The value of reflection

As a teacher, and a teacher trainer for 15 years, I use and teach about reflection and its value, and have always enjoyed learning from my experiences. Like many other people, I have been thinking a lot about the last year as we come up to the first anniversary of the UK lockdown.

One of the reasons why I love having a blog is that it allows me to look back on my past makes, trips and life in general. One of the practical advantages is that I can always find where I sourced things from, but also it serves as a reminder of all of happy times. Unlike a diary, this blog is not about everything that happens, but the public facing positive things in my life

I have been reminded of the value of reflecting this week twice, once by my very good friend Sarah, whose blog I read this morning. She has written about her year here, and many of the things that she says I can very much relate to. She writes about her appreciation of living here in Marsden, with the beautiful countryside on our doorstep, and the advantages of not having to commute to work.

I am eagerly awaiting lambing time so I can go and see the little cuties like this one last year. Hopefully the weather will be beautiful again so we can go for lots more walks as well.

Like me Sarah’s life has changed a lot. She works at a university, in addition to being a GP, so she too has been working from home a lot. We have shared the frustrations of not being able to talk to colleagues easily, and missing the things we took for granted a year ago, like going to conferences and just spending time with people.

She has also completed far less projects than she thought she would this past year, and I can share that feeling as well, where did all that extra time go? I think for me, a lot of it went into thinking, and into connecting with others. I have certainly spent for more time talking to relatives and friends this year, on the phone and video calls, just reassuring each other that it would be ok in the end.

Early on in the lockdown I started taking part in a research project, I can’t actually remember how I found about this, maybe through an Instagram or blog post? It was run by Naomi Clarke, someone who I previously had come across as a crafter as she is an avid paper piecer. The project was called Crafting During Coronavirus and the involvement was to keep a diary for a number of weeks, recording what I was doing and how I was feeling. This is part of her PhD work on why people sew.

I really enjoyed being involved in this, I have kept diaries many times before, and being a diary, and only for Naomi to read it was good to be able to write about some of my frustrations of that time. I re-read them recently and we were all trying to get to grips with online teaching over the summer and feeling totally out of our depths. I have become quite adept at it all now, not that I want it to continue but feel very proud that I managed to get my head round all that complex stuff that was introduced last summer.

Naomi contacted me again this week, with another part of the project, which is to create a postcard to my past self. It is to be a crafted postcard so I think I should definitely make it using Liberty. One of my little lockdown treats has been spending what would have been travel to work money on more beautiful fabric like these from Duck Egg Threads.

I think it will have to be hexagons as well as you know how I love them. Not that I have done much paper piecing this year at all, that is one of the things that has not been achieved, overtaken by Barbie couture and Little Cotton Rabbits knitting! These are some of my favourite hexagon creations, made some years ago for Yarndale, so I think the postcard will have to be linen and Liberty.

She has asked us to think about what we would say to our past selves, from our current selves, knowing what we know now. Being a huge fan of any time travel time type stories I have been thinking a lot about what to write. Almost a year ago on the 21st March I wrote a blog post about the start of lockdown. I titled it ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times’

I think that what I wrote then still is very true today, but even more so. I consider myself so lucky to have all of my wonderful friends and family, who have been so supportive over the past year. There have been some lovely times, like going to Whitby and Northumberland with Ellen, and Aysgarth with her and Jacky. I will put that in the postcard, along with the power of positive thought and prayer.

My focus in that post, then as now, was on crafting. The immense comfort that I have had from knitting, sewing and embroidering over the past year cannot be underestimated. I know others feel the same, judging by the amount of knitted animals that have been created in the last year on the Little Cotton Rabbits Facebook page. This Egbert, who I finished last July, wearing the first set of striped jumper and dungarees. I am now on my third jumper so have really got to grips with top down knitting.

My stressful meetings, complex concerns about the job and the students, and worrying about my family, don’t completely go away when I craft but it makes it all so much easier to bear. The blog also serves as a useful reminder that I have failed so far to use any of the fabric that I bought on that trip that I posted about last March for Barbie dresses. I have made lots, as you know, including these two made at the very start of lockdown, but just not with that fabric. Oh well, at least it doesn’t go off, does it!

