Over the holidays, the unthinkable happened. My mom gave me her boxes of embroidery floss.
These boxes are full of at least 100 colors of embroidery floss, each wound on a card with that color’s number written on it in my mother’s beautiful, perfect handwriting. I honestly couldn’t believe it when she gave them to me. These boxes were the possession of my mother’s I most coveted growing up. I know for some it’s a piece of heirloom jewelry or furniture. Nope. I constantly climbed in her closet to grab these boxes and sort through the colors.
Usually I needed them to make friendship bracelets, which my mom wasn’t crazy about. Yards of embroidery floss haphazardly tossed about in a braid that was quickly abandoned. More than a few times she asked me not to use her embroidery floss. I don’t think I listened. How could I resist all the colors, all in one place? Maybe those moments are responsible for my total love of color to this day.
Around age eight, my mom’s mom taught me to cross-stitch. That was also frequently responsible for my raids of my mom’s embroidery floss collection — including for a secret project when I stitched my mom a pansy, her favorite flower, for Mother’s Day. I did the work all in the safety of my grandmother’s motorhome that parked in our garage for months during the winter when they visited. I guess you could say embroidery floss tied the women in my mom’s side of the family together.
So, these boxes and I have a bit of a history. I’d say it’s one-sided — me coveting and using the floss at my own discretion — but I’m tempted to think the colors benefitted from my use as well. Who else appreciates five vibrant shades of red more than an eight-year-old, needing to make the perfect friendship bracelet?
I guess the answer’s me, over a decade later, reinvigorating my love for embroidery floss, and my mom, who has always shared her colors with me. I hope she knows how much these boxes mean to me.