Wednesday, September 30, 2020

A Not Intended Post

 Well this was not a post that I had  planned on doing but alas, here we are. For awhile now this blog has been largely silent and it has been for many reasons. . .One is because my laptop decided to crash out on me. Meaning I have no access to my pictures and no access to my normal blogging tools. . . As of now I am using the back up laptop which is not ideal but it works. . .Coming up once  the old laptop gets back up and running are a few new garment posts, new styling posts, some vacation photos (yes, I went on a vacation in September which was awesome and very much needed, and more. Another reason for my silence here has been because my mom passed away September 9, 2020. Her passing was very unexpected and has placed me in a position where I need to learn a new routine and manage what is my new lifestyle. 

My mom and I were incredibly close so this post is a little hard to write. . .We talked with each other at least once (or three times) a day, we were each others sewing, crafting, shopping, everything buddies. not many can boast that their mom was their best front but I could. It is because of my loving mother that I continued to wear vintage when I started and it is because of her that I sew and craft like I do today. My mom taught me the basics of sewing until she gave me a pattern envelope and told me to figure it out. She knew what she was doing. My mom made all of my and my other sister's Halloween costumes when we were little. . Every singe one! No store bought costumes for us and yes, we still have them all. 

My mom demonstrating at an event. She would prepare hundreds of quilting squares to sew at events to show people how Civil War era sewing machines worked. For those extra interested  she would let them sit at the machine and sew for themselves. Next to her machine are period sewing accessories. 

My mom and I were also Civil War reenactors for what would have been about 10 years ago this September. My mom got into reenacting because of me and she was such a trooper. As a result of the reenacting my mom created an amazing collection of antique sewing machines dating to 1863 (dated based on a serial number on the machine) to the 1960s. She taught herself how to maintain, fix, and work these antique machines when no instructions could be found to operate them. Her knowledge was not just kept to herself. . .She did demonstrations at events, museums, and more educating many others. If one needed help or even spare sewing machine parts she had 'em for sure. Her demonstrations would attract such crowds who insisted she come back year after year for the Quilt Show at the Holland Tulip Time Festival. Prior to her demonstrations at the Quilt Show she was a volunteer parade marshal for many years. 

At events she was so popular and loved. I cant remember so many events we just laughed and laughed. We had such great times together reenacting. Not every moment was roses and sunshine though mine you. We has some spats and arguments but at the end of the day we both settled into the same little tent to rest up for the next day. My mom made the best beef stew at events, a dish that I many never quite replicate the same, and had a great sense of humor too. . Even when it was pouring rain and the wind was ripping down our tent and fly. I remember one event in September when rain and thick mud prevented us from bringing the car up to pack up and go home so we had to hand carry all our gear out. Oh the cast iron!! So much cast iron!! I think that day we both wondered the same thing " why do we do this on our weekends?". . . It was not funny at the time but looking back on it, it sure is. 

My mom was an amazing quilter. In her prime she could fashion little bits and pieces of cloth into the most beautiful quilts. . She hand quilted so many of them. I can still remember her quilting away in her chair. . She would have me thread the countless needles as she did the quilting. The most recent creation of hers was one she was very proud of. It was her monarch butterfly quilt. . . Aside from her more modern designs she was great at making period Civil War quilt reproductions. Our tent at events featured many of them . . . each one was hand quilted and the piecing on many was done on her 1863 hand crank sewing machine. . now how period correct is that? 

If you have followed on this blog for awhile then you know I'm a blueberry farmer. . .Well so was my mom. My mom and dad had a large hand in getting our farm where it is today and my mom did it while raising two young girls. In addition to working in our U pick store, my mom was managing the office, managing employees, working out in the field, and still raising a family. My mom, to put it simply, did it all. I remember my mom working on the back of the machine! She put to shame the strongest men at times which just tells you how tough she was. 

My mom was one of the kindest people I ever knew. She always put others first even when that meant putting her own health second ( or last completely). She was a care giver to my grandparents before they passed and she always volunteered to watch after the special needs children at my grade schools field trip events. There were very few parents who wanted to take that task on but my mom did it with pride and always made sure those kids ad a top notch experience. She cared and kept company with my grandfather, grand mother, and great grandmother before they passed to let them know they were still loved and looked after. . I remember everyday for a long time my mom and I would go to Hospice House to visit my grandma for a couple hours every single day almost.  My mom looked after and cared for so many who were not immediate family and was a friend to countless. When I posted on my private FB page and my CW reenacting page of her passing I received over 100 comments, messages, phone calls, text messages, FB messages, cards and emails ( and a few in person visits as well) from those who were close to her and I expressing condolences.  . . I think that says a lot about someone and that says she was so loved and will obviously be missed. With that said, if I have neglected your message I do apologize but I have been busy.  

