Thursday, April 23, 2015

Tuffets and Quilts

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  1. 1.
    a tuft or clump of something.
    "grass tuffets"
  2. 2.
    a footstool or low seat.

Here we have Martha sitting on a 'tuffet' in the polytunnel. The tuffet is actually the contents of a plant pot. Martha is a keen gardener to this day having been partly reared in a polytunnel.  She is still fond of sitting on tuffets.

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Alice meets Tweedledum & Tweedledee in Through The Looking-Glass, another of A.H. Watson's delightful illustrations.

I remember Matty referring to folk as Tweedledum and Tweedledee. It was generally scathing and directed at various people of her acquaintance,  always two misguided folk who agreed with each other to a high degree. A couple of ladies spring to my mind as I remember this but I can say no more.

Tweedledum and Tweedledee also featured on a heavy patchwork quilt that was often on the bed I shared with my sister. At this stage of my life, maybe four or five years old, I was unaware of the Alice books but I couldn't help being fascinated by the patchwork pieces of fabric that featured the Tenniel illustrations. There were two colour ways, one, sunny and bright and the other, more muted with a sea-green tinge. I'd examine them for what seemed like ages comparing and contrasting. Although it was more likely moments, for little children fall  to sleep so quickly.

It was probably nursery curtain fabric and perhaps it came from the Old Bleach factory in Randalstown. It was heavy, so maybe linen. I wouldn't have known the names of fabric in those days. One thing I do know is, I would give a great deal to see that fabric again. Not because of the Aliceness of it, but for the pleasure it gave me when I was very young.

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