Home of a Quilter sampler

Home of a Quilter: sampler in counted cross stitch

Home of a Quilter: sampler in counted cross stitch

This sampler is one of the loveliest birthday presents I think I’ve ever had. It was made for me by my mother-in-law quite a long time ago and has always hung where I can catch sight of it every day because it makes me smile. There’s mother at work on a quilt (very nicely framed up) while 4 little bodies lie asleep on the beds above – 2 boys and 2 girls making perfect symmetry.

Home of a Quilter sampler in counted cross stitch: detail.

Home of a Quilter sampler in counted cross stitch: detail.

From time to time I think I’ll buy a quilting frame – or have one made but I usually end up quilting on my knee without any sort of frame or sometimes with a large circular frame. I always sewed for pleasure or relaxation, usually at the end of the day while watching television, listening to music or being read to – so the last thing I wanted was to have to sit on a hard chair in front of the equivalent of a table. However, for the altar frontal (here, here, here, etc. and for the beginning here ) I think I may have to get a frame so that several people can work on it together.

Home of a Quilter sampler in counted cross stitch: detail

Home of a Quilter sampler in counted cross stitch: detail

When my children were little there were few shops specialising in American patchwork fabrics and equipment all of which seemed very exotically different when glimpsed in magazine articles. I wonder if many of you remember The Patchwork Dog and the Calico Cat  near Camden Lock? I think the name was the thing that grabbed me and sometimes the lure was so great that I would strap one child on my front, with the other in a buggy and head over by tube from the leafiness of Chiswick. How one hauled oneself  + baby and the buggy up and down tube station steps, I now have no idea – all I know was that sometimes the urge to go somewhere was so very great that the will to do it trumped all inconvenience and low scores in the risk assessment department. (Of course, idiot that I am, I now I know that the 27 went straight from Chiswick to Chalk Farm and that would have done nicely but I wasn’t so into buses then and it was before the internet had bus routes at our finger tips.) Anyway I googled The Patchwork Dog and the Calico Cat and found this article about the woman who set up the shop but returned to America in the 1990s and thought others might be interested.

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  1. Posted June 19, 2014 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    What an interesting post. The cross stitch sampler from your mother in law is lovely; I love how tidily packed away the children are in their beds, and the neatness of the workroom where the mummy is quilting! The alter frontal is a wonderfully ambitious community project. What a sense of achievement everyone will have when it is completed.

    • Mary Addison
      Posted June 21, 2014 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

      Thank you, Penny. I love the tidied away, oops, I mean sleeping children,too.
      When the altar frontal is finished it will be a real achievement – probably mostly logistical – trying to find days we’re not all busy.

  2. Lydia Sage
    Posted June 24, 2014 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    I also remember clambering up and down tube stairs with a pram, nappy bag etc etc back in the 80’s. The stairs were usually horrifyingly steep now I think about it but that did nothing to deter me. Luckily in 1980 before I came to Western Australia I lived in Holland Park, so my little baby and I walked from home (a flat on the 3rd floor), up Ladbroke Grove, across Holland Park Avenue and into the park several times a week. I still return to that Park whenever I am back in London even after 30 years away.. lots of changes but the cafe is still there and the flowers….

    The little cross stitch picture is just lovely too….

    • Mary Addison
      Posted June 24, 2014 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      But at least in those days the buggies were light and a bit easier to pick up. Now they’re so heavy, complicated and oddly shaped I wouldn’t know where to begin, even getting on a bus is a bit of a nightmare. I’ve taken the 94 bus to Notting Hill/Holland Park and tramped around the area where you used to live and well remember the first very tiny Cath Kidston at Clarendon Cross, in the days when she sold old patchwork quilts and chipped enamel bits and bobs. But though lots of other things change Hyde Park stays pretty much the same which must be great for you when you visit.

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