Saturday, November 23, 2013
Patching Things Up
Stuff is breaking here at home: the dishwasher has been past using for 3 months now, our desktop computer broke this month, the dryer broke, and the well house sprung a leak and needed a new bump tank and all new piping. Our major maintenance reserve fund wasn't large enough to deal with all of that at once, so I'm living without a dryer or a dishwasher. That makes daily laundry and dishes a much larger chore than they were before. But my priority is to rebuild that major maintenance reserve, so no big purchases for me for the foreseeable future. Sigh.
It's also the time of year when the focus shifts from the outside to the indoors, and we spend these cold wet months on chores and mending that were neglected while the sun did shine. My task for the last two weeks has been mending quilts. Patching them, to be precise, as the holes had become so bad my fingers were punching through the quilts when I tried to fold them.
The quilt pictured above was sewn by hand by my great grandmother, and came down to me when my great uncle's home was being cleared out as he moved to a retirement community. It's not a lovely quilt, but just a practical 9-patch made out of old clothes and backed with a weird green color. My mom tells me that great-grandma worked as a seamstress at a department store, long before most women worked, and would sometimes get to bring home unwanted "throw away" fabric. That green fabric might have been unwanted (the color points that way).
I've had the quilt for a few years now, and we use it. We don't store it away, or display it: it's a practical quilt so we use it. And now that it's wearing out, I'm sewing patches on it. Not fancy patches - just the bits of our worn out clothing and the scraps that I have in my "re-use/upcycle" basket. I hope my great-grandmother would approve.
She was a practical woman who raised 11 younger siblings and lived through the Great Depression, after-all - a pretty awesome role-model for trying to live a practical and thrifty life.