Thursday, March 27, 2008

I opened a big bag of cat food yesterday...the kind that has been chain-stitched closed. You know, you get hold of the right end and pull and it all comes out. I have been opening cat food and dog food like this almost since I left home 30+ years ago, and it never fails to remind me of mom. In fact I may have said that on here before. Back then I don't think I ever saw the string any color other than white or off white.

My mom had a ball of string, only she called it twine. And she never threw any of it away. She used it to baste her quilt linings (backing we call them now...) into the frames. I know she used it for other stuff, but I can't for the life of me remember anything else. Doing the backings was the primary use.

And yesterday I left my rotary cutter open for just a second and was reaching back to get it and of course, I cut myself. Just a tiny cut, but it wanted to bleed like a stuck pig. So I came upstairs to get a band-aid. And that brought back that we very, very seldom had a band-aid in the house...unless it was some that company left there. I think maybe in last year or two we might have...maybe my brother Neal will chime in here and say if he remembers.

But she usually kept old sheets, and back then they were almost all white. If one of us needed a bandage, out would come the old sheet and it would be ripped to fit the need. If we got hurt, it did not slow us down much. But I digress...
I got to digging around in some treasures from my mom today. She would decide she wanted to make some quilt or wall hanging and she would sit down and sometimes trace a figure, but just as often as not she would just start cutting. Above is some of her leaves she has sat and cut...I have a whole box of other pattern parts and not sure what they go to.
This is a picture of the rest of the stuff in the tin box...notice how shaky her writing is on the envelope that says Double Wedding Ring. Late in her life her writing really did get shaky...I have a letter or two and you can really see it in it. But back to the double wedding ring...I cannot remember how many of those she has made since I have been alive, and I know she made some before I was born. I remember seeing an old black and white photo of quilts and I think one of them was a double wedding ring. She had no fear of curves...or anything when it came to sewing.

When she had things she wanted to save, a lot of times they were folded and rolled up and tied just like the two things above. Actually, the one thing is a bonnet torn apart to be used as a pattern. My mom always wore a bonnet when working in the garden...well, maybe not always but a big part of the time. She was one of the last people I know of that would wear bonnets.
And I even have an apron or two of hers that I kept. She was never without an apron, but I think I have told about that before so won't repeat myself.

She had the attitude that she could make anything that anyone else could...and one of her favorite sayings was that if you hadn't ever made a mistake, you hadn't done anything. Which is pretty much true if you think about it..


Neal said...

You are correct in saying that we never had Band-Aids. We didn't have enough money to waste it on things like that. :) We were talking(with our brother) yesterday about going without shoes for most of the summer. We seldom went the whole summer without stepping on a nail and jabbing it into our foot. We would hobble around a few days and then be back to normal.

Sheri said...

My grandma always wore aprons. And always had a clean one hanging by the door if company came she would whip off her work apron and put on the crispy clean one. I always wondered why she didn't just take off the work apron. I guess she wanted to look like she was busy but staying clean(smile)

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