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Topic: Family Reunion Tablecloth and Custom Box  (Read 2553 times)
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elvissatx
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« on: August 19, 2009 05:47:49 PM »

I think this is probably the most appropriate place to post this.



One of the things I love about crafting is when generations mingle to create something together.  This is a tablecloth that has been at every family reunion on my mother's side of the family for about the last 50 years, as best as we can tell.  Every person who has attended a reunion has signed the tablecloth and someone has embroidered the signatures. 



The whole thing is gigantic-- about 6' x 8', and I haven't counted, but I'd bet there's at least 100 names on there.  Here's a few details to give you an idea of the craziness.





After 10 or 12 reunions, the tablecloth has seen better days, so after the last reunion this summer, my mother asked me to work on it and embroider the newest names.  I now have my stitches in there with a couple of generations of my family and that's pretty cool.  I also soaked the thing in OxiClean for several passes to get rid of some lingering staining and general yellowing.

The last thing I did was build a custom box to store the tablecloth safely between reunions.  The very top picture shows it all packed away, and below are a couple of pictures of the box itself.





I'm hoping that the tablecloth will be around collecting signatures for the next 50 years and beyond, now that it has a good housing to protect it.

Thanks for looking, y'all!

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ninjanator
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2009 06:26:59 PM »

that is such an awesome family tradition Smiley I love the idea of having your own stitches next to your grandma's (or someone even farther back).
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fibreartist4life
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2009 06:52:43 PM »

Those are the kinds of things that keep us connected and remind us of how precious life and family really are.  I love this table cloth and hope this inspires other families as well.
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TheMistressT
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« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2009 08:58:35 PM »

This is so wonderful!  I teared up reading your post and thinking about all the thought taken to make sure the tablecloth made it to each reunion and someone cared to embroider the names over all the years.  So nice!  Congratulations on adding your stitches and thanks (from a stranger) for helping ensure that the tradition can keep going.  YOU ROCK!
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elvissatx
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« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2009 09:22:17 PM »

Thanks, y'all!  I'm glad you think it's as special as I do. 

It did occur to me tonight that I need to force my mother to sit down and write out a list of who all of those names are, and how they relate to the family so that everyone can know.  I have no idea of who a bunch of those people are, and we don't want the knowledge to get lost.  But a list can get stored in the box, and added to every time someone new gets to sign in.
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Yo-Yo Dress of Doom http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=299010.0

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Nuraeariel
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« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2009 09:29:44 PM »

What a great tradition!  I wish we had more family reunions so we could do something like this.
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« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2009 09:18:12 AM »

I applaud you. Love the idea of keeping a list in the box.
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mafiosagrrl
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« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2009 12:32:58 PM »

This is amazing! You guys are so lucky to have such a a great heirloom- the fact that it actually gets used is even better. I think writing out the history that goes along with it is important.  This is the kind of thing historians and anthropologists dream of... I know that sounds really lame but trust me it's true!
You might also like this, on a related note-
http://www.sublimestitching.com/signatureblouse.html
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elvissatx
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« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2009 01:58:31 PM »

Oh, no-- I'm a book conservator by training (that's actually a rare book box that I made for the tablecloth)and work with archivists and historians on a daily basis.  I'm sold on how important it is to identify everything.  Nothing makes me sadder, for example, than a gigantic box of photographs of unknown people.  There's just such a loss of stories there. 

My dream project for this is to assemble for each name on the tablecloth a brief bio and a photograph.  It's probably undoable, just because not all of the history is there anymore, but that's what I'm working towards.  But first, we just figure out who everyone is!

And yes, that blouse is fabulous. 
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Cool!  I made the Best of 2009 twice!   Check 'em out! 

Yo-Yo Dress of Doom http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=299010.0

Smart Santa Hat http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=330595.0
PlumCrafty
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2009 03:06:02 PM »

I wish I could think of super cool things to do like this but alas I can only meekly ape the awesomeness before me. And I haven't quite decided if the box is more awesome or the table cloth. At present they are on equal footing.... Grin

Love it love it love it  Cheesy
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