My plans for this weekend are to finish another striped jumper for a little animal and to create the fabric postcard. I also have lots of little DIY tasks to do, Ellen will be up again next week the last weekend of decorating, then it will only be a couple of weeks of finishing touches before the house goes on the market. Exciting times 🙂 What is even more exciting is the Easter holidays, I am not promising much in the way of crafting, due to the house prep, but you never know.

I hope that you are having a nice weekend and that things continue to be positive in the weeks ahead as well. It is strange to think that we may be on the way to a more normal life. I was sat in a friend’s garden this week, in the sun, having a cup of tea. Over a year ago that would be commonplace but I was so grateful just to be able to be there and have a chat with her. It is, as always, the little things that make a difference.

Take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

The kindness of strangers

It never ceases to amaze me how kind bloggers are in giving away free patterns for things. I know sometimes that is to promote things like a new fabric line, but you don’t have to buy anything to be able to take advantage of their generosity and I love collecting ideas. They will all be for future makes as I have enough to keep me going in live projects until about September.

I say strangers but I do think of these people as friends, well imaginary friends though the wonderful Jenny of Elefantz and I have corresponded by e-mail. She is always giving away beautiful designs and this year she has two things for everyone.

The first is her Posies Block of the Month Quilt. These are gorgeous little stitcheries that would make great gifts appliques onto a bag or lavender sachet if you didn’t want to make them into a quilt.

Each one is very quick to do and I love the combinations of colours that she has chosen. All pictures are from her website.

She is also producing a magazine this year, The Homemakers Heart, and the first edition is full of lovely things. I knew I would love it as soon as I saw the cover, this looks so much like my craft room stash (picture from Jenny’s website).

This month’s edition has the first of a days of the week stitchery set, a quilt block and a journal cover as well as recipes and other delights. It really is gorgeous and is totally free! Thank you so much Jenny 🙂

Lori Holt of Bee in my Bonnet also has a new quilt design out called Flea Market Flowers. I love Lori’s designs and this one really appeals to me because of the Dresdens it uses.

I had a flurry of Dresden making a few years ago when I got a ruler free with a quilt magazine and made lots of pouches with them on. I loved combining them with vintage crochet.

Not only do you get the free quilt pattern and a step by step weekly tutorial with such lovely pictures but there is also a download for the quilt info pack which includes this notepaper and clip art set. You can download them from the links on this page here.

We are so lucky to have the internet for all these lovely things and such wonderful people sharing their talent through it. It all makes me very happy.

It is another very busy week here, with more snow. We have had so much more this year, I think it is Nature’s way of giving the children a break from all the online home schooling they are having to do during lockdown and there were lots of them enjoying it today.

I managed a long frosty walk up on the hills yesterday lunchtime which was lovely. I am trying to get as much exercise as I can do and it was sunny and gorgeous, a real promise of Spring.

I hope that you are having a good week, I shall be back at the weekend hopefully to share some more loveliness with you. Meanwhile have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

New sources of inspiration … as if I need any new projects :-)

I am on leave at the moment which is wonderful. I am also self-isolating since we have had a couple of positive cases at work. That is not quite so wonderful but does mean I have an excuse not to go out at the moment. The weather has been variable anyway so I am very content to stay in and knit and sew. Fingers crossed I will be released back into the wild later this week and hopefully will be taking a little trip away with my sister.

The self – isolation, of not just myself but colleagues does mean that more of our teaching is moving online from next week. We have tried really hard to keep things going on campus but sadly it has got to the stage that this is not possible for some of the classes. On the bright side that means less travelling to work, which saves time and money so I have decided to use that to invest in some more small businesses that I have found via Instagram.

These were suggested to me and as you will see, they could not be more perfect for me. I have made many similar projects over the years, mainly for sale at Yarndale and love working with these shapes and fabrics.

I am not sure when I will start these projects, they may have to be retirement projects as I am still in the middle of all of the knitted animals. However they will not go off and I will be really looking forward to doing them.

They are both creators that use English Paper Piecing, I love working with hexagons, as you know if you have been reading this blog for a while, but look at all of this gorgeousness from Elise and Emilie. The pictures are all from their Pinterest page here.

