- When I was younger - so much younger than today (name that tune) - I wanted to be a doctor (I also wanted to be an actress for a while, I used to parade in my grandmother's fur coat around the sitting room imagining I was a famous and glamourous actress) (I also went through other phases: architect, ambassador, intrepreter... ah the power of dreaming was stronger in those days). Anyway, I wanted to be a doctor. A surgeon to be exact. Somebody gave me Christian Barnard's biography and I was hooked.
Life didn't turned out quite that way - and that's ok by me - but I've always been fascinated by the human body; I'm not squeamish and that is just as well given I have a child who breaks bones every other month or so (touch wood here).
I'm not sure where I'm going with this, but bear with me.... ah yes, I'm reading a very interesting book at the moment: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. If you're looking for something different, and you're interested in medicine/ethics/human stories, this is the book for you.
On the same subject I was totally bowled over be the Genome Quilts (Val these are for you!). First saw them here. What an amazing idea. Makes me want to try it... The artist allocate a particular block to each gene and then followed the genetic sequence to make a quilt. Genius. Wouldn't it be amazing to know your own DNA and make YOUR individual quilt? Seriously cool stuff.
- My kids last night ate giant cous-cous. Might be ok/normal/everyday stuff for you, but we're talking a serious event around here. New food? Wow. I might even get them to try aubergine in the next 12 months at this rate!
I love aubergines. Eggplants. Melanzane.
- I found this gorgeous Swedish vintage cup (Rorstrand) in a charity shop. Nobody is allowed to touch it.
- I found this lamp deep deep into the garage. I'd forgotten all about it.
- I used to store (hide) my ironing pile in a huge basket. Not a good idea because it could hold so much stuff it was depressing to look at and tackle. So I bought a smaller one (and prettier too) with the idea that it would get full quicker and I'd do my ironing more often.
Ha Ha. The problem is NOT with the basket size.
- No 2 has worn No 1 down and they agreed to swap rooms. Do you think running away from home would be cowardly of me?
- What has two legs and bleeds a lot? Half a dog.
(Apologies, it comes from living with three boys....)
All my children (and their cousins) share the same middle name. It's a family name of Scottish origin of a clan with his own tartan.
Whilst a little amount of research into the family's past hasn't exactly revealed the true connections, we all agree it's a lovely name and a lovely tartan. At my wedding one of Mr M's uncle came in a suit entirely made out of this. I can assure you all the Italian guests still remember him!
When No 1 was born I and still didn't own a sewing machine I purchased a yard of the material and of course it sat for a while on my shelf. Ten years, three houses later... I finally used it.
No 2 had been quick on the marks and claimed the basket weave/Ikea fabric quilt for himself, but the other two are still using those ghastly (but annoyingly soft) fleecy blanket they'd had since they were little. Time to do something about it.
This quilt came together very quickly with no planning at all. I just sat at my table and literally start sewing. I knew I wanted to use the tartan as the big centre piece of log cabinish blocks... but nothing else was in my mind. This lack of preparation resulted in running out of black fabric, then black thread, then wadding. It was a weird feeling doing something so spontaneous, normally I agonise about the size of the blocks, and cutting the fabric etc. The colours too are a very different palette from what I normally use... but it has become on of me favourite 'productions'
I wanted to make something a bit more 'grown-up. And 'boyish'.
No 1 likes it and uses all the time... and just in case you wondered why on earth is that creased...
Especially when you're surrounded by boxes. When you can't empty the boxes because your bookcase is not up yet and you can't put your bookcase up because there's no room to do that with all the boxes around. (Yeah, you figure that one out please)
Anyway, her kitchen table is my old studying desk, rescued by her from some garage or other. I chose it. It's old. And one day I'd like to find a way to bring it here. In the meantime it's surrounded by boxes in my sister's new flat.
So you see, they both deserved something new.
These lovely fabric have been in the stash for a while and they're soft and pretty and I know they will go well with my sister's things. Once they're out of the boxes that is!!
The runner is modelled here by my coffee table... but Sis, it's on its way to you already!
Girls like No 2. He's handsome and likes to put on a good show for them... (god help me in a few years time). As a consequence he often gets invited to girls' birthday party. He pretends to mind, but we all know he doesn't.
This fact allows me to indulge in sessions of unashamedly pink quilting and sewing, and let's face it, I don't get many of those around here!
This pillow will be handed over this afternoon
to a sweet sweet girl (who's also in my knitting club at school).
I'm just hoping No 2 will behave himself at dinner surrounded by pretty ladies in party mood.
(All the fabric came from my stash, the front is quilted on some thin wadding to give it more body. The back has an envelope closure) (The stash appears untouched still, I swear it's self-generating; I've been of a fabric diet since ... forever...)
Something to do with my tendons and too much knitting/crochet etc. So guess what? No more knitting and crochet for me for a while.
It's hard not to do anything. I find watching tv without keeping my hands busy especially frustrating! I'm so close to finishing a cardigan too...
The only thing I've been able to do is the only thing I can't show you. I was asked by Sew Hip to design a small baby quilt and it's almost ready to post to them... Exciting but, again, frustrating I am not able to share!! I'll let you know when it'll be published, at the moment I don't know either.
One thing I've let myself do - slowly and not too much of - is a little bit of hand sewing:
Hexagons and English piecing have been on my list for a while and it's been fun rummaging through my stash of scraps.
Hand sewing is a totally different ballgame though. Extremely satisfying and frustratingly slow at the same time. (Or maybe it's just me).
I love the portability of the project too even if it does require a lot of preparation beforehand!
Will I create a huge piece? probably not (but who knows).
On a totally different subject I finished reading Andrea Levy's "the long song". Beautiful. I totally recommend it. Beautifully written, at times funny, excruciatingly sad, brutal, tender...
Tomorrow is the day of my test - keep your fingers crossed for me.
I whizzed around all morning re-building the house and trying to make it look like it'd been take over by squatters. We haven't had the most relaxing of half-term weeks. Illness, bad weather, cranky children. It wasn't brilliant.
After a few hours I sat down at my desk and knew that for my sanity's sake and everybody else around me later on this afternoon, I had to do something. Make something. Sew something. Anything.