My friends daughter was diagnosed with cancer three weeks ago. Despite being admitted to hospital before Christmas for a chest infection, the primary tumour and the secondaries in her other organs and lymph nodes were missed. She started chemo a week ago and it is making her very poorly.
There is something about serious illness in children that is impossible for my mind to comprehend, to catch hold of or understand. It makes me feel like I woke up one day and the world had tilted slightly, everything out of kilter. It made me feel like hibernating.
I tried to do a little sewing, determined to do something normal. A few bag shapes I've not tried in a while.
Then I felt like a quilt would be a good exercise in meditation, going through the process of choosing a block, colours, size. I made myself go for something bright and hopeful.
There's something very satisfying about seeing all of those colours set out, like a row of boiled sweets. It was even more satisfying looking at the thin slivers of fabric offcuts, like a coloured spaghetti.
Then a gap, then some more sewing. HST's emerged from the pile.
Somewhere along the way I decided that spring cleaning my sewing room would be a positive idea, placing all the units together to maximise the floor space. I kind of like having my desk next to the window too, although I keep getting distracted by the dogs playing in the garden and birds on the feeders. Not a bad thing to be distracted by.
I know a lot of people don't like HST's, but I find them quite soothing. Something about getting the angle right and the edges sharp. They make good blocks.
Which make a good, ordered quilt top.
It's been therapeutic working with colour, order and form. Control. Predictability.
I also splashed out on some spring for inside the house this week. White Hyacinths, I adore the scent of them. And Rosemary with Gypsophilia - both last for ages, even after they've started to dry out, and the Rosemary smells delicious when the sun is on it.
I need to take a leaf out of Wilma's book. Sleepy in the warm sunlight.