January thoughts

Hello and hope you are all having a good start to your crafting year. I have been thinking a lot about goals for this year, not resolutions but things that I want to get done and so thought that putting together a list on the blog would give me a point of reference.

I like the idea of looking back at what you have done and looking forward to the future, January being named after the Roman god, Janus, the god of doors because this month is the door to the year. The Roman god Janus represents all beginnings and possesses the ability to see all things past and future which I think is a lovely idea and why he is represented with two faces.

So what did I achieve in 2016? This was very much a year of new things for me, coming really from a couple of courses that I went on at Simply Solids where I learnt to make baskets and had my first experience with zips with my pouch. I also used some of my ideas from Pinterest for pincushions and the little houses and made a sewing machine cover.

Looking at my photos for last year it doesn’t seem as if I did a lot but there also extra things that I did like the gold braid on Ellen’s dress, finishing the tabard for Jamie, a ring pillow and the Christmas ornaments that were also completed. The fact that I changed job roles in the summer has also meant a lot less time for crafting since June though hopefully that has calmed down now.

So plans for 2017. First of all to tackle some of the pesky WIPs. Like most people I am a bit of a flibbertigibbet when it comes to crafting, I see a new thing that I want to do and then go off and do it and don’t finish other things.I have also been guilty of abandoning difficult things which is not good practice!

These all need finishing.The first one needs a frame but is done otherwise, the quilt block is part of the challenge that Helen, Sharon and I did the year before last. I have 6 blocks but need a few more. The cute car hexagons were supposed to be a present for a baby who is now two! The vintage crochet hexis are going to be a bee quilt cushion and the last set of hexis are a long term project which is good for travelling, I have made some more of these in Spain.

Then the new stuff. I would like to go back and make some more of the Splendid Sampler blocks, particularly these stitched ones.

I would also like to make some of the items that I have saved pictures of on the blog.They range from things from books such as the circular tile quilt and the triple hexagon tea mug  to more pincushions, pouches, baskets, mug rugs and bags from blogs, some of Lori Holt Bloom Sew Along and a Dresden block using vintage linen from a magazine.

I would like to do more of Jenny of Elefantz’s lovely embroidery, the hexagon and roses one above is one I have been meaning to do for the craft room but think it would make a great zip pouch as well.

I also need to find a use for these gifted hexagons from my friend Helen, zippered pouches maybe? Probably more likely than a whole quilt given my productivity!

gift hexis 1

Finally there is more cross stitch, something I haven’t done for a long time but am feeling the urge for in preparation for next year’s Christmas ornaments.

Well that lot should keep me going for a while, meantime there is some crochet and lace zips calling me upstairs so I had better go and see what they want!

Take care and thanks for visiting.

Pussycat,pussycat I love you …

You may remember a few months back when I started making house pincushions Jake suggested they would look good with a cat in the window and I was wondering how to do that when a comment from VirtuoSewAdventures suggested embroidery.

I have done a bit of embroidery but not much freehand so was very pleased with the way my cat turned out, I just drew the outline and filled it in with long and short stitch.Also got to use up a  piece of vintage trim for the roses round the door.

cat-house-pincushion

 

I finished it just in time to give it to Ellie for Christmas. I do love making these little houses and plan to make many more, have so many ideas for fabric combinations.

What are you working on at the moment?Leave me a comment and let me know.

Thanks for visiting and have a good week ahead.

A little more making and a fab(ric) find!

Hello again. Inbetween sorting out a Steampunk outfit and re-enacting I have been able to make a few things. Firstly a ring pillow for Ellie’s best friend Becky from University who got married this week.

The theme was linen and lace with dark blue so I used some of my vintage crochet stash and Jenny of Elefantz’s monogram patterns  as well as some flowers from an old pair of sandals that had worn out to fit in with the something old something new, something borrowed and something blue.

I am very pleased with how it turned out, I love the combination of linen and crochet and lace and have been saving lots of other inspiration pictures to my Pinterest boards.

I have also been saving all my tiny Liberty scraps from making hexagons and inspired by Pinterest and Crazy Mom’s month of pincushions  made these for Sarah’s Yarndale stall.

Was very pleased as well to find a fabric stall at the Steampunk market selling another version of one of my favourite haberdashery fabrics. The lady was called Jill from English Rose and she was very lovely. You can find her Etsy store  here.

Steam Punk fabri purchases

I have got this print in grey and black and cream and black and have used it for the cute baskets  and now have a whole metre in blue and cream as it was such a bargain 🙂 I also bought another print that I had seen on Ebay from the stall, love that sewing machine.

