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Three children *** Two parents *** one dog *** Country loving *** Cottage dwelling in the South-West of the UK. That’s us!

We’ve been blogging since January 2010, about everyday happenings that bring us joy.

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Just a thought….

“A moment spent in wonder is worth a lifetime spent in awe.”

 

Thank you….

  • sam Them strawberries look so vibrant and yum X #mmbc 22 May
  • Ali Duke I have about 4 knitting projects on the go at the moment, I do finish them, but it takes me a while lol. I love... 20 May
  • Craft Mother Especially if the weather is good. It is lovely. 20 May
  • Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love) Being full of ideas is a useful skill even if it does mean that a lot of projects stay unfinished! I love your knitting –... 20 May
  • Angela Webster Sounds like a perfect day to me, you live in such a beautiful area. I bet you need no convincing to get out and about.... 20 May
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Sticky

patchwork

Wednesday crafting update

After a very busy sewing weekend (more about that at the end), I needed a small project to pick up this week. Something that didn’t involve handling volumes of fabric. My current quilt really wasn’t going to fit the bill. It’s reached the stage where it’s more than an armful and, without doubt, I needed something different, although I am itching to finish it.

Instead, I’ve picked up my Dear Daughter quilt, which uses the English piecing patchwork technique. Basically the shapes are made with paper and then the fabric attached to it. Eventually the paper is removed, once the fabric is all sewn together. Usually I’d tack the fabric to the paper, but I used fabric glue this time. It’s quicker and washes out.

It felt strange going back to hand stitching patchwork, after a couple of projects using the sewing machine. Much slower and I felt slightly impatient and irritated at first. Once I was back in the rhythm, I remembered how it provides space and more of a mindful time. I began to enjoy it more. I love how different techniques can give such a different experience.

I think this is the last block in the quilt. I have the fabric for the sashing, so maybe I’ll start piecing the blocks together this week. I’m undecided about whether to write the final letter just yet (each block has a letter). I might leave it to the end, or write this one plus one final letter for the whole quilt. Still pondering.

On to a knitting update next. I’m creeping up the sleeve of my blue jumper. Still at the stage of increasing the width, as I head for the shoulder. Probably the biggest news on this is that I’ve finally found the matching needle. Both are 4mm, but I’ve been using a slightly longer needle. The length gives a subtle difference to the balance, I find, but after a few rows it does make a difference. Trust me to find it after finishing one cardigan and almost finishing this one.

Oh and finally I need to add an explanation to this photo. I used it as my Sunday photo, but was too tired to add more. On Saturday, I spent the day with one of my nieces, who happens to be getting married this year. She found a dress that she loved and, without giving anything away, looked amazing in it. The dress although lovely had one feature that was going to prove a problem on the day.

Their reception is in a field. In the UK. If it doesn’t rain on the day, the likelihood is that it will rain on the days running up to it, leaving the surface wet. Her dress had a train. It was also too long all round. By the end of their big day, sprinkling flower seeds on the dress’s train might have been a totally viable option.  To cut (see what I did there) an extremely long story short and to avoid revealing any more details about the dress, the photo above is the remains of the train and length.

Watching her walk up and down her flat afterwards, wearing the dress, I could see how much easier it was for her. It will still get dirty to a certain extent, but it is now balanced. She is no longer fighting against the volumes of fabric. She was wearing the dress and not the other way round. The dress wearing her.

It was a long, long day and I wish I could have tidied up a few more bits, but she’s happy. I couldn’t imagine doing this for anyone else but my nieces or daughters. Full of admiration for seamstresses that make alterations for clients. It was such fun spending a whole day with her. Not sure I’ve ever done that before. We didn’t stop talking.

So glad I could help. I feel honoured she trusted me.

I’ll post up photos of the big day, so you can see the dress eventually.

 

Quilt top complete

Quick quilt progress update.

Busy weekend, but I fitted in time to finish the top of my quilt. More to do before I can call this project done and dusted. Quilts are such a big project. If I thought how much work they take, I probably would never start. One block at a time and the rest seems to follow on. Anyway, good time to show my progress.

