‘What this old fabric? I’ve had it for ages darling!’

Do you ever feel that you have to hide your stash enhancements from your nearest and dearest? Luckily for me my family completely understand my need to buy fabric.

Well Ellie very much appreciates knowing that she can raid the craft room whenever she needs to and I don’t think Jake would be bothered unless I spent all of the food budget on fabric and didn’t feed him when he comes back for the summer ūüôā

I have recently been reading a great blog called Dresden Lane ¬†whose tag line is, ‘sometimes I distract myself from buying fabric by sewing with it’, which I think sums up many of us.

Love this joke that I found. That is so me!

 

fabric buying joke

I have had a few lovely deliveries this week, one of the other compensations about not going away this last weekend for the re-enactment event was that I had more in my treats budget this month for fabric as I had a very economical weekend here at home.

As I mentioned I found some very cute sheep fabric – this grey one was from Thread and Loop¬†and the red one from Marilyn’s Patchwork Mania , both from Ebay via an image search.

fabric April 3

fabric April 1

These very unusual sheep hexagons come from The Vintage Fabric Market  and I will applique them onto some linen.

fabric April 2

I was lucky enough to find some more of the lovely Makower Sew Retro Notions fabric, which is now out of print, both the small motif and the larger ones.

The small motif one on the bottom came from Lovely Jubbly Fabrics and the larger print from Fabrics and Much More.

fabric April 7

I was also really pleased to find some more of some of my favourite type of designs, this blue with little red roses comes in several colourways and versions and I also bought a similar fabric in purple.

fabric April 4

This along with an ivory version of the lovely French sewing notions fabric that I used last weekend in grey comes from a site called Always Knitting and Sewing. I think this might be my favourite sewing notions fabric, I love the detail in these adverts.

fabric April 6

fabric April 5

This shop has lots of the very pretty ditsy flowers and floral prints that I love and some very pretty bundles, so tempted but am being good for now! Look at these lovelies though.

bundle-10-fat-quarters-cream-floral-Always Knitting and Sewing

Pink fabric - Always K and S bundle

I am trying to buy more sets of fabric, I have had a tendency in the past just to buy random things that I like and have ended up with a very eclectic collection where nothing goes together.

I have a very random assortment of dinosaurs, cats, elephants, rabbits, tigers, penguins and owls¬†and lots of other novelty things that I can’t yet find as use for. At least Mum has done something good with the dinosaurs now but still have a bit of menagerie to rehome!

My plans for this weekend are to turn some of this into baskets and to get on with some medieval kit – still got 30¬†feet of braid to put on Ellie’s outfit and a surcoat to make, though thankfully not as complex as the checkerboard from last year!

Hope you have a lovely weekend and enjoy the Bank Holiday if you are in the UK – yippee an extra weekend day ūüôā ūüôā

Thanks for visiting.

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More inspiration – now just need more time!

Hello again

Since I started following the Splendid Sampler Facebook page I have been notified of other things of a similar type and one of the new things that I have been loving and finding amazingly inspiring is the Millefori/La Passcaglia quilt group.

It is similar to other Millefiori quilts but is based on a book by Willyne Hammerstein which has now gone on my wish list, along with the wish for more days in the week, just an extra weekend each week would be brilliant, one for handwork and for machine work and then I would be quite happy to work five days inbetween them!

They are amazing quilts – these are some of my favourite colour combinations, all pictures from the Facebook page.

Millefiori quilt complete blue

Millefiori quilt purple and green

Millefiori quilt rainbow

Millefiori quilt rainbow 2-small

I have bought a sample pack of papers for one rosette from Honey Be Quilting on Ebay, they are double sized so make a big rosette which should be doable in not too much time. Most of these projects above took about a year so that project is going on my retirement list!

Have also been reading some new inspiring blogs, more about those in a later post but one of them had this saying as part of the header and I found a great picture to go with it.

Love the life you live quote-small

Have not heard this quote for a while and it was a great reminder of how lucky I am to have a lovely life with so much inspiration and love and fun things in it.

Hope you are having a good week, it is always very inspiring for me this time of year when my students come back from their placements.

They haven’t been together as a group since end of February and they are always so happy to be back together .This is a¬†really inspiring time for them as well¬†when they realise how far they have come since September. I am very lucky to love my job, even without the four day weekend!

Take care and thanks for visiting.

 

Compensations

Well unfortunately I didn’t make it to our event this weekend as have been struck down by a horrible flu bug but I have been feeling well enough to sew and have finished off one little fabric basket and made two others.

I may be slightly addicted, but they are so cute! And so useful. These ones will be for Sarah’s stall in September at Yarndale as she is producing another book of patterns and has asked me to make some more things to sell alongside that again.

The first one was to go with some of the things I made for the stall last year that I had left over, I thought this would make a good threads or scraps basket along with the matching pincushion and needlebook.

