Monday, April 02, 2007


I have collecting genes on both sides of the family. My maternal great-grandmother was renowned for never passing up the opportunity to buy a yard of lace, and my (Scottish) paternal grandfather donated 2000 books on Robbie Burns to the National library. My Mum had a serious wool and fabric stash, and my father cherished wood and old furniture.

The photo is that same great-grandmother's sewing basket, with a leather box that once held celluloid collars belonging to my Scottish grandfather. Both inspired me to acquire other baskets and boxes over the years.

I have collected lots of things, but always with limitations. Nothing cracked or chipped or broken. Nothing too easy to find; the hunt is most of the fun. Nothing popular and expensive. If the things I collect do become sought after, I stop collecting them, because I won't pay huge amounts for things I once picked up for a few dollars. It's that Scottish side coming out. As I have down-sized my possessions I've sold a lot of the things I once collected so happily, and I don't miss them at all. And I don't really collect anything now. We change as we get older, obviously.

I did have a serious thing with moulds. Jelly moulds, shortbread moulds, cookie cutters, biscuit makers, ravioli presses, chocolate moulds. I love the idea of being able to replicate exact copies.

I also love making things assembly line, lots and lots at a time. When the kids were little I got so carried away making their clothes one winter that there were 26 T-shirts to choose from in their cupboard. I make my own skirts and shirts in multiples of 5, and it seems to hardly take any more time. I would rather do three zips than one. Strange.

Maybe that's why I adore patchwork too, because so much of it is sewing the same sort of units together, one after the other. It's an act of creative meditation, making clusters of things all to the same pattern.

I was working in the garden on the weekend, and as I planted some seeds it occurred to me that they are the ultimate in replications. From when we were too young to read Meredith and I have been dazzled by the allure of seed packets. Plant these strange knobbled little lumps and they will all turn into nasturtiums, just like on the packet. Want a daisy, or purple beans, or carrots? Just buy the seeds and follow the instructions.

Meredith still has the seed packets we pored over as 4 year olds, a beautiful little slice of the packaging of the time and the promise of good things to come.

And as well as gardening I worked on the Maverick Stars, trying to decide on a setting.
I am rather partial to this checkerboard of 1" squares, which is devouring the 1 1/2" strips in the container at a great rate. I may use a different block as a cornerstone, but I'll decide that later on. I just need to make some more stars. and get busy with those sashing strips. Soon I will have conquered my scraps and strings entirely!!

Actually all I will have achieved is another quilt top, a lot of much smaller scraps and none of the blue fabric leftover. That seems to be the way of scrap piecing.


Unknown 12:11 PM  

I like very much how your maverick stars are turning. the checkboard border is good! Thanks for sharing the block you made with EQ6. It is unusual but looks easy and I will surely try it. Take care.

meggie 3:34 PM  

Love the chequerboard idea to sash those wonderful stars.
Another lovely post!

atet 11:05 PM  

Your stars are so fun and the setting works so well.

Rose Marie 3:52 PM  

Wow, sure do like the layout for these stars! Your background fabric really sets them off well.
Like you, I'm a collector of baskets and wooden boxes. It all started with a wooden box from my Memere.

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