On one of my online quilting forums there has been a recent thread about where people do their stitching, at meetings, at guild meetings or in my case, on the tram, and for this week, and possibly into the future, on the bus.
I commented about the odd looks I get often while I’m doing my work, which so far has consisted of buttonhole applique and more recently embroidery (redwork).
About a fortnight ago, I had lovely exchange on the tram. Going in later than usual after a doctor’s appointment, so not incredibly crowded, about 20 minutes from the city a lovely little old man got on the tram, went to walk past me, looked down and exclaimed – “oh, what lovely fancy work!”
And, yes he really was a little old man, I’d guess maybe in his late 60’s, early 70’s, and probably not much taller than me – which isn’t very tall – I’m a smidge over 155cm (5ft 2).
He then sat down next to me and started to reminisce about his mother teaching him to do ‘fancy work’ as a child and how he used to stitch doilies and tablerunners and cloths while catching the train to his very first job as a copy boy for the Herald newspaper.
He used to catch the ‘Red rattler‘ train and because the trains were crowded and he’d often give his seat up for an adult he would perch himself against the door to the compartment for balance.
He then went on to tell me that his first pair of long trousers, were the pants from his Dad’s army uniform that his Mum had taken both in and up – but there wasn’t much she could do about the problem of saggy, baggy bottoms. And one day, wedged against the doorhandle while he stitched, a big burly bloke opened the door from the outside with such force the handle got caught in the folds of his pants and he was effectively hoisted… he said the whole carriage laughed, particularly when same burly bloke lifted him bodily of the handle and checked out he was ok.
He was very pleased to see me doing my work, and amazed that I was stitching a pincushion for a friend I haven’t met yet, (am participating in a pincushion swap via Flickr and said pincushion is winging it’s way to the USA).
We had a lovely chat, where he explained that he couldn’t do the work anymore because of his eyesight, and I’ll admit he also made my day – to know that my work had positively impacted a stranger… see crafting does break down barriers!
I like the term ‘fancy work’ – we are all fancy workers – putting a little brightness and joy in the world with every stitch we take.
So, as a thank you to him and to all of you, am having my first giveaway. I have a Rosalie Quinlan’s Little Patchwork Village pattern and a collection of some of my favourite DMC threads to give away.
If you post a link to this on your own blog, and let me know in your comment, you’ll be eligible for an extra bonus surprise prize!
Will use the random number generator to pick a winner at the end of the month.
PS. I bought this pattern over 12 months ago, bought my fabric and thread to do it, and then promptly misplaced the pattern! There have been several futile searches through the craft room for this one, till I bit the bullet and bought another copy in February… we all know what happened next… a few weeks later, I opened a box to work on my Red and Green Sampler blocks and at the bottom of the box – the original pattern… sigh… so while this pattern has been opened and read it definitely hasn’t been used.