A sampling of life at Devon House on beautiful Norfolk Island. Family and island events, personal reflections and discoveries, reminiscences of times past, and my personal creative journeys in the realms of crazy patchwork and textiles.
Monday, June 28, 2010
MOTHER AND ME
(and a little Liberty)
My last posting about the seaside arose from the fact that I needed to find a picture of me and my mother together for this month's page for our StitchingTogether Round Robin. "Mother and Me" is the theme chosen by Melissa from New Zealand.
In this picture, my mother and I were obviously sharing a joke - or she was very amused by my antics. I am sure the drink in that bottle was not alcoholic!
To make this page, I used a background print in my mother's typical "shabby chic" colours. Then I overlaid strips of dress pattern tissue, representing all those years that my mother made my clothes, and many hours spent poring over dress pattern books in David Jones and Farmers!
Now the tiny suffolk puffs that border the photo at the bottom left are a reminder of the quilt that my mother made for me using the good fabric that was left from our sheets in the early years of "Fletcher Christian Apartments."
My sister had inherited a similar quilt made by our great-aunt Sally, and I was a little envious !
It was a task Aunt Sally performed over a long period of time. Worn sheets were first turned with the outside seams in the middle, and finally, when they were beyond repair, the fabric that was still sound was turned into these gathered circles. The quilt was still incomplete when she was quite old, and reluctantly she purchased one-eighth of a yard of sheeting to complete it!
In this picture, the two quilts are both shown together. Aunt Sally's is a little daintier, having been made with smaller circles.
The quilt in between is a "military quilt, and was made by great-great uncle, William Fist - Aunt Sally's uncle, in fact, out of 1/2 squares of the fabric from his military uniforms. It has over 5000 pieces, sewn by hand with a backstitch. On top of Aunt Sally's quilt (on the left) is a crazy patchworked cushion, also made by the same lady. She used to make them for all the family, and this one also belongs to my sister.
The small suffolk puffs in the picture at the top, made for our Round Robin, have been made using Liberty lawn, because it is very fine and lends itself to tiny projects.
And while on the subject, I wrote a blog about Liberty fabric recently. Since then, my sister has reminded me of something that had disappeared from my conscious memory. As children we both wore dresses from Liberty fabric. They were hand-me-downs from the neighbours, who had two girls, each a little older than my sister and me. That may account for the fact that I love it so much.
I wrote of how I had been trying to "use up" some of my Liberty pieces, by making the batch of handkerchiefs. Well, believe it or not, I have since been given a whole lot more. There are large quantities of dressmaking remnants, and several large lengths. They came from someone who did dressmaking for a lady who would only wear Liberty fabric!!
I am in Liberty heaven - and have had to give up on the idea of ever using it all up!!!
I am primarily a creative and family person. My passion is creative textile work, and I am a collector of anything that can be used to embellish fabric!
Born in England, I have lived on Norfolk Island for 40 years. My husband is a descendant of Bounty mutineers, and we have five adult children. We are very proud of our heritage, and love belonging to this very beautiful and historical island.
Our home "Devon" is a rambling 1920's home on seven acres which includes lovely a natural woodland. Two sons also live and work on the property. We are very much involved in community affairs. We grow for the fledgeling Norfolk Island Coffee Industry, and run Poll Hereford cattle on our property "Simon's Water."
We own a tourist accommodation, but are retired from active management. Much of our spare time is spent helping out our family and sharing good times with them. Three sons live on Norfolk Island, one son lives in Sydney, and our eldest, a daughter, lives in New Zealand with her own two girls. I love being able to share and interact with the rest of the world via the net!