Our land loving friends live in an old turquoise bus in Woodville, on a grassy section strewn with fresh herbs, vegetables, and chickens and a visit to them is always restorative and most quirky. One month Nigel’s hair is blue, the next Rachel’s is purple, he sports a waxed handlebar mustache….or dreds… it is always a surprise. The company is gentle and affable and the table lavished with home produce. Sometimes the home brew is ginger, or it’s stout, or grapefruit. Always it’s given with love. They depart soon for distant climes, back to an Alabama community with like minded rural creatives. Part of the dissembling process has been the throwing of a huge garage sale. Nigel’s mother can throw nothing out, and the plunder goes back decades. My friend Maria and I galloped to help, and drove back home – the car low to the ground; rattling and clunking and boinging with bargains. Part of the haul is a quilt made by Nigel’s Gran that has seen better days – so during the late Autumn evenings I have been hand sewing and replacing patches tattered with age. A huge bag of fabric scraps also scavenged at the sale, has meant that many of the original fabric pieces have been matched. Fascinating to open the padded squares to find old stockings used as stuffing. Many in pristine condition, some with back seams; and able to be paired and worn by those with a mind to don a suspender belt.
Here’s a piece of the quilt on it’s way to restoration. I like how the squares don’t sit in even pristine rows. It’s hand made, with love, by a woman in days gone by who knew what it was to live on a budget. We make do. We mend. We beautify.