30 September 2013

Cutting and stitching

Well last week was the busiest ever for Pretty Fabrics and Trims, thank you so much, which meant that Mum and I spent most of our time cutting fabric, lace and ribbons, counting out buttons and wrapping lots of parcels.   We also found time to order some new stock, the best bit ever I must say, but more of that later this week.

At home, Jamie is still poorly, his nasty cough actually turned out to be a touch of bronchitis and tonsillitis and he spent most of his week lying on the sofa.  By the time the weekend came, we were all desperate for some outside space and set off for lakeside walk, although when we got back Jamie had to lay for two hours to recover.  We had hoped to pick brambles, but they were not quite ready, but we did come home with a bag full of rose hips, which I intend on making into rose hip jelly.  I read that they are better after a frost, so if you put them in the freezer, this will help.....having never tasted rose hip jelly, I am not sure if this true, but I'll let you know how I get on.  Any advice would be welcome.

On a crafty front I did find some time to work on my latest embroidery, but I'm afraid I didn't get much further forward with the pattern for Tilly and her Toadstool, if anyone has any tips for how to find a few extra hours in the day, these would also be gratefully received.  You would be surprised to hear then, that on Friday evening instead of doing a spot of embroidery, crochet or felt work, I decided to add another project to the already long list and set too cutting up fabric for a patchwork quilt.  Now, it has to be said, I really didn't intend to then spend every spare moment over the weekend sewing, but once I started, I really.... honestly.... could not stop, but look, did you see, I am now the owner of a rather gorgeous, if I say so myself, snuggly lap quilt.

Historically, my previous quilts have all be sewn entirely by hand.  I think apart from Hexie's I am now a total convert, machine piercing is definitely the way forward from here on in.

The fabrics I used were from my Tilda stash, different ones from at least four of her collections, but that is why I love Tilda so much, the way you can mix and match.  The backing and the binding fabrics are by Stof and being extra wide, were a perfect choice.   I love how the colours work so well with the Tilda's and I must say out of all of it, the stripey binding is my favourite part of the quilt.   I've taken some step by step photo's of what I did which I'll share with you, fingers crossed in the next day or two.

As you can see a certain young man has today snaffled my quilt, but I'll make allowances for now until he is feeling on top form again, and then it will be mine, all mine (evil laugh!!)

I hope that you have all had a lovely weekend too!


19 September 2013

Over a week...really???

Oh my goodness, it's over a week since my last blog post.  I've had a very busy and productive week, both with Pretty Fabrics and Trims and also many hours spent happily crafting.  Autumn is most definitely my favourite time of year, I love wrapping up and going for walks, coming back to a warm cup of tea and maybe a piece of cake, although honestly, I really am trying very hard to eat less cake!!   I have been busy working on a little felt pattern inspired by my daughters love of fairies and pixie's.  After quite a few prototypes I am rather happy with Tilly the Toadstool Pixie and her little portable house, with it's hidden little pocket for when she needs a nap.  Poppy loves it too which is great!

As I sat working, I found myself reflecting how the view from my window has changed over the last few months and indeed how much things have changed for both myself and my family since I embarked on my Grand Plan.  I now make time to do little things with my children, for example, the other morning, as I drew the blinds in my living room, I noticed loads of spiders webs had formed overnight.  So there we were all of us in our PJ's at seven in the morning on our front lawn watching this spider industriously weave its web.  When it was time for school, an hour and half later, it was completed. 

It also so heartwarming to know that I am not alone here on my blog, I can not tell you how thrilling it is to receive and read your lovely comments, thank you so much for taking the time to leave them, it really does make my day!


