Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Making Mountains

So you want to take a present to some people you haven’t seen in two years, who live in a swish Swiss ski resort, and who have impeccable taste. Play it safe with chocolates you say? Come on, this is the land of Toblerone. A chocolate shaped like a mountain really cannot be improved upon. Flowers? You’ve heard the edelweiss song – they’ve got it blooming up to their eyeballs. No, it has to be something different… something unusual… something not available in the haute Alpine High Street.
Of course. The answer is obvious when you think about it. Just take a little blue fabric, a smattering of cherries, some wadding and a hastily sketched outline of Switzerland’s most famous mountain. Throw it all together, put a couple of eggs on to boil and there you have it: miniature Matterhorn egg cosies. Different? Yes. Unusual? Yes. Utterly Useless? Of course. The perfect gift in so many ways... and no, I don't expect we'll be invited back.

Some gentle TLC

It’s been a long, dark winter for sewing. Partly because there’ve been other things going on, and partly because I was scared to go back to the Machine. I broke it you see. Or thought I broke it – it kept making a horrible noise and swallowing up the fabric and regurgitating it in chewed-up pellets. Hungry? More like angry. After 30 years of faithful service, the Machine had just had enough and was putting its foot down.
‘I broke the Machine,’ I wailed, feeling like I’d committed a small, mechanical murder.
‘I’m sure it’s not broken,’ Mum reassured me. ‘It just doesn’t like some kinds of cotton.’
She had a fiddle and the noises stopped. It emerged that there was nothing physically wrong with the Machine – it just didn’t like being taken for granted. Phew, I thought. Mechanical issues are beyond me. Stroppiness I can relate to. So I did the only thing you can do in such situations – I soothed and coaxed, carried out a long-overdue de-fluffing, bought some brand new non-scratchy cotton and generally acted the dutiful owner. The next time I switched the Machine on it purred like a pussycat.
Forgiven, I thought. For now…