Because I see the sewing space as a very special place where I create, I like to fill that space with items that put me in a creative state. That includes items from my childhood. The richness of memories that certain objects invoke makes me feel nurtured and creative.
In my early childhood, my father was a military doctor and we moved often, from Missouri to Hawaii to Washington, D.C., before I was 7. Not long after, my parents divorced and we stayed in D.C. for a while and lived in three different places there, and then relocated back to Missouri when my mother remarried. By the time I was 14, I had attended three high schools and much of my childhood items had been shed in the purging that moves always bring.
Not having a childhood homestead I could return to, I have held onto a very few items that magically recall instant childhood memories just by looking at them. In my sewing room, I have a couple of those items carefully placed. One of them, a beat-up white wicker basket is probably the oldest object I own.
It was purchased as a clever catchall for my baby toys. I recall it as early as age 3, the year that I turned from an only child into an oldest sister (ultimately the oldest of six!). Somehow, almost unfathomably, the basket remained in my possession throughout all of those moves and all of those years and on past the many moves I have made in adulthood.
I have upcycled it from toy chest to sewing container and put it up on a shelf where it holds my fabrics. It's the perfect storage basket, deep and wide and stable, and I love the way that it has weathered over time. I remember when my mother painted it. She was on a big nesting binge prior to birthing my sister and painted almost everything in our basement apartment in Columbia, Mo.
I know that many things come and go in life, but this basket will stay with me, in my sewing room, to the end of my days, if I have any say in the matter, as a touchstone of inspiration.
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Do you have any sentimental items in your sewing space? I would love to hear about them.