"A stitch in time saves nine" American proverb
"Me thinks it is a token of healthy and gentle characteristics, when women of high thoughts and accomplishments love to sew; especially as they are never more at home with their own hearts than while so occupied.”
Written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Marble Faun, 1859
All this thought inspired me to find a stack of quilt squares started some years ago and sew them together, with the machine!
This week I helped a 5th grade class of girls do a craft project that involved sewing. I heard that some had sewn with Mother or Grandmother or Aunt but some had no experience or sewing mentor. I tried to challenge them to take up hand sewing.
Just think, almost every woman for maybe 6000 years has spent significant time sewing! Even queens, princesses, and the wealthiest women spent time with needle and thread. If they had no need to construct garments, tapestries or other fine embroidery was the women’s work.
Of course much time was also spent spinning and weaving or preparing animal hides. I have read that the cost of the fabric in time or trade far outweighed the expense of the time spent hand sewing. Clothing today is relatively inexpensive and that is good, but it is sad to think of the loss of skills. I honestly think there will be, or may already be, a resurgence of the textile crafts among young women. See the number of knitting books available in book stores these days! Just a few years ago I could not buy double pointed needles in my city. Now they are available even in the large craft stores!