Wednesday, May 25, 2011
THE THRIFTER'S MOTTO
Wear it out
Or do without
~old depression era motto~
The weather has been glorious the week. In the seventies, sunny and breezy. The perfect days for hanging out laundry on the clothesline. I've been taking down the heavy insulated drapes and replacing them with the white Cape Cod style curtains. Seeing their crisp, starched ruffles just fills my heart with joy. Also, washed and starched some of the pretty linens that I've collected through the years from garage sales and thrift stores, replacing the more somber woven table runners that I use in the colder months. Everything is looking so bright and cheerful. So often I see boxes of beautiful linens at auctions that someone was "saving" for special occasions. The never get used. Use your lovely things now. Use them up and wear them out! You'll always be able to get more at auctions because most people don't follow this credo.
While I was hanging my laundry, I noticed that I had quite a few towels that were looking the worst for wear, so I cut the good parts into washcloth sized squares and hemmed them on the sewing machine. If you want to get fancy, you could hem them by hand or use a fancy stitch if your sewing machine has such things.The remainder of the scraps were put into the scrap bag. The scrap bag and button box are old-fashioned ideas that should be revisited. Before tossing out old clothes that are in too bad of shape to be donated to charity, check to see if there is anything that can be salvaged such as buttons or material. Pretty fabrics are placed in one scrap bag that I use for making patchwork projects and doll clothes and even an occasional patch on a nightgown or work clothes. The uglier fabrics such as old t-shirts and stained fabrics are put into another bag for use around the house for dusting and wiping up spills. I rarely use paper towels. Old flannel diapers make the best dust cloths! I've even considered buying a package of new ones just because they are so handy. An old nightie that has become threadbare was repurposed for dustrags. If the fabric was in any better shape, it could have been salvaged to make a toddler sized nightgown.
I inherited my grandmother's button box. As a girl, we never purchased buttons. It was much more fun to go through my grandmother's collection. She salvaged them from anything she could get her hands on, even old military uniforms. On a rainy day, my mother would keep me busy by making me sort buttons and stringing the sets together.
The picture at the top of the page is from my white garden. I got the idea for this garden from The Little Woman Treasury by Carolyn Strom Collins. Such a garden was created in memory of Beth to symbolize all her sweetness and innocence. I wasn't sure how an all white garden would look, thinking it would be a tad bit boring, but I love it. It is so restive and serene. As other plants die out in the garden, I am replacing them with white and silver leafed ones. I have a garden behind my garage where I plant all the freebies that I receive and those deeply discounted perennials that are purchased at the very end of the season. Plus flowers that are started from seed. A true cottage garden. When a white plant pops up, I tag it and replant it in the white garden in the fall. It has certainly been a make-do week!