before we left
I cannot go away without packing all the little projects that currently have my attention – knitting, embroidery, sewing, patchwork … Last week in Merimbula was no exception – I took the orange cardie, the pink socks (of which all that had been completed was the cast-on), a skirt (thrifted, pure wool, box pleated Fletcher Jones that I will wear for my upcoming nursing placement) that needed altering, and a quilted blanket I began last winter.
As I’m sure you can imagine, very little of what I pack actually gets a look in. There’s always so many lovely moments to take advantage of and many more impromptu delights that beckon.
But last Saturday morn – the day of our departure – Mum woke me up so early. Well, not really – it was 6.20am. She wanted me to see the sunrise and it was indeed beautiful – a deep, rich pink. And I don’t know what it is, but at this time in my life, once I’m awake, that’s it, I am awake. There’s no snuggling back under the blankets and drifting off. So I figured I might as well put the sewing machine – that has been dragged to Merimbula and back so many times without ever actually being plugged in – to some good use. Namely, the quilted blanket.
I had already quilted the central panel on last winter – isn’t it the dearest fabric! I bought it years ago from FatQuartershop. Some of it made it’s way into a quilted pillowcase for Abigail many years back. And I had started to applique some more of it – with coordinating fabric – onto linen curtains – but that went by the by. So now, all that was needed, was to add the borders – some already cut, most not. I settled down to Mum’s long sewing table – it used to live on her back porch in Brisbane, now it’s in the downstair’s family room lined up against the windows that look out into her beautiful back garden – and just sitting there, thinking of all the sewing and quilts and fun we’ve had at that table really put me in the mood.
By the time Mum and Abby were up, I could barely be persuaded to stop for breakfast. And the notion of leaving for home BEFORE I had finished was impossible. Irrational, but impossible :-) Heck! What’s an eight hour drive?! I had a quilt to finish first. It was bliss. As if we hadn’t already had a lovely few days – of which we had well and truly made the most – now we all settled down for a few more sweet hours of stitching. Abby worked on her needlepoint. Mum worked on Sam’s Christmas stocking. And I cut and stitched and pressed like a mad woman.
When the clock struck 11am, a little bit of sense was gathered and we threw all our things into the car, I had a speedy shower, and Abby and I set off for home, with just the binding and a few more rows of extra quilting left to do.
It was a beautiful drive home. I always feel a pang of sadness at leaving Mum and the loveliness of the Bega Valley, and I have to confess, the first part of the journey – through the dense forests of the Southern Wilderness Coast, leave me unmoved. As dreadful as it sounds, I’m more of a rolling hills of farmland girl. When we reach the dairy fields of outer Orbost, my heart sings and my spirits soar. For the next several hours, I’m constantly calling out – ooooh! look at that view. Aaaaah! There are so many wee lambs in that field. Ooooooh! Look at all the cows lined up for milking. Aha! There’s the farmhouse we want Abby!
I just have to include this photo. It’s the traditional before we leave photo of Mum and I. Abby took it – as she was lining us up we demanded no porky bits, no double chins and I didn’t want my eyes to look squinty. Ahem. Great shot Abby! Thanks!
The first thing I did when I got home – well after kiss Julian! – laid the quilt on our bed, took a photo and sent it to Mum. Yet another quilt to warm our home, and another quilt that is stitched full of lovely memories and my dear, dear family. I just love the smooshy, gentle colours in this quilt – it looks so very comfy. And so many favourite fabrics – a gorgeous marbly Kaffe, the blue and brown polka dot of which there were six metres and it has wound up in almost everything I’ve patched over the last four years, the brown matroyshka fabric – Heather … um … Heather Ross (thank goodness for Google) of which I WISH I’d bought six metres. Mmmmmh … it’s just how I’d hoped it would look.
p.s. I’ve added the binding to two sides – hand stitched – I’m never machine binding again. And I’ve finally bought some more thread to add yet more rows of quilting to the wider sashes.