Waste Not, Want Not

Today is the first Reveal Day of 2021 for the Endeavourers and our theme for this quarter is ‘Memories’.

Although I’ve had three months to make this quilt and thought about how to illustrate a great many memories, everything I considered seemed complicated and I couldn’t remember anything that actually inspired me to begin sewing. Then last week I just happened to remember something that made me smile and whipped up this little quilt, which I hope captures the spirit of it.

The event this shows happened when I was very young – probably five or six – and I was given a sewing box as a Christmas present. It contained one of those sets with a pre-printed design and a selection of embroidery silks to sew over the lines, a selection of ribbons and a variety of sewing paraphernalia.

At the time, I really wanted to sew something to wear so instead of carefully and quietly embroidering the printed design, I basically sewed the entire contents of the box together. It looked something like this:

I was very happy with it and I remember I was especially taken with the ribbon fringe.

The reason this sticks in my mind at all, though, is that I got such a telling off from my mother for wasting it all and not sewing it properly.

I’m tempted to say I’m still scarred by that today – not necessarily by the single instance but by the general waste-not-want-not mentality – but ‘scarred’ is probably too strong a word. If everyone was more like my mother we would not have a hole in the ozone layer. I should probably say something like ‘affected’ and this quilt has demonstrated that, although I only realised that after I had finished it.

For the backing I used an orphan block and the batting is a piece of quilt that has had several previous incarnations.

First I made two quilts…

Then, when the sofa quilt got faded by the sun, I combined them into a table cloth…

When that became further faded and too stained, some of it became an ironing board cover…

And the buttons and notions are sewn on with the end of the thread I used for the quilting, not so much as a design choice as to avoid throwing it away!

I have no clue what became of that first random foray into dressmaking but, with hindsight, I think I should consider it my first piece of textile art!

Please visit The Endeavourers to see what everyone else has made. These Reveals are always an inspiration and I can’t wait to see them all :)

Janine @ Rainbow Hare

6 thoughts on “Waste Not, Want Not

  1. piecefulwendy

    This just has me smiling, as I recall some of the things I did as a young creative. Too bad you don’t have that piece any longer. It would be delightfully fun to see it now! I love the joy in this piece!


  2. Catherine

    I think you have obviously been set on a very joyfully creative course from a very early age! So hopefully the telling off has not cramped your style too much, and was just the incentive for inventive use of materials :-). I love this piece – like your others it is very happy.


  3. TextileRanger

    Oh, this is so wonderful! I got one of those embroidery sets as a child too — and I dutifully followed the chart and put each awful color where they said to put it. I hated the moss green of the trees, the gawdy gold and blue of one dress, and the light blue and red combination of the other dress! Nothing went together! But I finished it.

    Later my mom bought me a kit for a cross-stitched bedspread and matching sampler, and I hated those color combinations even more, but I finished that whole thing too! My grandmother’s quilting group hand-quilted it for me — and then I gave it away as soon as I could. If only I had known one could buy individual skeins of embroidery floss, maybe I could have saved it.

    So I think your use of those childhood supplies was a much better idea. You might have gotten a scolding, but you didn’t doom yourself to hours of work with ugly colors. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kim Sharman

    Even as a six year old you were filled with magical creative talent. You have continued on that whimsical yellow brick road of yours delighting us all with your clever imaginings. I love the many lives of those two lovely quilts.


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