Sunday, 27 January 2019

The Merry Stash

Revisiting an old hobby!

I have a big stash of brightly coloured fabric pieces –some plain some printed... some large some just wee bits  each one of them interwoven with lovely memories -  tiny baby clothes, pretty frocks, summer frocks, daily wear stuff, picnic frocks, party frocks, that I had stitched over the years for my daughters when they were little.  The left over pieces would sometimes match perfectly to make embellishments onto new kurtas when they reached their college years.  And the left over pieces from the kurtas went back into the merry stash! 

For the first few years after  we moved to the farm, our trips to Bombay would always have us carrying back stuff that we felt we would need/use here. And thus my old trusted Brother Sewing machine and yes that merry stash travelled back with us on one trip.  But as luck would have it, apart from a few strange things like stitching a cloth fence and then a gunny bag fence for our rice nursery and other odd things, I never really got creative with my sewing machine.

Gunny bags stitched together for a makeshift fence for the Rice Nursery

A cover to protect the pineapples from the monkeys!

Until the day during one marathon cleaning and decluttering session I came upon the ‘Merry Stash’ again.

And then it bit me – the Quilting Bug!  Why not use these bright bits to make colourful quilts! 

So I started with making quilted tops for my Washing Machine (Really?)  and then the Dish washer (Ha!) 

Couldn't you have made the quilt  a wee bit thicker  for me? 

And then disaster struck!  I had decided to use our extra room in the outhouse as my hobby room and I was halfway thru some stitching when I heard the dogs barking outside.  I went out to check and found that our gate had been left open and 3 cows (none of ours) had wandered into the section that leads to our main plantation. The dogs recognise our cows perfectly well and do not bark at them – also our cows walk straight down the demarcated path to the cowshed and do not stray into the plantation area. 

The path that leads to the cow shed

Our cows go so obediently through this path!

It took us a while to get them out, with the dogs trying to help and causing the cows to panic. By the time we got them out, our cows had returned and it was time for their feed and then the rest of the work followed. And I totally forgot that I had left my machine uncovered in the hobby room.  That night we had a surprise unseasonal burst of rain and as you can guess, the next day when i went back to continue my stitching, I found the machine was fully drenched (courtesy – a tile broken by a group of marauding monkeys on the roof ).  

The lower box like structure which housed the motor was full of water.  

Let me take a look - Kippi is sure she can help set it right!

We tried our best to revive it, got the motor rewound on a trip to Bombay, but then sadly it was to no avail.  My machine was an ancient relic and no one had any spare parts for it. 

So then time to get a new one and get on with my hobby!  So  here I am with a brand new machine and an old, old hobby!  Let’s see what else the merry stash can conjure up!



  1. So beautifully written! It's almost like being there. And you have such a sense of humour!

  2. This post is heart-warming in so many ways. Love how all your pursuits were completely unselfish. Gunny bags fencing, protective cover for the pineapple and covers for your washing machine/cat bed. I love most the hibiscus flower on the new machine - an auspicious welcome. I remember doing something similar when we bought the new car - marking with turmeric. I forgot to do it when I bought the new machine. Wishing you lots of creativity and hoping the marauding monkeys will leave you alone and all the farm animals will behave themselves so that you may have time for some selfish sewing.

    1. Thanks Preeti!!!! You are always an inspiration for me on my Quilting Journeys

  3. Quilts unfailingly remind me of my grandmother and her "pedal" sewing machine. The chattering the sound of the needle bobbing up and down, the colourful "bobbins" mysteriously emerging and re-entered the belly of the machine through a secret flap on the surface, the small flywheel polished to a gleam with frequent friction of the hand, the cast iron pedal that I would assist her with, the smell of "machine oil" and above all, the soft and wrinkled hands of my grandma nimbly working after finishing all household chores are memories that will always remain with me.


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