Thursday, 27 January 2011

First Love

I have always made "stuff and things"

As a child I'd follow Lesley Judd on Blue Peter, Tony Hart on Take Hart and those two spiders that were on the other side (ITV) with Susan Stranks (a quick google search identifies it as Paperplay) and try and recreate what they made or be inventive and do my own thing.  I remember making clocks out of paper plates, dolls houses out of shoe boxes and knocking nails in to bits of old wood to make chairs and tables for my doll and teddies (notice doll not dollies - never a girly girl).

And my mum encouraged me, she showed me how to sew and knit at an early age and by the time I hit my teens I was using her old grey solid metal Singer sewing machine to make my own clothes, the same machine she'd used as a teenager to make her own clothes in the 60's.

It was such a thrill to go into Northampton on a Saturday to go to Debenhams and their fabric department, to flick through the pattern books looking for patterns and then going on to the market to find some cheap cotton to buy with my pocket money.

By the time my parents got home in the evening there would be tissue paper patterns, fabric, thread and pins everywhere - I loved it, especially that "crunch" as the shears cut through the paper and fabric laid out on the dining room table.

So fabric and sewing was always a shared hobby with my mum and me, and together we found patchwork and quilting, I can't quite remember when, but it could have been 1984 or 1985. We went to a meeting in Daventry on a cold dark night to find out about patchwork and quilting.  We were a varied group of women (and girls) some of who had always sewn, some doing City and Guilds in textiles, some who had been to evening classes and made endless hexagons and some who were just frankly intrigued.  Together we formed the Danetre Quilters.

We used to meet on Tuesday evenings in Daventry and then at some point moved to some church rooms in Weedon just over the way from where Bramble Patch is today.  I never really made much but my mum did and her first quilt was for me to take to uni.  It was a blue log cabin heavily quilted and it was perhaps one of the greatest gift my mum has ever given to me.  It has lain on so many beds over the years, it was warm and comforting and reminded me of home and my family.

Now nearly 25 years on it lays over my banisters and reminds me of all those years gone by, of me growing up, of my mother's love for me and that my first true love was and probably still is fabric.

This first love has been calling me recently, so I have plans to give it some love and affection and remind myself why I love sewing.

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