One of the things I am really blessed with is great quilting friends. What is really good about them is that they all take the initiative and suggest things that we can do together rather than one person ending up doing all the stuff and becoming deeply resentful or another wanting to be in charge and then having no idea what to do! Sitting here quietly musing on this, I wonder if we might work out a model of leadership from this which might help us out of our current predicament. Anyway, I digress. For our ‘It’s well and truly the bleak midwinter, what shall we do to cheer ourselves up this time?’ meeting, My Grate Frend Ceri suggested that we got together and made stuffed birds, just because we could. We hadn’t quite reckoned on Alison’s cat being quite so fascinated, but he sat at the table on a spare chair throughout and was clearly fascinated by what was going on.
Ceri found the pattern and instructions on the internet and made a prototype. We all brought fabric and various other materials, and the lovely Becky and Ruth brought home-made florentines and carrot cake, while Alison provided mulled wine. I took some cava and a box of my dog’s favourite cheese biscuits (not from the pet aisle) and some grapes. I have edited the photos for wine glasses which were much in evidence, just in case corruptible young minds see this post!
We had a fantastic time and ended the afternoon with a flock of stuffed birds. The variety from one pattern was astounding, as was the different characters of the birds. Ruth, for example, keeps chickens and her bird turned into something very like a rare breed hen. I was amazed at how tastefully mine came out. I made it from unbleached linen which had a wide band of embroidery which I used for the wings. It looks very upmarket but was made from a remnant which would otherwise have gone into landfill, so I am doubly pleased with that. I intend to make two more, but they are fiddly and so who knows how my good intentions will turn out.
I wanted to do this post, not to tell you about my life, which I have tried to keep out of this blog to some degree, and not to get all greetings-card sentimental, but just to record how lovely it can be to create in a group. Making really is connecting: to the object, to yourself and your creativity and to other people. And there is that sense of amazement that something new now exists in the world that previously didn’t. This sense of discovery and attendant delight is becoming increasingly important to me, and it was lovely to share it with others. Here’s a gallery of photos of our birds in the making and complete. All photographs courtesy of My Grate Frend Ceri.