Well, I had meant to be around again rather sooner than this, spring weather notwithstanding, but that plan was put at naught by a bout of food poisoning over the weekend which laid us both waste; more violent and total-systems but somewhat shorter-lived in my case, somewhat more limited in its effects but of longer duration in Tom's. Good old-fashioned norovirus I think (you aren't obliged to follow the link, though the transmission electron micrograph photos are actually rather pretty, like a detail from a Chagall painting or something).
This was doubly galling, since it was brought about by a batch of Cancale oysters, the first I had dared to buy, open, dress and serve from scratch, We don't indulge very often really, but it has been a treat we have discovered since we've lived here, sometimes a sociable one, and friends procured for us the special silicone glove for the job, showed us how to wield the knife, and we had promised to save ourselves restaurant prices and return the favour of all the oyster lunches they'd treated us to, so this was the practice run for that. Now, however, they'll be off the menu anywhere for the foreseeable I fear. It's as much as I can do to mention them really. The worst is over but weakness and discomfort and some symptoms linger: I've not been able to apply myself to looking at a screen, or doing anything much, for long at a time, and to be prone and incapacitated does seem a chronic waste of springtime. Tant pis, nothing to be done but wait it out and replace lost fluids, sip ginger tea and nibble cream crackers, this too shall pass, horrid though it has been, and not eating oysters again, if that's what happens, is hardly a serious deprivation in a human lifetime.
Anyway, moving on, here are a batch of photos of my sister's quilts, which happily I prepared earlier. Despite trimming and fiddling with contrast and white balances etc, it really is difficult to do justice to the rich liveliness of colour and pattern and texture in them, but perhaps just a stream of images might convey something of the kaleidoscopic show they make as she unfolded and shook them out one after another.
The one immediately above, an African inspired design, in fact one of her least favourite ones, contains no patterned fabric, the patterning is made exclusively by intricate piecing together of plain materials. She used to make rather more figurative designs, turning the geometric shapes into forms of birds and animals and plants, like this one I posted about some years ago, but these later ones are more in the way of traditional quilts, using squares and rectangles and triangles, sometimes in pinwheels or other configurations, but more abstract. She has slightly more sophisticated machinery now, a quilting frame and special sewing machine feet, but the squiggly quilting patterns across the overall design are done freehand, not using any template or other pre-programmed thing, and though she may buy new material sometimes, never those purpose-made, itsy-bitsy, dainty 'patchwork' fabrics ones sees in craft shops, and she mainly uses a large amount of second-hand, thrifted, salvaged stuff.
The backs are nearly as beautiful as the fronts,
and the pompoms and other trims are also all hand made.
In addition, there are bags and cushions and tea cosies (the latter sometimes in the shape of chickens)
and cotton bags, which also have patchwork motifs on, them for putting the quilts in