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  • Writer's pictureWKU Alpha Delta Pi

Behind Every Woman is Another Strong Woman.

" I realized I was actually spending some of my best moments with the women that I love."

As a child, I was fortunate enough to grow up with a lot of very strong and creative women in my life. Between my mother and both my grandmothers, there was nothing I could dream up that they couldn’t make. These women stitched, crocheted, quilted, and knitted every item that I hold dear from my childhood. Growing up watching the hand-crafted gifts they were able to make, I felt it was a rite of passage in my family to one day learn these same skills. My sewing career had very humble beginnings; I started out sitting on my Grandmother’s knee practicing my stitching by sewing up the holes (that she may or may not have ripped herself) in her tattered old kitchen rags. As I sat there threading my needle, I listened to her talk of her mother who had sewn countless dresses for her and her six sisters, with old flour sacks sometimes being the only fabric she had. Though it may have seemed simple, each stitch in the old rags held stories of days past and fond memories made with my grandmother.

As I grew up, I graduated from kitchen rags to making small pillowcases out of my mother’s old fabric and learning to knit various hats and scarves. I watched, completely fascinated, as my mother sewed almost every Halloween costume, baby blanket, and piece of doll clothing I owned. I was not sure how I would ever do it, but I knew that I wanted to one day be just as skilled as my mother was. She soon taught me to use the sewing machine where I learned to make patterned blankets and small doll clothes. As I struggled to thread the bobbin and avoiding putting a stitch in my own fingers, I listened once again to stories about how her mother had taught her to use the sewing machine and had sewn clothes for her dolls and quilts for her bed.

Once I was a teenager, I became wrapped up in my social life and working, like many people do, and forgot all about my love for sewing and creating things. However, in March of this year, the COVID-19 pandemic brought my social life and other involvements to a screeching halt. Before I knew it, I found myself in quarantine and the entire world seemed to shut down with the snap of a finger. At first, this seemed like a welcomed vacation from the business of life and my school work. However, like most of us, I soon found myself running out of tv shows to watch and had reached my limit on puzzles. With all this new-found extra time on my hands, I decided to bust out some of my old sewing materials. I soon fell back into my old hobbies and began reminiscing on all the special moments spent with my mother and grandmothers. As I recalled the many days that I sat battling knotted threads or uneven bobbins, I realized that I was actually spending some of my best moments with the women that I loved. I came to understand the love they put into every stitch and the memories they held, and I began to look at the fabric and thread a little differently. I also learned the value of something homemade and that perfection can never replace what has been crafted with heart in it. I have since lost one of my grandmothers and while she’s no longer with me, she’s surely in every little stitch of mine.


Mallory Milliken

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