a job well done

I think the job has been done well but time will tell . . . it depends on my expectations about how long I have extended its use, which in turn depends on how much care I am ready to take as I spread the quilt out on my bed, whether I lie down on it to read or take the time to move it aside . . . will it last another year or five?

When I began mending my old Indian bedspread (another beginning) I knew there were quite a few rips and holes where the sun had eaten entire patches of colour away and that the fabric was whisper thin in places.  First the rips where no patches were needed were mended and then the holes, where a piece of recycled unbleached calico was underlaid and stitched in place.  As I worked I inadvertently created a few more holes . . . ending up with somewhere in excess of 120 (I stopped counting).  If the mending had not given rise to so much reflection I doubt I would have persevered . . . I have a low threshold to boredom.

As I worked I gave a lot of thought the what I hold as precious, what beauty means to me, that crossover between practical and beauty as if they were on to separate continuum and the was a sweet spot where, for me, the meet.

If something is truly practical, it does its job better than I had hope for, perhaps the look doesn’t matter so much . . . perhaps the truly ugly tights I wore under my ski pants, the rusty old bottle opener (although there is sentiment attached to it).  And if something is gobsmackingly beautiful, that alone is enough . . . beauty is its use perhaps?

And then there is age and sentiment. From newly minted, the loveliness of the just created right through to decayed, not wearing but truly worn, when an object, or person, can take on a new beauty, one where sentiment plays a part, where life is visible in every crack, every scar, every wrinkle.  Is there a sweet spot where the continuum of new to old crosses over the others?   (This could turn into a rant about human beauty, societal expectations, roles, power . . . but that is not my intention or at least not this time.)

So I pondered on all of this as I sat patching in pieces of cloth on a bedspread I am not quite ready to hand over to recycling . . . running stitch, back-stitch, simple stitches in simple cotton cloth.

Simple stitching around the patches, frayed edges visible, scars exposed.

Simple stitching around the patches, frayed edges visible, scars exposed, fabric whisper thin.

15 thoughts on “a job well done

  1. this works beautifully Wendy! I have a 40 year old threadbare wool coat that is so thin it’s transparent that I want to somehow mend but each time I try to add some new threads I break more…

    • The only way I could think of mending this was to add an underlay to strengthen what was there. To do it properly I would need to lift the entire top off and back it . . . but the fragility would remain . . . just like people we can hold them up with our strength but really, they need to find their own.

  2. “Whisper thin.” That is one of the things I cherish about cloth that has lived a long life. I’ve just had a delightful breakfast with you, catching up. I love the topigraphical (sp. is wrong) sticheries.

    • Thank you Diana . . . the map-stitchings are continuing. The bedspread is now on the bed my granddaughters share when they stay . . .the 7 year old ran her hand lightly over it and whispered “This is lovely.”

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