A break for some bartering

Something other than the Tree, just briefly.

As a new friend has recently remarked, “I’d never have believed the friendships that develop as a result of blogging”. It’s true!  I’ve had interesting, funny, sad, entertaining, educational and some downright harrowing ‘conversations’ in the blogosphere with people I have no hope of ever meeting, and with whom I have just a few things in common. But those things are important to both of  us, and so we talk about them. And despite all this technologically-enabled instantaneous communication, there’s still a need for snail mail.

Today I received a small parcel which I’ve been eagerly awaiting.  It contains my side of a global barter, a gift from Wales in return for a gift from Australia.  I’ve been following The Snail of Happiness , also known as Dr Jan Martin, for a while now, enjoying her views on the ethics of food, recycling, waste, ecology and permaculture, with a large side order of crochet and knitting.  At some stage, I headed her in the direction of The Diggers Club, an Australian heritage seed club, and offered to buy seeds on her behalf at club rates and send them to her.  In exchange, I proposed a barter rather than financial reimbursement:  four of her 6″ Masterpiece squares to make a cushion cover.

She is producing a Masterpiece as part of her studies, in the same way that apprentices and journeymen of old had to produce a Master-piece to demonstrate they were masters of their art.  Friends, correspondents and fellow bloggers are invited to participate (for more information, go here and read more about this project – be sure to check the links at the bottom, too). I have also sent her a square, made from hand dyed and spun Australian merino wool.  This act of participation, and her throwing open her project to friends and strangers, seems to me one of the best things about blogging.  We are brought closer by cooperation, friendship, fellow feeling and common interests, despite the enormous distances that separate us.

The four squares for the cushion front, and the fabric for border and back

The four squares for the cushion front, and the fabric for border and back

The 'quilting apron' and its new adornment

The ‘quilting apron’ and its new adornment

So, here are the squares I asked for – I particularly wanted snail shapes – plus a bonus square she has made for me from leftover yarns. The squares will become a handsome cushion, bordered and backed by a blue and white William Morris print. The bonus square, a sunflower, is going to adorn my ‘quilting apron’, a pretty utility belt originally intended for use in the garden and now enjoying a new lease of life. The green of the border is exactly the right colour to go with the suede front panel.  Every time I see it, I shall remember the Snail of Happiness, and it adds beauty to utility, my favourite combination.

Thank you, Jan!