When I was in 7th grade home economics I struggled with the hand stitching. I used to bring my "homework" to my Mimi (my grandmother), who had been a seamstress, and ask her for help. She'd show me the stiches and tell me that while I could do them fine, if I didn't learn some patience, I would never be good at sewing.
Sewing? Who wanted to sew? I was 12 and didn't care about sewing. It's an "if I only knew then what I know now" moment here. What I did not know then was that Mimi, who could knit, crochet, sew, and cook anything, had to drop out of high school and get a job to help support her family when her dad died. She could sew, so she did that. She sewed sugar/flour sacks. She sewed to help put food on the table. (I blogged about her in 2014 here). I could sew for fun, learn from the master, and spend extra time with my grandmother -- none of which I appreciated then. She passed away in January 2005 and I miss her still so much.
Fast forward to the pandemic we've all lived with for nearly a year. My Pastor, Rachel, shared that she picked up an old hobby her mom taught her - cross stitch. She got going again and is teaching her daughters. Her work is so pretty and so cool and I love that her girls are sharing that with her.
Seeing one of her finished projects inspired me to find a hobby for me. So I ordered a couple of beginner embroidery kits and hit the hoops (so to speak). I heard Mimi in my head reminding me to be patient or it wouldn't work. I don't have her to help me with the stiches, but I have YouTube. I have completed two projects (below) and am about to begin another. My stitching is OK - not perfect - but I'm trying really hard to be patient while I do it and to channel my grandmother and imagine us working those pesky French knots together.
I also think about how I missed the chance to learn this from her 45 years ago and I wonder if any of my three nieces would want to learn - it would be a super cool way to connect each of them to her (and connect us). I will have to
force it on mention it to them soon.
If you think you're too old or it is too late to learn something new - I say to you - BS. Learn it. Extra points if you can learn it from someone who lives it rather than from YouTube.