Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Start of Something New

As befits this time of year I've taken to new beginnings. I have been having what my family kindly call "a quilting frenzy" which means I've been enjoying my holiday at home by spending more time that I have in quite a while creating behind my sewing machine.

While I have a number of things I probably "should" be stitching instead, I've been having great fun building a quilt for a friend of mine who is facing more than her fair share of health challenges at the moment. So often I feel there is little that I can really do to help her out so I decided that what she and her five year old daughter really need is a quilt to cuddle under - and that is something that clearly I'm ideally suited to work on.

I'm quick to admit that I have had help - my cat Oscar has been keeping me company and giving me ideas for the quilt. This is the tidy corner of the sewing room!
I decided that I'd include on it all the things she loves and needs right now - friends to give her lots of hugs, the casting of magic spells to speed her full recovery, lots of cups of tea,
someone to help with the more mundane household chores, which don't stop just because you don't feel 100%,
and lots of friends, including a cheerleader to keep her spirits up and a coach to push her on.
There are also going to be lots of gardens that will never need weeding.
It's all coming together nicely - what I really need now is some more dodgy weather so I can stay behind the sewing machine without any guilt or feelings that I just might be missing summer. I hope that wherever you are, you are getting the time and weather to do just what you need to set you up for the new year.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Catching up for Chrsitmas

I've been increasing feeling like I'm running a very long race this year and it is only now that I can see my way through to the finish line. That's probably because a number of things are in the process of finishing up for the year and some time is actually opening up for other activities, such as getting organised for Christmas and updating this blog. Not before time, on both counts!

First up are the two companion pieces for the sneak piece that I showed last month - playing with curves and hand stitching. I'm not so enamoured with this one but this piece feels much more successful. I have used the curved crossing lines in quilts I have made in the past and it was nice to revisit them. They always remind me that we never know what might be around the corner in life - or as they put it in a chick flick movie I watched with my daughter a few nights ago - plan to be surprised in life.

I've had a few surprises this year, some good, some not so good and a few very good. I figure my ledger is definitely on the positive side this year - can't ask more than that! One of my most recent surprises was to open the latest edition of Selvedge and find myself quoted in it. I was somewhat speechless, while my daughter squealed (as teenagers do) to find her mother quoted in the finest textile magazine there is. They had picked up some comments from a post of mine back in April. Thanks for making my day Selvedge! It's another stunning edition.

And so the preparations for Christmas have finally begun in our house - the Christmas tree is up, the largest we have ever had.... It is filled with a combination of decorations the children have made over the years that I feel sentimental about, some beautiful handmade decorations that friends and my mother have made for me and others that I have picked up over time because of their special appeal. We have a tradition in the family that the children each get to pick one new decoration to buy from the biggest Christmas shop in town - there has been much laughter about how their tastes have changed over time. Overall we think it's a fine display.

Today a few presents found their way under the tree - wrapped by my daughter for the cousins, all labelled with Christmas angels and ready for giving.

One way or another the race is coming to its end - its starting to feel a lot like Christmas! Best wishes for a peaceful holiday to you all - may it provide plenty of opportunities for laughter, fun and the replenishment of creative batteries.