As spring approaches our second time round the sun here at Wombat Hill, I’ve rearranged the front porch (again), popped table cloths on, plumped cushions, added a rocking chair, set up a desk for whatever takes my fancy … And just like this time last year, as the sun grows stronger, and the warmth and day both last longer, we exclaim “Oh it’s so lovely out here on the porch! Why have we been sitting inside!”, forgetting that we moved inside as autumn deepened because it was cold.
Little Doug the dachshund has a real love for my handmade cushions that neither Fu or Pakkun have ever shown. He spends so long puttering around on the top edge of them – I guess he can do this because he is so very little – until he has smooshed them into just the right shaped nest for his long thin sausage body. Which means that even though Doug never looks dirty – the bonus of having a dark coat – he makes the tops of all the cushions so very dirty! So they all need far more regular washing. Good thing for gentle handwash cycles on our washing machine because I NEVER properly handwash anything.
After the porch sitting was done for the morning, and the cushion covers set to dry on the rocking chair’s arms, I pondered the to do list. It is soooo long. There are softly coloured 6 inch squares of silk to sew up for our comforter – I’m making one out of a down fillled doona – the sort that sits on the top of the bed and is buttoned through. There’s new curtains to make for the long living room window – one of the dear little doggles ate a hole in the existing one when they were shut in one rainy day – what a strange choice to make – ever so lovely of them. There’s a Dottie Angel tabard cut out and waiting to be sewn up. And, of course, the never ending pile of quilts and quilt tops to work through. And knitting. And embroidery. There’s always knitting and embroidery.
But I was muchly agitated after absorbing the morning’s news peppered with hate and bigotry regarding Australia’s upcoming postal vote (yes, our prime minister Malcolm Turnball is a hypocritical, gutless wonder and will make dreadfully unpopular executive decisions about all manner of life changing issues – e.g. dismantling environmental protections – Coal is our Future!!! – and attacking the incomes of our most vulnerable citizens – but won’t take a simple vote in Parliament concerning a fundamental human right) – so instead found myself pacing the floor, unable to concentrate.
And so, I grabbed my new drill bits and drill and set to hanging all the things that had been lurking around for days, weeks, months, waiting to be hung. There was something quite cathartic about it all.
The old Dutch coffee grinder and French chicken print were hung in the kitchen. The Exploding Star quilt rehung in the bedroom (had to be moved after a recent bedroom rearrange), a lovely set of hooks from Ikea were hung on the back of our bedroom for our coats and hats, and a new quilt was hung in the dining room.
I had hung a large blue and green star quilt there – a quilt top that was pieced 7 years ago and only just finished and quilted this year – but it was really too big for the spot so looked a bit awkward. This one’s a much nicer fit but now I’m thinking the white wall behind it is pretty dull. When I suggested to Noah that a rich creamy orange would be lovely, he grinned and said “Yes, you’ve said that every second month for two years now! Maybe you just do it!” Well at least I’m consistent ;-)
By then, the temper was well enough soothed that a bit of sewing was next on the list … the assembling of a new quilted cushion cover – with a little sheep applique for the centre.
I do so love sewing with old woollen blankets and this style of quilt as you go log cabin piecing is my favourite!
I don’t know how that wound up so very crooked – never mind – when’s it trimmed and sewn up it will be a perfect square again!
Whilst all of this was happening, the lovely plumber was downstairs installing our new solar hot water system – such a long and cold six weeks we’ve had! And then it struck me, that I am so terribly grateful for him fitting us in with two days notice, that a little piece of handmade gratitude was in order and since he had told me about his wee baby, a quick Milo vest was just the thing. I knit up the yoke that night – took one episode of Hinterland and three of Offspring.
By the next morning, I worried it might be a wee bit weird to be knitting a vest for a baby I didn’t know and a plumber I’d only met the day before. But then, a lovely instagram friend shared how much she and her family are touched by the thoughtful gestures of some customers (her partner’s an electrician) and so, after running multiple errands on Friday morning, I quickly set down after lunch to knit my fingers to the bone and GET. IT. FINISHED before the the plumber finished for the day.
The plumber seemed very pleased and thus it was all very worthwhile. I do find that the best laid crafty plans almost always go astray – something more pressing always pops up in the loveliest of ways.
And we now have beautiful steamy hot water! Oh the luxury of washing up without having to boil pot after pot of water on the stove. Oh the BLISS of having a shower, instead of a bath at the kitchen sink which required even more of those pots of water to be boiled!