They have various different versions of EPP flowers, the Starflower which is the top picture, Mayflower in the middle and Dillyflower which is the third one. Don’t you just love that bottom picture with all the colour and joy 🙂 Just the thing to brighten a wet Autumn day.

They are all utterly gorgeous and would make fabulous little gifts when used on needlecases or pincushions. I think the Dillyflowers would make an amazing quilt. The company are based in the USA but supply digital downloads through their Etsy site.

The other one is called Vintage Sewing Box and it was this gorgeous Hexagon Sewing Box that I fell in love with, again available as a digital download from her shop. Pictures from her website.

I really love this Hexagon Sewing Case as well and that is going to be my next purchase.

She has so many wonderful creations on her blog which I am going to spend lots more time reading, and lots of free tutorials here, including these gorgeous little needlecases. She also has a Youtube channel with lots of very helpful tutorials.

They are all definitely people who are my kindred spirits, look at all that gorgeous Liberty fabric! Absolute heaven and I am very happy to be able to support some more small businesses.

I hope that you are having a good week, I had forgotten just how tiring the start of term is, so it is amazing to have a bit of a relax and still be in my pjs at 11am in the morning. I hope that you have a good time ahead, with lots of relaxation planned as well.

Take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Sea, sky and spectacular textiles

We had an amazing time at Bambrugh, the weather was fantastic and the location wonderful with so many stunning views.

My friend Jo, who I have known since Polytechnic in the 1980s, is lucky enough to actually live here. Her partner is a member of the castle staff and they live in the gatehouse. Her photos of the beach during lockdown where she took daily walks were one of the reasons I wanted to revisit the area.

We also met one of the people we know from re-enactment, Dave the moneyer, he has been there all summer with his Viking set up. It was lovely to see him, chat about events and know that at least he has had a good season.

After visiting the castle we had a picnic on the beach and a walk (and paddle) along to the end where there was a wonderful maze like path back through the overgrowth to the other side of the castle.

When we return next year we shall visit some of the beaches further down which give the opportunity for more of these stunning views. Since we returned I have had many photo prompts from the castle Facebook page and these are just some of the amazing photos taken in the area. The final photo is by Jamie Dobson, I don’t have any information on the others.

Inside the Great Hall of the castle was a patchwork hanging that was really fascinating. It consisted of applique as well as a large area of patchwork made of diamonds. The hanging itself was around ten feet high and looked like an immensely time consuming piece of work. Although there was no label with the piece that I could see further research came up with the fact that it was made by Russian prisoners during the Crimean War. I should have guessed that it was a military uniform piece as I have seen similar in quilt exhibitions before.

I would love to know more about the piece, how many people were involved, how long did it take? Who designed the piece and where did they get the inspiration from? I would assume that this was a pattern and techniques they were familiar with from home. That is both the joy and the frustration of seeing such pieces in historic locations. I always want to know more about the people behind the work and little is recorded.

While I was doing the searching for more information I came across this amazing piece of embroidery from a textile artist called Rachel Wright. Photo from Pinterest. 

This was a commissioned piece and you can see more of her work on her Instagram page. She also has some items for sale on her Redbubble site and I particularly love this bag, might just have to treat myself!

We ended the day with another campfire, a game or two of cards, and another amazing sunset. Such simple pleasures but we were so grateful to be able to be there after all the restrictions this year.

We are lucky to live in such a beautiful country. I always travel in the UK a lot but the one advantage (there are so few!) of the current situation is that other people may have had the chance to appreciate our countryside more this year. 

I am hoping that in a couple of weeks I may be able to do some local travel as I have some time off coming up. I have a very large amount of holiday this academic year due to working nearly every Saturday and so having a day off in lieu each week that I need to use. I still have leave carried over from earlier in the summer that I could not use. We have an excellent bus service here so may do some more local exploring. 

Meanwhile there are knitted animals to finish, the mouse is almost done and is looking very cute so far, my first pair of stripey stockings and I love them!

