Not Twin quilts

Another baby enters the world and so another quilt or “cuddly” must be made. This baby has a sister who isn’t yet two and who didn’t receive a “being born” present from me so I decided that it was only fair to make them each a quilt.

My inspiration came from the new baby’s name. She is called Rahel which is the Hebrew for ewe or female sheep. Way back when we first took TLM (the Loom Monkey) up to Durham to start his education, I purchased some sheep fabric at Durham market so it seemed appropriate to take the scissors to it for the reverse of baby Rahel’s “cuddly”.  Big sister is Esther, which in Hebrew means star and a lunchtime outing to my nearest to work fabric emporium found me the happy purchaser of a metre of red material scattered with white stars. 

The fronts of the quilts are almost identical.  Towards the upper edge of each I have inserted a narrow strip of fabric covered with tiny sketched animals. The strips are from the two different colourways of a fabric. One is white and one is black. The binding on each quilt is tiny black and white gingham, a favourite binding fabric of mine and as a final touch I embroidered each of the girls’ names on that narrow animal strip. My reasoning behing all this is that each cuddly is similar enough so that there are no arguments about which belongs to which but the girls will be able to know that it is their own quilt from both the back and the front.

Their father is not due back from paternity leave for quite a while so I had to squidge both quilts into a parcel and run off to the post office in my lunch break.

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What are you going to do when you leave school?

“What are you going to do when you leave school”. When I was seventeen that seemed to be the only thing that anyone could ask me. There was no other topic of conversation. Rather than being a slow drip drip drip of water torture it became like a piece of road-making machinery, manned by everyone I knew and even those I didn’t, pounding away into my head. every waking moment. I had to make it stop. The moment I uttered the words “I’m going to be an au pair”, that persistent pain in my head came to a halt. The pressure was off and rather than being an immature and indecisive teenager I had been transformed into a young woman of adventure. The only problem was that then I had to start this period of my life which these days would, of course, be called a gap year.

Those around me bought copies of NME to keep up on musical events and releases. I picked up “The Lady” every week. In amongst the adverts for live-in chauffeurs and housekeepers would be the brief details of parents looking for someone to keep their home clean and mind their children. Amongst several that I applied for, one caught my eye. “Young Indian Muslim family in Geneva ……”  I don’t remember the rest but to a young girl living in 1975, in a provincial town, things weren’t going to get more exotic.

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