Hidden talent

Whenever we went into the lounge room of our farm house the green curtained off area held a sense of mystery. In reality it was shelving for family games and a quarter zone for Mum’s sewing table and machine. The table was a converted treadle machine base. The drawers were stacked with cottons, scissors, pins, zips and sundry odds and ends. In the shelf above random stacks of fabric begged to be made into their promised garments.

Mum spent Sunday afternoons sewing – mending, patching, making. She made curtains for her new home – that’s why I knew I could make them – I’d seen so many rings and binding tape put up it was a mere step away to the newer notions of hems, pleated curtains, and valances.

Over the years that I moved from one home to another in Perth, each one was met with a brand new set of home made curtains – no windows ever seemed to match those already on hand.

It was a logical step from curtain left overs that matching cushion covers with or without zips were added to the room. from there it was clear that when fabric was short a complimentary colour in a suitable fabric added a touch of finish to the decor.

Other pieces of fabric became runners for the mantle shelf or piano with smaller pieces being hemmed and used to protect tables.

Mum often had pieces that were unusable in the scheme of things and these became patchwork scraps. Many were part of my skirt.

My sewing machine isn’t behind a curtained off area in the lounge room. It’s on its own table in its own room with all my other sewing gear. Guess I am lucky as the kids have left home.

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