Take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

 

 

Slow stitching Sunday

I have been making very slow progress this week, for a number of reasons, but I did really enjoy spending all of yesterday sitting and stitching. There is an actual thing called Slow Stitching Sunday, hosted by Kathy’s Quilts  which is actually aimed at hand stitching for quilters and they have a link party every Sunday. There is some beautiful work at this link from yesterday.

The main reason I was being so slow is because I am really suffering with arthritis in my hands at the moment. Too much typing from marking and the doctorate has meant that they are very sore. Still it was very lovely to be able to sit and watch lots of movies on Netflix and just relax.

I finished the other embroidery circle last week as well, it now has its little hexagon added and has been added to the pile of finishes to be made into bags. I am now making fairly good progress on my first design from the Vintage Stitching book that I posted about previously. I am making this little hoop embroidery as a birthday present for one of the younger relatives, hopefully she will think it is as cute as I do.

 

Vintage dog stitching

Another bit of vintage embroidery from Ebay arrived for the stash this week as well. This tea cosy has designs on both sides so I have eight motifs in total.

Vintage embroidered tea cosy 1

I am planning to make some more Liberty log cabin blocks with these. I have a growing stash of them, some that I have used for things like baskets and needle books and a handbag for me. I will also someday hopefully have enough of these for a quilt as well.

vintage-log-cabin-block-11

giveaway-liberty-needlebook-1

july-bags-and-pouches-12

vintage-log-cabin-bag-1

We are having a Wool and Wine live tomorrow, hopefully the weather will be fine for our garden meet up at one of my friend’s houses. It will be brilliant to see everyone (well 6 of us!) again, we were planning one last week but poor weather meant that it was Zoom only again.

Ellen is planning to come up again this Saturday and fingers crossed we may get out first BBQ of the year, I have probably completely jinxed that by writing it here but hopefully she will bring nice Midlands weather with her.

I hope that you all have a good week ahead and have the chance to do some nice normal things. There will be some big changes in the next few weeks, not for me really as I am not planning to go anywhere except the village for the foreseeable future. Hopefully we are headed in the right direction and we can all carry on enjoying the company of friends and family.

Take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Some more little treats

I have been continuing to support small businesses with some purchases and was very touched when my recent order from Duck Egg Threads came with this very sweet note in the packaging.

Duck eggs Liberty 1

The fabric is so lovely, how could I resist ordering more so will definitely get some again next month. I have been putting my travel to work budget to good use for this purpose and there is so much I would like to get from them. They are the lovely site that I mentioned a while ago with very clear displays of all of the colours they stock.

Duck eggs Liberty 2

I ordered 8 fat 16ths as that gives me a lot of longer strips for when I do more quilt blocks that need these longer lengths. Most of these designs I have already had but am now down to little scraps of. That is the lovely thing about quilting though, there is always something to use up the tiny bits for.

Duck eggs Liberty 3

I have been sorting out some papers to use for the Liberty hexagon quilt and have found these that I have already made so think that I will use the half inch hexagons for the Grandmother’s Flower Garden designs.

Liberty half inch hexis

That does mean that for a bed sized quilt I would need a grand total of 18,720 hexagons according to the calculations on this blog here. That is a major project so I may just make something smaller for the moment, like a cushion for the future camper van!

I have also treated myself to a new stitching book. I love buying vintage linens and have another one on the way from Ebay and this book, Vintage Stitching Treasury has been on my wish list for a while.

Vintage Stitching 1

There are so many cute versions of the Crinoline Lady patterns in here.

Vintage Stitching 6

Vintage Stitching 5

There are also some very familiar flowers that are very similar  to the jacket I made from tablecloths a couple of years ago.

Vintage Stitching 2

Steampunk linen jacket finished 2

Vintage Stitching 4

I love the cute animals as well. There are 400 patterns in here so it is very good value.

Vintage Stitching 3

I think some of these would look fabulous on cushions as well as making into embroidered hoop pictures. My new supply of hoops arrived as well so I can put together another camper van picture.

Last but not least I was also tempted by some more camper van fabric, and gave in!

