Tuesday, 25 January 2011

At My Table

Last Autumn I went to the wonderful (and oh-so-bad-for-the-bank-balance) Knit and Stitch Show at Alexandra Palace in London (affectionately known as Ally Pally).
I left many pounds lighter in terms of money and many pounds heavier in terms of great fabrics and yarns.
Three of those fabrics were small pieces of end of roll cuts that I wanted to make something for each of us with. I thought about tote bags but we have lots of those and I wanted these fabrics to be seen regularly.
So, last week, on a rainy day and with the sewing machine out and ready I decided to involve Frank in some fabric stamping action and make personalised place mats for our meal times.
I had some leftover linen and we stamped our names on small pieces of it with our new alphabet stamps and once they were dry I ironed the letters to fix the ink.
Frank then chose the stitch pattern to attach the labels to the place mats and helped me press the right buttons on the sewing machine.
An hour later we had three funky place mats for each and every meal.
We see these mats three times a day.
Or rather, whenever I lay the table. Husband forgets them, much as he has forgotten to wear his apron since Christmas.
Hmmm ....
I love these!
They cheer me so much but I am also beginning to understand the issue of lovingly slaving over things that others don't value. I don't expect people to weep with joy at every meal but to put things to use would be good.
Having a child with Type 1 is like this.
I can tell a hundred people Frank's cool HbA1c and only one percent will have any clue of the work that went into it!
But, being creative in any way (writing a blog, poetry, knitting, cooking, sewing, eyeshadow colours, basal tweaking etc etc) is so good for the soul.
I now recognise that I NEED it.
In some form or another a day does not feel right and my spirit does not feel sustained unless I have gone some way towards creating something.
I truly believe we humans are driven to do this in some form or another.
So, here is Frank's place mat with the fabric he loved as he loves camping.
This is also a typical meal for him, by the way. I might bake and make carb-bomb foods sometimes but more often than not he won't eat them unless it once moo-ed or bleated or clucked or oinked or it's bread or potatoes!
He didn't eat his carrots this day as they were grated and not whole.
And here is Andrew's place mat.
He's not on a strict diet but hadn't got home from work before I took the pictures!

And mine is Red Riding Hood.
I love the fabric even though as a little girl (and even now) I found the story highly suspicious with all the "little girls shouldn't strike out alone in the woods or the wolf will get them and they'll need a big man with a big axe (yeah, right) to save them" nonsense.
I was an early developer as a feminist, clearly!
Maybe I love this fabric because she is looking at that wolf as though she's about to slap him on the nose and tell him to behave himself!
Thank you to all of you who sent positive and encouraging comments about the pump. We are looking forward to getting to grips with it and are suitably scared too.
We have had a few too many mild but still scary hypos this week and whilst it's good to see lower numbers, too low is not good.
Time for some creative basal tweaking (is it me and my addled brain or does that sound like a euphemism? As in "Hello darlin', fancy coming back to my place for a bit of basal tweaking?"!!).
Love to all and happy Wednesday.


  1. Cute! placemats.
    Love the line:
    "Hello darlin', fancy coming back to my place for a bit of basal tweaking?"!!

  2. This post made me smile and also chuckle. I love the custom placemats...so festive!

  3. You're so creative, I'm jealous! Love the placemats and you should post a small sign on the table in front of each chair "place-mat-here" with a smiley face! Ha, it could be a little funny as well as make sure those who are not participating in the placing of the mats fall into line! ((hugs)) and loves!

  4. Lovely placemats! Something similar is on my 'to make' list. I was supposed to do some for the christmas table but ran out of time. I love the stamped names.
    I was at Knitting and Stitching in October too (we call it Itching and Scratching!!). I go with my mum every year, and each year we can't believe that October has come round again, but are thrilled to be back there. It's usually sunny so we sit outside waiting for our coach in the sun afterwards, enjoying that amazing view!

  5. Those placemats are sooooooo sweet! It inspired me to add that project to my little sewing 'to-do' list. I know what you mean about looking at something you have hand-made and being incredulous at the joy it brings. Hooray for you, Jules, for taking the time to do it!