Everything Has A Story

Apr 5, 2012

When I see items in thrift stores, flea markets or antique shops I always wonder who owned the things I come across. I wonder things like how many people ate a meal with this fork or spoon, who stitched every single stitch by hand on this stained sampler, how many dishes did this tattered dish towel dry, or how many times were these rhinestone earrings worn to a dance or party, who are the people in these old photos and where are their family members today? I could go on and on and on with all the questions that run through my head. Every item I come across has a story and I wish I knew all their stories.

You see for me it is the story that inspires my art. It is the feeling I get when I see old books, sheet music, fabrics, lace etc. These items spark memories from my childhood. They inspire me to reflect on and create about the moments spent with my grandparents in Salem, WV and Greenland, NH as well as all the fun times spent with my parents, brother, sister, aunts, uncles and cousins. This is one of the reasons why I included bits and pieces of stories about my family and childhood in each of my books. For me, stories spark creativity. I’m hoping while reading my stories something will spark a memory and inspire your creativity.

So all this being said, I thought I would share the story behind these three aprons.

While Aunt Brenda was visiting several weeks ago we were in Frisco Mercantile looking around and came upon some vintage aprons. I mentioned the apron pattern I purchased and these old feed sacks my cousin Connie gave me a few years ago. We chatted about how someday I was going to have aprons made out of these feed sacks for me to wear when teaching. Well, when we got back to my house Aunt Brenda asked for the apron pattern and to look at the feed sacks. She had me pick out two patterns I liked together, took them home with her to Delaware and created two extremely special aprons for me to wear when teaching. I’m telling you right here and now I will cherish these aprons forever.

The red and white fabric used to make two of the aprons comes from a dress worn by my great great aunt Amanda Childers. She lived in the old homestead I love so much in Buckhannon, WV up until her passing in 1964. The fabric used to make Aunt Amanda’s dress is from feed sacks as is the blue floral material on both aprons. The blue floral feed sack comes from a stash of feed sacks once owned by Grammy Childers. She and grampa lived in Salem, WV. We would visit them most summers during my childhood and gosh did I have fun running up and down Dog Run. The dress and feed sacks were given to me by my cousin Connie during a visit to Buckhannon, WV to see family about 4 years ago. The apron pattern was purchased about 5 years ago at a quilt shop in Waxahachie, Texas while shopping with Wendy Vecchi when she was at The Crafty Scrapper teaching.

I love how Aunt Brenda saved the pockets from Aunt Amanda’s dress to use as pockets for one of the aprons. I like the feeling of knowing both our hands have touched these very same pockets. The sleeves from the dress are now the apron ties. It’s kinda like getting a big hug from Aunt Amanda each time I tie them around my waste. The skirt part of each apron is from the skirt part of Aunt Amanda’s dress. Honestly, how can these aprons be any more special? They are created from items once worn and owned by my great great aunts, then given to me by my beloved cousin and sewn together by my very beloved aunt. They have traveled from Buckhannon, WV to Frisco, Texas up to Milford, DE then back to Frisco, Texas. Now they will be worn throughout the US and abroad when I teach yet sadly, many years from now they too might end up in a thrift store, antique shop or flea market and no one will know their story. But what a story they will have hidden within each thread and stitch.

And this apron is just as special because it was made “just because” by Aunt Brenda. She thought these two fabrics looked cute together and would be bright and cheery to wear when I taught. She was right. I love it and will wear it and always think of her.


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