…of blogville for years. I love reading lots of other magnificent blogs but have always avoided starting my own. I don’t really have enough time and I’m rubbish at taking photographs, but the urge to share just becomes too great doesn’t it?
What is it about quilting in particular that makes it such a social pastime? I’ve recently joined theNew York Beauty Quilt Along (my first) and I am watching ladies (and maybe a few gents) all over the world stitching away and producing beautiful pieces of work. I think it takes one quilter/embroiderer/knitter/etc to truly appreciate the work of another. It wasn’t too many years ago that these skills were passed from mother to daughter but for lots of different reasons that doesn’t happen so much anymore.
I was taught by my Mum and she was taught by her Mum and Dad before that (they were both tailors for Eton College), so my siblings and I were always immersed in a house where the clatter of the old Singer sewing machine, the smell of jam or something else delicious bubbling on the stove (mind you, it was hankies being boiled up in a saucepan that sticks with me – yuk!) were part of everyday life.
When a sheet became too worn to use, Mum would split it into panels, repair the rips and put it back together somehow so the seams didn’t leave impressions in your back overnight. She would scour the hedgerows and bring back bowls of lovely blackberries, elderberries and sloes that she would magically turn into pies, preserves and strange bottles of liquid that only came out at Christmas. There was always homemade cake for tea, except on Tuesdays when she went shopping and came back with a swiss roll (we loved Tuesdays!) and our tea came out of a teapot. I always wore handmade dresses, coats and jumpers – and knickers believe it or not. All of these crafts were passed on to us but, sadly, life is different now and few of us have the time to give that old-fashioned homemade upbringing to our children. Although I can still make a pretty decent cake.
Now Mum is long departed and I really miss the advice that was always on hand when I didn’t know how to alter a dress pattern or hold a crochet hook the right way…and this is where I think this abundance of lovely blogs is so wonderful. People are sharing their knowledge and creativity so generously. Technology has changed our lives immensely, especially in the last 20 years, and love it orhate it, it has given us the ability to communicate with others all over the world in a way that has never been possible before. You could be stuck in the middle of the desert and still find someone willing to show you how to sew a French seam or stuff a soft toy (does anyone remember gonks?).
……….now, will someone show me how put this on my blog……