A little bit of history

Hello everyone, hope you are all well and happy. It is another damp and dreary weekend here in Yorkshire but that means plenty of time for catching up on blogging and crafting!

Regular readers will know I love visiting historic places, all places are special in their own way and all very beautiful but sometimes you come across something really special that is a real wow moment.

You may remember that Ellie worked at Hardwick Hall before she moved to Clumber Park, they have an extensive collection of Elizabethan textiles, some worked by Bess of Hardwick and some by Mary Queen of Scots, her husband’s charge in the years before her death.

We were wandering through our second Trust Property, Coughton Court , really enjoying the beautiful treasures when we came across a darkened room full of the most amazing things.

Firstly there was this beautiful chalice cover with the most wonderful Elizabethan goldwork, then a priest’s cope which was made by Catherine of Aragon, (another heroine of mine), and her ladies, no pictures as it was too dark but you can get a glimpse of it at the collections site here.

Coughton textiles 5

Coughton textiles 6

Then at the back in a case was this very simple chemise, embroidered around the neck, the chemise that Mary allegedly wore when she was executed at Fotheringay Castle in 1587.

Coughton - MQS robe 1

This was one of the most wow moments I have ever had at a property, one of those really goose bumpy moments when you realise you are actually really close up to the reality of history. You can see a full length picture of the chemise at the collections site at the above link.

It was also very interesting as all contemporary reports said that Mary wore blood – red undergarments, the colour of a catholic martyr, maybe this was under those red robes.

You can read more about Coughton and the family history at this great blog post  from the very informative Tudor Stuff blog. The family were staunch Catholics and so had a bit of a rough time during the reformation but managed to retain their beautiful property.

There were also some other lovely costumes in portraits. The blackwork on the neck and sleeves of this robe and this lace collar were two of my particular favourites.

There was some very good interpretation using textiles as well, this is something that Ellie and I have noticed as a growing trend in Trust houses and one that we really like. I think it is far more interesting to read something set in the context and also from a practical point of view easier as the print is larger and several people can be reading the information at once.

This was a dinner party at which the guests were all members of the estate who died in the First World War. A very touching and lovely way to remember them, with their photos as place cards and their stories on the back of each chair.

Coughton - textile interpretation 1

Coughton - textile interpretation 2

I will be back soon with more lovely Trust stuff, now off to make another little basket, have resisted the urge to make more for a few weeks but they are so cute and this will be a present for a younger relative.

Hope that you all have a lovely weekend whatever you are doing and see you soon. Thanks for visiting.

‘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:-)

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:-):-)

Thanks for visiting.

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 – I 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 – hour 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:-)

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😉

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.

Kaizen and the art of machine quilting

Hello everyone, hope that you are all well and happy.

I have just finished reading the book Ellie bought me last week and at the end Cassandra talks about, ‘kaizen’, the Japanese philosophy of continuous improvement while being happy with what you are doing now and that just about sums up my machine quilting course at Simply Solids yesterday.

In fact I would go further and say that I am very happy with what I achieved. Last summer I did a course with Gillian Travis and though it was mainly about applique she was encouraging us to use machine quilting and embroidery to finish our work and she talked about ‘drawing with the machine’ but I was too scared to try.

This was partly why I booked onto this course taught by Charlotte Jeffrey who blogs under the name Quiltification. She also has a Pinterest board here.

She started by showing us some of her work and it is gorgeous. I love the contrast of the simplicity of this piecing on the quilt made with ombre squares in contrast with the amazing quilting including her, ‘mandala’, design.

Machine quilting course 5

 

She also brought this beautiful one that I didn’t get chance to get a picture of at the course so this is from her website. I love these heart shaped leaves.

Quiltification quilt 1

She was very encouraging and in no time at all I had moved from wonky lines and writing my name to curves and then freestyle daisies. It was really brilliant and has given me so much confidence.

We started practising on calico and then I decided to do a little test on some silk and I love it so much I brought it home, bound it and will be using it as a coaster, I have created a little piece of art and I am very pleased:-)

Quilted coaster 1

Helen from knitting group was there as well, she is very good with a machine and created these beautiful samples, love her writing practise!

I also bought a little bit more stash, it would have been very rude not to and almost impossible to resist the temptation when you are sitting surrounded by gorgeous fabric all day.

This is the latest Bonnie and Camille design from Moda, ‘Vintage Picnic’, there are some beautiful prints here in five different colourways.

Moda Vintage Picnic all colours

 

Can’t decide which is my favourite print but I do love this cross stitch inspired one.

Vintage picnic cross stitch fabric

 

I bought a charm pack as I like having all of the colours in a range to choose from.

Machine quilting course 14

Machine quilting course 12

There are some gorgeous quilt patterns for the design, these are two of my favourites, Nantucket and Summertime.

Vintage picnic quilt pattern 1

 

 

Vintage picnic quilt pattern 2 Summerville

Had a fab day and am looking forward to doing some more quilting courses with Simply Solids in the summer. I always really enjoy going on courses and it is such a beautiful shop. I also always come away with something lovely:-)

Their new schedule will be posted on Monday so I will be booking myself a little something, maybe as a birthday treat!

Have a very packed week ahead, sadly not  practising machine quilting  :-( but then am off to Spain for two weeks so shall be doing lots of hand stitching, reading and knitting in the sun.

