Just over a year ago my father died, a mere 4 weeks short of his 89th birthday. He was a strange, challenging and sometimes delightful fellow, blessed with a creative streak which he channelled into furniture making. In the seventies he was removed from his position as chairman of a brass foundry (his ideas to make the company profitable once more were just too far ahead of the game at the time), and was of an age where getting another job was oh so difficult. After 18 months it was decided that we would move to our cottage on the mountainside, overlooking the sea in Pembrokeshire.
It was time for him to follow his heart. His heart was creative, and practical. His love was for making furniture. Not your everyday pieces. Oh no. He went for oak. Hard. Full of character. Changing gradually over time. A bit like my dad. Except he was soft at his core. He showed me that it was ok to step out on your own, that you can do pretty much anything if you put your mind to it and commit to it. He made it ok for me to become self-employed as a consequence.
I digress (for a change…). There came the inevitable time after Pop died for us to clear out his clothes. I couldn’t bear the thought of his shirts going to charity so I returned home with two large boxes of shirts and pyjamas, along with his varied (treasured) collection of ties. I had an idea of what I could make with the ties and some of the shirts, but NOT A FLIPPING CLUE what to do with the rest!
Move on a year. I spotted a couple of his pyjama tops which were stripy, and they kind of appealed to my need for order at the time, so the sleeves were removed and cut into 3″ squares, then stitched together diagonally to create chevrons. I was left with 2 1/2″ squares and a mad scrabble to get my design wall back up to arrange them.
This is where I ended up, with a little help from my friends.
I shall be stitching them together into squares later and see what happens. These things have a habit of evolving on their own.
The working title is “Sweet Dreams Pop”. It won’t be for sale as it’s far too personal, but it might inspire you to have a dig through some old shirts for stripes to make your own memorial piece.
Time to shoo the cats away from picking the pieces off the design wall…