Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Keeper of memories

Keeping things, de-cluttering, mementoes...That is all very topical for many of us, judging by the blog posts I have read recently. I think of myself as quite a good at de-cluttering. But that does not mean that there is not room for improvement.

I think that even for a hardened de-clutter some things are more difficult to let go than others. That is gifts or things from people who mean a lot to us. I think if the person who gave the thing or owned it first is also dead, it becomes even harder.

I read a very moving posting about a blogger (in Danish) who realised that she had been hanging to a bowl which she had got from one of her grandmothers. This was the only thing she had from the lady, who had passed away. The bowl never really fitted into her house and was difficult to store due to its size. Recently she realised that her memories of the wonderful grandma were not dependent on the bowl; she had them and nobody could take them away. Neither was there a little bit of grandma magically hiding in the bowl, so she decided to let it go.

I have had similar experiences and have been able slowly to let go of things I would never use. Now...I am going to up the game a bit for all the crafters: What do you do when you have a piece of beautiful handiwork, which does not get used? For me it is far, far harder to let go of something if it was made by my grandma than if it was merely bought and used by her. So I have a bit of a textile treasure problem: What to do when you are not going to use it?

This is what I have done lately. I have tried to think of an alternative use for the material. Here is a cushion I made out of a dishcloth. Ok, it might not be the height of refinement, but the linen it is made of is quality you will have hard time to find today. (Hence I cannot bring myself to use it to its original purpose!).  I had one of those days when I really yearned to make something in hand, so both the patchwork and embroidery is entirely hand sewn.

The original monogram is intact and beautiful

The back got tied in a primitive style echoing the loop the teatowel used to have.

These cushions have been made by my relatives and are now mine. They were cushions and I like them as that. The black one used to be on my greatgrandmother's bed. It is either made by her or my grandmother, I do not know for sure. It is actually made of old suiting, the back shows it clearly, having been put together from either leg or arm of a suit, probably to get the last use of expensive fabric. I use it even if the embroidery has started unravelling as you see in the first picture of this post. I rather use and enjoy it than "archive" it in a cupboard.

 I had also a sateen apron with beautiful embroidery of my grandma's. I knew I would never use it, but could not make myself to throw it away either. So now it is a sofa cushion.

As the apron had a little pocket, I attached that on the black cotton back of the cushion to remind me of the apron.

Have you re-purposed treasured things lately?

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