15/05/2017 § 3 Comments
I’ve had a flurry of cushion-making! Two of my sewing machines have been threaded up and put to good use, as they have very different skills. My huge Janome Horizon has a beautiful blanket stitch (in fact it has about 6 blanket stitches), but my favourite is just plain old blanket stitch which I can adapt for stitch widths and spacing. I’ve used it for applique work on cushions, with great results. This is the machine that I use every day for stitching and quilting and it has a phenomenal range of stitches, most of which I’ve never used!
I recently purchased a retro Bernina 807 that I’ve long coveted for its ability to do freehand embroidery. I took advice from 2 sewing machine engineers and they both recommended the same machine. The mechanics of this machine mean that it stitches in every different direction and churns through freehand. I used a whole host of coloured threads to add embroidery to the stunning Japanese print with budgerigars and cockatoos. Love it!
I was looking for inspiration for patchwork cushions and did a Google search for images. The photo that caught my eye was one of my own! I made this trio of cushions way back – probably 5 years ago!
I just love working with reds and warm colours. Simple square shapes using checks and patterns bring a homespun simplicity to my most recent one …
This week I’m going to be busy putting the finishing touches to my stock so I’ll be ready for the annual Watercress Festival that takes place in the pretty little town of Alresford in Hampshire at the weekend. It’s a huge event that has grown in popularity and size over the years.
If you’re able to visit on Sunday 21st then do come and say Hello – I’ll be in Station Road. And if you could keep everything crossed for fine weather then I’d be really grateful!
Have a good week.
21/04/2017 § 2 Comments
Amaryllis, bluebells, tulips, apple blossom, cherry blossom – it’s all happening!
I ventured to Bath to snatch a couple of hours of ‘me time’ and to break up my recent journey to Wales. The weather was wonderful and the clip clop of hooves as the horse-drawn taxi trotted by, made my visit even more special – I so love Bath.
The amaryllis – a surprise from my daughter, to welcome me back home – arrived in a massive box and the fat buds opened into the most magnificent blooms.
Apple blossom & bluebells – well, need I say more – sheer perfection.
And cushions – I’m on a cushion-making mission at the moment with some fairly large fairs looming this month and next. I even treated myself to a new (but very old) sewing machine yesterday – one that loves doing freehand embroidery – so there’ll be some more cushion posts shortly.
The weather has been awesome. A long dry spell for about a month has meant that the water butts I installed last year are in use most days for watering the seedlings in the greenhouse. Ah Spring – such magic!
Enjoy everything, wherever you are.
11/03/2016 § 8 Comments
Fibre Art – my new fun-thing-to-do …
Take a load of snippets and scraps and then turn them into something wonderful …
I’ll do a tutorial on the process of turning fibre scraps and tiny snippets into fabric next week.
It’s fun and oh-so-good to use up what’s in your fabric bin!
Tomorrow is the first fair of the year in Alton, a pretty market town in Hampshire. A few of us ‘Makers’ and the farming crowd from the Farmers’ Market turn up with our tables and goodies and the good folk of Alton and the surrounding villages come out with their baskets to fill. It’s always busy and there’s a really friendly vibe about this market.
In preparation, I’ve made a couple more cushions for my stall …
I’ll also have lost of patchwork kits and quilts for sale. Let’s hope the sun keeps shining like it is today. I’m off out with the collies for a long walk and then will load up the car ready for the morning.
What do you have planned for the weekend?
Whatever you’re up to, have fun!
11/07/2014 § Leave a comment
12/06/2014 § 2 Comments
early mornings, garden roses, quacky duck, evening strolls, quilting days –
sewing in the garden – oh yes – I’ve been doing a lot of that!
I’m pleased to have caught up with a few photos of my recent designs and makes. I’ve been to two fairs in June so now I can concentrate on my sewing (and quiet evening knitting – even more lace-weight – photos soon) and enjoy the summer sun.
27/04/2014 § 4 Comments
ideas, that is!
Whilst browsing around the Antiques Market in Salisbury the other day, I enquired about a pretty little something in the window. Tina, who was on duty at the time, came to reveal the price label when, with an almight crash, the glass shelf in the cabinet collapsed – AAARGHHHHH!
Well, Tina and I reacted like lightning and between us we caught the shelf and managed to remove everything very carefully with not a single piece of china or glass damaged – amazing.
The little coffee cup in the window came home with me, and as I have a secret desire to fill my home with coffee cups, a couple of others did too. I’m making ‘things’ with coffee cups – you’ll have to wait to see exactly what, but I need lots.
As a result of the near catastrophe, we got chatting and Tina said she had ‘a few more coffee cups and saucers ‘ back at home …
A little later, via email and like the very sensible person she is, Tina suggested a swap – cushions for coffee cups.
Now, that’s my kind of a deal. I set to work with a wonderful “butterflies and jewel colours” brief – absolute bliss …
Yesterday morning, I popped over to Salisbury to meet Tina and her 2 chirpy canines (she’s also a dog-trainer), where we discovered the cushion covers would fit in perfectly with her new decorating scheme – wallpaper and bedding already bought – it was meant to be!
The simple art of bartering “a system of exchange by which goods or services are directly exchanged for other goods or services without using a medium of exchange, such as money” can be so effective and such good fun.
The girls have been threatened with Tina’s dog-whispering, though I think I’d have to barter rather more than cushions in exchange for their good behaviour!
Happy days – ‘Thank You Tina – great idea and a great swap’.
