how to… sew at the cricket

It is an acquired skill to be able to sew with only your own lap to serve as a table and sewing basket all-in-one. Watching junior cricket means I usually take along some sewing to while away the time, to take a stich here and there when youngest son is not actually bowling or batting which would require more attention.. I’m sure a lot of you have been in the same place at one time or another, whether it be cricket, or soccer, or whatever.
And so I found myself today, sitting in a a folding chair, placed strategically in the shade, watching Under-16 cricket, as you do on a Sunday afternoon.
I took along more of the little border blocks that I am STILL working on for the Lollipop trees quilt. The sun was shining but the wind was also blowing, so a fine sense of control was needed.
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My portable sewing bag was on the ground next to the chair; my little zippered pouch with thread and scissors and needles open for easy access. I have all the little applique pieces already prepared in a plastic bag along with the background blocks. These plus the piece I’m working on sit in my lap, and hopefully I don’t drop any pieces while ‘auditioning’ each piece for a block.
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I use a silk thread for these applique blocks, which gives a good finish because the thread just ‘sinks’ into the fabric making it almost impossible to see in the finished piece. However silk thread is also so fine that the breeze can grab hold and blow it around. I’ve perfected the art of cutting off a length from the reel, holding the reel in my left hand pulling the thread out by the right length, pinching it with two fingers from the left hand with the reel cupped in the palm then snipping with the scissors held in the right hand, never letting go of any piece lest the wind catch it and fly it away.
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The reel gets dropped down in the bag to my left on the ground, still holding on to the length of thread, and now comes the delicate operation of threading the fine thread into the needle with a small eye.
This also has to be done in the wind, and in the shade while wearing sunglasses. Is it any wonder I may swear under my breath a little if the needle becomes unthread while sewing, which does happen quite often with silk thread if one’s hands get tangled in the thread when pulling it through the fabric, with the piece threatening to fly away at any minute with the next gust of wind.
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I take a stitch or two, in between each ball bowled or each stroke of the bat, putting down the piece completely when a certain bowler comes to the crease. I don’t want to miss that bowl-and-catch.
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I get maybe one block done in the afternoon- I guess that’s one more block to add to the growing pile. I am moving forward with this quilt, block by block.
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3 thoughts on “how to… sew at the cricket

  1. You are using some very lovely, striking fabrics here Karen. It was football with my son but in winter with rain and mud. Not a good place for stitching…I just used to turn to ice!!

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