Steam Punk fabri purchases 2

I am aiming to make a few more fabric baskets  this weekend as Yarndale is only a few weeks away so better get crafting! Have a lovely weekend and thanks for visiting.

Quilting a rainbow

One of the things I love about seeing other people’s quilts is their use of colour. Sometimes putting together fabrics that you never thought would go, other times the use of a rainbow of colour that really stands out. Often it is the contrast between the fabric and the background and sometimes it is the quilting that helps the colour really pop.

This quilt entitled, ‘Bubbles of Joy’, by Anne Lilleholm Jorgenson is one such quilt, the fabric is gorgeous and what makes it really lovely is the contrast of the fabric bubbles and the quilting on the white background.

Another similar quilt used colour in the quilting really effectively, both sides, grey and black, were displayed and the contrast between the little pops of colour fabric and the quilting was really effective. This reminded me of the Spirograph toy we had as a child.

This one is called, ‘Atom’, and was made by Brenda Sanders.

In my craft room I have a stash of rainbow fabrics just waiting for the right project, they look so pretty on the shelf I really don’t want to cut into them! Maybe I could make something like this lovely hexagon quilt, sadly forgot to take a picture of the maker’s name.

There were also some gorgeous colourful  flower quilts like this one from Sheena Stubbs, ‘A Country Garden’.

Quilt Festival Flower 1

One of our other huge favourites was part of the Korean and Japanese quilters’ exhibition and was a pair of quilts which not only used colour really well but also wonderful Kantha stitching.

These are, ‘Lotus Pond 2 – Midsummer Day’, by SangSook Kim. We felt that not only were these quilts stunning but they felt like the sort of thing that we could actually make as the hand quilting used for the Kantha stitching is a lot less scary than the machine stitching in the other quilts.

The background is made up of wonky log cabins and that in itself is beautiful but the Kantha stitching and flowers really makes them into works of art.

Lots of inspiration again and has added so much to my future projects thoughts. At the moment I am working on two sets of things, a new set of Christmas ornaments using paper piecing and some more of Jenny’s lovely stitching, this time from her Primitive inspired designs from last month’s Stitchery Club. Looking forward to another delivery from her later this week.

Will show you more of that in a later post as well as some of my recent makes and fabric finds!

Thanks very much, as always for visiting, and have a great week ahead, the sun is shining in Yorkshire for the second day running which is brilliant!

 

 

Quilt magic

Hello everyone, hope that you are all well and happy. Just back from a very hot Spain to lovely damp Yorkshire so what is a girl to do but take a trip to look at beautiful quilts? It was the brilliant Festival of Quilts trip again yesterday, just myself and Sharon this time.

We were very good, just a few purchases, no fabric for Sharon as she seems to think that she should use some of the stuff she has got before buying more but I got a little more insulation for the craft room 🙂

We both bought books, they had a special offer on the Sarah Fielke Little Quilts book  and as we so enjoyed meeting her recently we felt that we just had to!

Sarah Fielke Little Things book

The main reason for going was of course all that magic that people can perform with bits of fabric and thread and there was again some absolutely amazing and inspirational work.

We loved the two quilts by Claudia Pfeil ,whose work we first saw last year. The colours are amazing and the level of detail and embellishment just make them sparkle so much. There is more of her amazing work on this Pinterest board here.

There were some wonderful art quilts and pictorial quilts. I loved all the floral ones in very different styles such as these by Hilary Gooding, the more modern one which had a Judge’s Choice award, and Dorothy Clee  who had interpreted a walled garden. I love the stitching detail on both these very beautiful quilts.

One of my favourites combined quilting with my love of history in costume in a beautifully executed and very interesting idea based on Tudor dress showing the structural as well as the decorative elements of the fashion. This is by Joanna O’Neil  and has some gorgeous machine embroidery making the lace on the costume.

There was another set of historically based quilts of a similar theme based on effigies which were also beautifully stitched. These were made by Canadian quilter Dorothy Howard.

Quilt Festival - Dorothy Howard 1

Quilt Festival - Dorothy Howard 2

I have lots more to show you in a later post but for now will go and get some stitching done. Am going to be finishing the ring pillow today so time to choose a new project to start, am toying with either one of Jenny of Elefantz’s lovely designs or starting some of my Christmas ornaments.

Take care and enjoy what every you are doing this weekend, thanks for visiting.

