Process Blog

Mendings: Examining and Conspicuous Fixing

When my grandparents died, I inherited a large collection of linens in various states of repair and disrepair. Some were immaculate, ready to spread across a table or bed for the world to see. Most featured areas of extreme wear, tears, cigarette burns, stains, dry rot, or (usually) a combination of all three. 

Not to be too hasty in throwing away these items that have been used, flaunted, and then, in the end, stored so carefully by my family, I decided to do what I could to mend them. 

I sit in the evenings, with a basket full of broken odds and ends and a massive roll of cream colored thread, attempting to repair hankies and doilies and all the other frilly flotsam and jetsam. It's difficult and fiddly work. Each patch takes a significant amount of time to weave and sew, allowing me hours of quiet reflection through repetitive movement. I quickly found that the best I could hope to do was to patch the holes as neatly as possible, but these items will never be the same. I can't completely "fix" what happened to them with time and use, any more than I can fix or change what has happened throughout my family history.

These mendings are visible connections from past to future.