My Oma used to say that my mother was fleißig, which was about the highest compliment she could pay someone. It means industrious, or diligent but in my family it’s used often when someone makes something from nothing, or is particularly clever in their repurposing of an item, or is able to come up with a creative and unusual solution. 

I feel very fleißig this week.

When I was 17 we visited my grandparents in Alberta for several weeks and my sister and I were not very happy about being so far from our friends and all our entertainment. My grandma encouraged us to pass the time by sewing. She took us to the local thrift shops and we bought a pile of cartoon covered bedsheets which we then sewed into raver-style, wide legged pants. We were so enthusiastic about our project that my great aunt gave us even more sheets that she had been using to protect her tomato plants from frost. We returned home at the end of the summer with several pairs of pants each for ourselves and a towering stack of pants for all our friends. 

However, bedsheets are huge and we had lots of leftover fabric which I have kept and moved with me in a bin for the past 16 years. My intent was always to make a quilt with the smaller pieces and finally I have. (Well, almost). My goal for this project is to spend nothing and it looks like I’ll be able to accomplish that. I’ve pieced the top and bottom from scraps from The Summer of the Pants, along with some black fabric my husband bought when he was in architecture school. The batting in the middle is an old comforter that is faded and worn but still warm and cozy, and I have a few packages of binding and piping that were in a bag of notions I bought at a thrift store years and years ago. 

I started this project simply to use up stuff and time but with no real destination in mind for the finished quilt. It’s chaotic and eclectic and not very professional looking but I’m a knitter, not a seamstress. As soon as my daughter saw the pieces laying out though she claimed it as her own. So now the finished product will add value to our home and family. 

For me, this is one of the best feelings. Fleißig. 

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