Fabric Matters.


For the past 40 years I have been an avid collector of the "Domestic Arts"… I think that’s a terrible description, however, that’s simply what it’s called.
Minimalism doesn’t enter into my vocabulary. So Vintage Domestic Arts reside in my house.
I think I mentioned before that I was at a meeting and showed some of my old Australian Quilts… A comment of "She’d buy anything" made me quite sad.
The comment was from a shop owner too and I was disappointed that she saw no value or beauty in the artistry of a lady who had made the quilt. OK, the points didn’t match…. so what.!
I find that to  be the norm rather than the exception.
What about the history of the fabrics. Where did they originate from, what stories could they tell?
Maybe I’ve got it wrong, but I value the artistry of my predecessors. My Mum made me beautiful dresses from curtain fabric, and bathers with all that shirring elastic that almost worked as a sinker when you swam.
They are precious because they were made with love and consideration.
As are the vintage goodies I collect, embroideries, antique quilts, tea cosies etc.
In times past, Women were expected to stay at home and look after the house and decorate to the best of their ability. They learned to sew from their Mothers and at school. For some it was a chore, others it was a status symbol and others, a matter of pride.
Things have changed, women are now equal to men in the workforce and somewhere along the line we have lost the ability to make anything "feminine"
I personally believe that the women who stayed home and did "Domestic Arts" were equal in talent and ability to the men who went out to work…. that’s why I treasure them so much.
It’s history in fabric. Most other things have faded and disappeared. But fabric matters, it survives and the legacy the women left us will remain if we value them enough.

As a Quilter, each quilt I make is "History in Fabric." no matter how large or small it is.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Di says:

    Lovely post Pam. You are so right – Fabric does matter and so do “domestic arts”. My great aunt was cripples with arthritis in her hands but could still do the most beautiful embroidery. We (me included) seem to have lost patience – everything has to be had or finished now! I admire the patience of our ancestors.

  2. Alison says:

    Love vintage even when the points don’t match. Three cheers for domestic arts!!

  3. Sharon says:

    I so enjoy reading your blog Pam. Your thoughts often echo my own sentiments and visiting with you each day is like having tea with a friend…

    1. Pam Holland says:

      Great minds think alike Sharon, thank you for sharing in my travels and musings.

  4. Deb Bradbury says:

    As an avid collector of all textiles, I find the domestic ones very interesting. Most of the pieces the women wouldn’t have had much time to do, but they did to make the chore more appealing and to satisfy their creative needs, also their budgets. Some of the finest pieces come from the poorest. Love your blogs PAM…keep on traveling and observing.

    1. Pam Holland says:

      Hello Deb, I love it all and have been collecting for many years, I treasure each piece no matter how worn it is. My favorite quilt are the vintage ones I’ve collected over the years. I sit under them when I watch TV at home.

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