I have been madly gathering up a supply of fabric recently. The daft thing is that I have given a load away over the last few years thinking that I would never need it ... now I do. The shocking thing is how expensive fabric is these days!
I saw a book on Amazon (other internet bookshops are available) by Christa Rolf called 'Mug Rugs' and I just had to get it. They are so sweet and a great way of using up scraps by making patchwork rugs for mugs to sit on. My mother used to make all my clothes when I was a child: she being a child of the Great Depression and 'Make Do & Mend' of World War II and the rationing that continued in the UK for several years. My parents always taught me to 'keep it, it might come in useful', which may explain why I still have a problem throwing things away to this day. That was why I took the fabrics I thought I wouldn't need to the textiles department at the college where I work, so they could come in useful for someone.
The first time I did some patchwork was when I had not long turned 12. I had my appendix taken out, but they had realised that there was nothing wrong with it but evidently once they go for the appendix they have to remove it. Further tests showed that I had kidney stones which were removed 6 weeks later. In between these two operations my father was extremely ill and in hospital and at one point they thought he would die as there was nothing more that they could do for him. Needless to say this was a rather stressful time for my mother and to keep herself occupied she started to make a quilt from the scraps left over from the dressmaking she had done for my brother and myself over the years. To give me something to do I was also roped in to doing this. Now here I am, 40 years later and caught by the patchwork bug again!
Today I made some bunting for a farewell present for someone who is leaving the college where I work for a better job much closer to home. She is to be married next year and wants a vintage theme and I have managed to make the bunting in the colours she will have as part of her theme! I always knew I was a genius (occasionally).
Having something that I can focus on and lose myself in is a wonderful thing. To lose myself in creating something is so rewarding on so many levels. I have something to show for the time and effort at the end of it, and the very act of creating a unique piece of work is a reward in itself. There is always the anticipation of wondering if it really will work; have I read and interpreted the pattern correctly ... and I also get to use up so many of those little bits of fabric that are left over from bigger projects.