During the 2012 Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival, Shink’s apron exhibit at the Four Fathers Memorial Library in Amherst offered vibrant testimony to the role of aprons in the lives of women across many generations. And while technically speaking, these aprons did cover the front of clothes as the dictionary suggests, they came in multiple styles and hues - with and without embellishment. They ranged from recycled flour sacks to fine fabrics with embroidery and ruffles – a reflection of both the diversity of their makers and the changing times in which they lived.
Diane's exhibit has moved on but all is not lost – for ‘everything old is new again’ – and aprons are making a comeback. A recent article about Diane’s collection, written by Susan Schwartz last February in the National Post, notes that McCall’s now has at least fifteen apron patterns, there is now an apron website called “Tie One On”, and an apron magazine called “Apronology” with the mission of crafting ‘aprons with attitude’.
Diane's exhibit inspired me to make an apron for myself and some for others as well. The nice thing about aprons is they are a simple garment - even the most creatively-challenged can make a reasonable facsimile. So this year, several friends and family members got aprons and agendas for Christmas. The aprons varied in style and the fabrics ranged from denim to chintz, sporting everything from footballs to flowers. Like Diane's vintage collection, they reflected their intended owners - what they enjoy and where they are in their lives.