The other day while I was working in The UFO Garage I heard a faint knock on the door.
The door was slowly and carefully being pushed open. In came, well, someone unusual. About three feet tall. Blue. Dressed in a silver space suit. With a small box underneath one of, eh, four arms.
‘Hello! What can I do for you?’
‘A friend of mine told my about you. Said you might possibly be able to help.’
‘You’ve traveled a long way, it seems.’
He – or she – or even it – looked a little desperate. ‘You’re my last hope.’
‘How can I help you, then?’
‘I, um, have this thing here. I’ve started this myself a while ago but I’m stuck. It needs some fixing.’
‘Can I have a look?’
He – or she – or even it – put down the box and opened it carefully with all of his – or her – or even its – four hands and pulled out a patchwork top. Black and white with some splashes of colour. ‘I’ve made this from some old shirts of mine and some new ones from Intergalactic Bargains.’
I recognised the pattern immediately. It was one I had already made before at least three times. English paper piecing. A square surrounded by four kites. Totally different looks could be achieved just by changing the colour placement.
‘Hm, let me see. You’ve got a problem with the borders, right?’ My little visitor – I had decided by now it was a male – nodded. ‘You haven’t brought any of the fabrics, by chance?’
‘Oh yes, I have!’ he said exitedly and started to empty the box. A big pile of fabrics began to grow rapidly on the floor. I wondered how all this could have fit into this small box. Bigger on the inside?
I discussed some border solutions with him and we finally agreed upon filling up the border with triangles to make it straight using the leftover fabrics.
‘Can I do something else for you? Maybe give your ship a check-up? Oil, gas, water, air?’
‘No thanks, she’s fine. Parked just around the corner disguised as a Smart car.’ (Now I know why they always looked a bit weird to me…)
‘How long are you planning to stay here on Sol 3? It might take a couple of days to finish.’
‘No problem. I’m coming back to pick it up on my way back. I’ve got some business to do in this sector of the universe. Time for me is relative, anyway.’ (Oh, that kind of ship.)
‘By the way, what’s your name? You didn’t mention it yet, I’m afraid.’
‘I’m very sorry. Where are my manners? I’m Arnold’ he said, turning from blue to purple.