Saturday, January 26, 2013

Grandma's clock

My maternal Grandma passed away last July.  My Grandpa passed away in October...I think he just couldn't bear to be without her and his body just gave out.  Now my mom and her siblings are going through their house, cleaning it out and preparing it and its contents for sale.

My grandparents were amazing people.  My aunt (on the other side of my family - my dad's sister) summarized them best.  She said they were just good people...when they saw a need, they filled it.  And they did it quietly, without seeking recognition.  They were devout Catholics and served their parish and the people around them every chance they had.  They were amazing.

As my mom's siblings talk about what they want from the estate, I asked my mom to get me something from the house.  I wanted something that Grandma or Grandpa used regularly - a roasting pan, a desk set, something like that.  Or, more preferably, I wanted something they made.  Grandpa was an enthusiastic amateur photographer and Grandma was very crafty. She sewed clothes - even her own winter coat once.  She upholstered their living room furniture.  She did needlepoint and embroidery.  I wish I had asked her about these things more when she was alive...I guess all I can do is learn my lesson and try to learn as much as I can from my equally crafty mom.

As she was cleaning out the house my mom  found two clocks that Grandma had made.  The faces of the clocks were needlepoint, and they had been mounted into wooden boxes and clock mechanisms were installed.  They clocks had identical faces...the boxes were a little different, but for the most part, they are twin clocks.  We have no idea why Grandma made two of the same clock...was one meant to be a gift for someone else?  Did she just really love the pattern and made two for different rooms in her house?  Who can tell.

Here's the clock.

It's obviously nothing I would choose to make, but even if it's not your choice of project, it's easy to admire the workmanship that went into it.

I hate's so slow and time-consuming.  Grandma made a lot of cross-stitches to complete this huge project.  She didn't even use cross-stitch's just linen.  Still, her little x's are remarkably consistent in size.

The blue part of the clock face is a big blue piece of fabric.  She turned it under and sewed it down with the tiniest stitches.

I can't even imagine how long it took to outline and fill these numerals. 

The work that went into this clock is amazing.  And she made TWO of them! 

I'm so happy to have this because it's the type of thing that would never sell at an estate sale, at least not for more than a few bucks.  The idea of all of this work sitting on a table labeled "$5" or, even worse, getting sent to a landfill, makes me so sad.  I'm so glad I can keep it.


  1. I understand how you feel! I love it! I am sorry for your loss, I'm glad you have something so special to remember her by.

    1. Thank you. I'm so glad to have the clock. I think I'm going to put it in my sewing area so I can see it while I sew.

  2. A precious treasure to adorn your sewing room and remember her by, very lovely. Enjoy!

    1. Thanks! I think my mom was slightly offended at me putting it in my sewing area, because it's in the basement. But I think I'll feel more of a connection with my Grandma if it's there because I can look at what she created while I create'll be like a part of her is still in me. I think it's fitting.

    2. Cutesy-up you sewing space more with your quilts, vintage machines, sewing notions, and a comfy chair with quilts for folks to cuddle under while watching you work. She will feel differently once she sees its new home.