Baskets April 2016 5

Baskets April 2016 6

I adapted the pattern from the original one from Kelbysews at Hearts and Bees on Craftsy   in order to make this smaller one but have since bought the Friends of the One Hour Basket Pattern by the same designer on Craftsy which gives you the sizes to make all these lovely ones. Picture from Craftsy.

Friends of the Hour Basket

I used this new pattern to make two of the Melanie Baskets which are the second from smallest of the sizes. The pattern contains sizes for 8 baskets including a tote bag and is great value at about £3.50.

Do you remember this lovely fabric that I bought at Harrogate last year, (proof that I do use my stash!).

Baskets April 2016 7

Baskets April 2016 8

This is the fabric I purchased recently, just couldn’t resist more sewing notions patterned fabric.

I made the little detachable matching pincushion for this one out of the scraps from when you cut out the corner squares to make the box shape, waste not want not. It has a press stud on the strap for removal.

I am going to make a matching pincushion for the French sewing themed bag as well, the motifs on the scrap corners were too small but I have plenty of this lovely fabric left.

They look so cute in my craft room ūüôā

Baskets April 2016 9

Baskets April 2016 10

I may just have ordered a few bits of sheep themed fabric to make some for knitters as well, could not find much in the way of nice wool or knitting motifs but found plenty of cute sheep and as Yarndale is held in a cattle market and is full of sheep stuff thought those might sell well.

Hope you have a lovely week ahead, my students are back this week which will be very lovely and then we have a Bank Holiday weekend to look forward to – yippee three days of making bags!

Thanks as always for visiting.

 

Sewing in PJs

Hello again

There is nothing nicer on a Sunday morning than waking up to find it is lovely and sunny and feeling inspired to spend a few hours in the craft room sewing in your PJs.

I have had a lovely time making another basket and this time I decided to experiment with sizes so I have made a tiny basket!

Tiny basket 1

This one is a quarter of the size of the one I made yesterday, all I did was divide the first 10.5 inch by 16.5 inch piece from the pattern into 4 pieces giving me a lining as well from that same fabric.

The finished basket is 5 inches in length and 3 inches deep and is probably one of the cutest things I have ever made, I love it ūüôā

It took about 2 1/2 hours as I did do a lot of hand sewing as well, the handles would not work well on the machine as they are only 2 inches wide to start with so hand sewed them and also stitched down all of the seam allowance on the exterior as with the foam lining in they are quite bulky.

Also had to hand stitch with Perle thread as it was too small to topstich by machine and wanted to add some buttons as well. I am also proud of the way that the seams match, was not trying to pattern match honest!

This will stay in my craft room and will be used for collecting scraps when cutting. Will absolutely have to make more of these, we have a Bank Holiday weekend coming up so I know where I will be.

I am counting this as number 15, something doll sized,  from my Sewing Bucket List which I have extended into 2016.

See you soon, thanks for visiting and have a nice week ahead.

A tisket, a tasket, a fabric basket!

Hello everyone, hope you are all well and happy. I am fine, had a very busy week with virtually no crafting at all so am making up for it this weekend.

Bizarrely enough it is snowing while I type this РI am just glad that I got home from my Simply Solids  class before it started so now I am snuggled up under my fleece on the sofa with my lovely new fabric basket.

The title of my post comes from a nursery rhyme  that I used to sing and play the accompanying game to when I was younger, no idea what a tisket or a tasket is but it makes a nice rhyme for basket.

The class was based around pattern for the one Рhour basket which is a free pattern on Craftsy that you can find here .

The creator is KelbySews and she has another pattern  for sale on her blog for different sized baskets.

There were just 3 of us in the class today and we had a lovely time, although it is called a one-hour basket it took nearly 3 hours for this first attempt.

The fabric is an ombre from V and Co for the outside and last of my Moda sewing notions fabric from a couple of years ago for the lining.

I have previously made some sewing gifts  for my sister -in -law from this fabric so have decided that I will give this one to her for an Xmas gift as  basket for all her sewing, am planning to add an embroidered label to the outside.

I am hopefully going to make another one tomorrow as I have bought more supplies of the foam used for the lining so will see if I can make the next one a bit faster.

There are loads of versions of it for inspiration, I found these pretty ones on Craftsy and here and would like to do some patchwork or embroidered ones.

The other thing that is keeping me busy is sewing new braid on one of my daughter’s medieval dresses, that is lovely soothing stitching for evenings when I am too tired to concentrate.

Hope that you have a very nice week ahead, I am really looking forward to our first re-enactment event of the year next week, back to fun in fields ūüôā

Thanks for visiting and see you soon.

 

 

 

Keeping it in the family

On my recent visit to Spain my lovely Mum was very pleased to be able to show me her first completed quilt.

She has always knitted but had not done any quilting until I showed her what to do last year. She is now enjoying a variety of styles including English Paper Piecing.

This first quilt is made from label fabric that I bought a few years ago from one of the many quilt shows I visited plus some of my Simply Solids stash. These photos are taken in her lovely sunny spare room which she is converting into a craft room.

