Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Wool Quilt - progress!

The third 'tree' block is finished.

Today has been an exciting day- yes, I get very overcome when I reach the 'putting together' stage of a quilt. I have now made five blocks for the wool quilt, which will have three rows of three 'quilt as you go' panels. I decided to sash with brushed cotton, the quilt is backed with that too, using up a load of scraps.

Pretty dull work piecing all the little bits together, but worth it once the sashing starts, now to hand stitch the back seams in place, then one more flower panel to create and two rows will be done...

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Four days in a row of Spring air.

 Yes, there is a change in the air. The birds are singing, the light is clear and the days are getting noticeably longer. The hellebores are looking good in drifts of snowdrops, equally good floating in a bowl of water for us to enjoy their upturned faces. Have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

A week of Hand Sewing

Happy embroidering

fingers flying this week, a fourth wool block and a finished table runner- Cherry Blossom- featuring a 3D blossom and some simple piecing that uses up 6 left over Jelly Roll strips. One keeping my hands snug as I work on it- though I am having to fight the cats off as I sew- and the other reminds me that Spring is on the way-just ask my Robins, busy building a nest.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Twelve Seasonal Paintings: Done and Delivered!


The last painting of the twelve

Is done. I will miss them, delivery is today and the studio will be a bit empty without them!

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Summer painting 2

   and the Poppy makes two.

Final three paintings- we are in Summer.

Hard to summon the correct summeriness in my head, but the sun is out today so today is the day for completing the three Summer paintings. Here is number one, Meadow Cranesbill.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Comfort Sewing

 It is raining. 
 It has been endless rain this Winter, the river in the valley is higher than I have seen it in the forty years I have lived here, the town is starting to flood and springs are appearing all over the place around the river. When our little town needed to grow it spread up the hill away from the river. There was a very good reason for this, all the land that didn't flood in the Winter down nearer the river had been built on. In the 60s and 70s planning laws relaxed and people thought they could hold back floods by pumping water away and anyway, there hadn't been much flooding lately....all the elderly people I knew when I first moved here cautioned me that when I did buy myself a house I should not, under any circumstances be tempted to buy a house built after about 1960, especially those built on the old water meadows that estate agents described as being on the 'favoured Western side of town". The West side of town was favoured as it was a bit more hilly and didn't flood quite as much as the East, except for the water meadows. One lady I knew who was a girl in the 19th century recalled living in a house by the river, built on a little ridge of land that would be surrounded by water most Winters. In November they would move upstairs and not move downstairs until the Winter rains were gone, she said that she couldn't wait to move out and into a dry house in the town. All the older houses near the river used to have little rowing boats- not for fun, but for getting around in the Winter months. All this seems to have been forgotten in the rush for - now- expensive riverside homes.
 The water meadows featured a couple of large ponds/small lakes that the old gentlemen who lived in my street recalled fishing in and courting beside in their youth. Both clear to see when you look at a contour map of the area and both now pumped out and built on- surprise, surprise those houses built in the dips that were the ponds flood most years, the water just bubbles up from beneath. The rest of the meadows have springs that appear whenever the water table gets high enough. When the river got high enough it would spread across the meadows too. You can guess how it is after a couple of months of endless torrential rain... there was a drainage canal that went down to the river, but it has been filled in, the meadows where the water could spread out have gone- the water is forced along streets and into homes, pouring into any vulnerable spot. Water will always find a way.
 Building on floodplain. How on earth did anyone come to think that was a good idea? Greed does strange things to our intelligence.
 But ghastly weather means that comfort food and comfort sewing are in order, so I am enjoying continuing with my wool panels and here is my version of an olive branch design adapted from a Greek pot I saw in the Metropolitain Museum last year-  simple, satisfying and helping to distract me from the serious storm I can hear starting up outside.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Classes for 2014

 I have quite a few classes booked up for this year, the classes and talks page- link to the right- has all the latest details. Some exciting stuff happening, especially returning to the West Country Quilt Show in November and working on ideas for a special themed week at lady Sew & Sew in September, when Tracey Chevalier is coming to give a talk on her book 'The Last Runaway'. You can book my classes at the Lady Sew & Sew or Pauline's Patchwork websites. I am visiting a number of Quilt Groups this year too- if you belong to one and would be interested in arranging a talk or a class, get in touch via my website-there's a link to the right!
If you liked the Spring Tree project, the Wool panels or any other of my projects, the chances are I am teaching them at some point this year, so take a look and see if there is a class somewhere near to you, if not, have a word with your local quilt shop....