Back to the ordinary life after a weekend inspired by thread, fabric and quilting designs at Martha Milne’s Quilting Retreat.http://www.machinequilter.co.uk/. It was good to return to the county of big sky, Lincolnshire was, at first, spread with snow
and then as we drove home, puddled with snow melt. There were lakes over fields of a width and breadth and, just once, we had to divert along unnamed roads to avoid the flood under a railway bridge.
The thaw was inevitable given the wall to wall sunshine on Saturday –its warmth working while we were quilting inside The Petwood Hotel. I learnt so much, I’ll let the poem and photos tell you all about it.
Dancing the line
Outside, a muntjac deer, her coat
shimmering like wet clay, picks her sunlit way
through snow fading from the soft edge of hard.
Inside, its time to show and tell our pieces,
to ask - which pattern, which thread?
We spool silk, cotton, trilobular fibre
over fabric, consider curls of matt, glossy,
same and shifting colour lines:
question, disagree, play.
Next we air doodle, letting the trace
whisper to our mind’s eye, then, pen on paper,
we repeat: ripple stipple, border feathers, loops,
writing their twists, turns, and pauses
into our muscle memory before we needle-draw,
back and forth across stretched sandwiches
-top, fleece, backing. We are dancing the line
to the thaw’s soundscape, stitching across
bears paw, log cabin, blocks and strips
of cloth, sewing buds of scallops, mussel shells,
hearts, side stepping to shadow one,
then another - creating quilting blossom.
Outside the buttercup moon lights
the leaves, trees, paths, free from snow:
in its gaze we turn towards home.
©Marilyn Hammick January 2013
Many thank to Martha, Emily and Trudy for permission to share these pictures, and to them and a lovely group of quilters for a very special weekend.. No surprise that we all plan to do it again very soon.