Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Best Birthday Gift

It's a bird box...

A plane...

Or maybe it's my grandmother's sewing cabinet, lovingly repaired by my husband as my birthday gift.

This was never a piece of fine furniture; it was simply the utilitarian box that my grandmother Mabel lugged around with all of her thread and notions. But oh, does it bring back such lovely memories for me. Grammie's sewing machine was frequently out on our kitchen table, in the middle of everything, surrounded by piles of fabric and elastic as she worked on mending and other tasks. You had to be careful not to step on any of the straight pins that always ended up on the floor. The whirring of the motor was an ever present, but not unpleasant, background noise while we talked, played, read books, or watched TV in the adjoining living room. Grammie could mend anything, and would practically pull an article of clothing off your body if she saw a rip or a frayed seam. (It greatly upset her on those occasions when we explained that we actually wanted those holes in our jeans.)

My grandmother lived into her nineties, and continued sewing almost until the end of her days. She passed away in 1997, a few months before I was married. At that point the sewing cabinet landed in my mother's basement, much the worse for wear. One of the top covers was completely missing, and the other was broken in half. Other pieces were cracked and wobbly and dirty. A few years later it landed in my basement, and it gathered dust--lots and lots of dust!--while DH honed his woodworking skills and tackled other projects. Then, a few months ago he pulled it out and made new tops for it, including these perfectly shaped handles.

He also had to do some creative repairs on the side edges, involving much measuring, cutting, gluing, and sanding.
See that little piece he had to fit in there? You can't see the bottom of it, but it had to be cut at an interesting angle in order to fit properly.

He then stained the tops to match the rest of the cabinet, touched up a few other spots, and took everything apart to clean and wax it. He is a meticulous man, and he spent many many hours making it as perfect as possible.

It looks fabulous, and it will be the perfect addition to be soon someday-to-be-finished craft room. I can't wait to fill it with my thread and buttons and gadgets.

And I look forward to passing it on to my grandchildren some day.

Am I lucky, or what?