Guest Blog – Common Denominators

What is the opposite of Internet Troll?  Could it be Pixie or perhaps Elf or how about Nymph?  A creature that is benignly mischievous but definitely one of the good guys.  I need to know because I am trying to introduce my latest guest blogger, Archie the Wonder Dog.  Yes, that’s right, a dog.  

AtWD has been my on-line champion.  Always ready with a kind word, a like or a share.  What is more she is an accomplished sewer, making clothes, patchwork quilts and other such mysteries, the secrets of which have passed me by.  You can find tales of her amazing crafting at . Quite how those little paws manage to thread the needle is amazing.   As for reaching the sewing machine pedal ….. well perhaps there are special doggy adaptions.  Just between you and me, I am not absolutely convinced that Archie is really a dog.  It doesn’t really matter, Archie is lovely.  See what you think …….

When Gill asked me to write a guest blog (so long ago that I can’t remember when it was *hangs head in shame*), I hadn’t a clue what I’d write about on a gardening blog? And one which frequently makes me laugh out loud or marvel at her succinct way with words? Okay then *laughs nervously*

You? Write a post for a gardening blog? This I've got to see!
You? Write a post for a gardening blog? This I’ve got to see!

After a few days, a glimmer of an idea formed and I started writing in my head. I’ve continued to do so up until the very point where I forced myself to sit down at the laptop and get typing, and here’s the thing: I’m no longer going to write what I thought I’d write.

I thought I’d write about how my two hobbies (sewing, particularly quilting, and gardening) have a lot in common: you start with an idea, you add lots of pieces, you faff around a lot and worry that you haven’t got things quite right, you add some yellow (or white), you move a few things round, you ask friends and loved ones what they think (and sometimes you even listen to them!) and, eventually, you step back and either realise it’s marvellous as it is or you know exactly what to do to make it marvellous. And then you start on the thing and the joy is undiminished by having done it before. In fact, the joy seems to grow with your experience!

Instead, I find myself thinking of what sewers and gardeners have in common; the people rather than the skills.

Sewers and gardeners are very friendly and approachable: there is, on the whole, no prickling of backs when someone mentions that they, also, dabble a little in sewing or gardening. Instead, that person is embraced wholeheartedly and introduced to lots of other friendly sewers/gardeners. If you go to a sewer’s house and admire a piece of fabric, you will, more often than not, leave with a piece of it (along with many others) in a bag; if you visit a gardener’s garden and admire a plant, you are bound to leave with a labelled cutting, some seed or even part of a plant which has been dug up and split so you can take some with you, and maybe some spare pots so you can grow on some of the seedlings you’ve been given. Both sets of people have a generosity of spirit at their heart. Perhaps it’s because both skills are often passed down the family and learnt from each other? The skills and knowledge are shared, and shared freely. Neither sewers nor gardeners feel that knowledge is to be hoarded zealously and eked out to only the highest bidder. No, it is to be shared freely and joyfully, and there’s a reciprocity inherent in both loves: even a beginner has an insight to offer, be it some seeds they got from a plant someone gave them, their granddad’s tip on how to water in new plants, or a nifty way their mam showed them to set in a zip or tie a knot.

The only thing I’d say when going between the two sets of people is this: wash your hands before touching a quilt you admire – generosity of spirit is all well and good, but if you get manure on someone’s fabric/embroidery/newly-finished silk shirt then you’d better have a good tip to share about getting rid of it!

Geum 'Lady Stratheden and Campanula 'White Bell'
Geum ‘Lady Stratheden and Campanula ‘White Bell’

8 thoughts on “Guest Blog – Common Denominators

  1. Archie is a wonder-dog. I know know anything about sewing but I do know that gardeners are very friendly and welcoming, just like you say above. And you are so right, rather than hoarding the knowledge, it’s freely shared. It occurs to me from reading this, the world would be better place if it was ruled by gardeners and sewing people 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What a lot of wisdom there is in this post! I agree wholeheartedly about the generosity of spirit displayed by gardeners and people who sew, quilt, etc.; and that these positive qualities are passed down in families and from friend to friend. When my daughter was very young, I learned smocking from a friend and made a smocked dress for my daughter. Much later, it was worn by my granddaughter. I remember learning by watching my friend–not just her hands holding needle and thread, but her posture, the care she took, the way she smoothed the fabric.

    Liked by 1 person

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