Pins and Needles

Pam’s Pictorama: A discussion of somewhat disparate topics continues with this absolutely splendid item which was given to me the other day. I know this nice couple via the Met and had not seen them in quite a while. Evidently they remembered my passion for all things cats and put aside this wonderful little item for me, and I couldn’t be more pleased.

As it happens, one of the first black cat items I acquired was a soft tape measure and pin cushion kitty. (For those of you who have been following in recent weeks you will understand that this cat, and most of the others, is packed away for the duration of our building’s HVAC work which required the dusty dirty demise of our ceiling. I am sorry not to be able to share a photo of him.) I was in an antiques market Kim and I frequent in Red Bank, NJ – not far from the Butler family ancestral home – when I happened on it. Like this fellow, he has a tape measure tongue you can pull out and was entirely soft so you could stick pins in him, I suppose.

This guy would have sat proudly on your sewing stand, at attention, waiting for the sewing to commence, never lost or misplaced, as I constantly loose both my stashes of needles and tape measures – not to mention thread. I especially like his red felt tongue which is the pull on the tape measure and matches his red bow and of course the nice velvet pincushion on his back. He is a tad too fragile to resume his responsibilities keeping my needles, but he will have a proud safe shelf to perch on in his retirement as soon as the dust, quite literally, clears here.

While I admit I always wished to be a gifted seamstress, nothing could be further from the truth I am afraid. Thanks to the efforts of a roommate in London during a stint in college, I can sew a button on with great confidence it will stay. However, aside from that there has never been a sewing machine bobbin I didn’t destroy on sight and, beyond buttons, my hand stitching tends toward the lopsided and, shall we say, organic. I appear to come from a long line of barely functional sewers. My maternal grandmother could do a hem under duress, but neither grandmothers or my mother were churning out daily wear. My sister showed promise in this area and made a number of garments before drifting away from it. (She also made bread well which is another skill I can’t master. Of course, she was also a PhD in Math – need I say more? I can barely balance a checkbook.)

I am the first to say, one can’t be good at everything so I long ago ceded to my ineptness in this, and other areas. However, that is not to say I don’t enjoy the related accoutrements for these activities – especially if a cat is involved.

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