I had a chance to sew today. A treat to myself on a gloomy day. While I was looking through my fabric for the perfect piece of pink I came across this one. It is from Ruth’s collection. I can tell, because this piece of pink fabric, which must have started out as a table linen, had her signature yellow pins in it and had been cut.
Ruth was the original up-cycler. She was always taking a piece of fabric that she liked and repurposing it. This pink table cloth for example… it had a couple of spots on it. Aside from that, it’s in great shape. She recognized the value in things, no matter how small the scrap.
And did she have scraps... Ruth had tubs and boxes and bins full of scraps. After her estate sale, I hung onto quite a few. Some of the designs are wacky and fun and full of life. Each time I dig through the box, it’s a little like a treasure hunt… I always find something new.
They all remind me of Ruth. She taught me a lot about sewing, and today finding the pins sent me on a journey down memory lane.
Before we had kids, Monte and I would drive down to Winona to Ruth’s house on Sunday afternoon. We’d head straight for the basement to start sewing. Monte would have a couple of chores to do (mostly light bulbs needing to be changed or something along those lines) and then settle in to watch the game.
Those quiet afternoons sewing in the basement meant so much to me. It taught me that you can learn a lot about a person, without saying much and that you can make something lovely with bits, pieces and scraps that look destined for the trash.
Ruth’s birthday is in April. I don’t know what her exact age would be, but she’d be in her nineties. She’s been gone for a couple of years. Sadly, she never knew Benett or Ellie. I so wish she had know them both. I’m thankful that she did know Gavin. She loved him like a great-grandson, because in her heart, that's what he was.
I miss her… Finding her pins today was like she was right there sewing with me…. Reminding me that, “sewing is 50% ironing.” I happily did a little extra ironing today. Enjoying the smell of freshly ironed fabric and my memories of Ruth.