When news reached the Lady-of-the house that a certain married couple was expecting a baby she was excited. She can recall the days when the young wife was a girl, the days of sleepovers with her daughters, watching “Pride & Prejudice” in PJ’s while munching on buttered popcorn.
At the same time the Lady-of-the-house heard news of a baby, she had just viewed the Homestead Blessings sewing DVD featuring the West ladies. On it they demonstrate how to make a rag quilt. She had set her sights on one day making such a cute and practical thing. Now news of the baby pushed her over the edge. That week she was in the local variety store fingering the fabric.
“I may-as-well make three,” she told herself. This notion drifted to mind and she was aware of its source. It sprang from the influence of her long distance friend, a homeschool mother of six who has learned to be efficient. This friend lives by a code of multiplicity. Her practical and loving service to her family made an impression on the Lady-of-the-house who, by this time, certainly had enough enthusiasm for making a multiplicity of rag quilts. “It does feel good to have something made in readiness she said to the Man-of-the-house who was accustomed to her old fashioned phrases, “something for other babies.”
“What other babies?” he asked.
“Oh, there’s bound to be other babies,” she replied, not exactly satisfying the point.
This was because the notion of multiplicity was swirling around in her head. If a homemaker can make lasagna, she can double the recipe and make a second for the freezer. If she can make a loaf of zucchini bread she can just as easily make four loaves, freeze two, or wrap one up with a green bow to share with a widowed neighbor. If she can bottle multiple jars of raspberry jam, couldn’t she also sew multiple quilts if they are small?
The project was turning out to be a frugal one. She dug out from a closet of boxes, the cotton batting she was given years before by a friend who had been spring-cleaning her closet. The yards of flannel at the variety store were half price. She purchased no thread because she decided to use up whatever pastel colored thread she had on hand.
In her attempts at multiplicity, she thought that if she can cut squares she could just as easily cut three batches. If she can machine quilt a stack of flannel sandwiches she can quilt three stacks. While she was sewing together rows of quilt sandwiches for one quilt, she may-as-well sew rows for two more quilts.
After the seams of a rag quilt are clipped carefully with scissors it is to be washed and dried to turn the seams into fringe. The Lady-of-the-house is taking her time with this summer project. Two are near to completion. One is finished. Opening the door of the clothes dryer was the “moment of truth.” Would the rag quilt really form fringe?
Fresh from the dryer it was warm, soft, and yes, it was adequately fringed. She stood alone in the laundry room and gave the little quilt a kind of hug in agreement with Vicki West who exclaims in a Tennessee accent on the DVDs that everything homemade is either: “so wonderful, so cute, so beautiful, so sweet” or “so darling.” “Darling” was the exclamation the Lady-of-house.
That afternoon she enjoyed a glass of sun tea - one of three herbal flavors that had been steeping on the lawn since noontime. Simplicity has a place but multiplicity also has its rewards.
In what way have you invested in the code of multiplicity? In what way would you like to?