Saturday, February 1, 2014

Sepia Saturday - Well Traveled Suitcase


This week Sepia Saturday shows a picture of an open suitcase. This was an easy prompt for me because it reminded me of a suitcase in the closet of my sewing room.




This suitcase belonged to my Nana, Helen Coyle Gardner. I'm sure she took it on trips. She and her husband, Nathaniel Gardner, lived in New York City and liked to go Atlantic City, NJ.  on occasional weekends. They both worked hard at the Western Union and liked to get away and have time for just each other.

Nathaniel Gardner in Atlantic City, NJ

 When their daughter, Alberta Joy Gardner Brown, was a toddler Helen, her sisters and her daughter took a cruise to Bermuda. This suitcase could have held my mother's little dresses, sewn by her mother, and her black patent leather shoes.
Alberta Joy Gardner in NY City


Many years later Nana would come and stay with us. She only lived a few minutes away but pack her suitcase and spend time with her four grandchildren so our parents could get away occasionally. 


At some point my Nana decided to keep her fabrics in the old suitcase. It ended up in my parents' attic and then in my sewing room. The vintage fabrics inside are in perfect condition. I use them for small quilted wall hangings that I give to my children, nieces & nephews so they can all have a piece of the past.


Be sure to go to Sepia Saturday & read about more suitcases.




20 comments:

  1. What a wonderful life cycle for a suitcase!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The suitcase is still in very good shape so who know where it will go next...

      Delete
  2. I love the idea of fabric passing down through the generations...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because the fabric was kept out of the sun it is not faded at all. Much of it looks like new. The next generation loves getting bits of the family hand me down.

      Delete
  3. My large old suitcase that hasn't been used for many years is stuffed with what I call my "textile collection."

    ReplyDelete
  4. Isn't it funny what we can keep in a suitcase! I just saw one of those cloth lined suitcases in a second hand store, and they wanted an extremely high price to take it home! Amazing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One week on CBS Sunday Morning show they showed a vintage luggage store. The trunks & suitcases were very high priced.

      Delete
  5. What a great suitcase... full of memories and acquiring even more.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Old suitcases never die, they just keep moving around acquiring new contents! Nice post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True. We have some that have been passed around the family.

      Delete
  7. My mum's fabric collection wouldn't come close to fitting in one suitcase!
    What a lovely story

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm sure my wife's fabric collection is in a cardboard box! It's good to see a suitcase and its contents that have survived through generations.

    ReplyDelete
  9. The perfect receptacle for vintage cloths and what nice idea to pass them down in such a creative way.

    Colleen, you may not be aware that you have WV switched on. Have you thought of removing it? The majority on here don't use it, with no ill effects as long as you don't allow anonymous comments. Comment moderation seems to suffice and it makes it easier for fellow bloggers to comment - hope this helps.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I remember old suitcases my parents used to have, but I'm not sure they ever showed up on any photos.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I can remember clearly many old family suitcases and a battered tin trunk but unfortunately most of them were never considered as an accessory for a photo !

    ReplyDelete
  12. All suitcases eventually gravitate-up (if that is not a contradiction in terms) into attics where they take on a second life as repositories of treasures.

    ReplyDelete
  13. It's unusual to find such an old suitcase in such good shape. I like it's current use, but I also enjoyed joining you in imagining what it must have held in years past and where it went.

    ReplyDelete