9 September 2013

Day Trip


As the summer holidays drew to a close, I must admit I think we were all looking forward to getting back to school and restoring some sort of routine back in to the house.  Andy has been promoted at work and is now working a different shift pattern, which means that he will now work some weekends.  I'm not complaining though as this time last year, he was 3 weeks in to a 2 month detachment.  What this does mean is that it is even more important to grab family time as and when we can.  We did exactly that last week before term started and set off for Sherwood Forest which is about 50mins from where we live.  We first went back in April when Andy had returned from another 2 months away and just loved it, it is so beautiful, you can see more pictures from that visit here.   After a forest walk, picnic lunch which gave me time for a spot of crochet, we then moved on to Clumber Park.  Oh my goodness, it is the most stunning place full of woodland walks, lakes and vista' s, I truely could imagine Mr Darcy emerging from the water and it is definitely on the To Do list to go again in half term!!

Talking of crochet, I think this is my new addiction... I am however being very good and limiting it to the evenings, where rather appropriately there has been a slight nip in the air.  I am already envisaging myself snuggled under my lap blanket.  When I purchased the yarn a few weeks back, as you know I had no idea how to crochet, however after a quick lesson from Mum I had soon made my first Granny square, which she reliably told me was a good thing to start with.  I also decided to keep it simple, with solid blocks of colour with a natural white border.....


It is extremely satisfying seeing my little stacks of squares growing but I think I probably should have sewn in the ends as I went along, maybe next time! It's been quite a learning curve and to start with I struggled holding my original metal hook as it hurt my hands, an ongoing issue resulting from too many hours spent hand stitching and working on the computer.  Whilst on holiday though, I found a Prym hook with a soft thick handle which is extremely comfortable to hold, but since being home and reading various crochet blogs I have seen the Clover Amour hooks.....sigh....I think they'll be going on my Christmas list for sure!  After my decision to add the natural white border it was pretty obvious that  didn't have enough yarn, so I placed my second order, oh and you'll never guess what happened...this gorgeous lot found its way into my basket....

...... theres some more of the blanket colours, plus some vanilla, orange, olive and teal, I'm thinking a crochet cushion for my conservatory, oh and remember when I went to get my crochet hook whilst on holiday, well the wool shop was having a sale and this beatiful yarn came home with me....well it would have been wrong not to, don't you think.....it's going to be a neck warmer, well eventually!

So I think it is safe to say that not only am I addicted to fabric, floss and felt, it would seem that I am now adding yarn to the list too, oh dear!


1 September 2013

Late Summer Walk

As the summer holidays come to an end, it's amazing how the landscape has changed.   It's also noticeable how the evenings are drawing in.  Actually I quite like closing the blinds and turning on the side lights of evening and crafting although I am now torn between embroidery and crochet, my little pile of Granny Squares is slowly but surely growing.  I promise to post some photo's soon, I am LOVING crochet!!

Poppy and I went for a walk the other afternoon, well I walked, she cycled.  The fields around us are in the progress of being ploughed, so in the background there has been a constant hum of tractors and other farm machinery.  When Jamie was younger it was his favourite time of year, he would spend hours looking out of his bedroom window, watching the tractors and then playing with his toy farm.  We set of across the fields, however we soon realised this was perhaps a little ambitious for her on her little bike, so we turned back and headed to our very local nature reserve.  When we first moved here was little more than a dirt track and long grass, however over the years, volunteers have planted trees, sown wild flower meadows, added dry stone seats and more recently wooden sculptures.  It was a delight as we turned one of the corners and came across a newly planted orchard, how super will that be in year to come.

There were rather excitingly the early signs of Autumn, we discovered Blackberries, and Sloe's in the hedgerow.  I am already dreaming of Apple and Bramble crumble and drinking Sloe Gin at Christmas!!

On a crafting front, here's the embroidery I was sewing whilst on holiday, now framed and on its way to a new loving home and I have started another Sunshine, which I have rather exciting plans for, more of that another day.

Shop news, we had two new gorgeous Tilda fabrics arrive whilst we were away, more pretty flowers and lovely mini stars, I do not think I will ever tire of the lovely Tilda designs.....

I have so enjoyed the Summer holidays, but it has to be said I think we are all ready for term to begin on Thursday.  Both children are looking forward to seeing their friends on a daily basis and I am looking forward to spending more time enjoying the view through my sewing room window......

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