30/05/2012 § 5 Comments
Have you heard of Dylan Thomas (1914-1953)? He was a writer and playwright, Welsh – of course! One of his best known plays – a play for voices is called Under Milk Wood.
It begins like this …
“To begin at the beginning:
It is Spring, moonless night in the small town, starless and bible-black, the cobblestreets silent and the hunched, courters’-and- rabbits’ wood limping invisible down to the sloeblack, slow, black, crowblack, fishingboat-bobbing sea. The houses are blind as moles (though moles see fine to-night in the snouting, velvet dingles) or blind as Captain Cat there in the muffled middle by the pump and the town clock, the shops in mourning, the Welfare Hall in widows’ weeds. And all the people of the lulled and dumbfound town are sleeping now.
Hush, the babies are sleeping, the farmers, the fishers, the tradesmen and pensioners, cobbler, schoolteacher, postman and publican, the undertaker and the fancy woman, drunkard, dressmaker, preacher, policeman, the webfoot cocklewomen and the tidy wives. Young girls lie bedded soft or glide in their dreams, with rings and trousseaux, bridesmaided by glow-worms down the aisles of the organplaying wood. The boys are dreaming wicked or of the bucking ranches of the night and the jollyrogered sea. And the anthracite statues of the horses sleep in the fields, and the cows in the byres, and the dogs in the wet-nosed yards; and the cats nap in the slant corners or lope sly, streaking and needling, on the one cloud of the roofs.
You can hear the dew falling, and the hushed town breathing.”
I’ve had a long love affair with this little play. It’s very Welsh – the characters are often melancholy and there’s much subtle innuendo & humour in his writing. One of my favourite characters is Mr Mog Edwards, who runs Cloth Hall, the drapery. Whenever anything arrives in the post for me, I think of these lines that he writes to his unrequited love – Miss Myfanwy Price …
“I am a draper mad with love. I love you more than all the flannelette and calico, candlewick, dimity, crash and merino, tussore, cretonne, crepon, muslin, poplin, ticking and twill in the whole Cloth Hall of the world. I have come to take you away to my emporium on the hill, where the change hums on wires. Throw away your little bed socks and your Welsh wool knitted jacket, I will warm the sheets like an electric toaster, I will lie by your side like the Sunday roast.”
And as the postman arrived with my parcels last week … “A new parcel of ribbons has come from Carmarthen today, all the colours in the rainbow….Business is very poorly. Polly Garter bought two garters with roses but she never got stockings so what is the use I say.”
Ha – that makes me laugh! I may share some more snippets with you – would you like that? I’m no literary critic, but let me know what you’d like to hear about – there are wonderful characters and funny verse. We used to name our dogs after characters in the play – we had Myfanwy Price (Fan), No-Good Boyo and Mattie!
Now what was in those parcels?
Aren’t they just delightful? They arrived, not from Carmarthen, but from the far flung corners of the globe – right round it! I’m so thrilled with them and have been working on some more cushions – patchwork log cabin with red bobbles – some are definitely for our Dolly-van!
In other news – I’m definitely having Foxglove-Love …
Every day some more trumpets open and it’s breath-taking. In my sewing room I have a little something else to make me smile …
a solar-powered nodding sunflower! Himself bought it for me a couple of weeks ago and as the sun rises, she tips her head back and forth and her leaves bob up and down! Isn’t she just the sweetest thing?
Happy days …
19/05/2012 § 4 Comments
Here are just a few in a bit more detail …
I actually finished 15 cushions in a week! That’s a record. Sunday is the Art & Design market in Winchester but the weather is threatening showers so I’m going to keep everything crossed that doesn’t rain for too long.
Next week I’m going to blog about something other than cushions and quilts. I’ve been doing a bit of shopping – parcels have been arriving from all over the world! We’ve been out and about for some lovely jaunts and I’ve been practising with my zoom lens.
Have a lovely Sunday.
29/04/2012 § 18 Comments
It’s been a good weekend for finishing some cheerful cushions I made earlier in the week …
Here’s a merry-go-round of retro prints, complete with vintage buttons & bobbles!
Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside …
Last year, we spent a long weekend by the seaside in Cornwall. As we sat outside our beachside cottage, enjoying the morning sunshine and breakfast overlooking the sea a little day-old duckling found it’s way to our back doorstep! More about that in a minute …
Today I ventured out with the collies, clad from head to toe in waterproofs with woolly jumpers underneath! I bet there were phenomenal waves on the beach in Porthleven today!
A while ago I couldn’t resist some 1950’s nursery panels. The children all look so happy, enjoying games and having lots of fun – so I (hopefully) continued the theme, with some cheery retro patchwork and scarlet bobbles …
Next weekend it’s the monthly Vintage and Retro Fair in Winchester, so I’ll be taking these along for my stall!
Now, back to ducky … I can hardly believe that Flora is celebrating her first birthday!
what a difference from a year ago …
My darling ducky! She’s an amazing pet and roams our garden, hiding eggs in secret nests, joining the collies at dinner time and tapping on the back door when she thinks it’s her bedtime. Every time I go into the garden, she greets me with a quack and waddles after me as I hang out the washing, or do a spot of weeding. When she’s in the mood for a cuddle on my lap, she has a very special whistle and quiet quack – I like to think she loves me too!
Is there even more rain on the horizon for the week ahead? Well, let’s just hope it stops by next Sunday and in the meantime, pop over to Wendy’s Handmade Monday to catch up with how everybody else has been spending their time on rainy days.
It’s almost another new month – this year is positively flying by!
Enjoy your week …