Camper van fabric May

These are such gorgeous colours and I have half a metre of it so am going to put it away for a bit until I decide what to do with it. Possibly cushion covers with some applique van fronts.This was also from Amazon, from a company called Discover Fabrics

I have had a brilliant weekend.Kerry came up on Saturday and we went for a very long and hot walk to the same reservoir we went to last week, this time we did have a little paddle in the stream though. It was wonderful to be able to talk to her in person and we will have another meet up very soon.

Sunday was a nice quiet day of sewing. It has been so lovely this week to see real live people as we have been able to meet up with friends for exercise now so I have seen lots of people from Wool and Wine. From next week we will be able to meet in small groups outside so that will be exciting. I am so looking forward to getting some kind of normality into my life again and having things to look forward to.

I hope that you have all had a good weekend and have a good week ahead. I shall be mainly working on the doctorate but hopefully this gorgeous weather will continue and I can have some lovely evening walks as well.

Take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

Sunday stitching

I had a busy day last Sunday but did not manage to get the Bearpaw block made. I did get as far as sorting out the fabrics for it though but it will be a while in the making.

Meanwhile, I will show you the troublesome blocks from the previous weekend. I am very pleased with how they turned out but still slightly baffled why I have so many difficulties with the points. There is such a variety in whether they meet, overlap or are too far apart.

Campervan Sawtooth Star 3

Campervan Sawtooth Star 4

Anyway I shall hopefully enjoy using them at some point in the future in my camper van. I am very pleased with the fact that I managed to get matching fabric from my stash for the triangle parts of the design. I decided pink would be better for the other colour as white was too harsh with the cream background of the camper van print.

Campervan Sawtooth Star 1

Campervan Sawtooth Star 2

The spotty fabric is from the scrap bin when Simply Solids was open and the turquoise is some of the wonderful ombre collection by V and Co. I love this fabric and have nearly run out so may have to treat myself to more.

I have started some new Jenny of Elefantz stitching for viewing crafting. This is one of her many circular designs from her previous monthly design club and I am planning to put a cute Liberty hexagon in the middle as I have done with other designs.

May embroidery circle WIP

I am using the variegated Mill House Designs thread that I bought a couple of weeks ago. I love using variegated thread and it works really well for these designs as I only need one strand.

May embroidery circle WIP 3

May embroidery circle WIP 2

I am currently really enjoying the latest series of Outlander and a new series called Sweet Magnolias so had a lovely time watching those while I finished this design. This week marked the last week of marking, yippee 🙂 139 pieces of work done and dusted so that makes me very happy.

There are then a couple of weeks work on finishing the doctorate and then I can take some leave. Aside from some DIY, both here and at Ellen’s if I can, I need to think about some scheduling of projects.

It seems very strange not to be making things for events or for Yarndale this summer but I would rather wait to make the Steampunk things until a little nearer the time of the actual events and we don’t really know when that will be.

I will probably devote a lot more time to quilt blocks and maybe start a new Liberty project as I have lots of scraps so I am thinking about a hexagon quilt that I can hand piece. I love the Grandmother’s Garden pattern and have seen some wonderful examples of those.

Look at this gorgeous one used as a tablecloth from Home is Where the Boat is, picture from the blog. I love the quilt and the setting is wonderful with the water in the background. Such beautiful flowers as well.

Granny Flowers tablecloth

This layout is from Alice Caroline’s web site, another one of my favourite Liberty suppliers and she actually sells pre-cut hexagon kits if you want to save time.I love that purple print in the lower right hand side, I have the green and pink versions of this one.

Granny-Flowers-hexagons

Anyway it will be fun scheduling things. I am glad to have been working during the past few months as it has made the time go very quickly but it will be lovely to have some very lazy days in the craft room.

I hope you all have a good weekend ahead. I am very much looking forward to seeing my wonderful friend Kerry tomorrow, she will be visiting me for a nice long walk up to the reservoirs. It has been beautiful weather this week while I have been inside working so hopefully it will continue this weekend as well

Take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

 

The flower fairy in the wild

I had a very special day yesterday when I saw my lovely daughter for the first time since Feb. Now that we are allowed to travel for exercise she came up for the day and we went on a very long walk to the end of the second reservoir near me. Of course she did not wear the flower fairy dress but something a bit more suited to walking but it would have looked fabulous against all the lovely flowers.

