Tuesday 13 June 2023


A new craft group has been set up in my local area and Jo, one of the group, makes quilts. Stunning  pieces of work that brought me back to my father's skill with needle and thread. He came from a line of stone masons and had very clever hands...




My father could cut fabric with either hand

taking cognisance of grain, warp, weft and diagonal.

I remember newspaper triangular patterns,

his tailor’s chalk left white crosses in its wake.


He figured dimensions in his head, but cut

with precision - no strip or machine quilting then

when we cranked the handle that thrummed out blocks

each with its own story to tell.


He finger-pressed frocks and cast-offs that conjured up

memories - sharp and ephemeral the way scents do -

pin-stitched and back-stitched, summers pinioned.


He knew that if pulled along the diagonal

the fabric would stretch

as memories do now across the bed.

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