making an old project into something new
The great thing about digging out the mess you've made over several years is that you find untold treasure.
That's what happened recently when I was trying to get rid of the excess that has accumulated. I pulled out a bag of crumpled fabric pieces. The fabric looked old, so I had a feeling it was good. And it was.
The bag was filled with pieces cut for making dresden plates. Some were even started, all stitched by hand. The pieces still have some visible markings from where a pencil traced the shapes.
My attention went immediately to the fabrics. In my opinion they are far superior to any reproduction fabrics meant to reflect the style of this era of fabric. At least, the prints are. The fabric itself is a lighter weight than modern quilting cotton, but still much better than cheap fabric. At any rate, I'm smitten.
I showed my mom and she's fairly sure that the project was started by my great grandmother, Mollie. Of course. I never knew her, but I'm named for her. And even though I'm adopted, I seem to have the family crafting genes.
Usually I look at something like this and feel obligated to keep the integrity of the original project. Like, because this work-in-progress came to me, I need to finish it as it was intended. Because not doing that would dishonor the maker.
This time, I decided that was silly. The women who came before me would have repurposed things to make what they wanted or needed to make. Who knows? These dresden pieces may have been other items before they were so lovingly cut.
Since I'm an English paper piecing and hexagon gal, I hoped that I could cut some pieces from the fabric bits. And I was delighted to find that 1/2" hexies will fit...and if I'm careful I get two from each piece!
Cutting these fabric hexagons was both challenging and refreshing. As I went to take the first cut I kept thinking, "What am I doing? You're crazy Mollie!" But with each cut I was more and more pleased with my decision.
And as I basted them, it got better and better.
Suddenly I felt like I was honoring my great grandmother in a whole new way. I'm sure she'd be pleased.
At this point I don't know what these hexagons will become. I'll probably wait to see how many I end up with, but I know that whatever it is, it will be treasured. And I'll enjoy this connection to my past in a crafty sort of way.