Thursday, 27 February 2014

Spring cleaning

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.


  1. I am with you on HST,s I just bought a new ruler so I can trim them before pressing them open. Back to that control element.

  2. are you going to make your friend's daughter a quilt?

  3. Hi Kim, so sorry to hear about your friends daughter, I know just what you mean about children with serious illness's. Many moons ago when I worked as a Mother & Baby group and Playgroup leader, we lost 2 of 'our' children to illness - it was devastating for us all and I can't begin to imagine the pain the parents must go through. Hope she gets through the Chemo and that you find solace in your stitching.

  4. Hello Kim, it's been far too long since I visited your blog. I'm so sorry to hear about your friend's daughter, I hope there is a good outcome on the horizon.
    Your quilts are amazing and I'm so glad you're making bags again. I still have my beautiful bag made by you, many moons ago. So much has changed since those days!!! Good luck in your Folksy adventure.

  5. Oh Kim, my heart breaks for this terrible news. Your friend and her daughter will be in my prayers. As a mother, I just can't imagine that pain and I hope they will all stay strong.

    You know my feelings on HSTs but then I see your beautiful, colorful quilt and it makes me want to try them again and again until I get them right. Or maybe I will just admire yours...

    I love the bags you have made. Did you use a pattern or make your own?

  6. Sorry to hear about your friends daughter, I avoid HSTs but looking at yours I feel inspired.

    Cheers Pauline