A blog about my interests, which include fabric landscapes and various and assorted other artsy pursuits and sometimes known to contain mumblings of a random nature.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Gimping along

Hah - I'll bet you have a whole other meaning for gimping floating about in your head and will be totally surprised when I show you this...

.....and this.......

 I was reminded of the gimp pieces I have in my stash.  The story behind me having this in the first place revolves around my mother, who was born in 1916.  She, unfortunately, was one of the people who contacted tuberculosis and at the age of approximately eighteen was sent away to stay at a sanitarium that was devoted to nursing care for those affected with the disease.  She spent four years there and during that time she did a lot of creative things, including making purses and belts using gimp.  The piece you see here was meant to be a belt, but when I found it in her stash it hadn't been completed.  I have since cut off pieces to use in my first white wrapping cloth and now I'm contemplating trying to unravel this (or at least some of it) to re-purpose the gimp for embroidery applications.  I'm sure my mothers' thrifty soul would be pleased!

One little side note about having had TB back in those mother often said that the patients were made to sleep outside on open verandahs (there was mosquito netting in the summer) all year round.  She said she would wake up with a covering of snow on her blankets.  It's so hard to think of her having to go through that. 

Today the quote is an Irish blessing, from an unknown author.... "May the blessing of light be upon you, light without and light within.  May the blessed sunshine shine on you and warm your heart til it glows like a great peat fire, so that the stranger may come and warm himself at it, and also a friend"


  1. Wow, that's a pretty wild experience that your mother went through. Modern medicine certainly has come a long way but it is nice to see that you're repurposing her gimp piece. Could you keep a portion of it intact and use it as decoration for a project?

  2. Hello Maryanne

    You're right - I was thinking of furniture gimp!!!
    I didn't know about any other gimp!
    What a creative person your mother was.
    That’s so sad she got TB and I can’t imagine how anyone could leave a sick person out in the cold in winter – especially when it was cold enough to be snowing….

    Wishing you a happy weekend
    Shane :)

  3. We have the remains of a TB Sanatorium here in Kentucky. Waverly Hills, I have visited there and during the tour we were shown outdoor sleeping areas and told how frost would be on the patients blankets. Waverly Hills is described as being the most haunted place on earth.
    When I think back on being the age of your mother and all the fun things that were going on....imagine living in a hospital for 4 years! I am certain she had friends there and kept herself entertained with handwork....and really when that is your life, you imagine everyone else lives that way as well. What a book you could write on such an experience!

  4. Interesting post. My mother was in a mental institution after I was born. I don't know what she went through, but she died of cancer at 74 because she was too scared to go to the doctor..fear of doctors from when she was hospitalized. I can only imagine what she went through.

    Medicine has come so far and THAT's a whole 'nother story.

    Happy Halloween,

  5. This is lovely to have this hand made connection to your Mom.

  6. I am sure your mother would be very pleased that you can re-purpose the gimp.
    And what a lovely way to get a reminder of your mother into so many different projects.

    There is an old historic hospital in Hawkes Bay (NZ) that used to be where the soldiers with bronchial (and more) problems from the wars lived, although not all survived. I have walked along the veranda where they used to sleep, just like you have described. I cannot explain the feeling and emotion that crept over me as I walked in the shadow of those souls there. It will haunt me for ever.

  7. This is beautiful! Re-purposing it (or part of it) into something treasured sounds like a lovely idea.

    Your mother's story reminds me of a man we met overseas that suffered from TB as a child while he growing up in an orphanage.


  8. you have enough gimp here to last ten lifetimes! Mu uncle had TB when I was an infant so I was immunised at an early age...

  9. Ohhhh that story about your Mother-- what a difficult and isolated life she had to endure during her illness. If only she were to live that time in today's world-- how different it would be for her. She must have been an amazing lady...

    The stitching is beautiful-- I'm not sure I could bear to rip any of it out. I wonder what she was thinking as she made those stitches---

    Thank you for your visit--your kind words-- and loving support.

  10. I can't imagine how difficult a time that would have been for your mother--sent away from her family to stay with strangers.
    The belt is a lovely piece she created.


Thank you so much for leaving comments! I appreciate you taking the time out of your busy life to talk to me. It's wonderful to know that someone is actually reading my mumblings and even more fun if I can connect with you and visit your blog.