig Zag machine was my high school graduation present! She always said, ” Always make the inside look as good as the outside”. I returned the favor by teaching her how to quilt. She was one of my biggest supporters when I became a national and international quilting teacher! I wish she were here to celebrate Mother’s Day.

  21. What a lovely piece…my mom always said..idle hands are the devils we began stitching at an early age..dolls clothes embroidery knitting…whatever..we lost her at age 50.. So I always tell everyone..cherish your mom for as long as God allows her to be part of your life…she sits on my shoulder every day …and puts a knot in my thread..when I take ‘lazy man too long thread’
    She instilled a great love of fiber of any kind…here’s to you mom!!

  22. Hi Lori,
    My mom taught me how to quilt when I was a teenager. (My dad had to teach me how to cook, lol!). She’s a little too busy to sew these days–at 65, she’s in a motorcycle gang. They ride their motorcycles all over the place, sometimes for charity, sometimes for fun. Hard to fit a sewing machine between the handlebars, though. 😉

    Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms out there. I hope your day is special. For those whose moms have gone on to the great adventures beyond, I hope you feel the comfort of your mother’s love.

    • moms – they are a hoot.
      This makes me laugh to hear your mom is in a motorcycle “gang” so cute and fun. ❤️

    • You’re the only person I know that can say you have a mother in a gang!

  23. Hi Lori,
    My mother will be 97 in October and she is still going strong. I expect her to live to 100. She doesn’t take any medicine, is in full possession of her faculties, and can get around on her own without a walker. She does yoga everyday.

    She has done some quilting, but my favorite quilting story about her is what she tells about her childhood. Her mother always had a quilt on a frame to be handquilted. Ladies from the neighborhood would come over and help quilt. My mother was told, very strongly, that she was not to do any quilting on the quilt. She was too little to do good stitches. Well, my mother was not very good about obeying. So when no one was in the room, she would sneak in, take the needle, and carefully put some stitches into the quilt. She said no one ever complained so she assumed that she had done a good enough job.

    She did a lot of sewing while I was a kid and taught me how to use a sewing machine when I was eleven. I have been sewing ever since. I tried to teach my daughter to sew, but she decided to be an oil painting artist instead. I taught my granddaughter to sew when she was 6 or 7. She has gone with me to quilt shops and picked out fabric to make quilts.

    Sewing is in our family!

  24. Wow, I could read all day about great mothers. Mine let me use the machine and figure it all myself (including all the tension issues with a old Singer). She let me use as many feed sacks as I wanted for fabric and to make gathered skirts for school. Later she bought fabric for my confirmation and graduation dresses. So I struggled but taught myself for the most part. She lived to be 95, just passing one year ago. Her favorite thing was to garden and Patch as that is what she used her machine for.

    Blessings to all

  25. Dear Lori,
    Thank you for this opportunity to tell you about my wonderful mother. My mother was the oldest daughter in a poor farming family of 10 children. Since she was the oldest, she became like another mother to the youngest children. My mother’s mother had a hard life, bearing 10 children too close together and working like a farm laborer while raising that family. I can’t brag so much on my maternal grandfather, but my grandmother must have been a saint! I have very little memory of my grandmother because she died when I was a toddler. Of necessity, my mother learned to be frugal and hard working. Mother taught me to sew before I became a teenager; Barbie clothes were the first things, followed by simple blouses and skirts. Mother pieced quilts, but had them quilted by others. She stayed up very late at night, sewing our school clothes, and worked daytime in a sewing factory for many years while I was growing up. My mother made beautiful wedding dresses for my sister and me. My mother passed away in 2013 at age 91. I am so pleased to have inherited her Singer 301A sewing machine, which I cherish. It was the only sewing machine she ever owned. I learned to crochet from elderly neighbor ladies and after my Dad died, I taught my mother to crochet. She loved crocheting and made several large afghans.
    There is not a day that goes by that I don’t miss my Mama. I just hope that my mother knew how much I loved and valued her!

  26. My mom passed 15 years ago and I still go to the phone to call her when I’m really perplexed by something. She could do anything…and gave me the ” you can figure it out” gene. I’m usually happy about that…

    She was a great sewer and always wanted to help me become one. I hated sewing…nothing I made ever fit! I discovered quilting while mourning her, and I bet it makes her very happy.

    I’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s posts. I found myself saying “my mom did that” or “that sounds just like my mom” so many times…confirming my mom’s belief that “we’re all just people, more alike than different.”

