The truth is I've never been able to let go of fabric scraps. When I've finished making something the remnants get folded or tossed (depending on size) into a plastic bag and when the bag is full it gets shoved in a closet. Yesterday I had myself an archaeological dig through the last seven years (which is when I started sewing again). I had a hard time tossing out those scraps on the floor this morning. The scrap to the right got tossed back into the pile.
I need to make things. I have always needed to make things. Generally they need to be beautiful and always functional. Sometimes I find something I've built awkwardly, like the chicken spit over the fire beautiful simply in it's functionality and the fact that I did it, all by myself. Beautiful in the fact that I made it up the same way I felt when I was seven and made fairy circles in the woods out of fallen leaves (which I admit to doing right up until I was fifteen and riding my pony through the woods) I find that I am happiest when I have made something from found or foraged bits and pieces. Beauty out of chaos and in a lot of cases the beauty of chaos. If you can look past the learned or maybe even innate need to have order in the world which is just that illusion of control sticking its head back up out of the primordial muck of the old brain.
And then we come to Little Girl's birthday parties. I didn't really do this for my boy or Lucia for a number of reasons mostly having to do with being mind numbingly shy. The best birthday party to date was the boy's eighth. It was a scavenger hunt in November (because he had the audacity to be born in November) in the cold and muck on the mini farm in Oxford. We had helpers (which really weren't needed because any eight year old who can read will go to the ends of the earth to solve a puzzle and find the buried treasure which happened to be burlap bags full of candy and small toys. The boy was at a terribly elite private school repeating the second grade because the public school still had that policy of social promotion. He wasn't ready for third grade, hell, he wasn't ready for public school, he never was. So we stuck him in St. Margaret's-McTernan in Waterbury which required a 12 mile drive back and forth every day which wreaked havoc with my schedule not to mention my sensibilities. Momma paid the $9,000 tuition because we could barely afford the gas to get him there and back every day.
The boy's story in that school is worth several posts on its own but what matters here is that despite the instructions on the invitations requiring boots and clothing that could be muddied without permanent damage we still had little girls in white party dresses and black mary-janes and boys in little suits with spit shined loafers. A lot of parents took one look at the course and ran back home to fetch the boots, many of which were riding boots that cost more than two months of groceries even today.
Little Girl's parties occur because Little Girl is so terribly social and I've gotten better at coping. We've had one extravagant party to date and it nearly killed me. Twenty-two kids (or something like that) at $22 a head (or something like that) to go into that noise factory and tear the place apart for 90 minutes. It was a very expensive little hell I bought myself. Everything else has been creative and mostly inexpensive. This year we are having a quilting bee. The invitations request that each girl show up with a yard of cotton fabric and something for the local food pantry. There are to be no other gifts. The birthday present is the quilt. I'll have them do as much as they can by hand and then we'll finish it up on the machine. I've got two of those thanks to my mother who bought Lucia a cute little Singer when she was twelve.
Little Girl's dad is printing the top of the invitations because that's what he does, fabulous graphics guy that he is. I made the eight mini quilts last night in a state of blissful zen until about 1 AM when I got halfway through the eighth and called it a night. These need to be mailed on Monday because we've moved the date forward to December 5th and given the social calendars around here we really do need four weeks notice and I absolutely refuse to send out those save the date things.
There was very little measuring, no ironing but a need to make them all the same because I liked the pattern (I only messed that up once but I also nearly completed one wrong side out and had to pull out the stitches and start over). Thankfully I've still got a boatload of quilt batting left over from the last quilt made five years ago for Lucia and the boy's half brother. Of the five different bits of fabric, four are from dresses made for Little Girl a few years ago. One is from a dress I wore out even though it looked damn ridiculous on me.
They look like little pot holders, don't they? I only stuck myself with the needle once or twice but I DID cut my jeans once. One half inch slice out of my stupid expensive date jeans. Sigh. Serves me right for the conceit of buying them in the first place. I look forward to wearing them with either a bright patch of fabric or just plain sutures.