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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