The Fabric of Our Lives

I started to clean out the hall linen closet near my bathroom. It houses my sheets, towels, personal care items and more - sometimes a sneaky cat.

The closet is deep, and things often go missing for a L O N G time in the inkiness of the back.

As I was cleaning I found a PILE of old fabrics that I had bought at auction about 10 years ago.They were from a lot of partially assembled quilt blocks, and the fabrics were from the 1930-50's.

As I carefully and lovingly unfolded each piece, trimmed, ironed and folded it to sell on Etsy, (I have decided that I must not get diverted by other things so that I can really delve deeply into my art) I took a trip back in my past.

This fabric reminds me of my mother's apron collection, and this one of the pot holder set in the white metal cabinet in our kitchen in Long Island. This pile over here reminds me of my Scottish great aunts, who wore cotton shirt dresses with thick black shoes. I loved them very much, rutabagas, boiled eggs and all -- I hope I see them on the other side. Ah, here's some 70's looking pieces, and I remember the peasant blouses and skirts I painstakingly made on the same Sears machine that I use today in my artwork. Wait - these two pieces I bought in the 80's when I was a young single mother, sewing every curtain and extra we needed. I closed my eyes and tried to count the number of places I left things behind that I made, knowing they would never fit anywhere else, nor wanting the often difficult memories they harbored deep within their fibers.

One last whiff (I smell everything....) and I carefully place these ancient squares into packages, hoping they will find a person who will give them a new life in a quilt, a pillow, a doll.

So much is woven into our memories..but the dong of the clock reminds me to stay in the present, so I tuck it all away for a little while until once again it is unleashed by the sight of a stray sock, a lone glove, a pile of fabric or a photo.

Patti O Memories

PS fabric found in my Etsy store - Catskillpaper


annie kelleher said…
how amazing to find those things there.. like buried treasure after all those years! the story im working on now is based on things that really happened, its just amazing what old memories are being dredged up!
Melissa Harris said…
I can SO RELATE. I used to collect fabric but made myself stop. I love fabric. If only I didn't have to work for a living I would sit around and create in every medium including sew. ?Ah..... I have an ancient sewing machine I still use as well.
Liz said…
hi patti! happy new years. sorry i missed you yesterday- i was way hung over and stuck on my couch. We will talk soon. By the way- your posts have been really insightful and nice to read. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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