I was brought up in a very thrifty sort of household – we never had much money when I was a child, so make do and mend was very much a way of life for our family. These days of course, making do and mending is not just about thrift – we’re all so much more aware of our impact on the environment, so reasons to reduce wastefulness have become ethical as well as financial.
I love to rummage around thrift shops and jumble sales, pouncing with glee upon all kinds of vintage lovelies unwanted and unloved by their previous owners. I found this lovely old creamy-white jug at a car boot sale last year – it looks perfect on my kitchen windowsill …
And the wire rack these savoury biscuits are resting their delicious selves upon came from a charity shop in Kingsbridge …..
But sometimes I wonder ….. I am very hard upon my ironing board covers. I use my ironing board for all my applique projects, happily cutting, fusing and spraying my pieces with fabric glue. Over time, no matter how careful I try to be, my ironing board cover is spoiled by accidentally ironed-on Bondaweb, fused on fluffy bits and even, on one memorable occasion, by a long cut when I was cutting fabric and accidentally included the cover as well! It’s important that my ironing board cover is nice though, as it is the background for a lot of the “how to” photographs in my patterns, so I regularly replace it – usually with a nice new Cath Kidston version. And then ….
I cut up the old one! This time I have saved some lovely soft white cord, trimmings from around the unspoiled edge of the cover – a small piece has already been incorporated into my latest project for the March magazine and some nice lightweight white cotton. But looking at my rescued - and soon to be recycled – treasures I did start to wonder … do I sometimes go a bit too far? Do normal people cut up their old ironing covers? How far do you go in your textile recycling?