Spring seems a long way off with the weather being so cold and icy even here in the South. We went for a bracing walk along the front at Walton-on-the-Naze, far too fast to spot any fossils or sharks teeth along the shore or to take photos. Even with gloves on my hands were cold!
Still it was nice as the sun was out, but it is nicer sitting by the fire and sewing another flower for my GFG (Grandmother’s Flower Garden)
I think this garden will take years to grow as it keeps getting pushed back in favour of machine projects. I must renovate the little sewing box I bought in the Summer and keep it by my chair. I’m sure I will think of it more and do more if it is right beside me, otherwise it will end up being a great-grandmother’s flower garden!
We went to Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire today which was used as a location for some of the Harry Potter films. A beautiful place, formerly an abbey until it was dissolved by Henry the VIII and turned into a family home. In Victorian times it was the home of Fox Talbot who invented the first photographic negatives so the more than one copy of a photo could be produced
This was after completing a couple more fans for the Fanfare pattern. We also visited Newark Park yesterday and visited Dursley village (a name familiar to Potter fans!) where I found a charity bookshop with patchwork and quilting books – usually rare to find. I behaved myself and only bought two!
I will be linking up with Kathy’s Quilts for Slow Sunday Stitching, pop over and see what everyone else is up to.
My first fan – not on the blog but for ‘Fanfare’ in Quilting From Little Things by Sarah Fielke. This is a weekend of firsts as I also completed the first row for the RSC15 challenge too.
Now I only have 15 more to go. They are 6″ unfinished and I will add a few plain squares for a different configuration to the one in the book. Sarah encourages you to experiment so I did.
The background is lighter than the photograph and I will use more than one shade of purple and perhaps mix them up so the inner circle – to cover the inner raw edges – is different to the main square. All of the ‘fans’ are different colours pulled from my scrap bag. I have been using my scraps a lot lately but they don’t seem to be going down much!
These two flowers have travelled round a bit – in and out of a zip lock bag getting a bit wrinkled on the way but now they are finished
They are larger than the previously completed flowers; adding the diamonds gives more design possibilities the idea for which came from ‘Quilting on the Go!’ by Jessica Alexandrakis. This is a very good book for people new to EPP (English paper piecing) or if you have experience, full of good ideas and design projects big and small.
I particularly like the leaves. The stripy material is one that I had doubts about when I bought it; was the colour too acidic? But I love it as the leaves because they set the pink off so well
We have confirmation that another member has pulled out of The Global Quilting Project and that another is definitely staying in so I am busy making a second block. I have nearly finished and just need to complete two more yellow applique ‘suns’ to mirror the applique blue/green ‘earths’. Other members of the Balkan Puzzle group have also made an extra block to boost numbers so I am doing my bit too
I may even get to post them tomorrow but I have an interview so they might have to wait for Tuesday – we’ll see!
Books, that is, except it isn’t working out that way. The lure of the bootsale proved too strong last Wednesday and the lure of books even stronger. I wasn’t going to buy any but I saw an interesting looking cover (I know, don’t judge a book etc., etc.) that had no writing on it but looked very old. The minute I opened it I had to have it. Beautiful engravings of birds and animals, foxed in places, but mostly in good condition leapt out at me. I love engraving and one day I want learn it myself.
It is a strangely bound copy of Cassel’s Natural History and there are pages missing and it seems to be various volumes bound together, not always in the right order, but I bought it for the illustrations so none of that matters – and it was only £1.00!
This was followed by three more books; two volumes on Wayside and Woodland Blossoms with lovely colour plates and the British Girls Annual; also only £1.00 each.
The British Girl’s Annual is dated 1918 and is full of stories and poems, plays ‘that can be entirely acted by girls’ and hobbies. It is not all girlish; Doron might be ‘frightfully queeny’, but there are dogfights in the air and cowboys too. The chapter called ‘The Girl’s Own Bookshelf’ has suggestions for the books about cookery, and nursing at home but also art, literature, poetry, science – even a primer of evolution.
