Ahhh, the Smell of an Old Book...
When I started this blog years ago one of the first topics I discussed was my love of old books. Not just any old books though, books pertaining to women's sphere of work, i.e. domestic chores, cooking, household management, sewing...with my particular interest in any publications prior to the mid 1960's. I suppose I find books on this subject before the 70's really interesting because it's so foreign to my time of growing up. I was born in the 60's, was a preteen in the 70's and a high schooler in the 80's (damn, I'm showing my age...). Over the years I've accumulated a respectable amount of old books covering women's domestic life. I just love them and they have a pride of place in both the French secretary in my living room and on display shelving behind my couch.
What do I love about them? Just about everything really. I love the style of writing during those periods. It was so formal in its structure yet filled freely with descriptive adjectives "This smart frock of iridescent blue and peach, is based on the shirt style, can be worn equally well for casual day wear or accessorized appropriately for evening entertaining."
No one writes like that anymore!
I love the way how any problem had a simple domestic solution. If your husband is stressed after a long day at work, handing him a cocktail as soon as he gets home while sitting in his favorite easy chair soaking in the stress free home environment puts him in the right frame of mind for consuming the three course meal you have slaved all day to make him. This will take away his woes. If your children are unruly, make them a nice new outfit and bake them a cake. That will fix the problem. If you feel depressed, well there's nothing like a trip to the hairdressers and a new frock (in your husband's favourite color) that won't work wonders for your psyche. As long as a woman had these books in her reference library no problem was too big or too small to tackle in the table of contents. I suppose what I love most is the innocence and nativity in these old books in the belief that all problems were solvable through domestic bliss.
Perhaps quilt books today are out modern day replacements for our foremothers Better Homes and Gardens, Betty Crocker and Readers Digest domestic bliss books. Feeling depressed? Make yourself a Kaffee Fassett color filled quilt to cheer up your room. Children driving you crazy? An eye-spy quilt is just the ticket. Husband having work problems? Make him a manly quilt that's just the right size to fit in his briefcase (or man bag) so he can bring it into the office and smother his boss with it in style - problem solved.
Bet you never thought quilting could be so therapeutic....