Saturday, April 18, 2009

Woman's Work

" A Womans Work is NEVER Done"
50" x 65"

I designed this quilt right after my "Grandma"s Kitchen". It just kind of led into it because some of the things I wanted to add to the kitchen quilt had to do with cleaning, such as the broom and dustpan. I guess cleaning goes along with it because a big part of the kitchen is keeping it clean!!
I grew up in a house where Saturday Chores were STRICTLY observed. When every Saturday morning came around, just like clockwork- my sisters and I would draw out of a bowl, cleaning assignments that had been written on strips of paper by my Mom. These chores along with the cleaning of our bedrooms were to be completed that day BEFORE we could even think about playing with friends. Our work would get an inspection from my Dad (yes, he was in the army for several years) and then he would give us permission to play. I always envied my little brothers because their chores were outside helping my dad ( I grew up on a small farm) and even though I knew that it was very hard work I was sure that any work outside was better than being indoors with my 3 older sisters working in the house. I was a bit of a tom- boy and I loved to be outside. That still hasn't changed- I'd rather be in my garden than clean house!
It was really fun to draw these blocks and choose the fabric for each item. Besides, what other way could I design, name and package my own line of cleaning products? On the bottom of each one, instead of the lbs and ounces, I put a scripture reference which goes along with what I named the product, giving it kind of a double meaning! This was really fun for me, but if you're not into scriptures like I am you could simply leave them off. Here is a list of all of them;RENEW 100 % clean & pure laundry soap-
Create in me a clean heart, O God: and renew
a right spirit within me.
Psalms 51;10
SUDZ dishwashing liquid-
Cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter,
that the outside of them may be clean also.
Matthew 23;26
SPARKLE scouring powder-
And let all things be done in
cleanliness before me.
Doctrine & Covenants 42;41
SHINE furniture polish-
And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament:
and they that turn many to righteousness
as the stars for ever and ever.
Daniel 12;3
STIF spray starch-
Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ,
having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men.
Wherefore, if ye shall press forward,feasting upon the word of Christ,
and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the father;
Ye shall have eternal life.
2 Nephi 31;20
I also put a scripture ref between the words GOOD and HOUSEKEEPING-
She looketh well to the ways of her household,
and eateth not the bread of idleness.
Proverbs 31;27
I stitched the words "Cleanliness is next to Godliness"
above the roll of paper towels and contrary to popular belief, it is not in the scriptures, it is a quote by Benjamin Franklin!
As you all know by now, I LOVE to take everyday objects, group them together into a theme and turn them into a work of art. To me, this process has a special meaning by lending value to those things that we see or that we use or that we do everyday that so often go unnoticed. I especially think that this is true when it comes to " A Womans Work". The things we do as women everyday to take care of our homes and try to keep them in order is a constant struggle (for me anyway!) and often times taken for granted by our families- but work always has great value, even menial tasks that come without praise or notice. As I went through the process of designing this quilt, I have had a desire to appreciate housework more. Instead of feeling "overloaded" with laundry or becoming frustrated by handprints all over the glass on my front door "AGAIN"- I've tried to have just a bit more patience as I have come to realize what it would mean to have no little handprints being left everywhere in my home, leaving "evidence" of where they have been and what they have been getting into! I have even come to appreciate those "large hands" leaving whiskers in the sink or socks on the floor! Considering the alternative, I'm happy to count my blessings and just KEEP CLEANING!
It was in this quilt that I first decided to use tiny black ric-rac for the cord on the vacuum cleaner and the iron. I loved the results so much that I use it for the cord in every quilt that I have designed since!
Of course I added an apron in this quilt also! You can't clean without an apron!
I used GIANT ric-rac in the border of this quilt. I love how it gives a vintage look!
I designed this quilt to hang in my laundry room but it would also look great in the kitchen hallway next to the cleaning closet! Sorry there are no childhood pictures of me cleaning--I guess some things are just too mundane to photograph! I hope that you enjoy making this quilt and invite you to send me comments about how you feel about cleaning and pictures of your blocks or finished Womans Work quilts.
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