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Friday, 15 February 2013

Sew mad!

There was a time when I made most of my own clothes.  I never learned tailoring but I could turn my sewing machine to blouses, dresses, skirts and the like.  I would have to say that I have never been a great one for being at the forefront of fashion, I just don't have the figure for that but when my sewing machine gave up, so did I.

A few months ago I got another sewing machine which will take a while to get used to because the foot pedal works the 'other' way round, and the lever to lift the sewing foot is in completely the 'wrong' place, but it is nice to have a machine again.  I bought a skirt a couple of years ago and the first time I wore it I stepped on the hem as I was going up stairs and ripped it along a seam.  I have been able to mend that and wear it again, but the main reason I got it was to be able to make some blocks for the Lost Inspiration Quilt in memory of friends who have died of Metastatic Breast Cancer.  I finished the first three blocks last weekend and posted them off to Texas on Monday because Theresa and Sheryl will be working together this weekend to start putting the blocks together.

It has been a long time since I did any patchwork quilting.  My mother and I made one in 1972 because she needed something to do, and had plenty of offcuts from dressmaking, because between February and April that year I had two operations and in between my father nearly died of the emphysema he had when I was growing up.  He died six years later.  Funnily I can still remember the clothes that she had made with the materials that we were using.  My mother made nearly all my clothes when I was growing up and before she was married she had worked for Singer's, the sewing machine people.  Mu mother was in the WRAF (Woman's Royal Air Force) during the War and was posted out to Paris in 1945.  She hoped to be de-mobbed out there because she wanted to train to be a pattern cutter, and where better to do that than Paris?  Sadly her father was dying so she had to come home and was eventually de-mobbed in the UK.

The Lost Inspiration Quilt is named because of the friends I have lost from the Inspire forum, the Inspirettes as I call them.  I feel strongly that we need to give a face to those who have died from this disease, and not just count them as another statistic.  Melissa died leaving 5 children, the youngest of which was only about 3 years old.  Lisa left four children to mourn her loss for the rest of their lives and the youngest was about 12 when she died.  If we just quite the fact that 40,000 people will die of MBC this year in the US, and 11,000 in the UK that will have a limited impact.  Tell them that Edwina, Marsha, Patsy, Maureen, Karis, Gilda, Kristine, Laurie, Barbara, Alecia, Renee, Christine, Bobby, Linda, Lisa, Ann, Deborah, Pati, Irene, Erice, Julie, Kelly, Kelly, Melissa, Wendy, Kim and Laura have died in the last four months, and that they are just the ones I know about, well somehow it makes it personal.  It makes it personal because it is personal.  They all left people who will miss them forever and a day.  We need to make sure that the day will come when there are treatments that at the very least turn this disease into a chronic disease, or better still a cure.

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