I have dropped the military this post in favour of one of my other passions – quilting!
I love patchwork and quilting, it satisfies so many of my creative itches, it has colour and in has order and symmetry. I have never been one of those for whom creativity is winging it or free expression, I didn’t even colour outside the lines when I was a child, in fact I found people who did unnerving and slightly disturbing, I like the certainty of straight lines and carefully measured angles.
I’m a bit the same with writing, while the plot might be a road I travel to find the end, I can’t have characters without purpose, I don’t do spear carriers, at least not willingly, every person and every event I create must have a reason, they must be a part of a complete pattern. I might get into a mix of shades like a Log Cabin block, but in the end all the blocks must come together to form one cohesive quilt.
I belong to several sewing groups, Market Street Quilters is fairly large, about fifty of us. I go here for talks and classes and for exhibitions, we have one every three years to show off what has been made since the last one and to raise money for a charity. The next is in 2020 and I will share tales of organisation, exhibits and rising panic another time, here I want to talk about the two other less formal groups.
I guess you can divide them into Sewing Sisters – hand sewing and Stich in Time – machine stitching, but all variations are welcome and all types of fabric craft as well. I want to talk about them not just because they are both made up of a bunch of talented women, but because they are also truly lovely women.
As some of you know I have recently been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. I’ve been becoming more and more disabled over the last couple of years and now I am awaiting referral for a wheelchair, which will be a necessity in the near future, In the mean time I wobble about on two sticks.
Sympathy is all very well and sometimes I feel sympathy is often nothing more than curioustity, but kindness is another matter and the women who make up theses two sewing groups are some of the kindest and most companionate people I know.
They take care of me, they bring me coffee and biscuits, they pick up anything I drop. When we go anywhere, a quilt shop or out to lunch, they make sure they get me as close to the destination as they can and they always find me a seat. They carry stuff for me, be it my sewing machine or a purchase, one of the bugbears of two sticks is not being able to carry anything.
And they do all this without making me feel a nuisance, in fact, just the opposite, they make me feel wanted and valued which for someone like me with the self worth of a discarded sandwich wrapper is a bit moving and makes me want to have a little cry every now and then. I’m pretty sure I’m a pain in the neck, but they never allow me to feel like one.
I could name them, but I might miss one and I would never want to do that. And probably none of them will read this, not having my taste for soldiers or for the sort of books and stories I write, but in case they do….THANK YOU….love Bev.
The picture is from the last exhibition, my first and possibly last king sized quilt.