I am also going to celebrate a late Mother’s Day and an early birthday with my wonderful Mum so am very much looking forward to that.

We are having a little trip to Madrid as well so will be no doubt posting some pictures of beautiful buildings when I get back.

Until then take care and thanks for visiting.

 

A very long term project

Hello everyone

Like a lot of people I have been thinking about projects for this year, and more specifically my WIPs.

I don’t have many thankfully and most are things that I have done that need an end purpose like some of my experiments with different techniques.

A while ago I discovered the joys of English Paper Piecing and the delights of the mini charm pack. I have thoroughly enjoyed making lots and lots of hexagons, some with an idea in mind of an end product others to be filed for further inspiration.

One of my recent rediscoveries going through the WIPS box, I only have the one and it is quite small honest, was these lovely hexagons pieced from a mini charm pack of Moda Printemps that I bought from Simply Solids.

Printemps fabric 3

I had also acquired some further fat quarters from the Quilt Show in August and my Quilt Cabin workshop in the summer so have quite a bit of this gorgeous fabric but what to make with it?

Printemps fabric 5

Printemps fabric 2

Musing on this a couple of weeks ago I came across a charm pack on Ebay at a very bargain price so added that to the stash – yes I know I should not have been looking for more fabric, just for patterns but you know how it goes.

Printemps fabric 1

I have also just found some more of the fabric on Ebay at a great price so ordered 3 fat quarters early on Saturday evening from Simply All Sorts.

I was absolutely delighted when they messaged me on Sunday and told me that as they had reduced the price of those fabrics at 10pm that evening, after I had ordered, they were going to refund me the difference! What brilliant customer service and to say thank you I ordered another fat quarter which ended up only costing me £1.

I have now decided on a quilt but this is going to be mainly handpieced, which is why it is going to be a very long term project.

I would love to own just one large quilt for me and am in awe of the people who make them in a week but I am thinking a couple of years for this one.

I was browsing for inspiration again yesterday and came across these three lovely designs using the fabric. This one comes from Susie’s Pinwheel Cottage blog and I love the design she has created. Isn’t this so pretty!

Printemps Quilt - Pinwheel Cottage

This one is from Shannon’s blog and uses a pattern called Picket Fence. She is such a prolific quilter and makes the most gorgeous things, go take a look.

Picket Fence Primtemps Quilt

I really like the idea of using the charm pack as it is for some of the blocks as in this design above as it is such beautiful fabric and doing all pieced blocks would not let the design shine through. The Moda picture below shows all the colours and designs in the range.

Moda Printemps colours

As I already have five hexagons and love making them and they are so portable to take away with me I think that most of the other blocks would be hexagons, not sure yet if I will applique them on to a background of try and piece round them to make blocks.

I also love the idea of Dresden blocks, have never made one but they look feasible but am not certain how they would blend with hexagons.

The free pattern that came with the fabric range has got large Dresden Plate blocks with hexagon centres but I am not sure I like that design.

However this version from Bella Rose Quilts looks amazing with the background quilting. A bit beyond my skills at the moment!

Bella Rose Printemps Dresden

What do you think? Anyone tried the two together?

Anyway I shall enjoy the process and the excuse to do more hand piecing, am getting better at machine work but hand stitching will always be my preference, especially on cold winter days when I can snuggle watching TV.

Thanks for visiting and see you soon.

 

Lovely presents

Hello everyone

I have been waiting a while to get some good pictures of the great things I got for Christmas this year.We had a nice sunny day yesterday so I was able to get pictures of my new craft room treats.

You may remember me saying that I had bought a sewing machine themed cotton reel holder and had the matching hook set on my wish list, well guess what my lovely children bought me for Christmas!

Xmas presents 1

This was a total surprise and I was delighted, Ellie said she thought the link on my blog was a hint but it was just really for me to remember where it was from as it was quite expensive and I was going to save up for it. So thank you brilliant children:-)

I am using it at the moment to hang bags from and on it is another one of my gifts on it, this knitting bag on the left from my brother Ben and his (now wife!) Amanda.

Xmas presents 2

The girls at knitting all thought that we should get t-shirts with this on as it is so true! They got this from Not On The High Street.

Xmas presents 3

My lovely friend Kerry always gets my great gifts and this year she bought me this diary from my wish list. Look at all the quilty joy that is in here.

Xmas presents 4

This rainbow quilt is brilliant and I love the look of the rail fence cushions.

Xmas presents 5

Xmas presents 6

She also, ‘gifted’, me some fabric that she bought some years ago at Harrogate but has never used and I was very pleased.

I would be pleased with Christmas fabric anyway but there at the bottom is the red version of the gorgeous stuff I managed to get five fat quarters of last year at Harrogate.

Xmas presents 7

When I brought it home I was thinking how great it would be if I had some more of the red as well and now I have!

Not much crafting to share with you this week, mouse is still a WIP but I have recently finished another of Jenny of Elefantz’s designs, this one in the variegated thread again.

Elefantz heart stitching 1

I think the thickness of the thread looks really good with the flower design. The heart is cut from some batik.

Elefantz heart stitching 2

Am finishing off the mouse this weekend so will be knitting the cute ballet cardigan tomorrow then need to get some tulle for a tutu so that I can make it up next week.

Hope that you have a very enjoyable weekend, it has just started snowing here so I am staying snuggled under the fleece enjoying my hygge home!

Take care and thanks for visiting.