Friday, 21 June 2013

City Sampler Quilt Along: week 3

Twelve blocks done...not even thinking how many more there are! Loving seeing what everyone else is doing with the same blocks- the flickr page is a huge virtual scrappy quilt of crazy colour and pattern.

 The same block looks so different done by someone else- which points up just why I love quilting, everyone can find and enjoy their own thing. I am seriously envious of some of the fabric choices and as for the accuracy of some of the blocks- wow!

  I'm sticking to a limited colour and fabric range for my version of the quilt and as I want a portable project I'm putting the blocks together into four square panels and quilting as I go.

  It isn't too late to join in- these blocks are a quick make and seriously addictive, you can easily make three or four in an evening. Just pay a visit to the awesome Sara at Sew Sweetness and follow the links to all the pages 
( three thus far) to play catch-up!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Kaffe Fassett ribbons,shots and stripes.

 Been working on a project using the new ribbons from Kaffe Fassett and fabrics from the stripes and shots range. I'm hoping we get some proper Summer before October, in the hope of encouraging some warmth, I'm calling this the Indian Summer Runner and if we get a day warm enough to eat outside, I shall be using this on the table. The fabrics are very fine and you do need to be quite careful with the cutting and sewing- I'm going to experiment making another panel using some iron-on interfacing to stabilise the fabric before stitching the ribbon in place. With unstabilised fabric, the ribbon needed to be bondawebbed in place before stitching to avoid lots of wrinkles! Love the rich colours in these fabrics and they are a delight to hand sew- the finished piece is so soft and flowing, very stroke-able!

Monday, 17 June 2013

Can you spot the Tumbleweed? Yes, Empty Open Studios

So far, days open=6, visitors= 9.
 10 if I count the dog-who didn't stay for long.
Enjoy the virtual tour, it is the last time I shall be doing this, too much effort for nothing! Six more days to go- not sure I can take the excitement.

 Or the despair.

Starting to quilt the Tula Pink Jellyroll quilt

Stage one, embroidery on the quilt front with wadding behind.

This is way more fun than doing the applique- colour and a degree of making it up as I go along. Quilting to follow once the backing is in place.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Felt leaves and stitching

Plenty of stitching going on this week, not a lot of gardening. Pretty uninspiring out there still and loads to get done indoors.

 Making more Oak Leaf Necklaces- how much do I enjoy playing with the coloured felts?

Finished two, more on the way.

 The hand applique is finally finished on the new quilt- took me all day to do the circles; yes,  ALL DAY for three circles. I think I will return to bondaweb! Though for this particular project, hand applique was really the only way to get the effect I wanted- no-one but myself to blame for the tedium of getting the circles right- I am now even more in awe of quilters who do complex hand turned applique quilts!
Started on the embroidery yesterday- much more fun, colours and stitches and freedom to make it up as I go soon...

And sleeves rolled up for a few dark blue prints of my "hedgerow" design- two sold at Open Studio already, so replacements needed!

Monday, 10 June 2013


Every year I chuck foxglove seeds all over the garden from the previous year's best foxgloves, as with the poppies, every now and again I add in a seed packet of a nice variety to bring spice to the mix. Every year I wait to see what I've got.
 Always there some bog standard 'wild' type pink ones. This year I also got some dainty pure white,

some stonkingly strong, multi stemmed palest pink spotty ones,

and one of these...

 Foxgloves are prone to two sorts of mutations, one where the top flowers all merge into one giant bud, the other where petals are either just little strips or simply not there at all. This is an example of the latter, very healthy plant, many side shoots with flower spikes...just very little petal action! Apparently bees aren't shy of visiting the 'flowers' on such plants, so I shall leave it out of curiosity to see what my bees make of it- there is certainly plenty of pollen to be had, with easy access!

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Summer Arithmetic

One Wedgwood Woodbury Tea Pot.

Plus: Five pieces of mint.

Plus:plenty of hot water.

 Equals: sheer, lime green BLISS IN A CUP.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

City Sampler Quiltalong:week 2

I enjoyed the first three blocks so much that when I woke up bright and early this morning, I made the second three. Usually when I'm sewing I'm working out patterns and trying things out and making notes, it is so relaxing to have a project where someone else has done the hard work, all you have to do is play with the fabrics.
So, another thing crossed off the list- up to date with the quiltalong- might just sneak a few more blocks in this week, I'm enjoying it so much.

City Sampler Quiltalong:Week One

Late yesterday evening, feeling a bit tired, I sat down to do some sewing. I was already feeling guilty about the Quiltalong as it is actually week 2 and I haven't managed week 1 yet...but before I knew it I had week 1 sorted, three blocks just flew off the machine. It is really good fun seeing everyone's blocks and how different they are turning out. I already have 'block envy' for some of the fabric choices...but,

quite pleased with how mine are turning out.

Monday, 3 June 2013


 Back again. Been a mad couple of weeks. Open Studio ... I knew my studio needed a thorough overhaul before anyone came into it- which means emptying those bookshelves again... then I had to go through the rest of the house preparing for a visit from my Great Nephews and family over Half Term at the same time sort out everything my Husband needed for his flat in Berlin (where he is working) as the movers were coming on Friday to take it all to Germany. Two weeks of turning the house upside down. Fitting in gardening and hospital visits in between. PHEW!
 This past weekend I have been at my local Open Air Museum publicising Open Studios, which start next weekend. Loads still to do in preparation, not least as I've been comprehensively waylaid by the house for the past two weeks...aaargh. But in between chatting to people this weekend at the Museum I managed a few little felty leafy sewn items, ready to become necklaces, photos later this week. Not had a moment to work on my applique quilt Cathy, feeling rather mournful about that, but all hands to the pumps next week to get some real progress on it and on some other projects that have been feeling a little left out. Whenever I get a bit cross with myself for not doing enough I remind myself that I have managed to reduce the UFO pile from four to a single quilt this year, done two new ones from scratch and worked out several new projects for classes, got back into lino cutting and done a lot of work on a Top Secret Project- I can so readily become demotivated by what I see as my failure to get EVERYTHING done RIGHT NOW this minute!
 The sun is shining today, still a brisk chill breeze, the hedgehogs were out last night- I won't share the  copious evidence, I did manage not to step in it, just- and the bees are going from strength to strength. The chimney colony is entering its eighth year, I would really miss them if they didn't make it through the Winter. Saw very few bees and all of them tiny, until this week, now loads of plump, shiny, busy bees all around the garden. I'm thinking of keeping a hive- a no-intervention and honey only if the bees have enough-type hive. Clearly, bees just like to left alone to get on with it, honey is a bonus, what is important is that there are bees and plenty of them

 Right up at the very top of my very tall chimney is the bees' nest. Those tiny specks are the bees coming and going.

They love the pond- they need the water to help build stuff in the hive, at the warmest part of the day today there were dozens of bees in and around the pond. Here are some of the plants they are visiting.

 They just love members of the onion family- just as well I do too- the honey must have a very oniony tang to it, with back notes of apple blossom and lavendar.