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Category — quilt

Because I Am A Girl

Here’s the thing. There doesn’t need to be much of an excuse for a party around these parts. Especially if it’s going to be a girly, stitchy cake party (yes, these things really do exist, particularly in Stroud)

In my experience, the girls round here will rock up to the opening of an envelope (harsh but fair) – so you can imagine the frisson felt when Woodchester village hall started filling up with fabric and frolicking….

Sewing machines were lined up, cake was laid out, and we were on our starting blocks…because of course we were on a mission…..

We were invited there by Bad Jo, whose birthday had rolled around again (they do that, birthdays) – and asked to each make a piece of quilt for her, to remind her of the fantastic community that we have and how loved she is within it. Yay to that!

Of course, because it was Jo, in all her brilliant-ness and cunning, she had got us there for something else too. And this something else was called Because I Am A Girl.

…which is the name of a campaign run by an organisation called The Plan, supporting girl’s rights to quality education. Here is what they say: At least one in five adolescent girls around the world is denied an education by the daily realities of poverty, conflict and discrimination. Every day, girls are taken out of school and forced into work, or married off to strangers where they risk isolation and abuse. Missing out on school can mark the end of a girl having any choice over her own future. This isn’t fair, it isn’t right and it’s also a huge waste of potential.

So Jo got us there to tell us all about it, and to make a commitment to help in some way. Which we agreed to do, because, hey, this is a plan that makes sense for all of us, right?

So in amongst the busy needles and lovely things to eat, there was chatter too about how lucky we are in this country to have the choices we do when it comes to education; to home educate, or state educate and all that it means for our daughters. With One Billion Rising still fresh in our minds, we got inspired to carry on and fight for all the daughters in this wonderful world of ours

And this we will do, together, in communities, and wherever it is needed and however long it takes. Stitch by stitch, plan by plan, word by word, because these children are not only our future, it’s vital to invest in their education properly and fairly. Women hold up half the sky. Thanks Jo. 

April 17, 2013   No Comments

The Quilt of Terror….

There’s nothing like a bit of leaf blowing and single figure temperatures to have me wistfully wandering back to the light, bright days of late summer….and so it is back to early September that I am journeying to today.

And more specifically to my daughter Holly’s 16th birthday, oh and my 44th! We share! Pretty cool, huh? Well, I had decided about 8 months before that to make her a quilt, something really special, that she would treasure (did you ever meet a 16 year old that fantasised about home-made family heirlooms? No, that would be a 44 year old) No worries.

I had forgotten to remind myself that I had never actually made a proper quilt. Even better, I had decided in my very non-virgo way to leave it all to about 3 weeks before her actual birthday. Of course, we all know, denial is not a river in Egypt….

Don’t be fooled by this happy, confidant woman laying out the pieces. I had the ‘dummie guide to quilt making’ stuffed up my jumper, and a rising feeling of terror at those squares of pinkness. Worse still, quilt making best friend had selfishly hoofed off to Cornwall, leaving me QUITE ALONE……

But one thing led to another, and I found myself actually just doing it…zipping up those babies, stitching one row to another, keeping going, ironing, keeping going. I had pieces of dresses that Holly wore as a little girl, favourite pyjamas, things that I have worn over the years, and most specially pieces from her grandmother and great grandmother. Lots of stories, all joined up.

It got a little crazy quilting it with my Husquavarna machine…she’s a very accommodating old lady when she’s in the mood. Bought the softest batting and brushed cotton piece for the back – how very technical of me…. and this is what it finished up looking like:

The last bit of backstitching went in the night before…so right up to the wire, but hey…I did it!! And even more perfect, she loved it.

My sweet girl, with a ring in her nose, and an attitude to match, quietly listening to the stories of the fabric, and still agreeing to wear the birthday crown. My happy heart.

There was cake, lots. And sunshine, and wonderment that sixteen years had whooshed by in a naughty nano-second.

And it is true that she loved and appreciated all the work I had done on her surprise quilt. But do you know what totally rocked my baby-girls birthday world?

That would be the pair of kick-ass purple Doc Martens that I bought her….


November 1, 2012   3 Comments