Visible Mending and Virus Testing
This week I have been suffering from a vile cold and dry cough. I know, those symptoms sound familiar and highly suspicious, don't they? Everyone in Australia with cold symptoms is being encouraged to go and get tested for covid-19, and I did so this very morning. My appointment was for 9.20am, so I arrived at our local sports centre where a very complex testing station has been set up in the car park, with marquees and a guard post where security guards with masks only let you in if you have been cleared by high command somewhere further in. Then into the drive-through station where a nice man says, "Stick out your tongue, ma'am, we are just going to stick this swab down your throat and then up both your nostrils." Such fun. Anyway, it is highly unlikely that I have covid-19 as we don't appear to have much in the way of community transmission in Tasmania, except around a hospital in the north-west of the stat. It is, however, the beginning of cold and flu season so there will no doubt be a lot of testing of people with coughs and colds. My question is - how on earth did I catch any virus at all when I hardly go out except to walk the dog? It's a mystery, and shows that no matter how careful you are, it is still really easy to catch a contagious virus..
It has been a very quiet week for me and Posy. We have been lying even lower than usual, and I have been literally lying lower on the couch and listening to audio books on-line. Audio books are such a boon when you can't focus to read. And when I have been feeling less poorly I have been listening to audio books and doing the mending. In March the autumn edition of Earth Garden came out with an article I wrote about visible mending, based on this post I wrote about visible mending. It is very strange seeing my own old clothes in the pages of a magazine, but quite fun. Anyway, the lack of energy that come with a cold makes the thought of quietly doing some hand sewing very attractive. So what follows is some of my works of art from the past couple of days.
First, the work shirt that I tore on one of my mum's rose bushes last week while doing some gardening with her (appropriate social distancing in place):
The patch for this is a thick cotton that looks like mattress ticking. It is important to match the fabric you are patching with the patch. Thin patches will tear away from thick fabric, and thick patches will tear thin fabric. Match the weight of both as best you can. I love the blue and white stripes against the neutral shirt. The patch fabric was lining a wicker basket that a friend decluttered a couple of years ago. I ripped out the fabric and saved it and still use the basket as my bedroom clothes hamper. There was a smaller rip lower down the back of the shirt that I darned with olive green embroidery thread. Another hole in the front pocket I darned in the same way:
Next I replaced the button on one of my favourite summer shirts. I was picking plums from a neighbour's tree a couple of months ago and the button caught on a twig and not only pulled the button off but ripped a hole in the fabric. I sewed a little patch of blue on before replacing the button with a brown one from my button tin. I think the shirt is more interesting now with that little accent.
My last project was a linen quilt cover that my friend Tanya gave me. It had a large rip in it which I patched using a square from a shirt I bought in an op-shop when I was seventeen years old. I wore that shirt for about a decade then retired it to the rag bag. It is a soft brushed cotton, quite thick, and I love the blue and brown stripes. I used white embroidery thread to quilt across the patch and also quilted around the edges of the rip to stop it ripping any further in the wash.
Despite the cough and cold nasties (which I am 99% sure are just a cough and cold) I have been having a nice time extending the life of a few things, using very little in the way of resources, which means that is less stuff I have to go out and buy, and that thought, as always, makes me quietly happy.