Abbey Gardens Community Patchwork Rug

Saturday, June 16, 2012

I have food poisoning. It's awful. I'm forced to sit still here on the couch as I look wistfully towards the pile of sewing waiting to be made into something amazing. I haven't cooked in two days. There a honey cake recipe I'm desperate to try but the thought of food is just ugh.

And so, let's focus on something else, shall we? Something happy.

I mentioned last week that I would tell you about the Abbey Gardens Community Patchwork Rug project. It was started by the talented Lydia from EEWI and Abbey Gardens, and the idea was for the local community members to each take a patch (provided) and to add their favourite fruit or vegetable in a crafty manner. You could draw, appliqué, embroider, paint: anything. Then, you needed to return the patch along with your 'veg story' or join in on the spot at the Abbey Gardens Summer Fair (it was on the 9th of June - you can read more here.)

I loved the idea of this project, not least of all because I've been working (slowly) on a collection of vegetable-themed brooches and buttons.

So, I asked for three patches, and here they are:

This is my crochet apple block. This is a block for me: apples remind me of my mom. It feels as if we're millions of miles apart, even though it is only thousands. She bakes the most amazing dishes, but her apple crumble has always been her 'go to' dish for desserts or baking emergencies. I haven't had apple crumble yet in the UK, and despite being fairly adept in the kitchen, I haven't yet attempted her recipe in case I don't get it just right.

This is my crochet pumpkin block. When I was little, I would go with my older cousin to our day-mother Ouma. She would make us eat all of vegetables before we were allowed to play. I remember being appalled at the amount of pumpkin and squash we had to get through (and sadly, not much playing) - and I .must say that I didn't eat pumpkin ever again until only a few years ago.

My final block was a set of cross-stitched cherries outlined with embroidered chain stitch. This block took ages to complete and I was up for many late nights cross-stitching away to try and get these done on time! This block was for my OH: he shares an unrelenting love of cherries with his mother, and will always pick up a punnet of his favourites when we go shopping. They're not as readily available at home in South Africa as they are here in the UK, so he's really spoilt that they're available in shops, in markets and in all of the fruit & veg stalls along the high road too.

I was worried that I wouldn't finish up in time, but I did. I even had enough time to work up a pretty carrot brooch which made the perfect finishing touch to the parcel of patches!

I love this kind of community project where everyone can get involved and share their stories. It's a wonderful way to share some 'crafty goodness' with neighbours and to see what everyone has done with their squares, and it's a great opportunity to hear everyone else's experiences of our favourite fruit and vegetables which is always so different from your own. I can only imagine how big this community rug is going to be when it's finished! You can see the flickr group of all the patches and the progress here.

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