Asking a seamstress to mend is like asking Michelangelo to paint your garage. ~Author Unknown
Too bad I don’t know who said that, because I love it. When my children were small, even when they were big, they had a saying of their own, “if you ever want to wear something again, don’t let Mom put it in the ‘fix-it’ pile.”
They knew, that while I’d make them new clothes, if they’d have worn something hand-made, mending was low on my priority list.
Once in awhile their store-bought clothes found a nail and were ripped, or simply frayed at the seam. While it would often have been a simple matter for me to repair the problem, if I didn’t take the time right away to repair the problem other items were placed on top of it. Soon, the garment was buried under a pile of other projects and the children forgot about it, so I didn’t bother looking for and repairing the item.
My children learned at an early age, if they had a piece of clothing in need of repair, to get it repaired right away. Those conversations went something like this:
Child, “Mommy, my shirt is ripped.” Showing me the offending hole by sticking a small hand through it.
Me, reaching to take the garment from the child. “Oh my goodness. Give it here, I’ll fix it for you.”
Child, clutching garment to the body, “when?”
Me, trying to get garment from child, “I don’t know honey, in a little bit.”
Child, “now, can you fix it now Momma?”
Me, getting up with a sigh, “yes, let’s go get it fixed.”
If some version of that conversation didn’t take place, chances were the clothing item would be lost, never to be worn again, buried deep in the fix-it pile.
While I repair quilts a little faster than I repaired clothing, little is the operative word. Recently while visiting with one set of grand children I noticed the quilt I’d given them for Christmas was fraying. I offered to bring the quilt home with me and repair it.
Here’s the conversation, more or less, that ensued:
Me, “oh my goodness, that patch is fraying. I’ll take it home and fix it.”
My now grown child, “No, Mom, you can’t take it home. They sleep under it. They love it.”
Me, “Honey, I’ll send it back.”
Now grown child, “when?”
Me, sighing, “right away. I’ll fix it when I get home, and return it the next day. Okay?”
Now grown child, “Ok, but you have to send it right back.”
I did, it took a couple of extra days. But the quilt was repaired and back in my grandchildren’s arms within a week of me returning home.
This is the offending, now repaired quilt. It is one of the Turning Twenty layouts by Tricia Cribbs. She has a series of books each with several different quilts and oh, so easy to put together. It is designed to use 20 fat quaters to make a quilt. I used fabrics on hand, mixed with fat quaerters, and one of the fabrics frayed. It was an easy fix.
How about you? Do you perfer to “sew from scratch” creating something new with your sewing time, or are you a “happy mender?”