Today I went to a brilliant workshop at my Embroiderers' Guild - Stitching on Plastic, with textile artist Kathleen Laurel Sage. She was an excellent and inspirational tutor, and we could barely keep up with writing notes on all the wonderful techniques she suggested. Despite being slightly wary about how tricky stitching into plastic was going to be, let alone free machine embroidery, I have to say my machine behaved beautifully and I produced lots of samples, some with paint, some with applied fabrics, and some with sequins.
There were lots more ideas I wanted to try if only we'd have had more time, but I left with a head stuffed full of ideas to pursue at home.
It was just the sort of day that usually, as soon as I'd get home, I'd make a cuppa, get comfy on the sofa, and then ring my baby sis, Linda, to tell her about everything I'd done at the workshop and promise to take the samples up to show her the next time I saw her.
Which brings me to my dreadfully sad news, and the reason why I've been away for a while.
A month ago, my dear sister, known to some of you as Patchwork Linda, died peacefully after a short and sudden illness. It has been a terrible shock to all of her family and friends, as Linda was only diagnosed as being ill three short weeks before that.
As those of you who know me are aware, we were incredibly close, having been best mates all of our lives, sharing literally hundreds of holidays, countless trips to Knitting and Stitching Shows, Quilting Exhibitions, stitchy weekends away, and so much more.
It has been, and continues to be, very difficult to motivate myself to do anything very much, but Linda made me promise to her that I wouldn't give up stitching, and that I'd carry on going to workshops. In fact to quote her "Don't use me as an excuse not to do your homework!"
She was so strong and brave, and kept her brilliant sense of humour to the end, and she will always be an inspiration to me. I know that I'll miss her forever, but I also know how very fortunate I was to have a sister, and how especially lucky I am that it was her.
In the three years since I started this blog, Linda was my most avid and enthusiastic reader.
So, Dear Linda, I hope that wherever you are now, that you've got internet access. I shall continue to blog with you in mind, so that I can share with you all the trips I take, the loud gigs and the stitchy workshops I go to, my occasional finished projects - and my culinary disasters.
With all my love forever, big Sis.xxx
7th November 1958 - 21st September 2011
Lady Linda - The Beach Boys