Thursday, December 27, 2012

Pin cushions and planter boxes

The kids and I have come to Melbourne to spend Christmas with the family (more fossil fuels guzzled to get here). We left Sam at home with Kuta the dog... who, while we're away, is allowed to live inside the house. I'm not sure how long that arrangement will last since she has been farting constantly and the smell is noxious!

It's the first time we've traveled without Sam and the kids are missing her terribly... well intermittently, presents seem to be a suitable distraction and temporary replacement for mothers love. ;)

Mum and Dad's veggie boxes are producing food now, yesterday we picked cucumbers for our Christmas lunch, there are tomatoes, not ripe yet, pumpkins, zukini, carrots and the beetroot looks like it's ready to pick! Also the apple and apricot trees are covered in leaves and have grown heaps since we planted the dormant plants back in April.

raised beds
Raised Bed veggie garden a couple of months later

raised beds
Beetroot! (and the edge of a carrot)
Since we were last here mum has been on a Quilting tour of the USA. Her trip of a lifetime with a bunch of other quilters from her Knotties group. The primary reason for their trip was to attend a quilting convention in Texas but to get there they criss-crossed the country visiting quilting shows, shops, displays and museums. I thought I'd post a couple of the photos she took which I found most interesting.

This quilting mob are a funny bunch, they buy expensive materials and spend a fortune trying to replicate an art form which was born from necessity, scraps of old material, respect for the value of fabric, innovation and resourcefulness.

horse and cart field
Amish farmer riding cart past a plowed field

6.11.2012 America Quilt Tour 262
Amish kick scooter

Textile Mill

One of the places they visited was an old textile mill, apparently the ladies all thought it was a wonderful magical place... When she was young my mum worked as a seamstress in a sewing factory, she has worked in the mills and remembers just how magical it was. Noisy, smelly, dangerous! No proper ventilation, no heating no air-conditioning... In summer it was hot and noisy in winter their fingers froze and fumbled with the unforgiving machinery which would not discriminate between several layers of fabric and the thin fingers of a poorly paid factory worker. Many fingers pierced mercilessly on the factory floor. She was finished with that business by the time I came on the scene but I remember she always had a sewing machine at home and most of my early clothes were either hand made or heavily patched up hand-me-downs. You would think she'd be well and truly over sewing after working in those sewing factories but once we'd all grown up and left home mum took up quilting and has become more productive than ever! She's made quilts for everyone in our family... and extended family... all the grandchildren and great nieces and nephews and even the people living with my brother in supported accommodation. Everyone loves mum's quilts! 


Chandra said...

So nice to read your post about things that are, let's see, important! Gardening was one of my hobbies. I can't dig in the clay in TX very well. So, I don't do that no more. My mom knitted quite possibly until she passed. She knitted for her kids, her extended family, her grand kids, her friends, etc. I like to embroider, for fun, from time to time myself. I wonder how long of trip is the drive from Darwin to Melbourne.

Well, glad you got to visit your family and had a good time.

Peace :)

David J said...

Cheers Chandra, I wish I had the energy to write more. I've tried to post a few entries on this blog lately and keep deleting them, I'm not sure if any of this stuff is important to anyone outside of my family but it was nice to be amongst the garden and to appreciate my mum's creativity and generosity.
Hey I know a great embroiderer here in Darwin. You'll have to do a post of some of your embroidery. We flew but to drive can take about 4 days. It's a very long way. I want to ride it some time... Now that would be something to write about.