By Vickey Stamps ©
The little bit of flannel fabric for the bib would have gladly held its ears, had it any ears to hold. It had been entertaining thoughts of all it could be. Perhaps the backing for something. The sewing room, while empty of humans, was most certainly not guilty of being a quiet place. The fabrics stood up on their cloth legs and were waving their cloth arms about in frenzy. Each one was trying to speak over the other.
The human that thought for some silly reason, she was in control of this room, was again.…wrong. She’d made the mistake of talking out loud to herself in this very room, about her next sewing project. A young woman had just given birth to two precious little girls, and while she had already made something for them, she wanted to do more. Last night a lady had told her of a darling bib made of square blocks of quilt designs and sent her a pattern. How could she say no to a few bibs? Babies could use all the bibs they could get, and after all, any excuse she could find to sit in front of her sewing machine was a good one, and she’d take advantage.
This very day, as if designated to come her way, arrived in her mail box a package of white flannel, a friend had bought too much of. Of course, as if it had accidently happened, the local chain fabric store, had a big sale on charm packs. (Square blocks of fabric) She could cut them up and make lots of different designs. Of course she’d put in a bit of lace here and there, and snap or use a button to close off the neck.
To return to the ongoing dilemma, the flannel rose up and spoke. “Give me a break. Only a few designs can be used on such a small project. Why don’t you jump into a box and there can be a random drawing to decide which are the ones to be used?”
To make a longer story much shorter, and in record time, in jumped a block of this and a block of that. There were names such ‘four patch, nine patch, irish chain, star blocks of multi versions and even a drunkards path block that seemed to almost stagger its way into the box. Into the box climbed last but not least, dozens of appliques and paper pieced blocks. There were so many the flannel fabric soon lost track of them all. The colors were so pretty and soon the white flannel began to feel sorry for itself. It felt……well…..it felt drab, to put it mildly. If it could have shed a tear, it surely would have done so. Why couldn’t it have been born something besides what it was. Plain. White. What fun and joy was there in that. The lady returned to the sewing room. The noise became no more. The user of the sewing machine, looked all about, letting her eyes come to rest at last on the flannel lying quietly by itself, wishing it could go hide. What had it been thinking of, that it could be the backing of something a special child might wear one day.
Before one could say ‘jack rabbit’ after they’d caught it, the flannel found itself being swished about, in sweet smelling soap and lots of water, then plunged into a dryer. Again came the lady, lifting it out tenderly, pressing it to her face. “oh I am so happy to have been given the gift of you. You are so soft and the lack of color in you makes you go with anything. I bet the little babies wearing you will love your softness. Did you know there are two of them? Yes, twins, dear flannel. They will love you. The flannel did not know what love was, but the way the lady made it sound, it must be a wonderful thing. “How will I pick the designs and colors to place upon your surface. How I wish you could help me decide” She spoke. Having said that, her eyes seemed to focus on the box of blocks. She lifted it up tenderly, bringing it near, to better see the contents.
“Oh my, look at all these blocks. I’d forgotten I had made them. How can I ever choose?” She sat the box down. Covering her eyes, she reached in and randomly chose several colorful blocks. Most of the bib would be from the flannel, but it would have lace of color, and the brightness of the different blocks. Perhaps she’d make a set of six. Time and the busyness of life would make that decision.
There was another day East of here. Life was good.