Thursday, 28 May 2015

Absolute Unbroken Continuity - May 2015

This is my journal quilt for May.  The words, "absolute unbroken continuity", come from a poem my sister read at Daddy's funeral earlier this month.  It was Death is Nothing At All by Henry Scott Holland.  The quiltlet is similar to my usual style, and adheres to my rules.  The text this time was printed rather than written and I overlaid the fabrics with some sheers.  The stitching is all done by hand.
Today I remembered why I don't often make large quilts these days.  I spent a few hours layering this sampler quilt from a thousand years ago.  All that crawling on the floor, smoothing, adjusting, phewy.  The quilt itself is not terrible square (it was one of the very first quilts I pieced, using Lynne Edwards' Sampler Quilt book), and I like it but it has many, many faults.  I felt bad for it, sitting there in my sewing room, thrown over for more "arty" pieces and decided to layer it, quilt it and then use it!!

Talking of "arty" pieces, today was windy and sunny and a perfect day to rehang my prayer flags in the garden.  DH put the re-proofed gazebo up yesterday, complete with fairy lights, so we are all ready for balmy summer days and evenings.  The prayer flags from friends have been joined by a classic set I bought when we were in New Zealand last year and are all fluttering away beautifully with the prayer:

"May all beings everywhere receive benefit and find happiness".

The Quilters' Guild published a link to this pattern on Facebook and I loved it, possibly because it's blue and white/Japanese/indigo fabrics.  For whatever reason, it has inspired me to make a similar quilt with some of my indigo fabrics.  It will be for our bed, so a king size.  I have obviously forgotten the lessons of earlier already, but have been having fun pulling out all kinds of blue fabric.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Indigo Prayers

My dear Indigo Sister, Judi, stitched this prayer flag for me. It was waiting for me, having flown all the way from Australia, when I returned home from Daddy's funeral.  I cannot tell you how wonderful it was to open the package and find this special gift inside.  If recipients of the prayer flags I stitch feel at least half as special as I did I would be honoured.  Thank you Judi.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

New Zealand Remembered - a finish

I have finished my quilt of New Zealand journal quilts and this afternoon the sun is shining so I have managed to take a picture.
I composed a haiku for each place that inspired me and have written these on the quilt in permanent ink.
The six blocks are:

Top left
"Meeting of the Waters"

Where oceans collide
By pohutakawa root
Spirits travel home.

Top right

Darting dotterels
Glistening white silica
Natural treasures.

Middle left

Ravenous lahar
Consumes express, bridge, landscape
Leaving weeping waters.

Middle right

Shiny jewel box city
Not two hundred thousand souls
All vibrant, singing.

Bottom left

Troll the chilly depths
Tranquility on water
Head in the sunshine.

Bottom right
"Manaia at Huka Falls"

Swirling white fury
Crash over the precipice
Meet still sacred flow.

As well as reminding me of places this quilt is a wonderful reminder of people.  Some friends saw my work in progress, some shopped with me for threads and fabric, some shared the places I visited.

Friday, 1 May 2015

RIP David Harwood

You know when you say, "Hey, at least it can't get any worse....."?

Many of you already know that it has and I thank you for your messages, prayers, cards and support, you have helped more than you can know.  

Other friends, blog readers and Facebook friends that I don't communicate with very regularly, will not know that Daddy died suddenly on 18th April.  His funeral is not until 13th May and so we are all in a strange limbo.  This limbo is preferable to the limbo we might have been experiencing as Daddy  discovered he had secondary cancers (liver and spleen) a week before he died.  His death was unrelated to the cancers, being due to a ruptured colon, and he died with dignity and free of pain.  God moves in mysterious ways indeed, Daddy would have hated a slow, miserable death being cared for at home or in a hospice, he would have been very irritable about the whole thing.

These are two of my favourite pictures of Daddy, this one taken a year ago, the oldest and youngest members of the family:

and this one taken with Mummy on their 50th Wedding Anniversary in 2006:

Needless to say I am doing a lot of stitching.  I have been working on my New Zealand journal quilts and the hand stitching has been marvellously therapeutic and it somehow felt as if I was stitching my prayers into the quilt (there was no time to make a prayer flag for Daddy) even though Daddy never visited NZ.  This is not a good photograph, apologies.  I have to quilt the "Wellington" block and then add the binding and labels.  I have haikus to add but haven't decided yet whether they should go on the blocks or on the back....

It's a Bank Holiday weekend here, three days of chilly winds but some sunshine promised, have fun whatever you get up to and I'm hoping normal service will be resumed fairly shortly.  Love Lis xx