“Hey mom, let’s do something together” said Neesha to me one day soon after she quit working. As a 7 month pregnant anesthesiologist it was getting increasingly hard for her to work. Driving to work was a headache with the rush hour traffic adding to the difficulty of managing the steering wheel over an expanding middle not to mention the acidity that she had to deal with thanks to her irregular working hours and general lack of sleep; all of which spelt one thing loud and clear QUIT WORKING.
I wonder what it is about being pregnant that stimulates the desire to sew and knit. Perhaps it is an extension of the nesting instinct Now Neesha is artistically inclined but is a product of the 80s one that is used to instant coffee. Moreover when she was in school women were truly liberated and classes like woodwork and needlework or homescience were banished from the school curriculum as being sexist. This must have been a subtle move by the carpenters and tailors guilds because adults today have no option but to call skilled labour in to repair seams and broken windows.
We had planned to join a sewing class together but this really seems to be a dying craft since there are no sewing classes any more! I met Norma briefly at the Club early January but she told me that she had stopped classes and in any case was off to Canada so that left us with no option at all but to find our own sewing project.
I suddenly remembered that I had bought a book on quilting back in the day when I fancied myself to be a quilter. Mumbai is as hot as hot can be and there is absolutely no use for a quilt even in a room that is airconditioned and chilled to 25 degrees C. But I felt there was something romantic about quilting hence the book. But caught up as I was in housekeeping and rearing two children barely two years apart, I had not time to even turn the first page. So when I showed Neesha the book she actually thought I had bought it and ooh and aaahed over a Ducky quilt.
Buying the fabric for the quilt was another exercise because most of the stand alone fabric shops have closed down and there are hardly any craft stores that sell decent fabric. But we persisted and drew out the templates, cut them and began the aplique. Neesha and I were doing a project after years and it reminded me of those days when the girls were at school and I had to help with their craft classes. It was peaceful and calming and strangely enough a great way for the two of us to bond while we patched together the pieces of the quilt and made our Ducky Quilt.
We stuffed it with Polyfill fibre and I finished it off by machine, washed it and kept it ready for the baby.
Doing a project is a great way to keep your mind off the baby especially when you have quit work.