01 February 2010

a gift from a new true friend

We camped between Christmas and New Year in Harrington (north of Taree). The day after we arrived our 'neighbours' arrived, and set up their (borrowed) tent in the pouring rain. To say it was distressing to watch their struggle is only topped by how distressing it was for them to set up an unknown tent in those conditions!

The next day, we chatted over a cup of tea (the rain was still falling) and got to know each other. Over the next five days we braved the constant rain together, our kids played in the pool together, they took Mason fishing (we cant even put bait on a hook) and we built a firm friendship in a few short days that seemed to hold promise for the long term.

After we left our campsite to head home, they stayed on ... and visited the local attraction of the annual Harrington Markets on New year's day. While there Karen picked up a bargain - just for me!

This is what she bought ... these old-fashioned quilt books published by Colonial Patterns, who are, extraordinarily, still publishing patterns after 70 years! By the way if you visit their website you can still buy these Aunt Martha pattern books!

The patterns book are pritned in two colours only and the pages are tinted yellow with age. Apart from 'modern and traditional' patterns, they share modest but timeless observations, such as the following that was printed in the booklet above.
There is much satisfaction - in fact fun - to have nicely done , hand worked embroidered household linens and tea towels worked in cute and appropriate designs. That is especially true when that work was done by you.
It sort of dresses up the whole housekeeping task. In turn it adds more pleasure to entertaining company.

Here are some of my favourite pages ...
Do you love that Dolly Varden?

This is an interesting pattern.

This one is similar to a pattern I am using to make a quilt for my youngest.

One of the charming components of this gift from my new true friend was that when I opened each one a handful of cut-out paper templates came tumbling out. The link to the past, to the quilter and/or needleworker who owned them once, was so much more succinct; a real person crept gently through my imagination, adding to my joy.
Our new friends live on the Central Coast, which is about 2 hours 'up the road'. We have already caught up twice since that camping trip. I feel so blessed to have met this family! Karen and I have many things in common; and she is creative and clever and strong and positive ... and clearly generous too!

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