If the internet had corporeal substance, I would kiss its feet.
Here's why. Back in the 1970s, when I was deep inside the jaws of my earth mother fantasy, I used to borrow The Mother Earth News from the library. Some of the articles led me down perilous paths, such as the one that advocated feeding poison ivy to goats and then drinking the milk in order to become immune to the plant's itch-producing substance, or the one that inspired me to carve wooden spoons.
But the most fascinating to me was entitled "Use Old Pantyhose As Quilt Stuffing." The author showed you how to make little square bags from leftover fabric, stuff them with old pantyhose--first cutting off the waistband and saving it for staking tomatoes--and sew them together into a cozy comforter.
In those days I used to order pantyhose by the gross, in black, taupe, navy and ecru. And what with running out to milk the goats on my way to the college where I taught, and doing a spot of weeding when I got back from class without bothering to change, I was always getting runs and snags.
Although I had loads of old hose, I didn't have much time. I never made the quilt, but the fantasy of it stayed with me, as compelling as when I had first read about it. That quilt seemed like the perfect combination of art and frugality--you put to use an item that would otherwise sit in a landfill for eons, and ended up with an object that was both useful and full of rustic charm.
The years passed, and every once in a while I would think about the pantyhose quilt. Did every square require an entire pantyhose? How exactly did you assemble the squares?
Then recently in an idle moment I googled "stuffed quilts." There were many sites with instructions, but none used discarded pantyhose, and the little bags had tucks in them to make room for extra stuffing, so that the quilts ended up looking like bubble wrap.
I decided to try my luck on The Mother Earth News site. I typed in "Pantyhose Quilt," pressed "search," and the article came winging out of my past, as fresh and exciting as when I first read it in 1979: http://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/old-pantyhose-quilt-stuffing-zmaz79mazraw.aspx?PageId=1#ArticleContent
Isn't the internet a wonder?
So, you ask, have I started on my quilt yet? Alas, no. For one thing, it's been over a decade since I threw away my last pair of pantyhose. And, for another, I am not a quilter, although I would love to be one, to sit for hours peacefully cutting and stitching and stuffing, fully immersed in my task, without a pressing thought in my head. But that last bit always gets me into trouble, and seven minutes into an ostensibly calming, mindless task I'm running through the house looking for my Kindle.
No, I'll never make my pantyhose quilt. I will read the article once more, figuring out measurements and wondering if old towels would work in lieu of hose. Then I will hit "Delete" and consign the pantyhose quilt to my attic of unfulfilled fantasies, where it will pop up every couple of years and tempt me with its vision of both hominess and sustainability.