This post was not intended . . . .I am a largely private person and share very little about my private life aside from my sewing and wardrobe options. . .I have chosen to do this post though because my mom was such a big part of my life. She was always there for me when I needed her . . Even towards the end. . .Her passing was very un expected and was a couple days after her birthday as well which makes things harder. My mom passed at a rather young age and  too soon to put it simply. There is not much left to do anymore aside from trying to move on now. . .Something that I trying very hard to do . . .I have not been doing much sewing lately but I know I will get back into the saddle eventually. . .My mom loved to sew and to create and passed that on to me. I am thinking of doing a special project in her memory but am not sure yet. One thing is for sure, I miss her dearly and she was one of the berry best gone too soon. 


  1. Jennie what a beautiful tribute to your mom! She always had a smile on her face! I was so excited when I bought my Wilcox and Gibbs sewing machine from her! My granddaughters also love to see on it! She generously gave me a beautiful quilt that I will always treasure. Be strong Jennie. I lost my mom when she was only 62 and I miss her every day. Take one day at a time and give yourself time to heal. Big hugs to you. I will always be there for you. Call or text me anytime. ❤️ Cherrie

  2. Oh! I was worried about you when you didn't post for so long. I am so sorry to hear about your mom. I wish I had something helpful to say, but honestly, when your parent passes, there are no words. I hope sun shines again for you soon. And this is a beautiful tribute to her.

  3. You write so beautifully and lovingly about your mother, that I almost feel like I knew her too. Such wonderful memories, which, in the end, is all we are really left with. Cherish them as no one can take them from you. Your sadness will ease with time, but those memories won’t. Take care of yourself during this time as that’s what your mom would have wanted.

  4. I've only recently found your blog and am very, very sorry to read this. Please accept my condolences on the loss of your mother.

    You do your best to take care of yourself as you carry on with this tremendous loss.

  5. Thank you for sharing stories of her with us, she was an amazing woman and raised an amazing daughter. Take all the time you need and we'll be here when you're ready. Sending love from Missouri <3

  6. Her love continues though you do not see her. A mother’s love never dies. Take care of yourself xx

  7. I'm so very sorry for your loss. When you lose a good (great!) mother, nothing and no one can replace her, but the pain lessens after a while. Your mother sounds like a fantastic woman. {{{hugs}}}

  8. Dearest Jennie, I am so sorry to hear about your mom's passing. The way you wrote about her is just the way I felt about my grandmother, who was more like my mom to me and we shared similar lives like you describe with your mom. She passed away in 2011 but I miss her everyday. My prayers are with you.

  9. My thoughts are with you! It's wonderful to have such lovely, tangible memories. A project in your mom's honor sounds like just the thing, when you are ready for it.

    Wishing you the best, as always!


  10. Oh Jennie, a positively beautiful tribute to your mom. Your post brought her to life again. The love you felt for her jumped off the page.  It is truly wonderful that you were so close with your mom.  I am the same with my daughter Theresa....yes she lives in Austin, TX.  I wish I had gone to see your mom at one of the events.  It was always on my to do list and sadly, I missed out.  I truly would have enjoyed meeting her and I am sure we would have gotten along wonderfully.  History coming to life is one of my favorite topics.  It is one of the reasons that I love genealogy so much.  I want to make the ancestors come to life, for future generations.  We know they laughed, cried, loved and were very much like us with different fashions.  When you feel up to it, I hope you will carry on the torch.

    May I have your permission to post your tribute to your mom on her on her page?  It will be there people to know exactly what kind of a person and mom that she was. 
    Please know that you are loved and cared for. I am just a phone call away, if you need to talk or anything. Chris Taylor

    1. Hello, yes you are welcome to share it. Thank you asking in advance.

  11. I'm so sorry to read about the passing of your mom. It sounds like she was an amazing woman. Please take care of yourself.

  12. Thank you, Jennie. I just added your story to your Mom's page on Ancestry with you and this page cited.