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ANOTHER DAY IN THE COUNTRY: Double Duty and Reversible

© Another Day in the Country

Valentine’s Day is my sister’s favorite holiday! She collects heart-shaped dishes, goblets with hearts etched into the glass or in the design, vase hearts, heart lights, and even rocks shaped like hearts. She loves it more than Christmas! So as Feb. 14 approached, I was figuring out something to give her on the occasion.

Deep in a cupboard I found a stack of fabric, purchased long ago — probably on sale — in a variety of heart designs and I decided I was going to make her an apron. They are easy to sew, fun to design, and even though I have to thread the needle by Braille because my glasses aren’t working right, I’d persevere!

This apron was to have a heart-shaped bib with a flounced skirt, ample ties for making a smart bow around any waistline, and it would be reversible! “What a bright idea!” I crowed to myself. Jess loved wearing aprons and if such a pretty one as this was destined to be used and got something splattered on it, just take it off, turn it over, and you’re walking toward the perfectly set table with a Betty Crocker casserole dish in your hand — straight off the 1950s cookbook cover — in a clean apron!

Once the apron was done, there were scraps all over the floor, so I gathered them up and made a matching hot pad! Still more scraps? How about a heart-shaped pincushion, easy as pie until I came to the stuffing. I dug in the back of the cupboards, went through all the drawers, and came up empty-handed. Living in the sticks has this drawback! You can’t just run downtown and buy what you need.

There is something about a project almost finished that just drives me bonkers, so I searched around the house for something, anything, to stuff this little bean-bag-looking pincushion with so that the pins would stay put! My eyes fell upon those silly chia seeds that I’d gotten in a “healthy eating” frenzy. Why not seeds in the pin cushion? It was, after all, something useful to do with them that didn’t leave little squishy seeds between my teeth.

It was a trick to get these weensy teensy tiny seeds into the too-small opening I’d used turning the fabric right-side out; but half an hour later I had the cutest little puffy pin cushion all sewed shut full of chia seeds, which worked pretty slick with the fancy-headed red and white long shanked pins I’d purchased for the project. The only problem was that in my eagerness I’d accidentally sewn the fabric together with one side wrong-side out — it was a little hard to tell. “Well, this pin cushion will be mine,” I mumbled as I swept and reswept the floor to gather up the errant chia seeds that had escaped the target.

Snip, snip, sew, sew and I had another perfectly shaped heart pin cushion completed. I looked around for something else to stuff it with. Not cream of wheat — too fine. Not bulgur wheat — too coarse. I settled on coffee — it was sort of a joke — my style of tongue-in-cheek. It smelled good. It was multi-purpose — if she didn’t use the cushion for pins, perk it! (Only in an emergency, of course.)

On Valentine’s Day we had a brunch for our artist friends that we call “the girls.” We always gather for special occasions and we often bring little inexpensive gifts — just for the fun of it! You’ve probably already figured out that I brought Valentine’s pincushions. These little bright red jewels with the tiny ribbon bow at the top were multi-purpose, decorative, little voodoo cushions that could either pulse in effigy for an errant lover as you placed in the pins, hold your tools as you put together a cloth masterpiece, or be right there for you in case of a food emergency. Quinoa was the stuffing of choice this time!

It’s another day in the country and I just finished making the fourth apron — this last one had scraps from all the others represented somewhere in the tails and ties. The others I gave away for Valentine’s Day. This one hangs on the hook in my kitchen, for guests since I never wear aprons and it reminds me of the joy found any old gray day in winter if we’re lucky enough to have something double-duty or reversible!

Last modified Feb. 19, 2015

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