Mrs Widds is a frequent visitor to our local town’s many thrift stores. One day she returned with a fluffy bath towel. Up until that moment I’d never understood why extra large towels were called ‘sheets’. This one could’ve served as a coverlet for an entire raft of king-sized beds with room for a day-bed or two.
Unable to wield it as designed, Mrs Widds continued using her usual towels, with the proviso that one day we might find a use for our monster towel.
And so, it languished, unloved and unappreciated, in the linen cupboard for several months, until a curious thing happened. One by one our hand towels began to disappear, until we were down to one. Which, as you can imagine, was not a satisfactory state of affairs at all.
Unwilling to spend money on thrift-store replacements, (which were more expensive than the full sized towel counterparts – why is it that the less there is of a thing, the more one has to pay for it?) Mrs Widds, in her inimitable problem-solving style suggested we attack the monster towel and reduce it to four un-monster-sized towels.
As we’re both of the ‘re-purpose, reuse, recycle’ persuasion, this was the perfect solution.
Out came the scissors and ‘voila’ four (generously sized) hand-towels … that needed hemming … with a sewing machine … which was … somewhere.
“Oh, sewing machine? Where are you?”
Ok, It’s been a while since I last used my sewing machine, long before we built our shed last year, and we’ve rearranged all the storage spaces in our little cottage at least twice since then.
There’s an assortment of beds it could be under, and shelving units it could be in, at least two closets, a sideboard, and the coat nook near the front door … at least I’m sure it isn’t outside in either of the sheds … ** dashes outside to check sheds** … nope, not in the sheds.
“What are you doing in there, with the paper shredder?”
“Hmm. Well. What can one say? That’s paper shredders for you.”
…some time later …
“Avengers … I mean, Materials, Assemble!”
I half expected the towel to buy into the conversation, with pointed comments about the scissors, but no. Just between you and I, it probably decided to keep a low profile. The sewing machine was on a roll.
It ‘tutted’ in the background as I tried to remember how to thread the needle with the handy-dandy- built-in needle threader, (which worked like a treat once I remembered how it worked) and ‘yea’ed’ or ‘nay’ed’ as I made my way through the 50 different stitch options that its merry little computer innards could produce on command. (there’s more computing power in this machine than the entire Apollo Space Program)
“Bugger! I can’t remember how to dial up this stitch I want to use. Maybe if I just …”
“Try using the manual.”
“Try the manual.”
“It’s way over the other side of the room with all the other manuals. What if I …”
“The Law of Diminishing Returns doesn’t really count in this instance, you know.”
“I AM THE LAW!”
“Oh, very droll. Judge Dredd reference. Touché.”
“Why does one, very annoying, sewing machine need five feet?
Usually I’m good with manuals, but I think this was a matter of dignity. I’d been using sewing machines since I was about 11 starting with an old Singer treadle machine. The fundamentals were the same, but as with all things technological, the ‘new-and-improved’ brigade tweaked and twaddled everything until common sense went out the window.
“Stop justifying and get on with it!”
“Merrily we sew along, sew along, sew along. Merrily we sew along … hmm, the bobbin’s getting low. We’re not going to run out of cotton are we?”
Finally! All four hand towels neatly hemmed and folded, ready for action.