Don’t Panic Mr Mannering! As 2020 began who knew that our own personal normality was about to change so drastically to the point that life felt like we were living in a scary movie!
I’m a lover of the simple things and have always been quite good at recognising the basics of what I need to keep myself sane. At this weird time my survival instincts stood me in good stead telling me that I had to adjust, to keep eating the good stuff & keep up with the exercise and in the words of Lance Corporal Jones in Dad’s Army DON’T PANIC! These are the absolute fundamental things that I need to remain on an even keel, of course there are many other things like keeping in touch with my loved ones and having some kind of purpose to my days. I never thought you would hear me say this out loud but thank goodness for Social Media, it enables me to see my girls and grandchildren in real time every day as well as allowing me to take a glance outside my own four walls to see what’s going on in the world.
I kept hearing on the news about NHS shortages of this and that and something struck a chord. I saw little groups of sewers popping up who were stitching masks, scrub bags, scrubs & ear savers to donate and help out front line staff and I realised that this would be where I fitted in, here was my purpose.
I’ve sewn from as far back as I can remember and have a particular weakness when it comes to throwing out textiles, this meant I had fabrics galore that I had accumulated over the years. The original tentative rummage in my stash for a bit of surplus material quickly became a massive cull, piles of the stuff that had been lurking in every nook and cranny of my house since I moved in over 25 years ago. Some fabrics that had been donated for me to upcycle and were still waiting and now was their time to shine!
The Thunderbirds curtain fabric was very apt for the scrub bags ‘International Rescue’ indeed! The Ikea sofa cover someone gave me which had metres of usable fabric and was destined for landfill was washed and hung on the line and has made great drawstring scrub wash bags, as has the lovely curtain fabric that I bought 10 metres of and when it arrived it was misprinted!
Friends have been donating quilt covers and even summer dresses which have worked a treat for making scrub bags. I’ve made a few masks for workers in a chemist, the evidence around wearing them is wishy-washy as to whether they are useful or harmful so I’m sticking mainly to scrub bags and hair covers for now and they have been gratefully received by the lovely nurses and healthcare workers at my local hospital.
As scary as this all is we have been given the gift of time, that in itself is unheard of, the world has calmed down and there’s a peacefulness in that. I feel as though I have more time to look around, to listen, to breathe deep and to think and more time to enjoy with Betty Maltipoo too.
I thought about the people around me who aren’t as lucky as I am, who maybe are facing these changes alone and may need a lift. While on my food shopping trip I nipped out with a few packages of simple homemade gifts for friends, nothing fancy and made from the things I already have around me and hopefully put a smile on their faces, I probably wouldn’t have found time to do that under normal circumstances.
I’ve found time to have a go at watercolour painting and done a few tutorials, done more drawing, I’ve knitted a hat, made a dress and done lots of jobs around the house that I wouldn’t have got round to.
Of course I’m looking forward to my freedom and seeing my family when the lockdown rules ease but for now I seem to have found a new way of being useful, my last count up was 47 scrub bags, 12 hair cover hats, 16 masks and the goodness knows how many elasticated ear saver straps to prevent sore ears from constant wearing of masks.
Keep on Keeping on!
This is a guest post from one of our very popular textile artists Jill Govier. Her keyrings are really popular and this one is to be added to our collection of quotes. Follow Jill over on Instagram and when we are back open then call in to purchase your keyring or makeup bag. More guest posts here x