The Fabric of Our Lives

This week I was down in the basement, getting something or other, and noticed all the rolls of fabric.

rolls of fabric(Please ignore the Christmas wreath on top and the rocking horse at the bottom).

The fabric has been here almost as long as we’ve been in this house (2001).

It came from my old neighbor, Susan.  Susan is a Japanese.  She met her husband, Ed, when he was in Japan serving in the military.  Although she has lived here for years, she still had a heavy accent and it’s difficult to understand her.  Nevertheless, I loved her as a neighbor and spent many happy times at her house, enjoying her beloved cat with her and watching tennis (which she loved) on TV and seeing her  stacks of Japanese magazines.

She gave us gifts when the girls were born, and since they had no children, she passed along some dishes and bowls to us.

Ed is quite a character.  He is a self-taught expert on various forms of Christianity, makes any kind of fishing fly you can imagine, and is a magician who used to perform magic shows at malls.  Susan dressed up in a kimono and was his assistant.

Susan sewed really well.  She had worked in the alterations department at Wolf and Dessauer, a famous department store back in the ’50s.

Wolf & Dessauer Christmas Fort WayneLater, she began a curtain-making business out of their house.

Around the time we moved, Ed and Susan’s cat that they had had for 15+ years died.  Shortly after that, Susan had a severe stroke and has been in a nursing home since.  She no longer recognizes Ed, and doesn’t speak at all.

Ed called me at the time and wondered if I would like her fabric.  I wasn’t sure I did.  It was a huge amount, and what would I do with so much drapery fabric, much of it out of style?  But I did load up the van with it, and am glad.  I have used several pieces for various things … a curtain in my dad’s kitchen, pillow backings, linings for various things, school projects … and it is nice to think that Susan’s fabrics are living again.  I think Susan would enjoy that, too.


8 thoughts on “The Fabric of Our Lives

  1. I think it’s great that you took the fabric – even if at the time you had few intentions of using it; it probably made Ed feel better about giving it away.

    I. Want. A. Basement.

  2. re: your comment on my tea party grumblings 🙂 –
    That is what I love about the tea parties – that they show that in our country, we are able to protest and make it known when we disagree.

    And you’re right, in a democratic country the minority still should make their views known. It’s not so much the protest itself I have a problem with as the tea-party metaphor, which insinuates a revolution or rebellion against the government, which I think is awful.

    As a country we flip-flop around. 8 years ago the Republicans dominated the government with the same majority Democrats do now. We’ll probably totally switch again by the time 8 years have passed.

  3. I’m glad you shared this; what a touching story. It’s neat you took her fabric and it has gotten new life in so many of your projects.

    Pardon me for asking a dumb question, but how do I follow your site? LOL, when I met Amy yesterday I think she rolled her eyes at a few of my computer related questions!


  4. Okydoky, thanks! You have a neat site. I have so much fun reading these blogs. I’m fascinated by others’ decorating, faith, and little snippits from their lives. This sure beats the heck outta television! I will try saving your site on my feeds. Thanks again!

  5. I LOVE fabric! Sunday a friend gave me about 40 different wonderful Marcus Brothers’ fabrics so I can make a 23″ square piece – similar to one she made, which I admired. She called it a “late Easter gift”. I will return what I do not use, which will be most of it. I thought it was such an unselfish gesture.

  6. I love your story about your neighbor. I am glad you took the fabric too and did find some uses for it. What a touching story.

  7. Sounds like Ed knew you’d give it the respect and care that Susan would have wanted it to have. Wonderful story.

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