• This is My Family. I'm the woman standing next to the bride.
Life after teaching
My name is Gretchen Boettcher and I quit teaching high school 1 year ago and started sewing napkins.
Thinking about Mom
I remember growing up watching my mother sew as I ironed, pinned, and marked fabric for her. I decided to actually start using a sewing machine and sew something myself. I was 26 years old. I made a jumper for my 2 year old daughter. My goal was to follow the instruction slowly and methodically...not rushing at all. I ended up with a sweet little jumper and a love for sewing.
There were many nights I remember hearing the sewing machine going until 1 or 2 in the morning. Mom was never one to sew a little. If I needed a red hooded cape the next day, it wouldn't just be a red hooded cape. The cape would have rickrack on it, it would be lined, and she would have found an unique clasp to close the cape.
Looking back at the sewing my mother did, I realize how much I took it for granted. My costumes were ALWAYS the best! She made it look so easy. I now realize that making all my clothes at the start of the school year was a major feat. Sewing the fabric was the end result of hours of looking at patterns and picking out the perfect fabric.
The last 2 years of her life she helped me with my napkin business. I would sew the napkins together and then bring a huge stack for her to turn and make sure the corners were poked out. She looked forward to the job.
One of the things that mom was scared of was that we would forget about her when she passed away. That thought reminded me Achilles in "The Iliad." One of the things important to Achilles was to be remembered after his death. Actually, that idea seems to run throughout the Greek way of thinking. This makes sense because mom was half Greek, Sophia Katsaloulis Boettcher.
Mom, I just want you to know I have not forgotten you and using your sewing machine everyday keeps the memories alive.
Here are a few outfits, afghans, and toys mom made for us and for herself too.