Wednesday, 4 June 2014


I have been going to a quilting group for a few weeks now. I am growing in confidence and feeling more as though I belong there each time. This week I was helped hugely by Judy who took one look at my little strippy things and immediately set to to turn my chaotic shapes into 3 1/2 inch squares. Clearly I need a few more tools. The next thing I should buy myself is a 6 inch square thing. I was surprised by the reaction to my strppy things. I didn't know there was anything special about them but I must admit they are cute. Yesterday I stitched them into place and am quite happy except for the final seam which somehow threw the pattern out of line. This is one time when my casual attitude to measuring and perfection really has spoiled the look. I will undo and correct it once I have worked out the best way to do this.

The group was chatty and friendly, with people working at all kinds of different things. There was a beautiful scenic, appliqued dinosaur wall hanging being quilted, one woman was embroidering finishing touches to the cutest ducks, another was quilting a king size silvers and white quilt .... stunning. Among the chatter Judy surprised me by calling my approach to patchwork quilting, my meditation. I had to think about that and it is true.

People meditate to prepare themselves for the day, for life, to deal with old wounds, to enhance their religious experience, to feel good and many other reasons. I have found a measure of peace in hand stitching that is God sent.

Last week we received an offer for Mum's house, which is now owned by a family trust. About 12 months after Mum died we placed it on the market, That is now nearly 18 months ago and we received our first formal offer last week. We knew the property had a limited market but we never thought would be hard to find buyers. Clearly one problem is that it needs upgrading even though it's only 14 years old. It would seem that most people in our market are only interested in houses which are ultra up-market and magazine glossy and shiny. Our house is largish with 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and 2 living areas but it remains a family beach house with a marvelous view. You might think it would be on everyone's wish list to walk out your bedroom door right across the lawn onto the beach, but that does not seem to be so.

We thought hard about this offer which was $300,000 below what we think the place is worth. That's a lot of money in anyone's language. We countered the offer and I am extremely happy to say the other people didn't want to negotiate. That puts us back in square one except for one thing. A family member has indicated on the quiet that they are interested in buying but have to sell a property first. That makes me so happy. One of the hard things about putting this house on the market has been dealing with feelings of loss. I always hoped that it would stay in the family. It is such a relief to know there is still a chance. In the meantime we will keep the house listed and if anyone comes along willing to pay top dollar we will have to weigh things up carefully.

I am the communicator with the Real Estate agent and there are many different ideas coming from family members ...... there are 6 directly involved and another 12 whose opinions matters. It becomes stressful. I have wakeful nights. Being able to flick the switch to quilting has enabled me to sleep and stay sane.

I have always had a creative bent. I would love to be an artist, painting and drawing, but somehow with the best will and even some practice it was never satisfying. Quilting is proving to be my artform, and fabric my paint. I have so much to learn about colours and patterns but it's all fun. My head is alive with ideas and how to achieve them. I feel alive, really alive after years of existing and surviving through it all.

This is my time to stitch.

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