Monday, 30 April 2012

Quick! Before it starts to rain again....

I can hear the rain hitting the window panes behind the curtains, but for most of today it was sunny. I realised right at the end of the afternoon that I really should grab the camera and take some photos of  garden flowers before they were once more smothered in gloom and rain. I was hoping to catch the tulips, which I've hardly looked at except from inside the house through a rain spattered window, but it was so windy out there I got photos of blurry colours instead of flowers. But the little crab apple tree , a pot of Bellis ( 60p well spent...) and my first Clemetis flower stayed still long enough for me to record them.
 Inside out of the wind I have the first few amaryllis in full bloom, loads more buds waiting to come out in the coming weeks. I nearly got rid of them all in a Black Dog moment during the Winter when I was despairing about a mealy bug infestation and feeling rather low. So glad I didn't! The bright red one I have had for 13 years, brought back from Holland by my husband the Winter before we moved there, there are now four or five bulbs, two of which have blooms this year: the stripy greenish/apricot one was a present from a friend in Holland, sent in the post 6 years ago after we returned to the UK, I have a pot full of this type now, the bulbs are multiplying nicely, seven flower stems in all this year:  the pink and white one was a 'rescue' amaryllis about 5 years ago- a friend was given it for Christmas and was going to throw it out, two flower stems on the bulb this Spring.
There is also a very jolly vase of orange Ranunculus left over from a bunch of flowers I was given two weeks ago- I keep shortening their stems and freshening the water and they just keep on blooming, lovely.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Rain! AGAIN!

Still really wet out there. Wet and windy. The garden is very neglected as there hasn't been enough time between fire-hose-style 'showers' to get out there and do any work. Indoors though, I try to keep busy. There is something about endless grey, wet Sunday afternoons that saps my spirit- time for a curl up on the sofa under a blanket with the cats, a book, a hot drink and possibly some knitting/sewing methinks, in the hope that tomorrow it will be a bit brighter. Meantime, here are the latest makes- a cushion using the front panel of my Kimono case design, embellished with embroidery


 and the first prototype of a Christmas Table Runner design. 



You can tell the weather is really pants today- it didn't feel odd to be making something festive- I think we just skipped the rest of Spring and Summer and jumped straight to Autumn.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Rainy break

Been away for a few days enjoying the rain in a different part of the country. It has its compensations does rain. Needed to find indoor things to do in Chichester...oooo...a rather fine fabric shop I've bought from online just happens to be in Chichester, The Eternal Maker, a chance to check out their stock in the flesh.
Awesome collection of fabrics for patchwork/quilting, dressmaking and upholstery - interesting ranges, lots of very desirable linens,  Japanese fabrics, Feedsacks, brights and  funky prints. Great selection of ribbons and trims, threads and buttons in every colour you could wish for. If you happen to be down West Sussex way, check them out or have a look at their shop online. I didn't mention the felt...big box of woolfelt offcuts, even bigger shelves of sheets. Nor did I mention the range of colours and sizes , including a truly JUMBO jumbo size, of ric rac braid...or the many colours and sizes of pom pom braid... Yum, yum, yum.
 I happen to have returned home with some bags.

 Felt scraps...


reversable dinosaur ribbon - a girl can never have too much reversable dinosaur ribbon


 oh, yes, and a few fabrics.


 Time for a serious stash sort as there are a number, a quite scary number, of projects in the pipeline that these fabrics are intended to fit into somewhere- not least the re-vamping of a rather dowdy linen jacket that desperately needs some of these lovely Japanese linen prints.

Friday, 20 April 2012

A quick photo opportunity

Very quick...raining again now!

As promised, some more jolly Swedish Garden photos, this time including my Chicken Cushion. I rather fancy making myself a little flock of these for the garden bench this Summer. A Chicken Cushion can be made in an evening and is an easy make, suitable for the novice quilter/sewer. Dowloadable Pattern for the quilt, chicken and some other Swedish garden items, coming to my Quilty Goodness Project Page....I would like to say soon, but...when I have some time to spare!

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Rainy days

We have a hosepipe ban and are in the midst of a drought.This is why we are currently having more rain than we have had in the past couple of years falling on us in a couple of days. Ridiculous quantities of water, sometimes mixed with ice, has been lashing down. Not good photography weather, but good sewing weather. The Swedish Garden quilt sewing is complete- but with fairly crummy photos, snatched in a moment of sunshine late today. Better ones will be taken when the weather improves, but don't hold your breath, the forecast symbol was two big raindrops for the next three days at least. Back to the sewing it is then.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Putting Pen to Paper

Very exciting  starting work developing sketchbook ideas into final drawings.


 Yes, I know I have loads of quilting and finishing to do on the Swedish Garden Quilt- been creating a big sunflower today-but in between bouts of stitching I have started drawing up the next few ideas.


The "Poptastic" Quilt, 30" square for a wall hanging, but can be made larger as a quilt by adding wider borders to it or repeating the block.


 Simple graphic blocks, crazy fabrics.


 My fingers are itching.


"Tree Bird", a wall hanging sized piece, using these lovely smallish print folky fabrics. Lots to do to get them ready to make, but already getting excited by the possibilities of the designs for using on cushions, mats etc to match the hangings/quilts.

I've also begun to draw some vague Christmas ideas...I know, I know...

Saturday, 14 April 2012

The last version

That is IT. Last one. Single panel, hand embroidered and quilted, brushed cottons, made into a cushion cover . Autumn leaves project  prototypes all made, now for the boring bit writing out all the instructions. I have hardly any Autumnal brushed cottons left, so I shall have the pleasure of searching for some replacements. I was rather thrilled with this brightly coloured space-dyed shashiko thread too-different from the one I used for the quilt, rather more adventurous  free style quilting too. I have enjoyed making up this design, but ready to move on now- Swedish Garden, here I come!

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Table runner

Here's another version of my Autumn Leaves design, machine sewn this time, as it is in Batiks, they are just too much hard work for fingers. Using three of the Autumn Leaves panels made up as a table runner. I never thought I would say this of batiks, but they really work well for this design, the pattern and texture make the design look way more complicated than it is.

If you want to learn how to make this block I'm teaching it on Saturday April 21st at Lady Sew and Sew where I will also be showing my new designs as part of a 'show and tell' on their next two Open Days, April 18th and 22nd. Have to get back to my sewing now, or I will have nothing new to 'show and tell'- quilts and cushion covers to finish and rumour has it I need to have a Christmas table runner/placemat design ( I know...we've only just had Easter...) prepared. I have to say that I'm finding it quite hard to get enthusiastic about festive designs when the Spring has only just arrived- though if we have as much ice falling out of the sky this afternoon as we had yesterday, it might just get a bit easier!

Sunday, 8 April 2012

The Lurgy

Was feeling rather tired last week and on Saturday evening the lurgy struck...that unmistakable shivery feeling of cold water down the back and an increasingly prickly sore throat. So here to entertain you while I crawl back under my duvet for a bit are some Eastery things. A tad late, admittedly, but better late than never.