What is it about being a mum that suddenly awakens a desire to start embarking on creative ‘home made’ projects?
When I was halfway through my pregnancy I decided that I wanted to make a patchwork quilt for my Pickle. I thought of it as something warm and cosy that would make him feel loved and safe. I imagined that he would treasure this quilt for years to come and one day maybe he would want to pass it down to his children. All of a sudden these little creative projects take on an incredibly sentimental value and feel exceedingly important. Did it slip my mind during all of this aspiration that I don’t have a sewing machine? Nor do I have any sewing abilities what so ever.. in fact, I remember back to year 8 in home economics class when we were supposed to make a pair of simple shorts and my teacher called me the ‘class clown’ and told me that I was absolutely useless. This comment stuck with me through the next 20 years and I haven’t touched a sewing machine since. How then do I anticipate getting this quilt done?
A beautiful friend of mine (who I shall add is not only the most fabulous mum that I have ever met, she is also extremely talented when it comes to these ‘home made creative projects’) decided that she wanted to help me with this and took me to a gorgeous little fabric shop [Calico & Ivy on Glyde Street in Mosman Park]
where we selected a variety of stunning fabrics and she explained, whilst pointing at different pieces of material and drawing me a diagram, how the quilt would be constructed. In the back of my mind the whole time was “oh boy, I might actually have to do this and I have no idea what she’s on about” combined with a burning desire to accomplish this myself. This beautiful friend of mine was looking at me with confidence and maybe a little bit of hope and saying things like ‘you can totally do this max, its really quite simple” – was it the look of distress on my face that made her say it?
I came home with a bunch of beautiful fabrics that I needed to cut into 7” x 7” squares and given that I didn’t have any cutting equipment, my gorgeous friend offered to take them home and do them for me. I was thrilled. A couple of weeks later she came over with my bag of fabric AND a quilt-n-sew ruler and a blade. She had cut the first 6 squares but I would have to cut the rest. CRAP.
It wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be although my squares are certainly not as perfect as her initial 6 but I did it and I felt like it was one small hurdle jumped and one step closer to the finished product. I was pregnant, sitting at the table playing with all this beautiful fabric and I felt like a devoted mother already on her way to success.
The sewing machine was another hurdle – much harder than the cutting of the squares and I admit that it sat in my lounge room ‘ready to go’ for nearly 4 months. I started at it almost every day and kept thinking that I must get around to it as once my squidgy was born, it was unlikely that I would have the time.
I took it over to my mum’s house a couple of times with the idea that we might sit together and make a start on it… it never happened and she laughed joking that my plan was to leave it there and hopefully she would do it for me. I flat out denied it at the time but I guess now I can admit that there was a piece of me that was hopeful. I guess mothers really do know you inside and out.
In the end, yes, I brought it home where it continued to sit in the corner and I still had every intention of completing this project!
7 weeks after Pickle was born, it took a visit from my gorgeous friend (she lives 4 hours away from my by the way) to get things going. She saw it sitting there in the corner so she opened it up and put it on my dining table to set it up. She thread the needle and perfected the tension and made me stand by her shoulder as she showed me how to do the first square. It looked easy enough. She got up and stood over my shoulder and made me have a go. After chomping on the needle a few times and ending up with a big knot [which she quickly fixed for me] I finally got the hang of it.
Only today did I finish sewing my 7 layers together. I still have a long way to go in joining them all together, adding the backing and then finishing off with the binding but I have to say that so far, it is a very fulfilling project and I have no doubt that I will see it through to completion.
Other projects I have taken on in between have been less intense but just as fulfilling.
I guess this means there is hope for me yet ….