Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Tradition of the Make-do

"Wear it out, use it up, make it do or do with out"

Have you ever considered the early American tradition of the Make-do? Of the days when nothing was absently discarded the make-do became a way of extending the life of a family treasure and providing a gift for a child when a store bought item would be out of the question. A favorite tea cup that had been broken found a new life as a lovely pin cushion. A much used candle stick whose holder had snapped off was just the thing to use as the base of a child's dolly or a hat stand. Not one scrap of fabric was ever thrown away for it was sure to find a use later.

The tiniest bit would be used for a dolls shirt or a square in a quilt. Silken threads were wound around a bobbin to save for embroidered embellishments later. A tiny bead, button or a few inches of lace would find their way to trim something special. Even using such things as horse hair, saw dust or sand as stuffing. The ingenuity and resourcefulness of these pioneering women something to be honored today. Most primitive and folk artists today earnestly try to recapture that feeling with the same pride and attention to details as our ancestral mothers. The make-do is a folk art must have and most collectors have at least a few placed in and about their homes. They are as much a part of our history as a hand made quilt or an old oil lamp.

These items bring about feelings of comfort to us somehow. You can almost envision a prairie child playing with her favorite dolly.
Or see her proud mother sitting by the fire and admiring her fine pincushion remembering where each little addition originated. Today we are content with the
decorative appeal these pieces bring to our homes. And who knows, maybe someday a story like this will be written about us.

1 comment:

Sherri/Here Goes My Life said...

I have often wondered what the meaning of make do is.Now I know.I really enjoyed this post and learned something new today.Thanks :0)Sherri