  27. My mom has been gone now 7 years and she was 90 when she passed away. We immigrated to Canada from the Netherlands (parents with 3 young kids) and she had 2 more here. She was pulled out of school at the age of 14 to work and help with family finances. She would sew clothes for people and never used a pattern. She could just look at a picture and replicate it. She was allowed to keep 25 cents a month of what she earned. She sewed most of her life and we were always very fashionably dressed kids. She worked fulltime but always found time to sew She taught me how to first sew on an old Singer treadle machine and because of her passed on skills, I love to sew as well but I need a pattern. I love to quilt and have been since ’91. If she was alive we would be taking her back to Holland to celebrating 70 years of freedom since WWII. We miss her every day.

  28. Mom is 96 and doing doing well except for some recent memory issues. She was born in Boulder CO and moved to California in the early 40’s where she worked at Kinner Motor Co where they made aircraft engins. She married my dad at the end of the war and they raised 3 children in Glendale. One of her favorite sayings was taped to her sewing machine was “Make it up, make it over or make it do”.Mom never quilted but she made a lot of our clothes and I started sewing when I was in elementary school. Not long ago my brother gave me the Kenmore machine I learned to sew on and it still runs beautifully.

  29. My mother has been gone since 2006 the same year I moved from a home of 40 years to be near my daughter and granddaughter. Mother lived in a small town growing up and when she married my dad they moved to a 200 acre farm so you can imagine the adjustment. We had a dairy farm, hogs and chickens and her extra money was from the eggs taken to the hatchery. In the evening she would sew on the machine situated by the TV. Since I worked outside all the time with my dad she didn’t have much time to teach me to sew but did show me how to crochet and embroidery. She was an excellent cook and we had a large garden that produced most of our food. When in home economics I picked out a pattern that my Mother said would be difficult but of course as a teenager I knew better. LOL This pattern had a low waist with pleats all around in yellow fabric. After much frustration it finally was finished with her help. I wore it a lot since I was so proud we did it together. When she finally had to go to a nursing home I lived many miles away but when I visited her one of those times she reminded me of that experience and I was so surprised so I guess that was an important time in her life as well. Also I made her a lap quilt to use in the nursing home and one of the last pictures I have of her is in a wheelchair with that quilt draped across her body . I think of my mother many times especially when sewing and wish she could see my many quilting projects and know she would be proud. Thank you Mother for all you’ve taught me!!

  30. When I was 11, my Mom looked at me, and then looked at her sewing machine, a White sewing machine, in a cabinet, and she said take the damn thing, you’re better with it then I am … and she never touched it again. So, of course I made my own clothing, curtains, stuffed animals, and discovered quilts in March ’84, many sewing machines later. I think it was a combination of reverse psychology and a dare?… so, I took it.

  31. Don’t sell yourself short, Lori. Your mother has made you what you are today!!! you both are amazing women!!!! Have a Blessed Mother’s Day……..

  32. Oh, my gosh, Lori. I readied to leave my house over an hour ago to climb the stairs (over and over) at Concordia but stopped to check out your blog. It is AN AMAZING tribute to mothers everywhere! I loved reading about YOUR mother and her words were EXACTLY my own mother’s words – “if you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything at all!”

    Our parents were the sweetest – and not long ago, I described to someone that they were not “too-sweet candy” sweet, rather the “just right sweetness” that comes from an earnest appreciation of what a truly good life demands.

  33. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to write about our mothers! My mom is 87 and has difficulty with mobility, but she still has her sewing projects. Last year she made kitchen curtains for every month of the year, the John Deere ones are up at this time of year in honor of crop planting. She and Dad have lived on a farm their entire 70 years of marriage.

    When we were in elementary school, Mom made matching dresses for my younger sister and I, and once in a while my brother got a matching shirt. I still think about the love that went into them. There was a Bates plaid fabric that was one of my favorites. She made my prom dress and I felt like a real Southern Belle! She fashioned my wedding dress, as well as my sister’s Bridesmaid, my sister-in-law’s Jr. Bridesmaid, my niece’s Flower Girl dresses, and her own Mother of the Bride’s outfit–all while working full-time and caring for our family.

    The past several years she has been rescuing sewing machines!! She finds them at garage sales, thrift shops, or from friends of friends. Mom takes them home, cleans and oils them, fixes them up to sing when they run! Sometimes they need a new bulb, or a minor glitch fixed; if they need an expert’s attention, she takes the machine to her go-to-guy Larry. These machines are usually given away to someone who doesn’t have a machine, but expresses an interest in sewing.

    I believe she still has a large fabric stash in the upstairs sewing room just waiting for the next project, but then, so do I!!

    My Loving mother’s daughter, Jill.