Walk with Ellen 1

We even had a picnic beside the stream. It turned out to be very good weather, despite a very windy start and we sat for a long time in the sun, chatting about all the things that have happened in the past few months.

Walk with Ellen 8

Walk with Ellen 3

Walk with Ellen 9

Walk with Ellen 7

Walk with Ellen 6

Of course we have been keeping in touch by phone and video chat but nothing compares to seeing people live, with legs and everything, rather than just heads 🙂 She is keeping busy with lots more sewing projects planned while she is still on furlough and some DIY to do on her house. Hopefully I may be able to go and help her with when restrictions are lifted further.

The rhododendrons were starting to bloom all up the valley, this is one of my favourite walks but have not been for a while to this spot.

Walk with Ellen 5

Walk with Ellen 4

Walk with Ellen 2

Walk with Ellen 14

I love the old stone work around the reservoirs. There are long steps either side of the largest one and lots of little ones leading off to other places around the area.

Walk with Ellen 10

Walk with Ellen 13

We had fun trying to work out the names of other plants as well. Ellen has been learning a lot from the garden staff at Clumber but neither of us knew what this was so Ellen has christened it tree rose, pink variety. It may be hawthorn but it has the most gorgeous tiny rose like flowers.

Walk with Ellen 11

Walk with Ellen 12

Today is very cold and windy and wet so after the weekly trip for fresh bread I have been staying in sorting photos and am planning to do some embroidery later on.

I need to work on the next block in the challenge tomorrow. I have not yet had time to do another Sawtooth Star in Liberty so that one will have to wait a while. This week’s block is a Bearpaw one and looking at the instructions it may be very tricky to make a 6 inch one with four ‘paws’ as the pieces would be very tiny so it may be a good idea to make a much bigger block.

I was searching for inspiration and found this beautiful scappy Bearpaw quilt from Wendy’s Quilts. Picture from her blog. This is absolutely gorgeous, I love all of the bright colours. There are more detailed pictures of each block on her blog as well.

Scrappy bear paw quilt

I am thinking that a scrappy Liberty block in a larger size may be a good idea. I can then maybe use it as the centre of my quilt or keep it for something else. Although I am getting better at the fiddly bits of these blocks, after last week’s struggles I think I want to go for an easier option than trying to make each paw only 2 1/2 inches finished size. After all this is meant to be a relaxing hobby 😉

I hope that you have a nice rest of this Bank Holiday weekend if you are in the UK. The weather forecast for Monday is supposed to be very good. As I had my day off yesterday instead I will be working on my doctorate all day but hopefully can go for an early evening wander to the water.

Take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.

 

 

An obsession with campers

I have always had an obsession with tents, at one stage I owned 7 of them, I have got rid of a couple and now only have a modest 5 ( all different sizes and one medieval one so I think that is justifiable). Since I started seriously planning for retirement, and my bones started getting so painful I have now switched my obsession to campers.

I think at the moment it is definitely a wish to get outdoors but also because I just love the cuteness of the retro campers and caravans and the sheer ingenuity of all those people who convert vans of all shapes and sizes into homes. I will always love camping but going away with my sister last year just made me really appreciate the joys of a camper van.

I love watching the videos on You Tube of the van tours and keep checking on Gumtree for the sort of camper that I want to buy eventually. There was the cutest one in my price range in a nearby town today. Such a pity that I can’t drive or I would have been so tempted just so I could have it and decorate it while I wait to be able to go away somewhere!

Once I have finished the current embroidery I am going to make another of the camper embroideries that I have just finished. I checked on Diary of a Quilter’s blog this evening to read the instructions for this week’s Riley Blake Block Challenge which is the Sawtooth  Star Block. I have made these before but was looking at her examples and came across these cute little coasters that she had made. Picture from Amy’s web site.

Camper sawtooth-square-coaster

I thought I recognised the fabric and checked my previous blog posts and yes it is the Riley Blake ‘I’d rather be glamping’ fabric that I bought last year.So that is my plan for the weekend sorted, two Liberty Sawtooth Star blocks and a couple of these little cuties as well.

