When Lavender was found in Tutankhamen's tomb in the 1920s, the 3000-year-old herb still retained some of its scent! Lavender is named for the Latin word ‘to wash’. It was used in Ancient Rome to scent baths and relax minds. In the 1200s, English washer women were called “Lavenders” because they scented freshly washed linen with the herb. Queen Elizabeth’s favourite preserve was made from Lavender, and so it became popular in sweet foods in the 1600s. Herbalists use lavender oil today for the treatment of anxiety and insomnia.
Lavender is my favourite smell. Ever. To me it smells like clean and fresh. A new day. A fresh start. A clear mind. Joyful and energetic. I wanted this quilt to feel like a good night’s sleep.
All the the quilts in this book were made when I was thinking through our big move interstate, away from our old life and job of nearly 15 years, to a completely blank slate. “Blank slate” sounds like a wonderful thing, doesn’t it? It’s fresh and new, and summed up what I was hoping for in this big change. But real life isn’t always so clean cut. There was grieving to do. There was thinking, asking hard questions, financial stress, loneliness. There was the boring, hard work of school pick-ups and dishes and cooking dinner in amongst it all. It’s been the darkest, hardest time. A flood, a dragon, a complete catastrophe.
2 years later, with this book now here, and these quilts shared, my story now told, I feel like I have woken up from a long, deep sleep. The kind where you sleep all the way through after months of interruption. The kind that makes you glad for the new day, makes you hopeful, like you might just get all your things done. Your chest is a little lighter and your brain isn’t buzzing, and you can look at things around you rather than only seeing the noise inside your head. Like clean sheets, good coffee, fresh cut Lavender.
I’m so grateful for a new start, even though it’s been much slower and harder to find than I expected. I’m so grateful for beautiful colours and drapey quilts. I’m grateful for the slow tidying up, putting things in order, starting to make things lovely again.