Sunday, 16 March 2014

First finish of 2014!

Are you on facebook? A friend of mine has been doing things to be thankful for tag posts on there since the beginning of January, and it is lovely to see some positive posts. Despite the badstuff that happens day to day, we all have little things to be thankful for, don't we? I want to start doing it, to make sure I remember all the good bits.

This is my first  #thingstobethankfulfor.

My daughter is nine, and has been obsessed with Taylor Swift for a few years now. Totally obsessed. Last October when Taylor announced her Red tour, I decided that I would take Anna, and surprise her with tickets for her birthday. This was Anna's first trip to London, and first proper concert. We stayed in the Hilton in Canary Wharf which was really quiet as it was the weekend, and they upgraded us to an executive suite when we mentioned that it was Anna's birthday trip. It was such an amazing weekend!

So, the bright stars quilt - this is my first finish of 2014! I was really pleased with how it turned out, it reminds me of a paint palet.

 This quilting came together really fast, I just used an all over stipple - I am determined to try a different style for my next quilt!

I really couldn't decide what colour to bind it with, so went for a yellow. It's bright, but doesn't detract from the overall quilt.

  I took some shots of the quilt on the floor, behind me these two lurked and then....

Claimed! I don't think so Wilma....

 While I was finishing this one, my mind was already on to the next. When I've sewn these blocks together, I'm thinking of just quilting in the white areas. Not sure how successful I'll be, it could be an absolute disaster.

Any thoughts?
Right, it's a sunny blustery Sunday and I think a trip to the beach is in order!

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Spring cleaning

My friends daughter was diagnosed with cancer three weeks ago. Despite being admitted to hospital before Christmas for a chest infection, the primary tumour and the secondaries in her other organs and lymph nodes were missed. She started chemo a week ago and it is making her very poorly.

There is something about serious illness in children that is impossible for my mind to comprehend, to catch hold of or understand. It makes me feel like I woke up one day and the world had tilted slightly,  everything out of kilter. It made me feel like hibernating.

I tried to do a little sewing, determined to do something normal. A few bag shapes I've not tried in a while.

Then I felt like a quilt would be a good exercise in meditation, going through the process of choosing a block, colours, size. I made myself go for something bright and hopeful.

There's something very satisfying about seeing all of those colours set out, like a row of boiled sweets. It was even more satisfying looking at the thin slivers of fabric offcuts, like a coloured spaghetti.

Then a gap, then some more sewing. HST's emerged from the pile.

Somewhere along the way I decided that spring cleaning my sewing room would be a positive idea, placing all the units together to maximise the floor space. I kind of like having my desk next to the window too, although I keep getting distracted by the dogs playing in the garden and birds on the feeders. Not a bad thing to be distracted by.

I know a lot of people don't like HST's, but I find them quite soothing. Something about getting the angle right and the edges sharp. They make good blocks.

Which make a good, ordered quilt top.

It's been therapeutic working with colour, order and form. Control. Predictability.

I also splashed out on some spring for inside the house this week. White Hyacinths, I adore the scent of them. And Rosemary with Gypsophilia - both last for ages, even after they've started to dry out, and the Rosemary smells delicious when the sun is on it.

 I need to take a leaf out of Wilma's book. Sleepy in the warm sunlight.

Monday, 30 December 2013

This year has been a strange one, in more ways than I can fathom, and as 2014 looms I've found myself feeling unsettled that a full year could pass without anything really to set it apart from any other.
 Maybe I should count my blessings in that respect, but I can't help feeling that amid the chaos of this year I have lived by knee jerk reactions, reactions that have led to me give up the things that add value to my life, in favour of the things that cause me the most anxiety. Is that middle age?

 Well, what's done is done,  and over the last few weeks I have been thinking about living a little differently. Taking things slower, pausing to consider before making decisions, big or small. Living in a way that may, possibly, add some purpose and value to the creative oases in my busy week.
( Is that the plural of oasis? Or has my poor spelling just conjured something green to stick flowers in, I'm not sure.)

 I really don't know why I didn't do this before, but I'm  going to register as self employed (no messing about just in case,) and open up a Folksy shop as an outlet for the things I create. No pressure, when I go through a manic bag making phase, or overdo the lap quilts, I will list them to sell. I've got no hopes or expectations for this venture, I'm not going to say hopefully it will mean this, or by next summer that. It just is what it is, and it makes me feel, well,  a little more hopeful. Of course, that could also just be indigestion.

Merry Christmas xxx

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Time, in pictures.

One of many, many unfinished projects. Not finishing seems to be becoming a bad habit!

Bag making, things to auction for

Holiday in France, 2013.

Quatorze cottage, our holiday home for 2 weeks.

Wilma, our second rescue dog from Romania. Arrived a week before the Romanian Government announced plans to kill 3.5 million stray dogs.