Hello dear friends! Hope you all are enjoying your day, wherever you are! On Friday, I awoke to this:
My grandparents have been on my mind lately. They all had important lesson about thrift to be learned from them.
My Grandmother, Alice W. : Find a way to make it special
I never met my maternal grandmother, Alice W., she died in childbirth when she was thirty-two, but my great aunts have told me several stories, so I do know some things about her. The one thing I have heard from them all is that she loved to laugh and that she always managed to bring a carmel-frosted date cake to any celebration even during the deepest depression when everyone was struggling to put food on the table. By sacrificing a little bit here, putting more water in the soup, skipping a meal here or there, serving smaller portions, she managed to eke out of her tiny food budget enough to make those cakes, knowing full well that would often be the only thing to mark a special occasion. But more importantly, I learned that you can't let life defeat you, even when life seems one burden after another, there is always something to rejoice in, even if it only that you are here to see another day. Celebrate!
My Grandmother Hazel A.: Surround yourself with beauty
My grandmother, Hazel A, was an artist. She was always sewing, painting, arranging flowers, or doing some other artistic endeavor. When my grandparents built their stone house, she handpicked all of the stones for the facade. When they gardened, she would plant every third row with zinnias. Even though it was the depression, she used her talents to make her home a pretty sanctuary. One of the thing she did was to make quilts from scraps of fabric. She made many beautiful ones, but the ones I remember best are her woolen scrap quilts. I wrote recently that I bought a lot of woolen goods at the 85% and 95% sale at our local Thumb Industries Thrift Store in Bad Axe (somebody wanted to know where they had such sales), here's the quilt I made from them:
1. Prepare your fabric by cutting away all seams, interfacing, buttons, etc. from your scraps. Press the wool, using the highest setting on your iron and a pressing cloth. Hint: you'll get much more fabric from a skirt or pair of pants.
2. Cut the fabric into squares. I used a three inch square for mine, but my grandmother used a 4 1/2 inch square for hers. I used the traditional template method of making my squares but you can use a rotary cutter and mat if that's your style.
3. Using a 1/4 inch seam allowance sew your patches into strips. Mine was 15 patches wide by 21 strips long, but you can make yours any size you please. Press the seams open.
4. Sew the strips together, matching the seams to the desired length. Press the seams open.
5. Sandwich a layer of batting between your quilt top and backing with the right sides facing out.
6. With a double strand of yarn, tie the layers together centering the knot in the middle of the squares. (None of which I did because I was making this quilt as a duvet cover for a down throw).
7. Finish by sewing quilt binding around the edges.
There you have it, really an easy- peasy basic sort of quilt. A good beginner one. Not the most lovely, but certainly a very fine utility type, to keep you warm during the winter. This quilt cost me about $4 because I used a down throw I already had for the batting and an old gray linen shower curtain for the backing.
Now back to the grandparents:
My Grandfather William A.: The Most Important Lesson, Charity
One of my earliest memories was of attending my grandfather William A.'s funeral. The church was packed to overflowing and there were people standing out on the steps and the lawn, paying their last tribute to him. For years after, people would come up to me and tell me stories about his charity. I often heard them say that he had the biggest heart in all of Montmerency County. Although the Depression hit him just as hard as the next person, he had the advantage of owning a farm that became a refuge for family and friends. He just planted a bigger garden, raised an extra hog or two, hunted a little harder and kept those people fed. Oh! And did I mention that he did all this while on crutches, having been crippled by shrapnel in World War I? So whenever I want to give up, I think of my grandpa, and how hard-working he was and the legacy of love he left behind.
DON'T BUY IT, MAKE IT
Began my Spring cleaning, so stains are on my mind. Here's how to make your own oxy-type stain remover from items you probably have on hand.
2 tbsp baking soda
1 tbsp. dish soap
3-4 tbsp. peroxide
Combine and scrub into the stains using an old toothbrush. Wash clothes as usual.
HERE ARE SOME THRIFTY THINGS WE DID THIS WEEK
Shelled the heartnuts that we foraged last Autumn,
As the temperatures warm up into the upper 20s, we've been heating our home with wood.
Unraveled a sweater that I bought from the thrift sale for 17 cents for yarn to knit a pair of mittens for a present.
Our credit union gives you a refund on your credit card at the end of the year. With the credit I bought 10 pounds of non-GMO cornmeal and hemp hearts (which I have read are even better for you than chia seeds)
Although being sick is never a saving, we paid cash at the doctor's office and received a 5% discount off the bill. (Our dentist offers the same discount)
Re-upped our Magic Jack subscription. At 5 years for $99 that slightly less than $20 a year for phone service.
So that's it for this week. I hope that you all will have a blessed and peaceful Easter!