I have gone hopelessly Anglophile these last couple of weeks. First, my rug-hooking friend Mary Anne was swooning so much over the British series Call the Midwife that I finally gave it a look. And promptly succumbed to its many charms.
This review of Call the Midwife sums up most of why I like the show. The main reason I never clicked when Netflix suggested it to me over and over was that I thought it would be all about babies. Now, I am probably one of the few women in this world who aren't smitten at the sight of a newborn, but Call the Midwife shows them in all their gucky glory and even I have to admit they are somewhat miraculous.
But what really captures me is the strong writing, note-perfect art direction, fabulous performances and unflinching camera work. As James, who is also enamoured with the show, says, "This is what TV can be!"
Merchant & Mills Sewing Book finally came through at the library. It is, of course, British. Finally, a sewing guide that I can recommend! (I look through all the new ones that come in to the library, and most of them are absolute junk. I was beginning to despair for the future of home sewing - how could anyone learn, or even be inspired to, by the trendy, superficial, dumbed-down books that are out there?)
But Merchant & Mills reads like it was being narrated by one of the nuns from Call the Midwife - brisk, practical, uncompromising, faithful and loving. It begins: "We love sewing and believe in it. It provides the invisible thread that
literally holds together the world we know. It is everywhere, from the
clothes we wear to the sails that enabled the discovery of America. It
is in our shoes, the seats on the bus and lurks quietly all around the
home. It is best friend to the upholsterer, the seamstress and tailor,
the diva and the surgeon and is as ancient as time itself."
The book is packed full of information - even I, often accused of being a know-it-all, learned some interesting things about the history and use of sewing tools. The chapter on pressing echoes the words of my Bauhaus-trained high school sewing teacher, Elly Pucher: "You must press it beautifully!"
I would be remiss not to mention that Merchant & Mills has a lovely website.