Submitted by Dianne McD.
We’re still on the road. Today completes our 7th week. With all that is going on, we’ve basically planted ourselves and our RV in an Arizona desert on BLM land to “shelter-in-place”. There aren’t many other RV’s here and we’re spaced quite a distance apart. We’re safe and only go to town for supplies when we absolutely need them.
But being on BLM land also means that we’re dry camping. We are not hooked up to water, electricity, or sewer. Seasoned RVers call it “boon-docking”. Our trailer is self-contained, so boon-docking is not a problem for us; we just watch our water usage and try to protect our batteries by not using all the lights in the place. We also have solar panels that recharge our batteries as long as we have some sun. Some people hate boon-docking, but we don’t mind it because it usually means it’s never crowded where we are.
In preparation for this trip, I packed three hand-sewing projects to take along. My plan for one project was to use English Paper Piecing to make the MPS 2020 Challenge Quilt. (You can find out more about the challenge here.) I had my 20 fabrics and an idea. However, when I was getting down to starting it, EPP wasn’t going to work like I wanted it to. So now what?
I decided I would do the same top, but would use curved piecing instead. I own a book by Vikki Pignatelli that is all about curved piecing using a hem stitch on the sewing machine. (The book is at home and I can’t remember the name of it.) I’ve made a couple of quilts using that method and thought it might work for this project.
But because I don’t have a sewing machine with me, I’m going to have to do it by hand. No problem, I’ll try applique’. I have one of those tiny irons with me, but I don’t have electricity because we’re boon-docking. I brought some freezer paper along, just in case. But I can’t use it because I can’t use the iron. I am having to make-do. I’m finding out that I can finger press pretty well, and with the help of many pins, I can get the piece sewn in place.
Making-do is defined as “to use what one has on hand or to persevere through non-ideal circumstances.” Isn’t making-do how quilting got started in the first place? Blankets were needed but were either unavailable or not affordable. So quilts were put together using cloth from old clothing, flour sacks or whatever they could find. If quilters didn’t have a sewing machine, they stitched by hand.
In today’s quilting world, there is all manner of fabric, books, and equipment available to us so we don’t have to make-do. But sometimes, I think we may be held back from trying something because we don’t have the correct gadget for the project. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m out of practice of making-do.
I’m not 100% sure what I’m doing on this 2020 challenge, but I’m doing it anyway. Maybe it will turn out and maybe it won’t; but I’m going to give it a go and see what happens. They say necessity is the mother of invention; I say boon-docking (especially during a public health crisis) is the father of making-do…
Have you ever had to make-do? Were you successful? Tell us about it in the comment section below.