Bin bag origami

Some things that make me happy are the deliciously satisfying noise as sharp dressmaking scissors sheer through fabric, dachshund cuddles and the red sticker zone in Homesense. Some thing that makes me unhappy is the current trend to fold bin bags in the manner of napkins on a 1980’s dinner table. Bin bags were once very simple, you chose between black ones, white ones, large ones and small ones. Each bin bag was simply dispensed from roll, separated from it’s relatives by a perforated line. You just pulled em off and put em in the bin. Not so now! I now need to remember the capacity of each household bin in litres, and then I can only presume that the bin bag factories have all employed the services of an origami master, advising on the most fiendish way to fold a bin bag. By the time I’ve separated, unfolded, estimated and unfolded some more, I’ve lost the energy to put it in the actual bin.  Meanwhile, in another part of the house, we have had part two of the great loft emptying. Four boxes were brought down containing a miscellany of precious items, photos (from the 80’s where I was slim, had hair and could see properly) newspaper clippings, childhood books etc. I had a short window of opportunity to look through everything before the storage facility closed for weekend. It went like this –

Me: “Oh, wow, look at this” 

Mr Williams: “You haven’t got time to look, I Just need to know if you want to keep them or not?” 

To be fair he didn’t jump from one foot to another this time and I did manage to find some of my Grandmother’s dressing table glass but I still don’t understand how I am expected to assess the importance of the box contents without looking at them!  

 This week I’ve discovered Voodoo patchwork – bear with me and all will be revealed. As you can see from the picture, the paper pieces on the back of this quilt contain the vintage papers that came with the original hexagons, chunks of the Radio times (from the 90’s), recycled business paperwork, and, best of all (where the voodoo element comes in) a large chunk of solicitors letters from the early 90’s. I put two bags of paperwork aside, in careless disregard for the draconian opening times of the storage place, planning to look at them later in the week. I went through all the paperwork, a lot of which consisted of solicitors letters between myself and the other ‘party’. It was sad in one way because it made me wonder why I hadn’t stood up for myself, why I didn’t fight more and why I didn’t call on any witnesses – but looking back on that time, my aim was simply to get away and I was happy just to have escaped. As I sorted papers into piles for recycling it occurred to me that the solicitor’s letters would be ideal for English paper piecing. I have so enjoyed stabbing a needle through them, it’s been really cathartic and as my sister said “it’s like a quilting form of a voodoo doll”. These papers are now part of the story of my quilt, proof that I have come full circle and am happy but I do so hope that the pins made their mark!

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