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The women in my family have always been good with crafts that involved a lot of handwork. My grandmother, Lucy Stallings Radford, made quilts. I think everybody in the family has at least one. I have two. She had this quilting frame she’d set up in one room when working on one that allowed one to work around the edges. It didn’t slow us kids down much as we were limber enough to duck and crawl under it in our ursuit of play. Grandmother also was quite proficient at macrame. I tried my hand at it with mixed results.

My mother, Elaine, and her sister, Aunt Barbara, worked in weave rooms for all their adult life, each raising a brood of kids on a small salary. They handled sets of looms that made sheets.

After retirement, they both ramped up the crocheting and knitting, making small stuffed animals they donated to the local hospital for children and elder folks who’s faculties had begun to slip.

Mom loved to make afghans. Not sure how many she made, but the pictures here are the last one she finished and, at eighty-two, probably her last one period, she admits. The photographs are by my stepfather, not the best I guess.

I have a sister, Jean, who’s continued the quilt-making, having gotten grandmother’s quilting frame, using it and other means to make quilts. My late sister, Linda, made her own clothes in her younger days and was quite good at cross-stitching I believe. Other members of the family I’m not as close to I really can’t address their skills.

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