Monday, April 30, 2012

The Rescue


My mother had many little tidbits of thought that she would tell us over the years.
You could call them homilies or homespun wisdom. She said things like;
“Bloom where you are planted”
“Fool’s names and fool’s faces always appear in public places””
“You’re closer to God in a garden than any place else on earth”
And of course my favorite—Don’t cut corners on the grass, it hurts the sidewalks feelings.”
But the one that has had the most impact on my day-to-day life is “ Always leave the world better than you found it.”
Thus began my quest to rescue strange, or unwanted things to make them over, to improve them, at least to my point of view.
I remember my mother taking her sister’s dresses that they had outgrown and making them over into ones for me, just like her mother did before her . I was a very stylish if old-fashioned college student.
I use to take my daughter shopping on Saturdays for new clothes, at garage sales. The house was filled with scarred tables and bookcases taken from the curbside, quickly before the garbage man came.  The bookstore was at used books, Friend’s of the Library Book sales or the local Goodwill store.
            So that’s why I was wandering through our local thrift store that Saturday. I was looking for a paperback book  to add to my collection for summer reading.
"The quilt blocks sat in the bin at the Goodwill store."
I noticed them because I like quilts. I noticed them because they were unfinished.  I noticed them because they were in terrible color combinations. Who, after all would make a quilt of bubble gum pink and pineapple yellow, or cranberry and forest green. The rule of thumb,” my mother used to say,  “is not to use two intensely bright colors in the same amounts. Purple and orange are OK if you use ninety per cent purple and ten per cent orange. Even fifty per cent white or beige can tone down those two colors.
I picked up twelve of the colorful blocks, discarding the brown/cranberry and one that was badly misshapen, picked up the Jansen Decision and went home wondering what have I done, what have I done? Am I just crazy? Well, maybe I can give it away. Who would turn down a free quilt, just because it’s ugly? Patching together scraps of batting and finding a piece of teal backing left over from another quilt, I snipped and pinned, matched and re-matched, sewed and unpicked randomly. Who can I give this ugly screaming quilt to I kept asking myself.

But I, intrepid “Susie Homemaker”, master of afghans crocheted from  two hundred lengths of yarn dropped off at my back door by a neighbor cleaning out her garage; Queen of sixty ways  to use  leftovers for dinner;
And Poet Princess, using somebody else’s words for her poetry; was going to make these blocks blossom.
Now, what shall I do with my quilt?

As I look in the mirror I see a fat, lumpy, wrinkled woman looking back at me. The bags under my eyes could hold the week’s groceries. Who could ever love that woman? My husband walked up behind me, pulled me into his arms and said, “I love you so much!
I, like the Easter Egg Quilt have been rescued.


LC said...

I think you made the quilt look nice. I enjoy looking at others discards and seeing if I can make it work for me.

lap said...

Bruce's mom loved those colors. I think you did a good job of putting them together.