Not a Doggone Blog

It’s a funny thing with me that I consider good enough an agreeable standard when applied to everything in my life, except writing. With writing, I work very hard to make it worth anyone’s while to read. And so it is with blogging. I visit many blogs and marvel at the consistency with which some post entertaining or contemplative narrative. The flip side is this New Yorker cartoon

Somewhere in between is where I wish to be, but to even get to that level, I must blog more often and let go of blogging as real writing, compromising with blogs that are “good enough.”

Good enough…a nice new mind-set that lasted as long as it took to write that sentence, for I simply and positively cannot just slap some blog into place. I need to research and assemble and take photos and fine tune those and then write with a purpose. Blogging more often, however, is a goal to which I’ll strive!
This blog shares something so unique, I’m not sure I’ll ever come upon it again. Three years ago, I received a handkerchief box and inside, wrapped in tissue was a little pink apron and a poem:

The accompanying letter explained that the little apron was used as a fundraising activity in 1929 amongst the women members of St. Patrick’s Garryoween church.

Folded in the apron’s pocket was this poem. Typed on onionskin, the verse provided instruction to the receiver on how she was to fill the apron’s pocket with pennies.

This little apron and verse was passed from one woman to the next. Despite the times being difficult, when it was her turn to measure her waistline inch by inch, she filled the pocket and made do with less that week, in order to contribute to keeping the neighborhood parish open and the priest in place. This, at a time when a loaf of bread was nine cents.

When Sister Paula sent the apron, I was into the sixth year of my apron journey, and never had I seen anything like this little apron and its poem. It is an artifact of our history as women, and of such import, I framed it in a manner that left it portable, so I could share it as I continued to travel throughout America.
In the three years hence, the little fundraiser apron has been viewed by multiple hundreds, and no one has ever responded to it with recognition. Which led to me believe it was unique, and the brainstorm of a group of immigrant women back in 1929.
Then a few months ago, I was browsing through an antique mall, and in a seller’s booth, my eyes lit on a plastic bag that held a little carpenter-like apron…with a folded piece of paper in its pocket.
And when carefully unfolded, the note revealed the identical poem to the one in the pocket of the pink fundraiser apron!!!!! So a bit of the mystery is solved – Sister Paula’s firsthand knowledge of the little pink apron and poem dates the little blue apron to 1929, too. And from her letter, we know both aprons were a fundraising activity among women. But from where did this idea germinate? Ah, the fun of discovery, the joy of sharing and the delight of never knowing what apron, or story, is still to be experienced.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog entry as much as I enjoyed putting it together. I’ve meant to tell y’all about the little fundraising apron, and so I finally have.
In appreciation of your reading this blog, Andrews McMeel, my wonderful publisher, has provided a copy of the newly released Cake Wrecks for me to giveaway. To enter, just leave a

comment. A random number picker will choose the winner next Wednesday morning.

xxea
Tie One On…an apron, of course!

29 comments

  1. Oh wow, I think I remember my grandmother talking about a project like that at their church in Minnesota! I’ll have to ask Mom if she remembers. I love the note, and oh how wonderful how these women would scrimp and save to make the parish run.

  2. I have read your blog for a long time. Your blog was one of my inspirations to begin my own. I know it’s no where the par of yours, but I aspire. I create new aprons from vintage textiles and repurpose or recreate new aprons from old. I love to wonder who once owned the apron, where were they from, What were they like? I love this bit of history you’ve been able to provide.
    Melody@Brown Gingham Creations

  3. Loved this post about the fundraising aprons. If done today, it would be dollars instead of pennies, right? Please enter me in the Cake Wrecks drawing. Thanks and hugs, Cathy

  4. I loved your presentation at Ladybug Hill Quilts in Colorado Springs, and I enjoy keeping up with you through your blog. I remember that you talked about this little quilt in your presentation to us.

  5. This is one of my favorite posts! I absolutely adore finding history and figuring out how it is personal to the people it is connected to. Sometimes I get lucky and it is connected to me. For example, I recently moved into an 1880s building and found some boxes left behind of vintage clothing in the attic, including a possible art deco chiffon dress! My plan is to use the info I find to try and retrace the history of the dress, if I can. I actually blogged about it- http://tartdeco.blogspot.com/2009/10/vintage-dream.html.

    P.S. Thanks for the giveaway πŸ™‚

  6. What a great fundraising idea, and I’m a huge fan of Cake Wrecks! I can’t count the times I’ve just cried with laughter over her posts.

    boshroyspam[at]yahoo[dot]com

  7. Wow, I can’t imagine that being consdiered “PC” today, paying by the waistline! I for one would certainly pay more than my fair share. πŸ™‚ Thanks for the chance to win that fun book!

  8. That is one wonderful story of making do and helping others! Thanks for sharing.

    P.S. I always enjoy your blogging and find it to be well-written and thoughtful.

  9. That’s such a neat little piece of history – thanks for sharing it with us! Regarding the cake book – I just saw this yesterday in the bookstore and wished I could bring it home to show my husband – Hilarious!!

  10. I am so glad that I found you! I saw your site on Jane’s Apron, and took a chance. What a lovely post, and your writing is certainly worth reading!! Well done, I am hooked and will be back to visit again, and again.
    Elise

  11. Good morning! So glad I found your blog! I bought your fabulous apron book a few years ago & love it! I’ve been wishing to make some aprons for a while & that just got revved up again this week, so I started looking around & found you! Thanks for your inspriration, your great button that I just snatched for my blog and your book.

    Hope you don’t mind, I’d like to link up your blog to mine later today. I’m a vintage-style card maker, and 2 of the cards I’m posting today are apron-themed and I’d like to chat about what you do a little, as well.

    I’ll be back often–love what you’re doing!

  12. just started my gardening blog a few months ago, and I feel the same way. It has to be consistent, qulaity writing or I just won’t do it!
    My daughter (21 year old college student who likes to entertain and wear aprons)will love you blog!

  13. What a wonderful treasure to have received. It shows the spirit of people who lived in very hard times but had the desire to join together to accomplish something important in their community. Thank you for sharing!

  14. Enjoyed the ‘history’ story of the fundraiser aprons. I just purchased a chicken scratch apron and do wonder who made it and why it wound up for sale. Just finished several aprons for gifts.

  15. I have had more “cake wrecks” than I can count! This should be a fun book to read. I laughed out loud seeing the pictures on the New York Times article. Thanks for letting us know about this upcoming book!

  16. Enjoying your newsletter and blog. I know a pastry chef who would just love to see the cake book! Thank you for the effort you put out to share. I enjoy it so much.
    Nanc

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