I am a Maker

There are no quilters in my family tree, but there are knitters and crocheters.

My Nana made a granny square blanket for each of her 21 grandchildren, and was working on the greats when she passed.

One grandmother was known as the Mad Knitting Woman of Tauranga….or so my mother tells me. She never gained her drivers licence, so walked all over town, needles tucked under her arms, and wool in her bag, knitting steadily away. Her 6 kids trailed behind her by some distance, trying to pretend they were at best, only distantly related. When she died a few years ago, her pensioner flat was filled with wool, and 27 cans of peaches (another story altogether).

Needless to say, my mother did not knit much herself. She finally gave up knitting my daughters newborn matinee jacket a couple of years ago, when my daughter was about 19. It had been sucked up the vacuum cleaner a couple of times, and was covered in dust bunnies. Luckily my MIL was more committed to keeping the cold away from her precious first-born grandchild!

I started sewing after that same daughter was born. We kindly described her at the time as being built like a front-row prop (a rugby reference), and she had a head too large to fit through the opening of any store-bought clothes. So, I learnt to sew sweatshirts and t-shirts for her. When she grew into her head (sort of like a puppy), I downed tools.

My first attempt at quilting travelled up and down the North Island for six years, as we shifted for my husbands work. It was a stain-glass window pattern, quilt as you go, and king-sized. Slightly ambitious for a first project. Eventually I gave up, and paid a local quilt maker to bind and finish the final quilting.

I promised myself I would start quilting again when I finished studying. Unfortunately I was in the process of undertaking the longest doctoral programme in the history of my department (according to my supervisor). So, I collected fabric, since technically that wasn’t quilting.

The 82 leftover blocks from the Pansy Monstrosity quilt.
The 82 leftover blocks from the Pansy Monstrosity quilt.

Twenty eight pansy fabrics later, my thesis was handed in, and I returned to quilting. The result is what I call the Pansy Monstrosity, and it’s so bad I can’t bear to finish it.

Daughter #2’s workspace, formerly known as the dining table.

Meanwhile, I am training up the next generation. Daughter #2 started young, and has no fear. I turn to her for advice about anything craft related. As a child of the digital age there is no problem she cannot solve, or skill she cannot learn.

….though she is also following me into a serious chocolate addiction (note giant-sized Kit Kat in foreground).


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