Campervan fabric

I am currently working on one of my Ebay puzzle purchases most evenings which is also fueling my camper love.It looks very much like a camp site Ellen and I stayed in a couple of years ago in the Lake District when we had a wonderful holiday.

Camping puzzle 3

I bought this as I loved the illustration and had to laugh when it arrived and I saw on the side of the box that it said, ‘before there were holidays to Spain, there was camping and everyone loves camping’.

Camping puzzle 2

Camping puzzle 1

Well I do love camping but I would also like to go to Spain to see my lovely Mum but will just have to be patient about that.

Meanwhile I will spend my time adding pictures to my newly created Pinterest board of cute retro camper designs. Look at these cute interiors! My van will definitely have bunting, lots and lots of bunting.

Cozy Little House camper

Retro cottage camper

I also found these very lovely cushions on this blog, this group of friends have all got vintage caravans and I love these embroidered cushions. They look wonderful with the grandmother’s garden quilt as well.Picture from the blog, stitched by Juli.

Retro camper van pillows

I can but dream, and make pretty things of course so that I when I do finally buy the camper then I will have lots to put in it 🙂

I hope that you have some nice things planned for the weekend. My excitement starts with collecting my freshly baked bread tomorrow morning (yes I am going out of the house again!) and also a little walk on Sunday, weather permitting.

Take care, keep safe and thanks for visiting.

 

 

Week 9 – I am halfway to a lap quilt…..

Although this is only week 7 of the Riley Blake Block challenge I am on week 9 of working from home and have now, with the addition of the three blocks that I made last year as practise for doing quilt blocks,  got quite a nice little collection.

Those from last year are the very top right and the second and fourth from left on the bottom row. They were my ‘experimenting with very complex block patterns’ work. Some of which, as you may be able to see (as in the bottom row, fourth along Dutchman’s Puzzle block) have lost a lot of their points which is a pity.

Liberty blocks so far

I didn’t think that they would all work together and was concerned that some might be a little small but apart from one of the older ones that I think needs a wider border (top right block in particular)  I am happy with the way that they look. Mind you I am still tempted to do an all Liberty log cabin one but we shall see 🙂

This week’s blocks were the Shoefly ones, I am a little behind now as I only had time on Sunday afternoon to make these due to a lovely weekend of walking and doing other things and we are now onto another block for this week. I used the tutorial from Polka Dot Chair for these.

Shoefly Block 1

They are very similar in construction to the nine patch block that I made last week, just using half square triangles instead of full patches. I think I have got the half square triangle construction sorted now, I still end up with some parts with more space at the edge than others but I think that is due to differences in seam allowances.

Shoefly Block 2

I have been adding to my sewing tools stash recently, I have bought a new, slimmer, quilting ruler which has been great as I now have a 12 inch by 1 and 1/2 inch which is much easier for quick cutting than the 18 inch by 4 inch one. I also bought a roleau loop turner.

I am thinking that one of the specialist feet 1/4 inch feet might be a good idea or maybe I could just trial the good old DIY version of putting tape next to my sewing machine foot.

On my wish list as well are a pressing ham and a tailor’s clapper. I really love all the handmade versions of the hams and sleeve rolls I have seen as most of the commercial ones just won’t go with my sewing room and everything has to co-ordinate of course 🙂

This tutorial looks very good for making one and I love the way that she has decorated it with hand drawn illustrations. Picture from the web site as marked.

tailors ham

I just need to try and get some sawdust as that is the best thing to stuff it with. No doubt I can find it on Ebay which has been a lifesaver during lockdown.

I have not got much planned for the rest of this week craft wise as I am knee deep in marking and going to bed quite early most nights, I am so tired at the moment, must have been that very long walk on Friday! I am also enjoying watching some beautiful sunsets with a good book to read, I find it a very calming end to the day.

I hope that you all have a good week ahead, I have a catch up with Ellen planned for tomorrow and she is going to show me some of the amazing flower fairy dress she has been working on so I will get some pictures of that for you, the glimpses I have seen look brilliant. She is so creative.

I am now off to drink wine and work on my latest jigsaw puzzle as I have staring at a screen all day. I know it is a school night (for the wine) but since I am not going in to work again for at least the next four months normal rules just don’t apply 🙂

Take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.