I have completed my project for Craft Hope. Their current project is making rags for use in the clean up of the gulf coast oil spill. This one is near to my heart for many reasons.
These are not just any beaches being covered in oil. These are MY beaches. These are the beaches of my childhood. The beaches where I spent every weekend of every summer. These are the beaches where my Daddy dug huge holes with steps in them for me to play in. These are the beaches where my brother and I spent hours body surfing and building sand castles.
When I was a teenager, my family got a boat and we began exploring the bays and bayous around Orange Beach, Alabama. We went to hole-in-the-wall restaurants, accessible by boat, such as Pirate’s Cove. We anchored our boat off shore at the many islands in the bay. My favorite of which is seen below in the top center of the photograph:
When the oil spill first happened, it was thought that these inner areas could be protected by blocking off the pass that leads from the gulf into the bay, but I am sorry to say that these efforts did not work.
It’s my understanding that, while devastating, the damage to the beaches can eventually be cleaned up. But what bothers me is the damage to the bay and the wildlife that resides there. I am typically a very optimistic person, but whenever I think about the future of this region, I get sick. Literally, physically, sick. Nature is very resilient, but I fear that it can only take so much.
Enter Craft Hope. I honestly can’t say that this project has given me that warm, fuzzy “I’m saving the world” feeling that you might imagine. When I first read about the project, I thought: “Really? Making a few rags is really going to help? Do rags really cost that much money? Wouldn’t it be cheaper and more efficient just to buy them in bulk and ship them down there?” But for some reason, I felt a strong urge to participate anyway. I needed to DO something, no matter how small.
As I pondered how to make my rags, I began thinking about the people who would be using them. Perhaps they might like to see some pretty fabric amidst all the devastation. So, I used some of the rags to practice my quilt binding skills.
But then I began to worry that instead of being grateful for pretty fabric on their cleaning rags they would just think I was crazy, so I added patches to all of the rags to communicate what I really would like to say to the people cleaning the wildlife:
Here’s my box ready go to, complete with Dawn dish washing liquid.