Really, you should never say never. There are things I do know know I’ll never do, but more often than not saying I won’t do something seems to mean that eventually I will. Like quilting.
Over a decade ago, my re-entry to the world of making stuff came via cross stitch. I don’t do it any more but I look back on those few years quite fondly. I remember the day I was wandering around a cross stitch shop out at Gold Creek with my friend Catriona, a mad keen stitcher, probably for the umpteenth time. That day, possibly out of a desire to make such visits more than just an exercise in standing around waiting, I chose a little cross stitch for myself. It was a sunflower (a perennial favourite) and I remember feeling kind of shy about buying it, like I didn’t want to admit to anyone that I was going to do something like cross stitch.
I gave it a go and found the neat little stitches and the colours so satisfying. The maker in me was re-born. Fast forward a couple of years and knitting took over. Skip a few more years and sewing took hold.
Today, all three met up in one place. The thing I made today didn’t actually involve any knitting so it’s perhaps a stretch to include knitting in this little story. But as I’m learning to sew, I like to think the last eight years of being a dedicated knitter have trained me in the act of counting, weighing, measuring and making.
The result is this cushion. In spite of its faults, I’m really proud of it.
The centrepiece is a cross stitch design I think I made about a decade ago. It may have even been the last cross stitch I did. Over the years, it’s floated around, showing up when I’m digging through stuff and I’ve always thought it should become a cushion. I kind of hoped my mum would make it into a cushion. Little did I know that one day I’d have the skills to do it myself!
On Saturday I showed it to my mum and her immediate response was that it should form the centre of a log cabin design, something I’ve wanted to try for a while.
The stars aligned after that. On Sunday morning I was possessed by an almost ravenous desire to build a blue and gold log cabin design around it and it turned out I had just the scraps in my stash ready to go. You Tube is a wonderful thing. All the tutorials I needed were right there and by lunch time I had my cushion front done.
This afternoon I quilted it and added some backing of curtain fabric I picked up in a remnants pile at an upholstery shop. Most importantly, I overcame my fear of zips today and added one, again thanks to a You Tube tutorial.
It’s flawed though. The dark blue outer border is unbalanced. The ends of the zip aren’t neat. Some of my quilting is not precise. But I’m just going to lighten up and love it for what it is, something I designed and made by myself, out of a piece of work I made before I was thirty.
Younger me and older me are stitched into something that didn’t exist a few days ago, bringing me full circle to the beginning and the wonder that the last decade has been, with all the ups and downs, the lessons and the hardships and the joys.
That’s why I love making stuff. There are stories and memories and dreams worked into the fabric, making history into something tangible, three dimensional. You can’t beat that.