Jan Ward

Jan Ward
Edgewood, WA
Homemade, Tacoma stories

Occasionally I go to the Goodwill (by the Pound) on Pine Street in Tacoma to search for arty materials. The place is a puzzlement. The loud sounds coming from machinery in the back room is deafening. The shouting of commands to patrons often verges on rude. Then there’s the pawing and tossing through the bins by the gloved and gloveless. I am always overwhelmed by the sheer volume of stuff but it is especially poignant when it appears to be the contents of someone’s life simply dumped out intact into a bin.

Today, May 21, 2014 I spotted a quilt top peeking out of the tangled clothing. I snatched it up as you would a child running into traffic. I was surprised by my reaction. It was so strong. The quilt top shouldn’t have been there. It was out of context. The stars had been lovingly hand stitched from fabric worn thin from a previous life’s use, unlike so many quilts of today made from new cloth. I looked for clues to tell me more. I had so many questions. I did not have personal need for it, but I just couldn’t let it lay there to be tossed from one bin to another with disregard or worse yet be bailed up and shipped to some unknown destination. Even though it isn’t a complete blanket surely being bronzed would be a better fate?