This weekend, I used a pomegranate plain cotton to join up the 16 quilt blocks. It is more like a fuchsia pink and lifts the lighter colours. Not sure if it shows it in my photos, but it does work.

Next, I used the light green fabric that has been in my stash so long that I can’t remember where it came from. I think it was passed on to me. It has tiny white watering cans that stand out and have a velvety texture.

I’ve cut out my bias binding, using a continuous method. Basically turning a square of cloth into several metres of bias binding. Always feels like alchemy, but probably nearer to trigonometry. Just need to run it through my folding device and iron. It’s dark navy. Should frame the quilt beautifully.

I’ve found backing fabric that works and a cotton wadding, which is thin enough. I’m pondering how I’m going to quilt it. Options are to machine or hand stitch. What pattern? Just not sure yet.Also now appreciate why quilters have tall friends with long arms or tall fences. Quilts are so big to photograph.

The sun was streaming through the velux windows in my sewing room this weekend, warming the room up. I’ve been moving my sewing machine into the kitchen, because, quite honestly, it is a lot warmer in the winter. It felt good to leave it set up in my sewing room and pop in whenever I could. Easier to iron too, as I could leave it set up, close the door and not worry about anyone knocking it over.

Right, next quilt update, hopefully will show the finished piece. Just a question of finding the time.

 

A bit of crafting progress

It’s Wednesday, and the wind is still blowing a hoolie, courtesy of Storm Gareth. I’m getting a tad fed up with it. I have a few outside jobs I want to do, but they don’t lend to everything blowing around. Never mind. There is always a silver lining. A good excuse to stay in and get on with indoor jobs instead. I have a list, which is gradually being checked off. One item is a crafting update, which is handy.

I  have actual progress to share. Nothing finished yet. Big projects always take so long to complete, by their very nature. Reaching a ta-da moment is few and far between, so I’ll admit I’m only sharing milestone progress this time. Better than radio silence for months, while my fingers spin fibre and textile into something worth showing.Anyway, here is my current knitting project. And may I just say, this is a first for me. Usually I finish one knit and then straight on to something completely different. I’m pretty sure it’s all down to the length of time each project takes. Too long doing the same thing, means I’m yearning for a change of scene.

Not this time.

After knitting my purple cardigan, I took the plunge and dived straight into knitting the jumper version of the same pattern. I know. Bar a buttonhole band, it’s the same pattern. I loved the fit and style of the cardigan. It seems to suit me perfectly. So I’ve got my fingers crossed. I’m hoping that it will be true with the jumper too.

I chose King Cole yarn again, but this time in blue. The colour is called petrol. Not sure why. Maybe I’m missing the point. Whatever the name, I’m pleased with the colour. Strong colours suits me. The yarn is gorgeous to knit with and also to wear. It washes well in the wool cycle of our washing machine, which is a relief when it comes to 100% wool. I find hand washing an easy task to put off. Whatever the weather.

I was lucky with the yarn. They didn’t have enough of the same dye lot, but managed to do 12 of one batch and one of another. I can’t see the difference, but will use the odd ball for the ribbing, where any colour change won’t be so obvious.

Second craft project. I’ve finished all 16 blocks of my latest quilt. I loved sewing these together. Now to decide the colour of the borders/sashing. I find the blocks a bit washed out. Close up they are not so bad. I’d like a strong colour in between the blocks to lift the quilt a bit. I thought royal blue at first, but I might go for raspberry instead. I’m open to suggests. What do you think?

So there you are. Progress updated. I do have a ta-da moment tomorrow. Something I made a couple of months ago and can now share.

Right. Over to you. What are you working on, at the moment?

Photos

There have been cases when people lifted my photos and words, and used them without credit to me or asking permission first. Using them for their own commercial gain. I have now added a level of security to deter people from doing this. Apologies to people who do play nicely. If you would like to use any of my photos, please contact me.

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