Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Pieced and patched

Outside, as I type, a gentle snow is falling, lightly coating roof tops and gate posts like a fine dusting of icing sugar.

Thankfully the lane appears clear, just wet, and it doesnt look as if it really means business.

It's a year today I started writing my blog - the 115th post, over 30,000 page views, nearly 170 followers, and, most importantly, some good, like-minded and supportive friends made from all around the world.

Together through our blogs we have shared our latest makes, our recipes, our gardens and gardening tips, and the ups and downs of life with our families.

Thank you all so much for sharing this blogging adventure with me.

Just a few photos of my latest "makes" today - I have been on a cushion roll ever since the new year dawned, similar to this time last year I think - cushions are my all time favourite things to make!

Since my last post I have finished another three pieced cushion fronts, and one complete cushion made from vintage 9 patch blocks from America which I must share with you.

I also tracked down my small collection of reproduction 1930s feedsack fabrics last week, and made up a few more cushion fronts.

this one from two different red repro feedsack fabrics

 blue repro feedsack fabric and cream cotton

 a design inspired by a Vasarely painting from re-purposed plain fabric

I won these patches below on eBay a couple of years ago, and they are so charming in the random way in which they are pieced together - crooked and not very well sewn, yet someone has taken the time and trouble to cut and sew these fragments of old shirts, dresses and blouses together into 9 patch blocks, some fabrics probably dating from the 1940s and 50s onwards.

Look at this sweet little fabric!

Yesterday evening I had the urge to press and join them in a simple way to make a rectangular cushion, and then this morning I added a simple back using one of my favourite things to recycle - old work shirts! Ready made button fastenings - and I see in my new Cath Kidston  book "Patch!", that I got for Christmas,  that I am not alone in recognising the joys and possibilities of old shirts!

My poor husband only has to have a slightly worn cuff, or slightly gaping buttons, for me to pounce on it and declare it unfit for future wear ;0 - another one bites the dust (and makes the stash, he he!)

So one made and enough for one more similar and one in a different design.

I now have to get myself in the mood for a production line to finish and make up the backs for 7 pieced cushion covers, 

8 including this one on the table at the moment.

patched and appliqued cushion cover

I have been quite organised in my approach to these cushion covers believe it or not, making up designs from ideas that were written or sketched down a while ago, and it is quite satisfying to see them transformed forma an idea on paper to the real thing.

Maybe this is what I need - to be more disciplined!

Welcome to my new followers, and thank you for still being here to my older followers - i cannot believe a whole year has passed!

Apologies if the photos are a bit all over the place today, but I'm still finding my feet with the new look blogger which I have finally been forced to succumb to - it edits differently and I've made a bit of a hash of this post I think :(

I can't even seem to edit and add more photos for some reason - I hate change - I am getting old and grumpy, gggrrrrr!!!!!!!!.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Wednesday WIPs and Other Stuff

One of my unwritten and unspoken-about (until now that is!) resolutions  for the new year is probably one shared by many of you - to sew more, to crochet more, make more things generally, finish off the WIPs, reduce the fabric/wool stash, and tidy my sewing space.

Actually that's more than one.

But you get the idea.

I have started off quite well, firstly by having a good tidy of my space, and secondly by making four pieced cushion cover fronts last week, using fabric from my stash

The following two cushion fronts use the same fabrics but will be a different size when complete. 

Just need to join the rows in this last one, then have a production line going to finish them off by lining the patchworked fronts and doing the backs.

Otherwise I will have just negated my first few resolutions by merely adding to the WIPs.


Whilst getting back into blogging mode I have been doing the rounds of my favourite blogs, catching up with your news, (although I still have more to visit as I am so behind),
 and, as you do,
have come across some lovely new (to me) blogs in my travels around blogland.

One in particular that I enjoyed that you might like to pop over and visit is Rubyted - she has a love of all things dotty and spotty which I can certainly identify with!

I also came across another creative blog, The Vintage Hobby House, where Manda blogs about the Universal Craft Blog Directory in her latest post.

I checked this out via her link to CraftyRie and have signed up - the aim is to build a Directory of Craft Blogs, listing bloggers who craft.

If you craft or "make stuff" then you might like to go and check it out for yourself.

Click on the link here to go to CraftyRie who is bravely organising all this!
(For some reason I cannot get the picture to link, useless woman that I am sometimes when it comes to IT!)