We made up the layout together and she has spent a lot of time piecing, backing and hand quilting it.

Doesn’t it look brilliant? It has been donated to a local charity and she is going to get to work on the next one for them using some pirate label fabric that I also have in my stash that I have not used up.

It is great to be able to donate my unused stash to her and she has also been buying fabric of her own as well for projects like this table mat which was her¬†first go at machine piecing and quilting. There are not many quilt shops in Spain but we did find a lovely one about half and hour’s drive away so she goes there when she can.

Mum - dino quilt 4

Meanwhile I keep her supplied with fabric, I have just bought her a charm square pack of the Moda Picnic fabric that I showed you a couple of posts ago as part of her Mother’s Day present and she was the recipient of the Patchsmith mug rugs books that I shared with you in the earlier post as well.

I have been buying a little more fabric and ribbon as well, was searching for something else when I came across this lovely stuff on Ebay from Elliequilts.She has a great range, especially of batiks, and the service was really speedy.

‘Don’t you already have a little bit of sewing themed fabric Alison?’, I can hear you saying which is very true but Sarah, she of the wonderful knitting genius, is doing another stall at Yarndale and has asked me to make some more things so over the summer I will be working¬† on some sewing and knitting project bags¬†that she can sell there.

Besides look at the cuteness here, the pieced hexis and the sampler, just couldn’t resist ūüėČ

Had a very productive weekend, garden all tidy just waiting for me to get some new plants for the pots and did lots of stitching.

It was a very bizarre day weather wise, lovely and sunny in the morning, even a bit hot so the washing dried very quickly then by six o’clock the rain that came turned to snow! Yorkshire is renowned for having four seasons in one day and that was proof of it.

Am off to Simply Solids this Saturday for another one of their great courses, this time to make a fabric basket so will let you know the results of my endeavours.

Take care, have a lovely rest of the week and thanks for visiting.

Art in the Prado

Hello everyone, hope that you have been having a lovely week. I have which was very nice, it is always sad having to go back to work after a great holiday but I have had a really good few days.

I have had fun times with the trainees that came to our Spring Conference, presented at our own Research Conference and then went to see a brilliant Bluegrass band last night.

The sun is shining and washing is on the line! What could be better? Oh and I have the weekend free to craft. An excellent life indeed.

I wanted to share with you some of my favourite paintings from the Prado, photos were not allowed so all of these have come from web sources, one of my favourite sources is the Web Gallery of Art which I use a lot for costume research.

While we were in Florence a couple of years ago we saw some of the work of one of my favourite artists Fra Angelico and there were two more of his works in the Prado.

The Annunciation is stunning, there are many similar paintings which are equally lovely but the detail on this one is so wonderful, the millefiori (million flowers) on the grass outside, the starry ceiling and the gold of the halos and beam just amaze me.

Prado - Annunciation 1

There is a close up here which shows the detail of the beam of light and halos.

Prado - Annunciation 2 detail

The Prado Museum had recently acquired another of his works, ‘The Virgin and the Pomegranate’. This had only arrived in January¬†and you can read the history of the painting at this link here , so we were very lucky in the timing of our visit.

Prado - Virgin 1

I love the look on Jesus’s face reaching for the pomegranate seeds as if he a little unsure what they will be like.

Prado - Virgin detail

One of our favourite pieces was this enormous painting by Bartholomeus Strobel. He was a German painter who was painting in the early 1600s and this is entitled, ‘The Beheading of John the Baptist’.

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Again the detail in this is fantastic, the painting is about 10 metres long and every person is painted with such care, the amount of work that has gone into this is staggering and the costumes are wonderful to look at.

Strobel painting detail 1

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There were also these pieces by Reubens and Brueghel  РThe Five Senses

These were painted between 1617 and 1618 and not only are the stunning in the wealth of detail in them but the backgrounds are so beautiful.

‘Sight’,¬†shows an archway to a town, wouldn’t you just love to step into the painting and out that arch and explore?

Prado - Five senses - Touch

This is part of the detail from ,’Hearing’, the same castle appears in the background of a couple of the paintings and it looks very similar to the ones we visited in Denmark last year as they had green roofs.

Prado - Five senses - Hearing - detail

Prado - Five senses - sight

This one above, ‘Sight and Smell’,¬†¬†was also by Brueghel and is a copy of the original done shortly after as the original was destroyed in a fire in the 1700s.

I just love that little glimpse through the doorway and all the landscapes propped up on the floor.

My research paper was on masters and their apprentices and I mentioned the role of the ,’masterpiece’, in that process.

These truly are masterpieces and I am so lucky to have seen them. I would love to go back to the Prado on my next visit to Madrid, so much more to see and wonders to see again.

I hope you have enjoyed your little virtual tour, I am off for a bit of a garden tidy up¬†now since it is still sunny and then an afternoon and knitting and embroidery ūüôā

Have fun whatever you are doing and thanks for visiting.