Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Another Wash Wednesday

Hanging up the laundry can be quite meditative,  and I find that the well known movements of bending down, picking up, shaking and unfurling the fabric, and fastening with the clothes pegs usually makes me feel at peace and grounded. Sometimes it's simply a matter of sensing the rhythm of my movements, feeling my breathing slowing down a bit and my thoughts relaxing and not being occupied with things I have to do next. And sometimes it makes my thoughts wander in time and place.

I often find myself thinking about the past while hanging up my laundry. I have a lot of really old dish towels, towels, table napkins, table cloths and bed clothes. Some thrifted, and some inherited. Being in this almost altered state of mind makes me feel sort of connected to the women who made these things. I wonder about the initials carefully and beautifully embroidered at towels and linens. I appreciate all the time and solicitude put into making and decorating everyday items. And I feel thankful for having them, and thankful because all of these handmades reminds me of the necessity of taking care of things and mending - not discarding!

I especially treasure the things my grand mother made. She knitted these towels, and as they're used and becoming worn and thin I treasure them even more.

These towels also brings my thoughts back in time, but not that far back. They were used for swaddeling one of my babies right after being born. I clearly remember searching out the softest, organic towels for my unborn. And how they were warmed in the oven while I gave birth, at home in a big round bath tub. And how she was wrapped the minute she emerged from the water. Hanging on the line now they're still glowing with the light that enveloped us right after the birth.

(picture taken by my 5 year old:)

The other day I suddenly found myself being around ten years old, and back in my childhood home. I was hanging up the laundry, and I reached down for the clothes pegs in the pocket of an apron tied around my waist. I vaguely remembered some green chequered fabric ... - Why on earth didn't I have an apron like that now? So I went to my fabric stash and found some old bed linen I rescued from being cut up and used for cleaning purposes by my mother in law. And some bias tape I thrifted a long time ago finally found its purpose.

It was fun making this, I just took a couple of measurements and drew a couple of lines directly on the fabric before cutting. And now I can wear the exact bed linen my husband slept in as a teenager! How great is that?!
I'm adding this to the other - about 8 things, i guess - I'm making for myself. So this is item #9 in my challenge of making ten things for myself solely made from fabric etc from my stash.


  1. such beautiful photos paired with beautiful words.
    i love your apron so very much, it goes so gracefully with your day of hanging laundry on the line.

  2. What beautiful thoughts and pictures! Hanging laundry takes me back to being 10 also - and singing "My Favorite Things" from the Sound of Music while I cheerfully hung our clothes on the line (a job I much prefered to washing dishes!)

  3. How clever of you to make that apron, so unique. I have tried to make an apron using tea towels, not as stylish as yours, but also does the trick!


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