Thursday, July 21, 2016

I've been pretty busy doing some intensive quilting over the last two weeks, but deadlines have been met, quilts delivered and I hope to have a bit of a rest this weekend. In the midst of the  heavy quilting schedule I developed an infection under a tooth and had to have that dealt with, which made me think about why I hate going to the dentist so much.

I have to admit that in my adult life I have rarely experienced much actual pain while having dental work, but in our childhood, the '60's era, there was one local dentist who was known as "The Butcher". As children, we didn't know that, and our Mum just told us to be brave, so we endured visits to him as best we could. He didn't believe in analgesics for anything but removing a tooth, and my terror of drills is directly traceable to him. If you flinched he growled "Be still!" and kept on going. He was fierce and smelly and had wiry hair growing out of his hands, but I can't remember his face except for horn rimmed glasses, because it was better if you kept your eyes shut.

Looking back I really think he might have been a sadist, and enjoyed the pain he inflicted on us. I thought he might have been better with adults, but our SIL went to him as a young woman and he was so horrible she never went back.

I don't think Mum ever knew how much pain he caused, and in our family you didn't complain, you just dealt with things. When we were in primary school a Dental Clinic opened in another school and we were all trucked over there en masse. They discovered so much work to be done it was genuinely astonishing, but no-one complained because at least they were preferable to the Butcher (and I think it was free). I can remember Mum wondering why our teeth were suddenly so bad, but years later a teacher from that time told me one of the dentists from that clinic admitted they were all training, and did a lot of the work "for practice". Again, no one complained or got a second opinion.

In my adult life a lot of those fillings fell out and had to be repaired, and one tooth broke repeatedly until there was nothing much left to save. So I wanted it removed, despite the very nice young dentist's offers to try and save it.

While I was waiting in the chair I thought of a story our older neighbour had told me years before. She was a child in the thirties, and they were very poor, living in a little cottage 12 miles from town. When she was ten or eleven she developed a raging toothache and after putting up with the agony for a day she and her mother set out to walk along the train lines into town. This was marginally shorter than the road, and they walked all the way there; someone (probably the barber) pulled out the tooth with no painkillers, and then they walked all the way home. She was grateful because the pain was so much relieved, and while she realised that it seemed quite barbaric she said that's what you did in those days.

So while I was sitting there enduring the pushing and pulling and having a tooth with very stubborn roots removed, I thought of her and was thankful for modern dental practice, and I may have cursed those trainees from my childhood a bit too.


Friday, July 15, 2016

 My next UFO to be tackled is this applique project from about four years ago. While I adore hand applique I hadn't done much for a long time, and I wanted something easy to get me back into the swing of it. This photo in a book caught my eye, and I decided to make small blocks, and only twelve, just for practice.

(the book was this one..)

It was a great plan, but somehow when I was drafting the leaves the points got a bit sharp and it turned out that they were a bit of a pain to do and the whole thing got a bit unenjoyable and it was thrown into a container at the back of the cupboard.

Every now and then I'd pull it out and tell myself sternly "It's only twelve blocks, and they're tiny! Come on, pull yourself together." I'd add a few leaves, hate it all over again and back into the cupboard it would go.

Eventually there were only three blocks left to do and I bribed myself with all sorts of rewards to finally get them finished. YaY!! Lesson learned I hope, don't draw shapes that I'm not happy sewing. I don't know quite what it was about these leaves, I've sewn many skinny points before but this shape was not nice to do.(Perhaps the fabric was too thick to turn under easily, who knows.)

I spent a couple of hours finding a faded pink for the sashing, and now I'm trying to work out the colouring for the nine patches in the setting, and whether I'll have solid green pieces in the border. Finally I'm having some fun!


Friday, July 08, 2016

 I've been doing some customer quilts that were very involved, and I can't post them here because their owners want their Show and Tell to be a surprise, so here are some photos of a little quilt I did a while ago.

I've never said much about our other job of being posties because we have to think about people's privacy. While a lot of our experiences are funny, they might be litigation worthy if we wrote about them here!  I love the fact that everyone recognises us and says hello; it's been great being part of our little town like this for six years now. I always said I didn't want to do a seventh year, and hopefully we've found a way to quit without leaving our nice bosses in the lurch. If it doesn't quite work out I might help out a bit, but the writing is on the wall. I don't want to be riding a motorbike when I'm retirement age! Still a long way off, but our predecessors were in their sixties and seventies.

It's also made the quilting job harder to fit in, and we're hoping that we'll be increasing our output dramatically from now on. I'll miss the job in lots of ways, the chats with people, seeing the gardens change from season to season, the dogs that just adore me and wait to get their pat every day. One beagle insists on standing up and giving me a kiss every time I see her, and if I ride past I can hear her howls of protest all down the street.It's mostly been a laugh, although this winter has tried our sense of humour..

We've been pretty lucky and only had a few really rotten days with being rained on, but this year has been particularly wet. There are teams of technicians digging up the footpaths installing the National Broadband Network and I unsuspectingly rode into a patch of soupy mud that swallowed the back wheel before I could get out. (We have no paved footpaths in our town). I couldn't put the sidestand down and go get help because the whole thing just sank sideways so I yelled at some guys in the distance who came and helped lift the bike out. (They are 110 ag bikes and weigh a lot more than you'd think)

As you can see by my grin I considered it funny at the time, but it makes me think about the possibility of injuries and the increasing weight of parcels and all the less appealing aspects of the job. These hands were made for more creative purposes than dragging cartons of wine around.

 I have lots of good memories and I'll remember in particular the amazing events, like having a kangaroo jump in front of the bike, or riding down a country road lined with gumtrees and being joined by a flock of pink galahs, who flew next to me as if they were enjoying the race. Both things that I wouldn't have experienced standing at the longarm!


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