Thursday, 22 November 2012

Giving thanks....

The Thanksgiving holiday is an American tradition I think we would all do well to adopt.  I don't necessarily mean the whole overeating of turkey and pumpkin pie bit - let's face it in less than a month we'll already be eating our own body weight in turkey!

But the spirit of the occasion is something we could all take time to sit back and think about, and in spite of whatever situation we find ourselves in, it is great to remember the good things we have.

After horror of losing my mum, it's hard to be thankful for anything.  But I am thankful, for the facts that I had her in my life for the time I did, that she made my dad so happy and that she gave me four wonderful sisters, and, indirectly, a niece and nephew I adore.  

I'm also thankful for the doctor who happened across her accident in the minutes after it happened, who stopped and helped my mum and stayed with her in the ambulance as far as the first hospital so she wasn't alone.

And, strange as this may seem, I'm thankful the other person involved wasn't more hurt.

This quilt is the first proper one I made - it's not necessarily colours I would now choose, but it was made from bunting I made for her 60th birthday party.  I had to find a pattern I could cut from 19" isoceles triangles!  Each square was hand-pieced, then all machined together and I hand quilted it.  I have a wonderful photo of it, gracing a bed in her home, with a message telling me she would treasure it forever.  It took me two years, and she deserved every single second I spent on it.

I'm also thankful for my other family and friends, who have been the most amazing support over the last few days.  I don't know how I would have got through it without them.  I also really appreciate all the lovely messages I had from people all over the world, many of whom I've never met but who read this blog, wishing mum well, and keeping her in their prayers.

And, lastly, I'm very thankful for my lovely partner, Patrick, and Daisy and Bella, my furry child substitutes / book ends, who've looked after me brilliantly, and let's face it, are the perfect excuse for gratuitous dog photos.

So, what are you all thankful for?

Friday, 16 November 2012

in the (almost) words of W H Auden

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,

Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come. 

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message She Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves. 

She was our North, our South, our East and West,
Our working week and our Sunday rest,
Our noon, our midnight, our talk, our song;
We thought that love would last for ever: we were wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

15.10.49 - 15.11.12

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

A sense of perspective....

You know, I've spent a lot of time lately worrying about losing businesses, getting jobs, money and the mundane stuff of life. 

Last night, we nearly lost our lovely mum who was involved in a serious car accident who, as we speak, is fighting for her life in a medically induced coma in a spinal specialist hospital in the North.  She has horrific, multiple and serious injuries, she has had two lots of surgery today, each lasting many hours, and now she is still not stable, but we have been sent home to get some sleep as we've all been up all night.

Luckily, I have 4 wonderful sisters and we are all supporting each other and mum's partner Ken, as we pick our way through a medical minefield, and do our best with positive thinking.... because it's all we can do. 

So please forget any finger crossing for job interviews.  I desperately need all your prayers and hopes and positive thoughts while we clean ourselves up, get some sleep and go back tomorrow to hope for some good news, some small glimmer of improvement and the belief that one day we will bring her home, fit and well again.

Mum, we all love you, and we need you back. xxxx

Sunday, 11 November 2012

We will remember them....

If I should die, think only this of me;
That there's some corner of a foreign field
that is for ever England.  There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England's breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts of England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

The Soldier
Rupert Brooke

Friday, 9 November 2012

Halfway there...

Kelsey Sews

There's been quite a bit of upheaval and change in my life in the last few weeks, so I'm not as far along with this as I'd hoped!  Still, here goes for the 50 day link up:

1) design & make a cd holder using the Melody Miller records fabric - ha, great start, no progress

2) Make double-sided quilt for niece Megan - finished, loved and delivered to Megan, only 5 days late!

3) use the brown batik Charlotte challenged me with - 2 projects in mind for this. I used the tote bag we got goodies in at Retreat and made the batik into a tree trunk.  The leaves are Innocent Crush.  Project two still on the back burner.

4) Make an Amy Butler weekender bag using 'Newquay' fabric ermmmmm...... I still want to do this, but probably now a QAYG version if I can pluck up the courage!  Will merge with item 15!

5) make the Christmas wonky log cabin into a mini quilt ermmmm....

6) finish the double circle flying geese cushion cover from FQ Retreat will NOT be doing this - have had several attempts, getting it all out, reading the instructions, and I can't get my head round it, so this one will be scrapped...

7) make mug tree / Christmas cards  planned for next weekend

8) make 3 thank-you popsicle mug rugs another ermmmm....

9) finish campers travel sewing kit good grief, this is getting repetitive!!

10) make 2 x hopscotch quilts with jelly rolls guess what....

11) finish Maison de Garance quilt for Christmas gift next priority - the top's done, the backing's ready, just need to save enough pennies to buy the wadding and then get it quilted and bound.

12) make 4 x Oh Fransson! bags for Christmas gifts 3 made, but now had other ideas for these recipients, so will change this to 'make 4 Christmas gifts' - youngest is getting one of these pouches, the others are having other things.

13) make a notebook cover for Christmas gift well, I've got the fabric and the notebook, just need to get the two together!

14) make a duvet cover for the spare bedroom out of IKEA fabric yes, well this was just daft thinking I'd get this done before Christmas!

15) make a QAYG version of Weekender bag using Tula Pink fabric.  see item 4.....

16) various bee commitments sadly, because of the aforementioned upheavals and changes, I've had to drop out of the bee.  I've has no real sewing time since the middle of last month, so I just couldn't guarantee I could honour these commitments.

17) edited to add: finish raw circles quilt!!! Yay!! All done, hand quilted and bound and just gorgeous.  Currently over the back of the sofa where the feline in residence is also in love with it and spends most evenings asleep on it!

So, four out of 17, with two scrapped and two becoming one - not the best first 50 days eh?  Better get stuck in over the next 40 or so.....

Thursday, 1 November 2012

November, already.....

Well, October was some month!  It started with a two-week holiday in Cornwall where I spent a good percentage of the time looking out of rainy windows while I stitched away at various projects, and it's ended with some major steps towards life changes for us. Phew, busy times!

Anyway, your positive thoughts and crossed fingers did a brilliant job earlier in the week, I am now less stressed and hopefully taking big strides to a happier life. So thank you for your lovely, friendly support.  But more on that another time...

So, in October, I got this lot done

Not quite as much off my 100 day hustle list as I'd have liked, but a few bits and pieces.  Seems like I'm going to have to roll my sewing sleeves up now and get stuck in before it's too late.  Christmas is galloping towards me and i'll have less free time now, so will have to make the most of every spare second.  

Linking up with Lily's quilts and 
Lily's Quilts