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Friday, 28 September 2012

Opportunity Knocks

At Eldest's primary school leaving ceremony in July, all the children were asked to hold up a sign saying what they'd learned in their time there.

"I've learned to stand my ground," announced Eldest's sign. This was tantamount to standing up in front of the whole church to announce "I've learned to be as stubborn as possible."

But it was a boy in her class that made me pause for thought. His message? "Take the opportunities you are offered."

I live in very close proximity to a factory shop which supplies precious scraps of Liberty lawn fabric in little packages for peanuts. For quite a while now, I have bought the odd few metres of fabric to make clothes, but the scrap bags always call me.They're so pretty - like jewels, and full of opportunity. The sealed bags, where you can't see what you're getting, are like the most exciting lucky dip. Each time I go, I squirrel away a packet or two even though I have no schemes or plans for them at all. I don't quilt. I don't make things out of scraps.

You might have read Flossie Teacakes' blog posts about English paper piecing this summer - seeing them was like a revelation. And so it was that I spent the whole summer holidays sewing little diamonds of Liberty fabric. Pointlessly. Aimlessly. Soon I had a boxful and no inspiration had struck.

It was time to call in the big guns. I went to see Tess. And during two blissful days with her family, whilst my children played with Lego and computer games and stroked cats, she shook my paper piecing into shape and let me play with her sewing machine. Who could ask for a better kind of friend?


So now I am a quilter. No really. Even though I haven't technically made an entire quilt yet. Because when you're offered gorgeous fabric, online tutorials and good advice from a friend, you have to take the hint.

Don't miss the next exciting instalment of The Coffee Lady's Opportunity Knocks - where I become a mandolin player. I wanted to play the lute. I waited 30 years for the chance. But then Mr Coffee happened to have a mandolin and - what can I say? "Take the opportunities you are offered." Good advice from an 11-year-old boy.



20 comments:

  1. That is beautiful. And you know you are starting at the highest heights of quilting by using liberty lawn AND doing english paper piecing? Plus, all your points match. You're doing my head in.

    I love it.

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  2. Yes, matching points, that's real quilting. Am eager to hear some mandolin playing. Will you be including a sample?

    Liking the new look by the way, and the 'mother. maker. skinflint. cynic' tag is excellent.

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  3. Gorgeous! Keep going, oh opportunity taker.

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  4. Your quilt is beautiful as well as the fabrics you're using. Your post was a reminder that I haven't done any sewing on mine for ages.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! It might be finished by 2015 if I am VERY lucky.

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  5. it's fantastic! oh my god... I will not show you MY first quilt.. no way Jose'

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  6. What Sue said and 'out of the mouths of babes...'

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    Replies
    1. Those babes. They've a lot to answer for.

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  7. Bags of Liberty lucky dip - impossible to resist. Soooo impressed. C.x

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  8. I started a hand pieced quilt in 1973...

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  9. Love this post.

    As encouragement, I'm about to finish a quilt I started in 2009. Keep at it.

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    Replies
    1. 2009 is an improvement on 1973, that's for certain...

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  10. Beginning is the hard part. Don't set a deadline and you'll be fine...

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  11. That is excellent advice. And one gorgeous looking quilt top.

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  12. Beautiful quilt! I do love paper piecing; there's something immensely satisfying about all those teeny tiny stitches and liberating the paper pieces when they're no longer needed.

    I am really taken with the idea of the liberty lucky dip bags. Marvellous.

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  13. Huh--I saw you as more of a balalaika gal.

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  14. squeeeeee! it's looking fantastic!

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  15. Quilting and a Mandolin, awesome!

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