Hanging in the Breeze

One of my favorite memories growing up on the farm was playing in the back yard around the clothes line. Someone put a lot of work into that line. The end posts, one on each end of the line, were thick metal pipes with a cross bar ‘T’ at the top. Hooks on the T were used to loop the cotton clothesline rope to make the hanging rows. The pipes were sunk in concrete — they had to be sturdy because I recall climbing on them frequently. Every couple of years my sisters and I had to repaint the posts to keep them shiny white or silver, depending on my mother’s whim.

When Mom hung up sheets, we’d hide inside the drapes and run between the rows. There is nothing better than the smell of sheets and clothes that have dried in the sun. Mom is still hanging clothes out on that line — even in the wintertime. As long as there is sunshine, she’s got her clothes on the line.

The next best thing about clothes on the line is the clothespins. Mom hoards hers like a miser. The old fashioned pinch kind with the really tight spring are her favorite. A while back we were wandering through a tag sale and I spotted a beautiful antique clothespin holder full of pins. Score! The bag had a few rough spots, but I was intrigued with the design.


I found this laundry pin bag at a tag sale. Mom wanted those good antique spring-loaded clothespins. I wanted the bag for a quilt.

I discovered that the Champion Clothespin Bag Company  was based in Minneapolis, MN.

After I took the bag apart (and gave mom her clothespins) I put the panel on my design wall while I contemplated its future. A couple of months later I felt confident enough to trim it so that the torn bits were eliminated.


Trimmed panel — all the messy bits are gone. Measures 10.5 inches square

Next I added some borders. I took my inspiration from the cool graphic — I tried to mimic that funky mid-century modern vibe.


Skinny orange-red accent and blue checkerboard border

I had to get outside of my color comfort zone for this design. The tea-stained checkerboard squares match the panel fabric. I’m usually a stark white kind of girl.


The full checkerboard border

I added some wide borders and some corner pinwheels to remind me of the wind at the farm, then sent if off to the quilter. She did a beautiful job.  I am so happy with this quilt! It’s hanging in my laundry room, far away from the sunshine and fresh air <sigh>.

I’ll post this Laundry quilt pattern soon. If you’re interested in making one of your own, check on-line for funky vintage clothespin bag options.


5 thoughts on “Hanging in the Breeze

  1. tierneycreates says:

    Oh my grandmother in Pennsylvania had a clothesline I played in/around when we visited in the summer! I remember hiding in the sheets that were hanging or pretending they were a fort. Great memories. I enjoyed this post and I love the wall hanging with the clothes pin bag – brilliant!

  2. Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats says:

    Those pinch style clothespins are not made as well anymore. I remember hanging laundry out on the line, too, when I was young and when I had the first couple of children and then I couldn’t keep up after that. Your mini quilt is beautiful. A true work of art. Thanks for sharing the link on my blog.

    • sandradny says:

      You are right about the pinch-type pins not being as good. My mother and I cruise tag sales and estate sales looking for the good ones! Thank you for the compliments. I just love that mini quilt!

  3. Cindy Weisert says:

    I wish I could share a pic with you if me, as a small girl, trying to reach that very same clothespin bag that my mom always had hanging on her clothesline. That brings back the most lovely memories! I absolutely love your beautiful quilt! Wonderful memories of clothes hanging on the line.

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