There are few people who can do it all. My grandma, I think, is one of them. When people ask me what I want to be when I grow up, I tell them, "Olga Hernandez".
I'm serious. There's never a shortage of love and laughter around this woman (not to mention amaaazing Cuban cooking and serious trend-setting); this woman who's taught me to value family above all else. She also taught me how to sew.
I could sit for hours watching her and my great-grandmother sew on the machine or by hand. When I was eight, she gave me fabric scraps to create my very first hand-sewn "quilt" that I took EVERYWHERE. I remember sitting in the lobby before ballet class just stitching away. And while I don't think the quilt ever got as big as I wanted it to be (I had bedspread dreams, just goin for the gold!), I do know that the experience made me want to learn more, do more. Lela was more than thrilled to show me how. And when my great-grandma passed, she gave me the sewing machine they'd bought for her when she finally joined them in the United States in 1972 (and it still works amazingly well).
Since then I've fallen in and out of love with the craft, never quite mastering it but still enjoying every second I spend in front of a sewing machine. And when I found the Minnesota Model A on my Galveston trip, I died. When my grandma saw it, you can imagine the reaction. Her grandmother had one just like it in Cuba.
In honor of National Sewing Month (and because restoration of the Minnesota is driving me crazy with excitement, and I just miss sewing in general) I hope to finish a few projects this month, whether that means making a dent in my thrifted 'to be altered' pile, or starting something from scratch. I finally found a flexible pattern that I love...but full credit goes to People Webs for the that because watching her sewing progress (and her crochet projects!) over the years has been such an inspiration.
And with the help of my ever-enthusiastic Lela, I know it'll happen. PS how babin' is my grandma right now? So incredibly lucky to have this woman in my life as a BLOOD RELATION. She's amazing. You don't even know.
Minnesota update: I found a leather treadle belt online and fitted it to the machine...it works like a DREAM. I just have to find one more tiny piece and it'll be ready for use! Aaahh! And then maybe I'll find a decent place to photograph it, finally.