The Flip Side

Move over, rain…

You are my sun. Today, you are a watery, wintery luminescence. Weak and uncertain, you break briefly through the cloud and fog to bathe the ice encrusted puddles in your yellowy gladness before the dark overwhelms you, and frost reclaims the fields.

But soon, soon my darling you will blaze with Mediterranean glory, scintillating the rippling rhythms of the sea, which lap at your worship. The entire world will circle you, bedazzled. You will inspire acts of wild awe and absolute devotion.

So cast off the winter, belovely. The flip side of darkness is light. Your light.


Another 100 Word challenge. The prompt this week was “the flip side”, and not being a pancake fan, I wanted to steer clear of that allusion!! But so much is changing around my little world at the moment: not only the season, but friends, work, at home…. So I got to thinking about how things are changing, and the flip side of now is next…

She Knew The Names of Flowers

I’ve finished the Granny quilt.  It is in the washing machine as I type.

I’m really pleased with it.  I had intended to shadow quilt across the diagonals but, as I’ve mentioned before, the strips of memory fabric were uneven widths, and so the diagonals didn’t quite line up well enough.  So in the end, I’ve shadow quilted down the columns of lemony sashing.

I worked in phrases which have occurred to me, as I was putting it all together.  I worked them in yellow thread, which shows clearly on some rectangles, and less clearly on others.  My clever friend Faye (@poppypurple) suggested it was rather like I was whispering secrets to Granny, and I like that idea very much.

The quilt is formally called “She knew the names of flowers” which always used to impress me as a small child – she could be relied on to identify a lady’s slipper from a cow parslip at the drop of a hat, which always seemed to me to be a bit akin to witchcraft (well, maybe not those two specifically, but you know…)  Some of the memories are quite general – like watching Val Doonican together (the deal was if I watched Val Doonican with her, then she would let me watch The Professionals *and* the Dukes of Hazzard!).  Some are very specific, like watching her brush her hair (it was long, very long, and blonde) and plait it ready for bed.

There are her addresses, artefacts I remember from her houses (an elephant’s foot stool, some beaded tribal stools, a tiger skin rug).  There are things we used to do: going to church on Saturday to arrange the flowers for Sunday’s services (which we never went to) and then going to the sweet shop on the way home.  Some things we did together  – knitting, crochet, walking her dog, Honey, in a field littered with bomb holes near my mother’s childhood house.  And in the border, at the foot, her name and dates.

The back is made from the lemony sashing fabric, and the green Lotte Jansdottir pictured above. The batting is a really soft bamboo – I’ve not worked with bamboo before and it worked incredibly easily both by hand and in the machine.  I marked up the locations for the memories by scattering safety pins across the surface of the quilt, and pinning them where they lay.  Each pin got a memory.

The memories were free machine stitched.  I had to take the presser foot off the machine in order to be able to watch what I was doing which did, inevitably, result in a stitch through my finger.  Inevitably.  They’re useful things, those presser feet… Unless you need to see what you’re doing!

The children have watched the quilt grow with interest.  Every so often they come and pick over it, and find a phrase, and ask me.  Some of the questions are quite funny: “Mummy, who’s David Soul?”  Funny what they don’t know… (She liked David Soul, but not David Essex!)  Freya’s favourite is the “little yellow mini”.  Josh’s is “Evelyn Nightingale and Tutenkhamen”.

The binding is a blue fabric with white dragonflies scattered across it.  It seemed appropriate.  I’ll take some photos when it comes out of the dryer.  But tonight, I’m going to take my granny quilt to bed.  It’s going to be lovely and snuggly warm!

Granny Quilt

So.  Today I am dusting off the sewing machine, and returning to the granny quilt.  It’s now all marked up and ready for quilting, if I can only find where I’ve hidden the thread!!

 I was talking to my Dad about this quilt, the other day, and a few days later I came home to find an envelope, stuffed full of photos of my Granny, dating from the late 1940s, early 1950s.  Turns out she was quite the glamourpuss!  (if you click on the pictures, you can enlarge them)

I am going to try to work some phrases into the quilting.  I’ve compiled quite a list – the addresses around Kent and East Sussex where she lived.  Names of her friends.  Some of the things I used to enjoy doing when I visited.  The dinners she used to cook for me (when I was very little, I told her roast chicken with chippolata sausages and apple crumble was my favourite.  She made it for me every visit for the rest of forever.  It’s still my favourite.)

Putting together memories which are meaningful, and will make me smile when I spot them, has been quite a long job.  I’m sure I will be prompted for quite a long time to remember more things, things I wish I’d included, things I’d forgotten about and come flooding back suddenly.  But I’ve decided it doesn’t matter if the list is incomplete.  What matters is that there are *some* lovely things about Granny in the quilt.  And if those lovely things trigger other lovely things, then so much the better.

So, eyes down!  I will post photos later…


They’re missing.
You’re weeping.
The sun’s in its vault.
There’s a darkness, descending.
But it wasn’t my fault.
I was elsewhere,
Whistling the breeze.
I cannot be fingered;
My conscience at ease.
I’m sorry
You’re sorry:
I wish I could help.
I’d have come if you’d uttered
So much as a yelp.
But it’s over.
It’s done now.
No point harping on.
Can’t you simply get over
The fact that they’ve gone??
You’d have noticed
Them leaving, if you were
Worth your salt!
It needn’t have happened!
Yes, I’m a little bit obsessed!  But this is, again, a 100 word challenge (but this week, for grownups *and* children!).  I am off work for half term, next week, and there will be the usual crafty type posts, then!