Sep 08 2010

100% Cotton Quilting Fabric hanging in the fresh air.

As I remember, the clothes drier and the refrigerator are the two most burdensome draws on the home energy bills. When one is financially downsizing, reining in these two money guzzlers is the first place to start.

But whether your clothes drier is gas or electric, you will reduce expenses in two ways when you save its use for clothes drying emergencies or, as I call them, “Have-to-Have-Its.” Many people don’t realize how clothes driers shorten the life of their clothes, making them look shabby far sooner than necessary. The heat and tumbling of the drier abrades the surfaces of clothes and linens, quickly wearing them down. So, not only does it cost more to use the drier rather than a clothesline, drier use increases the clothes budget as clothes need to be more quickly replaced.

Being a fabric lover, I had quit using clothes driers except when necessary years ago. I did not do without one entirely, though, until I moved in with my Dad to take care of him in his needful years, before he left his physical body. My Dad didn’t believe in clothes driers and always thought they were a waste. We didn’t have one when I was growing up and I would marvel at the appliance when I went to visit friends. Dad had built a clothesline for mother (odd that only mother used it so I call it hers….) in the basement and it was a study apparatus, made of plumping pipe so that, except for the ephemeral cord and clothespins, it would survive a direct nuclear hit.

Hanging wash outside raises the energy of all your clothing fabric, not just quilt fabric.

Growing up sewing, I had learned to prewash fabric to get the sizings out and to set the grain of the threads. Clothes constructed with prewashed fabric always turned out better and looked less homemade. This prewash knowledge crossed over into a good habit when I started to quilt and rounded the bend into a freak-a-zoid obsession when I began to teach quilting in 1976 and opened my storefront quilting store in 1984.

And so, my obsession with air drying clothes led to an interest in the olde tyme methods of clothesline construction, the travel accessories for temporary bathtub lines and the finer points of collapsible racks for quicky living space displays of freshly washed laundry and 100% cotton quilt fabric.

As we walk into the future together on this blog, I hope you will join me in considering clothesline use. When you see how fresh your clothes are hung free in the open air, I am sure you will agree it is worth the thought, small expense and effort to change your laundry lifestyle, if you haven’t already.

To summerize. I find clotheslines a lengthy topic, h-m-m-m…you might as well, and I have planned many entries based on sharing the subtle intracacies of their use. I hope this short introduction has you on the edge of your seat.

Clark Gable’s clothesline won the Academy Award for Best Supporting String.


A Famous Clothesline quote:

“Behold the walls of Jericho. Maybe not as thick as the ones that Joshua blew down with his trumpet, but a lot safer. See, I have no trumpet. Now just to show you my heart’s in the right place, I’ll give you my best pair of pajamas. Do you mind joining the Israelites?”

Spoken by Peter (Clark Gable,) in the movie It Happened One Night, to Ellie (Claudette Colbert) after dividing their room with a blanket on a clothesline (1934). Written by Robert Riskin (1897–1955), U.S. screenwriter.

If you don’t remember this scene from the movie, It Happened One Night, then take a few moments to enjoy it by clicking play below:

It Happened One Night is available on NetFlix, and you can stream it through the Internet if you have a NetFlix account.

Here are some lines from a NetFlix user review that nicely sum up my feelings:

There is not a single flaw in Frank Capra’s classic It Happened One Night. Gable, particularly, is a joy to watch in his swashbuckling but roguish role. It is that brusque charm that foreshadows Rhett Butler two years down the road from this production. I will always highly recommend It Happened One Night to those who are fans of classic films, fans of Frank Capra’s light and romantic comedies, fans of stunning black and white photography. And–this film contains two terrific treats: Roscoe Karns as the most annoying bus passenger ever, and Alan Hale as a singing thief.

If you are emotionally attached to Clark Gable as I am, then please consider the book, Clark Gable: Biography, Filmography, Bibliography. It is a non-tabloid, scholarly approach to Clark Gable and his life that I have found to be the most complete.

To preview the book, hover your mouse over the following link:

Clark Gable: Biography, Filmography, Bibliography

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