My dear inspirational work friend, Janet, is leaving these shores to travel and live in the UK for a year. I’m excited for her and upset at the same time. I will definitely miss her but I also know that this sort of experience is really life changing in many ways. I’m a teensy bit jealous too as I love travelling and would love to see the UK and Europe, but I have had my fair share of travelling journeys and I know that at this moment I am supposed to be here (not to say we won’t do a little short-term travelling as a family sometime).
As I thought about this I wondered what sort of parting gift I might be able to give her. She is going to be limited in what she can carry on the plane – no heavy or bulky items. So that rules out books, journals, dinner sets or irons.
I thought about my own journeys to other countries where I had stayed for a substantial amount of time and I really valued the little, sentimental things from home – the photos, a special ornament, a bottle of tabasco sauce. These sorts of things can help to ease the transition to a new place and act as reminders of the friends and family back home.
So I have decided to make her a cushion. Well a cushion cover actually. That way she can pack it flat in her suitcase and buy a cushion filler when she gets to London. It’s going to be a rag style patchwork. Given the fact that I haven’t sewn anything with a machine since I was in high school, I thought the rag style would be more forgiving.
The best bit about this cushion cover is that some of the patches will be patterned and some will be plain but adorned with the names and messages from our fellow work colleagues. Over the past week I’ve asked each of our workmates to sign a part of the patch using fabric markers. It is already looking great.
I’m going to use a pattern I saw on the Australian version of Better Homes and Gardens TV show ages ago. I have been trying to track it down but no luck yet so I’ve done a bit of internet searching and will piece together a couple of different patterns to get the result I am looking for. I will post pictures of the process and the final cover when it’s finished. Wish me luck!!
Have you ever lived in a different country to where you grew up? What helped you transition as you got used to the different culture?