I liiiiiive! Actually, I live quite well. I’m in New Zealand on holiday. I quite forgot to tell anyone I was going, including the Internet. More importantly, I forgot to tell my across-the-road neighbour who collects our mail and when I went to tell him on the day we were leaving, he was on holiday himself. Oops. However HIS next-door neighbour, owner of Sack Dog, was out watering his garden and was only too pleased to oblige. As for you, Internet, since you offered neither to collect my mail nor water my front garden, you didn’t get any sort of notice at all.

I would here show you photos I’ve taken so far, but I am on my mum’s computer and it has dial-up. Remember dial-up? I didn’t until I got back here. OH GOD. It’s SO SLOW. I am hobbled. I’ve just spent 45 minutes reading 25 emails, leaving about 80 unread and that’s only one of my email addresses. The Yahoo one. Damn Yahoo. I haven’t read web email for a year, since our last sojourn to NZ, and I’d forgotten how tedious and painful it is. Also, subliminally I now want a Virgin credit card. No I don’t! No I don’t! Damn you Internet Explorer and your crappy, crappy ads! I should install Firefox on mum’s computer I suppose, but really I should just turf it into the nearest landfull. I think I’m getting viruses just by sitting near it.


So, if one of my new years’ resolutions for 2005 was “make a quilt”, I would have just scraped in with seconds to spare. However, it was not. Because I had no thought of making a quilt, apart from “I like quilts, in an abstract way, but they look hard, and my sewing maching is small and crappy.” But lo, for some insane reason, on Friday I found myself in Spotlight buying a quilt book; lots of fabric (way too much, as it turned out); thread, both visible and invisible; hundreds of safety pins; a rotary cutter and mat thing; and finally some sort of batting, or as I like to call it, innards. So I went home and made a quilt. Can I say that although Friday was quite pleasant, Saturday was one of the HOTTEST days of the year here – – over 40 degrees in Melbourne. So a nice indoor air-conditioned project was a good idea. Up until the point where I decided I would never get 2 layers of fabric + innards through my sewing machine (told you it was small and crappy) and decided, unilaterally, to leave the house and buy a proper sewing machine.

“I am buying a sewing machine,” I announced to Mr. T.
He looked pointedly at my current sewing machine, sitting blamelessly on the floor. (YES I SEW ON THE FLOOR.) (OH MY BACK.)
“A good sewing machine,” I clarified. He looked pointedly at my new official festive iPod.
“A cheap, good sewing machine. Which Santa, may I add, did not bring me.”
“You know, Santa WOULD have brought you a sewing machine, HAD HE ANY CLUE that you desired one.”
“Yes, well, I didn’t before. But NOW I do.”
“You COULD have received one instead of the official festive iPod.”
“Yes. Yes, I know. But I can’t take the official festive iPod back now. So there’s really nothing to do but buy myself the sewing machine.”
“You know, that’s not really the Spirit of Christmas.”
“Shopping IS the Spirit of Christmas!”

So I left the house on the hottest day of the year, and drove 25 minutes to a sewing machine shop. (I did try to convince Mr. T to come with me, on the grounds that the aircon in his truck is much better than in mine. He declined. That’s not the Spirit of Christmas!) Anyway, fifteen minutes into my drive, after avoiding two broken-down cars (open bonnets, steaming radiators), I realised I didn’t know if this shop would be open. Too late now! I am sweating freely! (Damn you, crappy aircon.) Here is shop! Shop is open! Talk to nice lady. Purchase sewing machine. (Yes, I can be this impulsive with big ticket items. Fear me! Like my bank balance does!) Get free things. (ooo! Darning foot. I don’t know what that is, but NOW I HAVE TWO.) Leave shop and drive home, avoiding three more broken-down cars. Get home and learn to use new sewing machine. Oooo, it is so GOOD! Love sewing machine. Regret sewing quilt blocks on crappy sewing machine, which has uneven tension and stitch length (due no doubt to a previous project involving four layers of polarfleece and provoking a low grinding noise.) Decide quilt blocks are fine, as I will no doubt completely destroy the quilt when I attempt to quilt it anyway.

But I did NOT! And here is the finished product. I am so proud. And to think I was going to give it to the cat!

I am particularly pleased that my backing fabric is STRAIGHT. Look at that nice line of flowers down the edge! With a bit of jiggling with the binding (yeah, don’t look too closely at the binding) I have a perfectly symmetrical quilt! Am a sewing GOD! (Oh, I am so not a sewing god.) But that was fun, and now I want to make more, MORE! Must … amass … extensive fabric collection!

Thinking back, I tend to do things like this around the time of the New Year. Last year, it was felt creatures and soft toys. The year before, it was learning HTML and building websites (including THIS ONE, oooo spooky). Next year: velvet painting! You heard it here first.