"Custody of the senses" is a phrase you sometimes see in older Catholic books. It refers to the practice of controlling the senses (most commonly the eyes) in order to keep oneself from straying into temptation. I suppose I should have been practicing it yesterday.
It was Ash Wednesday, so my son and I went to 8:00 Mass just to kick off the season, so to speak. I was kneeling devoutly when suddenly I became aware of a beautiful red plaid shirt being worn by a young boy a few pews ahead of me. And suddenly, my mind was no longer focused where it ought to be. Instead, it had zeroed in on that plaid fabric and how it might be used in a quilt.
Among those of us who have been working on the Carolina Crossroads Mystery Quilt, salvaging fabric from men's shirts is all the rage. My own quilt is being made from stash, but Bonnie Hunter (our Fearless Leader) made hers from shirts she bought at thrift stores. So plaids are a major design element in her quilt. (See a close up of it here.) And she had plenty more shirt fabric left for her Super Bowl Bargello quilt which you can see here.
I love thrift stores -- though these days I limit myself to looking because there is absolutely nothing I need anymore. But can a quilter ever have too much fabric? Actually, I've been on a No-Buy fabric diet for a couple of years in an effort to use up the fabric I have already. But the urge to go thrifting for men's shirts is like a siren's song. It must be the hunter-gatherer instincts of our foremothers coming to the surface.