peg bag

cup-peg.jpgpegbag.jpgI’ve completed a peg bag. The peg bag holds special memories for me because as a child this was the first piece I’d sewn and completed with my Grandmother teaching me. The bag is made by taking a length of fabric, folded twice and sewn up the sides and inserting a hanger with its hook coming out of a small hole in the top. I recently made my Mum a new bag but used fabrics found in my Grandmother’s attic as the house was being cleared after she had died.
Although the bag is a pretty mundane object it actually holds a lot of significance as sewing and doing the washing seem to be a major part of my life in amongst everything else. So I took this idea of ‘can you remember a peg bag in your household’ and opened it up for wider discussion, memories and stories. I didn’t really expect much on this seemingly dull idea but I was overwhelmed by the response I got back. Lots of stories about the peg bag being the first ever sewing project at home with their mother or grandmother teaching or undertaken as a school project.
Many still recall the details of the stitching, the fabric used and even some lettering spelling out phrases such as ‘I Hate Wash Days’ and ‘MY PEG BAG’ etc. So I constructed a new bag but included lots of the stories that were sent in as the text on the inner and outer fabric. I also found a book “The Household Book of Hints and Wrinkles” that explained how to launder and dry the home wash. I screen-printed the diagrams and method on to the fabric. I machine and hand stitched over and over again on various text – the intention being that the text fades out as a new layer is added, a simple metaphor I suppose for fading memories and fading clothes after continuous washes. The big thing that came out of this particular project for me was how important tacit knowledge is…the handing on or teaching of a skill people to people…and how this is lost in today’s throwaway world – apart I must say from this new home crafting revival which is great and I’m teaching my sons to sew now. Learning from each other is vital, its not only time spent together in the present, and creating a memory for the future but its also a lot easier to learn and remember from a person rather than a book, (I’m thinking of the hard time I’m currently having learning to crochet from a ‘How to” book and failing on ‘trebles’ miserably). Any stories on your wash day activities would be great!

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