Tudor splendour

Hello, hope that you are all well and happy. I am very much so as I have submitted the work I was doing for my doctorate, hurrah , which means more sewing time, double hurrah  🙂 and I am going to Simply Solids this afternoon for another of their sewing courses.

Add to that the fact that I am off to Lisbon on Tuesday with my lovely Mum and my lovely son has come home from University , (for about 9 months until he hopefully goes off to teach in Japan), so I am quite possibly one of the happiest bunnies around!

We had a fab weekend at Tatton as well, the rain held off until the battle on Sunday so we only got a little bit wet and we met up with lots of old friends and Ellie and I marshalled the battle for the first time rather than water carrying which was very exciting. I could show you some photos of all of the excitement if I hadn’t filed them somewhere safe!

So on to the pictures from the National Trust visits Ellie and I did a while ago. First stop was Charlecote Park  in Warwickshire, a beautiful Tudor manor still owned by the family.

I love Tudor buildings with the red stone and the twisted chimneys and this had a beautiful setting as well. It was brilliant to see so many families enjoying the place, it was the school holidays and there was a teddy bear’s picnic on the lawn. Lots of future National Trust members hopefully who will bring their own children and help care for these places forever.

Charlecote 5

Charlecote 6

In the Great Hall there were some brilliant costume pictures, sadly too high up on the wall to take detailed shots but in the dining room there was wonderful wallpaper and in the library some very ornate needlepoint chairs that looked Spanish in origin.

Charlecote 8

I also loved the plasterwork on the ceilings, more inspiration for that book of textile patterns based on historic buildings that I am going to write one day!

Charlecote 7

Charlecote 13

Charlecote 14

There was also a lovely display of the more ordinary textiles in the laundry and the kitchen with embroidered traycloths and some rag rugs which had been made by children as part of a craft event.

A very lovely place to visit on a sunny English afternoon! Well will love you and leave you now as have to go and choose the fabric for the class this afternoon, we are making vinyl project bags so hopefully I will have a finished bag to show you soon.

Take care and thanks for visiting.

 

 

It’s a tough job but someone has to do it!

 

Hello everyone

I started my week’s leave last Friday with a trip down to stay with Ellie in her new flat which is very smart and co-ordinated.

She is feeling very grown up as she has now got a full set of furniture all of her own since she moved into a totally unfurnished place and has gradually acquired everything she needs.

It was also a chance for me to see where she works, you may remember that she got a new job in November, still working for the National Trust at Clumber Park where she is Chapel and Collections Officer. Which means she is in charge of this beautiful place!

Clumber chapel 1

Clumber chapel 2

The setting is amazing, a drive in past the most gorgeous rhododendrons all in bloom, they are my very favourite plant and there were hundreds in the park.

Then into the stable block where her office is, right next to the clock tower and the courtyard with the café. Her office window is the one above the bay window in this picture.

Clumber office 1

Clumber park 1

She has a view down to the lake with the geese and swans. At the moment there are daises everywhere which makes a very pretty carpet.

Such a beautiful place to work and the chapel is stunning, especially as it was built as a private chapel in the late 1800s by the 7th Duke. It has ornate lamps and wonderful wood carvings of angels and saints.

We were there for the Requiem Mass for the Duke so got to participate in the full service with incense and candles as well!

The light coming in through the windows was beautiful.

Clumber chapel 11

Clumber chapel 12

I love all the little details as well such as this door lock.

Clumber chapel 13

There was also a bit of lovely ecclesiastical embroidery, an alter cloth and this banner as well as a couple of beautiful paintings. Apologies as the light was not very good in the side chapel for this picture.

Clumber chapel 14

The main house was demolished in the 1930s as it was too big to maintain, another one was due to be built but sadly due to the war and economic issues it never was so Ellie and her colleagues have been responsible for a new project this summer to try and recreate what the house would have looked like.

They have laid out ropes to make a floor plan and installed furniture, books, games, crockery and information signs telling people what the original rooms looked like and inviting them to come and make themselves at home.

It has been a great success, Clumber gets a lot of families visiting as there are great walks and bike rides and a camp site and it was brilliant to see everyone enjoying the installation.

We then went to Ashby de la Zouche castle for my first event of the season, it was lovely and sunny so got a little pink and had a great time catching up with everyone.

Will post some more pictures of that in another post. Meanwhile there is some work on my doctorate to do, started the research for real this weekend so am going to do some writing up!

Thanks for visiting and see you all soon.