I thought as I haven’t even unpacked all the books from storage I better get rid of some via EBay as I have bought more – four books bought and four listed. Now let’s hope they sell
I also bought a little sewing box destined to be painted and then to hold my EPP projects as I sit downstairs to do those when I am Slow Sunday Stitching
I’m sure that cat is sticking her tongue out at me!
At last I have finished my new purse. For American readers a purse is something to keep money and cards in which is placed in your hand/shoulder/messenger/bag in the UK. The male equivalent is a wallet
It was made following a very clear tutorial by Ayumi of Pink Penguin which I have made before following a similar look to the one she has demonstrated. However it is showing it’s age now and I wanted a different look. I wasn’t sure what I wanted until I bought a scrap bag of fabric at Peppermint Stitches and in it were two fabrics that went well with each other; a piece of dark grey linen and a few scraps of fabric by Anna Maria Horner from the Loulouthi collection from a few years ago. It is still available here
Hand quilting on the top
The lining and internal pocket fabrics were also in the scrap bag and are all fabrics that I wouldn’t normally chose but they all went together so well for this project.
The zip was quite difficult to put in – because it was so narrow, not because of the instructions. I have avoided zips in the past but it’s not too bad if you have good instructions. I saw another pattern for a similar purse but the zip ends were on show when you opened it! It looked great on the outside but terrible on the inside, so it is always worth doing a bit of research for a project to find the best one
I enjoyed doing the simple embroidery outlining parts of the fabric design, but the bottom part was closely machine quilted to give it a bit of rigidity. All in all a good project that cost very little. I have had a lot of compliments for the old purse – will the new one get as many?
I have been a part of The Global Quilting Project for the last eight months. It has been a long process as it was more than the usual block swap where everyone exchanges a known block. For this we had to design our own.
I won’t go through all the steps as the teaching programme belongs to Kim Andrews who organised the whole massive project, what I can say is; that it stretched the capabilities of all involved. Many dropped by the wayside when they realised that it wasn’t a basic block swap. Others dropped out due to family problems, lack of time or lack of confidence in their designs. The ladies in my group – The Balkan Puzzle Group – have been very supportive but we dropped from twelve to eight members. I wish they hadn’t chosen the most difficult (for me anyway) design to make ha ha. I shouldn’t have given them a choice of four
This is basically wedges but cut into a curved design and hand appliqued. I need to pick which colour Suffolk Puff looks best and attach them. Next remove the basting stitches and parcel them up for posting and waited with for the others to arrive from around the World!
End date to make a quilt from the blocks is December – so watch this space
The Slow Stitching Movement has been steadily gaining ground recently and is a reaction against the tendency to rush the creative process; to produce something, anything, rather than enjoy the process itself. Formally launched by Mark Lipinski and modelled after the Slow Food Movement they believe that;
” … speed can kill creativity and the enjoyment of our creative pursuits. Maybe what we really need to do is slow down, enjoy the process, and create fiber art that we’re really proud of.”
They are not the only advocates slow stitching, there are many others with a quiet passion for this way of working. At the moment Kathy is hosting a link up for Slow Sunday Stitching which you can find here. Why not grab her button like I did and join in.
My contribution at the moment is a grandmother’s flower garden. Started before I heard of The Slow Stitching Movement or Kathy’s’ blog, it is good to know that there is a growing appreciation, once again, for hand-stitched work. That doesn’t mean that machined quilts, chain piecing and easy blocks don’t have a place any more -they do, and I enjoy these too but in a different way.
The sewing machine ties us to the workbench, the noise inhibits conversation and drowns out music from the radio. Slow stitching is more sociable. I can sit and stitch with my other half while he relaxes watching a film, or I can join a group to stitch in park, pub or home.
Slowness is the important part here, not that it is by hand as Lucie Dutton writes in her piece as a guest blogger for slowstitching.com. I recommend this as a cautionary tale about losing sight of what the movement means and what happens when you don’t slow down