Waiting is hard…

…but until my jigsaw is back from the menders, and it stops raining, we can’t finish the bale store. There are 5 pallets waiting to be transformed into a store for bales of hay & straw and a little “woodshed” to store logs etc. for burning. I appealed on Freecycle for some corrugated bitumen roofing, and was given some offcuts from someone’s new shed, which are absolutely perfect for the job. Anyhow, I shall just have to get on with some indoor creative recycling instead.

I’m a Morsbagger (Morsbags.com) which undoubtedly qualifies as creative recycling, but it’s not my only way of enjoying myself with a sewing machine. I like rescuing elderly sewing machines from our local Recycling Centre (aka the Tip) Freecycle groups and Ebay too, if they stay at rock-bottom price. Most get sent off with Tools With A Mission to Uganda, for someone to earn a living with; a few stay with me and one or two get sold on to raise funds to rescue more. However there is virtually no secondhand market for bog-standard machines (which are the most useful ones as you can still get parts for them) because they were made to last, and most of them did! And most people here prefer electrical machines… it’s nice to feel that something I can so easily do can give someone elsewhere a bit of hope and self-respect, as well as preventing the waste of a machine that still has plenty of working life left in it. I also love to make patchwork quilts, bags and other items with reclaimed textiles; it’s astonishing what people throw out. Not long ago I came across 7m of pure dupion silk in a skip; I’m still wondering about the story behind that, as it smelt strongly of seawater, which has now faded. Our local Scapstore is a great source of very cheap fabric too, mostly offcuts from interior designers & upholsterers.

Josie's quilt
Josie's quilt, made partly from my old maternity & working clothes.

Mending things should qualify as recycling. I was given a rather nice cantilevered sewing box the other day; it was missing a couple of screws and washers, which cost me a few pence at the local hardware shop. Now it’s back in working order I can use it to store some of the massive collection of lace, ribbons, bindings and other snippets of haberdashery that my mother had squirreled away over the years. My older daughter and I are happily embellishing bags and hats with it, but it may take us some time to use it all up! One day I’d like to make my living running a recycled creative textile workshop, but I’m not in the right place to do that just yet.

Ah well, time to go & restore some order to my temporary workshop, which has been rearranged for a game of Cluedo (with a secondhand set, naturally!) on a rainy summer holiday afternoon…

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