Thursday, October 17, 2013

Make and Mend

"The secret of life is patch patch patch." (Anne Lamott)

Something about these cold gray days makes me want to make stuff.
I love to make stuff. It's so gratifying to take iffy materials and create something useful and beautiful.
I don't like to sew, but for some reason sewing produces the best results.
My machine is broken, so these days I'm sewing at Nate's folks' house. That works out well, because I have extra people around to ride herd on the baby so I can get to work.
These pillows were made from the 100-year-old French grain sack that I found at Junk Bonanza. It was from the UberChic booth, the guys who bring a trailer from Utah and almost sell out on the first day. By the time I saw their space, almost all the furniture was gone. What remained was a table piled with French and German grain sacks. I only had $20, so Chris let me have this wonderful old textile at a discount. The original price was $25.

I still can't believe I bought something with red in it.
I don't normally allow any red in my house at all.
Once you let red in, it tends to take over.

I couldn't decide whether to let these old patches show. In the end, they stayed on the inside.

This patch is on the back of the pillow, but I can see it and wonder, Who repairs a grain sack? Maybe somebody who grew the flax and wove it by hand? Such respect.

This is how I decided to display the pillows. The front one is backwards, because that side is more interesting.

The corner of our dining room, when I was undecided about which pillow side I preferred.
I like things very simple. So I'm going to have to simplify that photo cabinet in the corner. It's full of family pictures, especially ones of our big boys. Since we miss them, I'm in no hurry to take away their pictures.

My other project this week (okay, I had totally forgotten how HARD it is to get anything done with a toddler in the house!) was Malachi's whale shirt.
This should have taken mere minutes, but because of my broken sewing machine, I had to stitch it on by hand. I love how it turned out. Whales, lobsters, sails and anchors: anything nautical is my favorite these days. But there's another color I don't like: navy. Everything navy does, black can do better. Except on baby boys. With this little guy, I'm on the hunt for navy nautical clothes. However, this whale needed to be gray. Ah gray. A lovely color.

Julia and Malachi under the locust tree.

To make the shirt:
Find a cheap white shirt or onesie (this was new from the consignment store).
Draw a whale. I copied one from another outfit.
Trace it onto two-sided transfer web, cut it out.
Iron the non-paper side of the whale onto your fabric.
Cut the fabric, using the web paper as your guide.
Peel off the paper backing of the transfer web.
Stick onto the shirt, iron into place.
Stitch around the outside with zigzag (or in my case, laboriously by hand).

Look who can walk!
Once he gets outside, he never wants to come in.
If we leave him alone in the entryway, he escapes to the outdoors.

So that was my week. I have spent a lot of time praying for my three big college-age kids as they endure midterms. I hope this finds you thankful, as I am, for the seasons of life. Even on hard days, we are growing and changing, being mended and being made into something useful and beautiful. All for Jesus.

A little gift for your day: one of my favorite songs from Ben Kyle. Listen to it here.


  1. Love how your pillows
    turned out! Funny how
    we gravitate towards simple
    as the years go by......

    Little M's shirt is almost as
    adorable as he is! You have
    beautiful children, Laura, and
    I'm betting they are just as
    lovely on the inside as on the

    Happy Thursday,
    xo Suzanne

  2. Thank you Suzanne! Yes I definitely appreciate simple more than I used to. Even simple days are wonderful. It makes my brain hurt to think how much my big kids have to study....hugs to you...L.