“Use it up.

Wear it out.

Make it do.

Or do without.”

That’s what they said during WWII.

That’s the motto folks lived by.

Things were scarce.




Things like food.



Paper products.

Even toilet paper.

Great-aunt Tootsie said they were limited to one single square each time.


Everything else, it seems, was equally precious.



Metal and steel.




So different from life today.

Once upon a time, women darned socks.

Maybe a man darned his own if he had to.

But usually it was the man’s job to wear ‘em out.

And the woman’s job to patch ‘em back up.

Same with holes in the knees of jeans.

(Nowadays that’s the hip look.)

Or worn-out elbows in a wool jacket.

And anyone with good sense saved string.

And all forms and sizes and length of pipe.

And wire.

Old fenceposts.

Pieces of wood.

Pieces of metal.

Pieces of pieces.

And especially fabric.

Those usually found their way into a patchwork quilt.

Like those Lilacs ‘N Calico sells.

Or find old ones at Underwood Antiques.

Or Mason Resale Barn.

Or Country Collectibles.

The quiltmaker sewed them by hand.

Or on a treadle sewing machine.

With well-worn fabric wrung through hand-wringer washers.

No high tech, super-fast machines in those days.

Quilting definitely had a way of slowing you down.

Regardless of how you did it.

And still does.

Which may be why it’s so popular these days.

View amazing quilts by five local artists at Arnold Art Gallery.

Open 9-5, Monday – Saturday.

The exhibit ends April 1st.

That’s Mason.


Read more poetry!

Renee Walker is a poet, writer, and real estate broker on the Square with her canine assistant, Buster.  


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