I learned the joy and practise of thrifting from my mother who delighted in the “great find” and the pleasure to be found in thrifting with people who are like minded. She taught me to sew and by doing so, gave me the tools to refashion my own finds. She also gave me my first sewing machine which was the one that she used to make my baby clothes 50 years ago. Later she gave me a Bernina sewing machine, when she upgraded, and with it I continued to improved my limited skills. When we lost her over two years ago to her valiant fight with terminal cancer, she left me her newer Bernina and a serger with which I think she hoped I would carry on with my refashioning and sewing adventures.
She also taught me the art of traditional Maritine rug hooking that has been a part of our family for generations. I have her collection of rugs made by her own hands from strips of thrifted clothing which just a sampling are displayed above. I have her hooks and the rug making from that my father made for me. I display her rugs proudly in my front hallway where I enjoy them everyday and remember her everyday.
Above is a rug I made of my own design using wool spun from my dog Sammy who has since gone to dog heaven. The background is natural wool rovings died with natural food dyes by the same lady who spun the dog hair into wool.
Thrifting can be so much more than a way to expand your wardrobe, it can be a way to carry on a family history of a long almost extinct craft. Luckily I have family members in my cousins who continue this talent by designing their own rugs.
So teach your children to thrift, pass on the legacy of being frugal and “working for your living” by scouring the racks and shelves of thrift stores rather than relying on the easy retail shopping experience. Pass on your other talents as well so that your legacy will carry on the way my mom’s has. I miss you mom.