Let me say at the outset that this is all my fault, and I take full blame! Well, not for the Quilting, but the Scquilting! To explain I have to go back in time. Back to a more simple time, when life was so much less complicated. Back to when my trusty book-keeper (and partner in life) kept the business accounts up to date. Invoices were issued (more or less) on time, and the baby (sorry, Princess) was fed and watered. Even the grass was mown!
I decided it was time (1995) to upgrade the old TRS80 3P (please, no jokes about 5 ½ inch floppy disks) for a more modern computer. Herself was thrilled with the mouse and colour screen – “What will they think of next!” Luckily at that stage, she didn’t know what the internet was!
Once the internet was set up, I (foolishly) thought, that the best way for her to learn how to use the computer was to get herself used to the internet, and what better way to do that than by joining a special interest group. Special interests….. I thought. I know! Quilting – a hobby she had taken up in recent years to counter the effects of a baby (sorry, Princess) who didn’t sleep and who could vomit rather spectacularly, on demand.
I did a search and found an American quilting group. That will be good for a start I figured. With this incentive, it took no time at all for herself to learn the internet basics, and soon she was posting to this group. A couple of Southern Cross Quilters contacted her and suggested she join their local group and a new Scquilter was born! (She proudly tells me that she was Scquilter number thirty or forty something!).
Little did I know how this would affect my life as I knew it! From that first meeting with an “axe murderer” it was on for one and all. Next she was telling me we MUST go to Sydney. Usually a visit to the rellies is that last thing she wants to do, but now she is begging to go. As I pushed Elizabeth’s stroller up all the rows of stairs to get to the Sydney Quilt Show (remember the overseas passenger terminal at Circular Quay?), I realised why!! A few months later and another visit to Sydney. This time she was picked up by fellow axe murderer Jan Powell & taken to a Scquilty get-together - (how was I to know that this would be the first of many thousand?). On her return, plied with champagne, herself announced that one of the fellow axe murderers had suggested that we build a shed/studio in the back yard for her and she was in full agreement. Plans were soon drawn up!
Her next idea was the most audacious. Why don’t we go overseas? We could go to the UK so that I could see Wales for the first time in over 30 years. It would be lovely for the Princess to see where I grew up, went to school etc. Not a bad idea, I thought. My BIG mistake was putting herself in charge of the itinerary and all bookings. Before I knew it we had our “Round the world” tickets – what happened to just the U.K.???? Our itinerary consisted of quilt shops, the odd cathedral and castle and more quilt shops. On our second day in London, she announced that we were meeting a fellow axe murderer (Lorraine Bradley) and her family for dinner. That was pretty much how the trip went from then onwards.
Most people travel the United States from coast to coast. We travelled from quilt shop to quilt shop! Included in the visit were trips to see a large number of axe murderers, both Oz & local. (Hello Sharron in Denver!).
On our arrival home, I found that a huge shed had gone up in our absence!! Well, a garage, with a little room for me & a huge room for her! You don’t really want to know what happened next, but I will tell you anyway. After the shed was plastered, painted and linoed, I arrived home to find that my office had been emptied of all book shelves. The books were still there – stacked on the floor, but the shelves had been moved (not an easy task – there are two of them – 7ft x 6ft ea) to “The Shed” and filled with fabric. I was told that the shelves were the exact size to fit FQs in, and here was I thinking they were the exact size to hold a novel (or 3000)! Silly me! Thus “The Great Wall of Fabric” was begun.
That was nine years ago. Since then things have only got worse! There was the time I had to pick up a fellow axe murderer from the local station. Herself did not have a photo of Faye, but she gave me a photo of one of her quilts & said to “Just ask anyone who looks like she made this quilt if she is Faye Cunningham”! The time I had to pick up two Dutch quilters from the Airport bus depot, I was told to look out for two tall women! Elizabeth & I have been to retreats, wandered around the Canberra/Sydney /Melbourne/Loch/Berwick quilt shows. And that is only the ones we remember!
There is the once a month Squilter activity at Carrum Downs. I am not sure exactly what goes on there, and I don’t really want to know. I can only imagine that some satanic rituals are involved. At the last meeting I saw Hermione dressed up as a Christmas tree, complete with flashing lights! Enough said.
As a gentleman of fixed habits, with a rather methodical (that’s methodical NOT anal!) approach to life, it has been rather a trial to adjust to the way of life of a SCQuilter’s DH. I have just about managed and having spoken to DHs in similar positions I know I am far from alone. So, I have resigned myself to a life of Scquilter servitude. Please think of me fondly. Elizabeth, our daughter (now 15) is however, scarred for life!
When you see me at Bendigo give me a fond wave – I will be the one carrying the show and tell!!
Big Bad Merv (Saint in waiting)