  34. Wow, this hits so close to home for me. My mom died when I was young and I don’t have many memories of her. But, my father remarried a few years later and brought my step-mom into my life. My step-mother was born and raised in Germany and then moved to the US when she was 16. She was about 20 years younger than my dad and only a few years older than my older sister. This did cause tension with my sister, but I was delighted to have a mother figure in the home. It wasn’t easy for us all to adjust to each other, but for the most part we did. As an adult, I really came to appreciate my step-mom. At a time in my life when I would have grown very distant from my family, she called me regularly and insisted that I attend family gatherings. About 10 years ago, my husband and I moved back to my home town. We did this because my Dad was getting older and I wanted a chance to improve my relationship with him. My step-mother welcomed us back with open arms. My father and I were able to develop a loving relationship in large part due to my step-mom’s efforts. He passed away 4 years ago. Since then, I have stayed close, physically, to my step-mom. After Dad died, she lost her desire for life and she became very distant. A year ago she was diagnosed with MDS, a rare blood disorder that stopped her body from producing white blood cells. After a year of slowly getting weaker and weaker, she passed away 3 weeks ago. She was not a vocal person, she showed her love by actions rather than words. I will be forever grateful that her last words to me were that she loved me (the first and only time she said it to me), I miss her greatly and am grateful for this chance to write about her.

  35. This May 30th will mark 3 years since my mom died. She spent her entire adult life giving to anyone and everyone in need. At her visitation, we heard stories of her giving baby clothes to single moms; later, she spent every spare moment crocheting afghans – first, one for every grandchild, and then for a charity that supports the poorest of the poor in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. She also passed her love of handcrafting on to her 4 daughters (3 of us continue to make afghans and quilts for her favourite charity; the 4th one is amassing her stash for the day she retires – then she’ll finally have enough time to quilt too.) We learned to love unconditionally from mom. She also taught us the importance of prayer, and a child-like faith.
    My first grandchild was born 3 months ago – of course, the first person I wanted to call was mom… but, since I can’t, I’ll do my best to be the best grandma that I can be – and I learned from the best!

  36. My mother was my best friend. She was born the same year as yours, Lori, in St. Louis. She was 4th of 5 children and had to quit school to go to work because of the depression. She supported herself and I’m sure she contributed to the family. After WWII she met and married my dad who was going to chiropractic college. They came back to Wisconsin, where my dad was from, and raised 3 kids. When the youngest started kindergarten, she started college. She graduated summa cum laude and became a teacher. We began junior high together! After 17 years, my folks divorced, and Mom had to raise us 3 by herself. She saw her first grandchild, my daughter, but died from breast cancer before she met my other 2 kids or my brother’s son. She died 3 days before her 52nd birthday. I miss her every day. There are so many times I needed her support and advice, especially when my daughter, my youngest child, died 11 1/2 years ago. The one piece of advice I remember most from her was “Leslie, you have to learn to adjust.” That’s something I still struggle with!

  37. My mum died in 1966 aged only 48 just when we were becoming friends as much as mother and daughter but my love of all things crafty is something I inherited from her.

  38. My maternal grandmother and my mother both have been instrumental in my love for sewing. As a child I remember many lessons learned from both women that I still utilize in my sewing today.

  39. My Mom passed away 27 years ago, and I still miss her. She was very creative, sewed most of my clothes (including my wedding dress). She knew how to do everything – crochet, sew, paint. But best of all, she was a wonderful, loving mother.

  40. Happy Mother’s Day! My mom taught me to sew when I was around ten. Her sewing was exquisite! She was a wonderful mother and artist. I miss her so much. My grandma was the quilter, I inherited her orphan blocks and 30’s fabric and have made one quilt from her unfinished work and have another one or two in the process. We have great sons, one day I hope to pass on the sewing/quilting love to future grandchildren!

  41. My Mom is still with me- at 91. She still recognizes me as she sees me every day,sadly my sister lives far away and has to be re-introduced each visit.Mom’s not able to be the active, all things artistic person she once was. She sewed most all of my sister and my clothes,which at the time we begged for store bought.She made our prom dresses,bridesmaids dresses, wedding veils, did the fancy beading we wanted on our “store bought” wedding gowns. She even made all the costumes for the ballet school so that I could take lessons-money was too tight for such frivolous activities in my Dad’s eyes. She taught teach us the value of self sufficiency and independence. My Dad traveled for work and everything it seemed needed to be done when he was on the road. We were very independent modern women before it was the vogue! She was a demanding perfectionist and passed that trait on to us. “Have respect for yourself ,do your best always,even if you think no one will notice”. Whenever I bring her anything she’ll still check the back or inside for the workmanship! Mostly she lives in her memories now but they are happy ones and we are pleased she lives in the good days every day. Love her and what she gave and gives me.

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