Love Begets Love: The Tablecloth Project

One of the gifts I received when I graduated from 8th grade was from my Grandma Martha, my Dad’s mother–a hand-crocheted tablecloth. Though I wasn’t exactly thrilled (being a typical teenager then), I packed it away, to be used after marriage…I don’t think I’ve used it but once for its intended purpose.

Martha was 69 years old when she lovingly began crocheting each 3-inch floret–there are 616!–which had to be joined by over 600 more florets, so you can imagine how long she worked on this magnificent piece.

Back at the beginning of November, as I was unpacking Christmas things to make new decorations, I pulled out the tablecloth…and that ‘little voice’ said, “It’s time to wash this and repair it!”–which I did!

Here are some of the repairs I encountered, and mind you, I do not crochet, so I had to carefully join the original loops with some older white thread I had kept–as the tablecloth is now going on 53 years old!

Tablecloth-1

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Tablecloth-2

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Tablecloth-3

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Tablecloth-4

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Tablecloth-5

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Tablecloth-6

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Finally, this project has come to an end…though I somehow ‘felt’ my Grandma looking over my shoulder, as I struggled to join loops properly.

When I began, it was difficult to figure out what loop went where, but each time I picked up the project again, I got the same feeling of love…that I was doing things the right way.

It was almost as if Grandma was guiding the needle for me, because the task became very easy.

Twice, I laid the tablecloth over my bed, and found even more repairs needed, which should have been frustrating–but were not, you see, because I could picture myself as a child, sitting on her carpet, looking up and watching her pray her rosary and crochet at the same time!  What a multitasker, eh?

In fact, the very first oil painting I did back in 1975 was that very memory!  (Sorry, no image available)

About a week and a half ago, I finished!

Tablecloth-7

The tablecloth is now packed away in a plastic carrier, because it’s too large for my table!

I may hang it at the window, but it will get dusty and dirty, and I really don’t know how many more washings it can take.

What I do know is:  this gift was made out of  love, and when I repaired it, I gained more love, not only for my Grandma, but for all those who persevere and achieve a goal, no matter what their circumstances!

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12 responses to “Love Begets Love: The Tablecloth Project

    • Thanks so, Gaye! There was hardly a time when she was without her crochet needle! She spoke very little English, yet would look at a pattern in a book, and replicate it, just like that! Loveliest Grandma ever!

    • I had to, Lily…once I realized its personal value, it had to be repaired, taking every caution. At times, I had to rip out a stitch or two and begin again, because I had joined the wrong loops! Well, nobody’s perfect, but Grandma certainly was!

  1. Oh how very, very beautiful…the tablecloth AND the story. I am very sure your Grandma was there over your shoulder and I got goose bumps reading it because I often tell Rod that whenever I pick up a hammer (I’ve had to repair a few chicken coops and fences over the years!), I always feel my ‘Pop’ watching over my shoulder and guiding me. He was a carpenter and I remember him showing me how to hold the hammer and nails when I was very small. He died when I was 12. His wife, my Nan, taught me to knit and crochet but my skills certainly wouldn’t stretch to a tablecloth. Her sister, Aunty Kath, did beautiful work like your Grandma but Nan only did basic stitches and trims around fabric cloths etc. I taught myself a little more but mostly with much thicker yarn.

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