My hometown of Montrose, MO holds an annual festival on Memorial Day weekend and it is always on my calendar… always has been and always will be. It’s a weekend full of fun with family, friends, class reunions, parades, kid’s activities, street dances and of course recognition of veterans and hometown heroes.
This year my grandma was the Grand Marshal of the parade! She was honored for her seamstress service to the community over the years. She has literally sewn, altered or designed something for almost everyone in our small town and neighboring communities. You may remember an essay I wrote about Grandma Jackie awhile back on the blog. If you missed it, you can read it > HERE.
My family has spent the last couple of months preparing to honor Grandma Jackie at the Montrose parade. It all started with a meeting at grandma’s house. My mom, aunts and myself helped dig out some of grandma’s creations from the back row of her closet. I don’t know how she kept everything so well organized and preserved over the years!
Grandma can still tell you about each and every gown! She has an amazing memory!
Grandma made this table runner below by hand. You would embroider a design and then carefully cut out small sections. I asked how long it took her and she couldn’t recall. I’m sure countless hours! Grandma said she would do this project while listening to her favorite soap opera on the radio. She also said it was definitely made before she had children! Haha!
A couple of windows on main street displayed some of grandma’s handiwork on memorial day weekend. With one window theme being handmade 8th grade graduation gowns and the other baby dresses and baptismal gowns.
We coordinated a small fashion show down the center of main street. (Gotta love
small tiny town USA!) I rounded up some friends to model and was overwhelmed with their eagerness to help in honoring Grandma Jackie. I know she is a special lady in my life but it warms my heart to see others volunteering to honor her as well!
Lastly, we decorated a float for the grand parade to display some of grandma’s wedding creations including her own wedding gown and a bridesmaid dress from each of her daughter’s weddings. And this is by far only the tip of the iceberg in terms of how many garments she has created over the years!
It was titled “Love is the thread that binds us!”
This was my grandmother’s wedding gown! It was stylish then and has come back around today! It was blush colored with layers of tulle and lace. I love it but could only dream of ever fitting into it! It’s teeny tiny!
We displayed wedding photos alongside the bridesmaid dresses.
This is a photo of my mom’s wedding party. And this dress I wore as a flower girl in my uncles wedding back in 1995. Grandma sewed every stitch, even the rosettes.
And possibly my favorite photo of grandma from her wedding day…
Grandma’s float was followed in the parade by a float honoring her older sister and sewing buddy, Rosalie. Their talents put together were incredible and so inspiring! I just stare in awe of their handiwork and wonder if I could ever have the patience to carry out the detail and love they put into every stitch of their garments! I’m afraid they just don’t make ’em like that anymore… these garments nor these two women!
Rosalie’s family helped to model and display her creations.
So we proudly honored these two wonderful women this past weekend and walked behind Grandma Jackie in the parade! Here’s a shot of some of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren lining up for the parade.
For Grandma Jackie sewing has not only been her life’s work but her life’s passion. How many of us can say that about what we do every day? Grandma has had the ability to take her talent to new heights, practice daily and somehow after all these years still be better today than she was yesterday! AND still find love in her work!
What a grand role model that is for you and me! A well deserving Grand Marshal!
Thanks for stopping by!