As I sit and sew often late into the night, I let my mind wander about and sometimes it comes to rest in amazing places. Tonight I was thinking how I wish I had some of my grandmother’s sourdough starter. Not because I really like sourdough but because I just think it would be incredible to have something that had been passed down from my grandmother to my mother and then to me. I would of course share with my children and the idea that it would be carried on is incredible.
Then I realize I do have a sourdough starter of sorts. My grandmother’s mother’s mothers were seamstresses. As far back as the story was told to me the women in my family have sewn. My Great Grandmother had a stack of quilts in her home all hand made that would have warmed the entire family for generations if her home hadn't tragically burned down taking them with it. I even had a Great Aunt that was the best tailor in her small town.
In fact, both my Grandmothers sewed. My father’s mother made us quilts when we were young of puppies and kittens in baskets and we used them until they were shreds. My Grandmother use to let me play with her button tin for hours and when she passed I felt blessed that I was given that old tin full of old buttons. She never threw a button away and it still smells like the memories of her home.
My mothers mother sewed all the clothes she and her sister wore when they were growing up and my mother spent hours making my sister and I summer sets of tops and shorts that we would wear out before the summer was over. My first formal was a dress my mother made for me to wear for my first official band concert and I thought was the most beautiful dress I had ever seen.
So you see, my starter was given to me from a long line of women who created with their hands and hearts. They shared their skills and passions with their daughters and their daughters shared with today and us I am the living starter that began generations ago. One of my own daughters wanted to learn how to sew years ago and I began teaching her as well but she became busy with those crazy growing years but recently she started sewing and creating again in her very own style and I am struck with awe…we have passed on our ancestral starter and it is alive and well.
Then, as I looked at my workspace and the quilt that I am working on when all this started, I realize it too is a sourdough starter. I have been saving bits and pieces ever since I started quilting and I just keep adding new as I continue to create and design quilts. I see a small piece of fabric from a quilt I made last year and my heart soars and I am thrilled and as I start to close my eyes for just a moment, I can almost see them all here smiling and watching me and they are all alive and well in my sewing.