Following the admirable lead of Vivienne at Green Rabbit Designs, a favourite blog of mine, I am in pre-spring mode, which I think is a jolly good idea of Vivienne's (who is taking this very seriously and already spring cleaning - how positive is that?!)  for all you like-minded spring yearners out there - it's a state of mind, positive thinking if you like, seeing the encouraging little signs of spring and carefully ignoring the continuing signs of gloomy winter.

( "In denial of winter "doesnt sound quite so positive does it?)

Todays pre-Spring feel good signs that I spotted were

* the first early daffs out along a lane on the school run this morning, just four brave flowers
* clumps of snowdrops flowering by the roadside (mine are still in hiding)
* catkins across the lane (lots!)
* buds on my daffs
* the cheery purple pansies and scarlet primulas that I planted last week in wall baskets
* the birds sang early this morning as light was breaking (they havent done that for a while with any conviction)
* the woodpecker has started peckering and hammering away in the early morning - lovely spring/ summer sound

So those are my reasons to be cheerful today, my pre-spring signs - do you have any to share?

Or are you still happily enjoying winter?

Edited to add that all the above spring flower photos are last years, not taken this year!!! So sorry if I misled anyone! I did type a line earlier saying this but I must have taken it out!

Another edit or PS!
Have just found another new to me blog that will be of interest to those who love Swedish interiors and patchwork quilts - a visual delight, do visit Liv at    http://livsswedishhome.blogspot.com/

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Wednesday, 18 January 2012

New Beginnings (and old endings)

Oh dear, has it really been that long?

So sorry to have gone AWOL without so much as a warning of interrupted service - it's just too bad of me and I do beg your forgiveness, if you are still there..............is anybody there????

AND I didn't even announce the winner of my Giveaway in time for Christmas - shame on me.

But believe me, I hadn't forgotten about it - it was nagging at me in the background amongst all the xmas preparations, making me feel guilty at first and then in the mad rush before Christmas I reasoned with myself that you lovely, kind fellow bloggers would hopefully understand and graciously forgive me.

I'm sure we were all caught up in the crazy, busy run up to Christmas, and in the spending of rare, precious time with our families over the holidays, and in the "trying to get back into a routine" early days of the new year once the schools were back.

So, here I am at last, better late than never, wishing you all a belated Happy New Year!!!!

And a big Welcome! to all my new followers who bravely signed up to follow..........well............nothing for a while, but I will try to rectify that in the coming weeks.

Well, Christmas is over, and I hope you all had a wonderful, fun and relaxing time.

We did here, right from when the schools broke up............

Firstly, kitchen cupboards were painted and new curtains hung
(I know, I know, how mad is that a few weeks before Xmas!!!)

(and, of course, me being me, they are not all finished yet ;)  )

trees were decorated
(and the hall painting was finished, yay!!)

 rooms were made festive

decorations were made

wrapping paper was printed

even personalised in some cases!

a few presents were made

lots of baking and cooking was done
(but few photos as we were too busy eating it!)

the stockings were hung by the chimney
("with care, in hopes that"......you know the rhyme!)

little miniature ones for an advent calender

the festive season was enjoyed by all

relaxing was the order of the day

and for the New Year.......

a fresh start
a clean slate
new beginnings

new books!!!!!

New books to be read
(christmas presents!)

New seeds to be sown - soon

New projects to be sewn

New CK mugs to be drunk from!
(more pressies!)

New treat for the kitchen "from" us "to" us

New boots to be worn!!!

And, finally, a winner for my giveaway has been selected using an online random generator thingy rather than Logan, who downright refused to do it. So there.

And the winner is..............

No. 17...........

 Dosie Rosie (aka Gill - yes another one!)!!!!

Congratulations Gill - please email me with your address and confirm which tea towel you would like!

Dosie Rosie has won the tea towel of her choice, together with a selection of handmade Christmas Decorations which she will no doubt be thrilled about, it being January and all. Hmm. Maybe a rethink is in order on the rest of the giveaway Dosie Rosie?

I will have a think and come up with something a little more relevant.

So enough for today.

In fact this post is so o o o   long I feel somewhat vindicated for my long absence from the world of blogging, and if you have made it this far and are still awake, then you are a real trooper!

So looking forward to hearing from you all, I have missed you my friends!!!!!!

Gill xx