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The next project is…

Always going to be the glorious shiny one, isn’t it? Or maybe it’s just me who’s weird for liking having a project on the go. I think it’s the list-making as much as anything else because I love sorting things out into baby steps and controlling a world that doesn’t seem to want to be controlled. This time it’s clearing the little bedroom that was a sewing room in the time BC (Before Children), but has become a dumping ground for the things that were in the loft till my husband decided to add extra insulation, which is taking longer than he planned because things always do.

I’ve decided to take it a few steps at a time. Stage One is to create a usable space where I can have my sewing machine set up all the time. Stage Two is to make it beautiful. This means looking at what I could do twenty five years ago, and what I can do now that neither my arthritis nor my eyesight are as good and the type of sewing I do has changed. That in turn means sending the things that have been gathering dust to people who can use them and love them.

That’s a lot more fun than it sounds because I’m lucky enough to belong to a group of needlewomen who have two clear outs a year in March and September. We then all meet in one of our members’ gardens because I’m not the only immunocompromised person and we bring our outgrown equipment and fabric and all the things that seemed like a good idea at the time and exchange them. Anything that’s left over goes to a local day centre where one of my friends volunteers so I don’t feel bad about passing on the 4 different embroidery standing frames. (I was trying to find the right one, in my defence and they do different things) Nor do I mind finding new homes for the children’s fabric that the ‘children’ outgrew, because they’ll be used to make quilts for Project Linus and for our local police and fire officers to give to children whove been in trauma. We piece the tops and then one of our talented long arm quilters machine quilts them before we sit in the garden and sew the binding on.

In September, I came back with four sets of scrap crazy templates and some other specialist rulers. I'm their fourth owner, so I'm quite smug that they have transformed my quilting because it’s a way of doing a Victorian style of patchwork which matches my vision of my home as the Victorian House, which is a swish bed and breakfast place. I’m still happily playing with those, and my amazing husband has cut me a base template to make them easier to use, which, ironically, is why they've been passed on so often. I’ve shown this off and we’ve decided that we’ll share the new template and the old ones around the group.

That’s been fun and has almost made up for the unseasonably cold weather that’s making the flowers last longer (good), the hay fever last longer (not so good) and me unable to sit in the garden, (really bad.) It’s still been nice to walk in the sunshine, but it’s been another busy week with the wild swans in the park. This time, I had to get swan rescue involved, because a young male had got a zip tie caught round his beak so he could hardly open it.

He could eat grain and frozen peas, so my daughter nipped across to the little supermarket on the far side of the park and bought the ultimate swan treat, and we fed him and the swan with the poorly eye till one of our favourite vets arrived. Two snips of the side cutters and he could open his beak again and he was so busy eating that he didn’t notice the vet because swans have no side vision. The one with the eye infection also hung round and stuffed himself, and then was popped in a van in a dog cage and taken off to the sanctuary where he’ll have his own enclosure with a paddling pool, lots of greenery to browse and make bedding from and frozen peas three times a day. We somehow forgot to mention to him that they’d have antibiotic drops on. That was need to know, and it struck us that he didn’t.

And all that brings me round to The Crafty Sew and Sew’s which’ll be out in July and I’ve been editing this week. One of its strong themes is the friendship and companionship of women and how craft brings us together. It also shows that we have heroes everywhere, like the vet who came out in his lunch hour, as he always does when a bird is in trouble down there. We also have an amazing group of volunteers that I’m proud to be part of, and we keep an eye open for the birds and for pollution and clear litter because we love our harbour and we’d rather do something useful than march and demonstrate.

Mind you, we live in an amazing place. Why not have a look at this - You can read about the raven that hid two chocolate bonbons in an osprey nest. That’s pretty normal for round here, and why I love it so much.

Today’s picture is ducklings, simply because I love them. Take care till we meet again and we’ll catch up on Wednesday.


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