Tuesday, August 26, 2014

What your parents teach you ....

Like every child there times that I found my parents embarrassing. I'm a bit mortified that already by 5 years old I'm being spoken back to and being told to stop doing what I'm doing because I'm clearly being just too silly .... (Moi? Jamais!)

After having had my own children I developed a new sense of appreciation for everything my parents have ever done for us - granted they still do stuff I don't quite understand - but I get that now because I am constantly doing things that my kids don't understand at all! It occurred to me the other day that my love of recycling fabrics and things does come from a lifetime of my parents recycling and remodeling things into beautiful toys and things for us too. They taught me to look beyond a paper roll or potato and turn it into something else.

Here are some examples.

This is a quilt that my mother made for me when I was very young. It is a twin quilt made out of recycled clothes. I think a lot of them are her old clothes - but the light blue gingham border & name is made from our old summer school uniforms from when we were very young.

I have to be honest Mummy - I'm not sure what the rat and the worm are about ;-) ...

.... I used this quilt on my bed until I was in the mid twenties and finally indulged myself to a double bed!

You can see how worn the fabrics are - and it really needs some repair. 

My mother was surprised to learn I still had this quilt. But it is something that is now very carefully wrapped up and looked after. I hope to mend/restore it in someway in the future.

And here is my sisters quilt - equally as loved, used & cherished.

My father doesn't sew (although he has done some mean splicing of rope in his time) but he does make the most amazing things out of old wooden wine cases.

I have an art box that he made me and that came to school & then onto art school with me. It is very heavy - but I lovingly lugged it around with all my paint & paint brushes in it.

And he made the most beautiful advent calendar for the kids. When we were little he made versions of this out of cardboard boxes stacked on top of each other - every day a new box with a new little goodie in it. It was fabulous and we loved it - but now I realize how hard it is to find 24 different little things that fit into small spaces every year for the advent calendar! How much you don't think about when you are little. Do much taken for granted. I want to be little again!!

And most recently he made the most beautiful 'box of secrets' for Bunny #1. We haven't actually given it to her yet as we really want her to fully appreciate how lovely it is (and have some hope of cracking the crazy homemade secret mechanism he invented for opening the box.) It is really incredible and he doesn't quite give himself enough credit for the amazing things he makes.

So when families thank me for the quilts I make them from their loved ones clothes - I should remember to thank my parents too - because there is rather a lot that they taught me about the potential of and beauty in recycled things - and they should be credited (just a little bit) for the work I do.

But how I dearly wish I had a picture to share of the giant rocking sheep they made us when we were little ... that was an epic homemade toy!!!


Kathleen said...

This is a very sweet post.

Thimbleanna said...

Oh Wow Rachael -- those quilts are fabulous -- what wonderful keepsakes from your childhood. And that Advent Calendar -- WOW! I want one LOL!!!!

Barb Neiwert said...

I do believe your parents taught you the best lesson of all: to pass it on. :)