Sunday, July 1, 2012

Rag of the Day- Summer 2012

A few little things have come my way, or I have come their way, in the past couple of weeks, a shop rag, two whole garments, a shawl, two handkerchiefs, and some tomato soup-coloured cloth that has remarkably survived some unusual stuff.

June 2012, Bathurst Street. A typical pink shop rag, heavily stained. Fell out of somebody's car. I passed it about five times, but after a very rainy few days, I decided to pick it up. These wash and sew well, oddly. And the mottled staining is kind of great.
June 2012, brought home by B and The Dog. Lovely cotton with spectacular tear.

July 1, 2012- spilled out of a sun-rotten green garbage bag full of clothes in the brush along the fence that separates Bathurst Street from the CN tracks. Last week there was a blue t-shirt pulled out of the bag, this morning this had been pulled out into the dirt. Machine sewn, of course, but well made by someone sitting at a machine in a factory in China. An almost stiff, heavy cloth; when you shake it out it makes the sound a sail does when the wind fills it. Snap!
Mid-June, a Sunday, 2012 in the parking lot at weekend park. A pair of shorts, in a boxer style. Cotton, Old Navy, made in India. The inside of the waistband is a different light indigo and white stripe. Very worn cloth, bleach stained, sun faded. Tears easily, but still not too thin to sew.

 Early June 2012, Bathurst Street, a viscose shawl tied up like a head scarf when I found it. The black flows into the white. Black tassels on all of the edges. Each tassel is knotted, by hand.

June 29, 2012 Bathurst Street near Waterloo, fragments of camoflage print polyester cotton blend. Very oddly, one is a circle.

May 2012, but I didn't pick it up until early June, under the Horton Street bridge, in the river bank that has been exposed by the drought for the first time in two years. Polyester-cotton blend. Fragment of the backing of a nylon-stuffed comforter. Machine stiched quilting lines perfectly intact. Left edge shows where it has been on fire. ON FIRE- this cloth has survived being on fire, buried in the mud, and being under water for months. through every season. Way to go, red cloth.

 I'm working some of these in to the last section of the Magic Diaries 2 cloth, above you can see some of the red cloth and some of the shorts. The rest of the open space now is going to be light coloured cloth, using up lots of anonymous little bits. I've become acutely aware that every stitched thing we buy (and throw away or leave behind, or give to charity) is hand made in some way. Hands hold precut shirt pieces, turn seams open, tie tassels on shawls. So I'm thinking about this. To add to the stories of how these things find their way to where I find them I suppose.

Thanks for stopping by.


  1. The Diaries quilt is beautiful, and it's really interesting to see the found pieces and read their story (as far as you know). Only wish they could talk.

    1. Thank you for stopping by Hanna; your comment has me thinking I'll make a post about one of those stories- that silk shirt. The more I think about it, the more I realize I can piece its story together.

  2. I love that attitude for Red Cloth! Red Cloth rocks it! :) And for some reason I really like the camo moon! Love seeing this cloth. Love what YOUR HANDS have done with all these pits and pieces :)

    1. The red cloth is really just nuts. I shudder to think how it came to be on fire, given that its last owner was a person sleeping out rough. But facing up to all those possibilities and transits, I think, is part of what I'm concerned by here. Thank you for coming by.

  3. yes...way to go red cloth! way to go Wendy! way to go me!
    Way to go Us!
    Way to go!!!!!!!!...this is such an elegant Post...the
    science of it...this cloth finding....nothing of just
    emotion/heart, but the Science of it, but then ALSO of the emotion/heart. OHHHHH, love.....all this documentation
    FEEDS me.

    1. There you are Grace! I'm just writing a post about the shirt. I'll have to take pictures of it when I can to get the post ready; I think, hope you will like it. I realized over the weekend that finding this cloth has really been learning about where it all comes from, how it gets to be where it is, piecing together its story. I still don't quite get why it has become a rag blanket; I don't know if those stories are erased or maintained by the rag blanket. But I know that I have become a student of lost and left behind cloth!

    2. back to look and get happy again....and i will
      so much look forward to that post. Becoming
      a student links to these questions that are
      quite wonderful in themselves.
      OH, i just love all this

  4. Well, this is great fun! I was in the Magic Diaries 2 class, too, but family kept me distracted throughout. Hoping to log in and take myself through it this weekend. You have me even more excited.