Posted by: Louise | February 7, 2012


I froze in January.

Ironically January was unseasonably warm, but I froze. I had even dedicated much of December to making a felted sweater quilt and I still froze.

A number of things happened. There was the quilt. It was a gift for my brother and his wife. Everyone loved the quilt. I talked about it a lot, partly to put the idea out there and make it harder for me to not not make it – this is an approach I seem to use a lot. But December ticked by and there was no quilt. There were lots of felted jumpers as friends and families gladly handed over the laundry accidents that were lurking at the bottom of their wardrobes. There was lots of talk about the quilt, but by the Monday of Christmas week there was still no quilt.

Then there was the felted sweater hat. It was a big (or particularly small, depending on how you viewed it) accident. I had never deliberately shrunk a sweater in the wash before. I asked for advise, but no one else had ever done it either. Sweaters shrink by accident. I don’t know why that sweater shrunk. My Mum in particular seems to have a rather vindictive washing machine. Several beautiful shrunken jumpers ambled up to our house with little post-its affixed to them – “my favourite cashmere jumper” “Uncle Big Mike’s good wool cardi” All accidents. So following a trip to our local charity shops I placed my first lambswool jumper in the wash at 60º. It was a size 16, generously proportioned jumper. An hour and a half later I opened the washing machine. I don’t think I have laughed so much since before Laura died. There was a beautiful green piece of wooly cardboard in the bottom of the machine.

I thought it would make a good bag with some small adaptations. Astro Boy tried to fit it over his head. The we all tried. And then I thought – Why not a hat? So I made a hat and then a quilt, just like that. Yes. Christmas week did yield a quilt. I didn’t notice that most people can’t make stuff ‘just like that.’

Over the next few weeks people talked about the hat and the quilt and having a craft stall at an annual craft fair. Would I make stuff on commission? A friend is writing a children’s book. Would I illustrate it? I have a degree in illustration. Someone else (whom I admire hugely) asked me to take over a website for a while. I would love to. It would be an honour. 2012 is a year offering so many possibilities. Possibilities to engage with things I love and am good at. And I froze. Even as I write I feel the tightening around my heart, the fear, the fear of not measuring up of having to measure up, of putting myself out there, of not knowing, of…

The desire to curl up and shrink away is huge, but instead I have frozen to the spot. I just do stuff. Keep my head down and do stuff. But what if people ask me to do the stuff for them, to put myself out there, to acknowledge who I am, to take a risk or two or three. I don’t know where to go with that. As I wrote about the fog in my last post something shifted a little, just a little. Something about trust and trusting my heart when I can’t see the way and finding the courage to take that step and…

Again I don’t know what else to write. I am staring at the computer screen feeling the need mostly for a warmer cardi, a cup of tea and a hand to hold.


  1. Beautiful quilt and I love the hat.
    Massive hugs Louloubelle and I have a warm hand to hold whenever you want. xx

    • Bless you, Vicks. xx

  2. Some days I don’t know what to write either.. it’s such a fine balance.
    I love the quilt.. and personally I am always up for a good cuppa.
    Sending hugs…

  3. I love the quilt, it looks beautifully cosy.

    I hope you do trust your heart. You are immensely talented and it sounds as though so many possibilities are coming your way.

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