patchwork

A helping paw

by Helen on May 21, 2014

Today I was woken once more by the sun streaming through a crack in my bedroom curtain.  I would like to be able to type that I leapt out of bed and flung the curtains open, but sadly this is not the case.  I feel my days of leaping around at the crack of dawn are definitely behind me – if indeed they ever happened!  So I will simply report that I swung my feet to the floor and then trotted across to the window where I was greeted by the sight of glorious sunshine and a cloudless blue sky.  We’ve been so lucky with the weather here lately, as though rain has been forecast it seems to have mostly passed us by or rained at night.  Everything in the garden is coming along well and even my baby rose archway seems to have put on a growth spurt …

With a few flower buds beginning to form.  The wild gladioli are looking lovely too, though sadly they’ll be over by the BIG DAY.

The window at the bottom right of the picture, the one that’s just a little open at the top, is the room with my log burner where you’ll find me all winter long, cosily snuggled into the big armchair with my sewing.  But now the warmer weather’s here it’s great to get out into the garden and reclaim my summerhouse.  I was up there earlier this morning trying to take photos of the last project for the June magazine, my Summertime Picnic Blanket.

 I tried it this way ….

And then I tried it that way ….

But I couldn’t seem to get the perfect shot .. until …..

Ben decided to lend a helping paw.  Thanks Ben!  And as this was the final project I needed to photograph I’ve been able to finish putting together the latest magazine cover….

The June issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine will be published on Thursday 29 May.

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The preparations gather pace ….

by Helen on May 15, 2014

I can hardly believe it – just six – yes SIX weeks left until THE BIG DAY!!  I don’t know where the last year has gone, time has just flown by, moving ever faster as we hurtle towards Rosie & Dan’s wedding day on 28th June.  And there’s still so much left to do!  This morning, had anyone been watching, they would have seen me in the summerhouse, with a snowstorm of notes around me, trying to organise my to-d0 list…..

Stacking up the coffee cups as I shuffled, reshuffled, crossed-out and annotated my notes.  The mint leaves in the teapot aren’t for tea, but rather to help keep bugs away – quite successfully too I’m pleased to report.  After a while, the organising became all rather too much, so I decided to take a break and try out my bunting idea for the kitchen instead …..

Apologies for the poor image quality, it was a bit dark and I was using my phone.  I have now worked out that I need strings of 10 flags to cross the room from side to side – now all I need to decide is how many strings to use, then add bunting-making to my list!  My bedding plants arrived today too.  We have grown quite a lot from seed, but after planting out it became apparent that a few more were needed …..

They’ll need planting out very soon indeed, but that’s a nice relaxing, fun task! I also had a lot of fun making a couple of new cushions for Rosie & Dan earlier this week – another project for the June issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine ….

Mr Right and Mrs Always Right!!  I’ve seen quite a few Right and Always Right ideas online, but this is my own version – hope you like them – and that Rosie & Dan will too!

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Miss Daisy misbehaves (again!)

by Helen on May 12, 2014

Sometimes living with two Newfies can be a little frustrating (although I do of course love them very much).  They are a breed renowned for their bonding with and love for their humans, and certainly my two are are most reluctant to leave my side.  If they anticipate my being in one place for a little while then, with much huffing and puffing they will park themselves in the most inconvenient spot simply so they can be as close to me as possible …..

Which is very lovely of them, but it does mean that getting up to make a cup of tea is a major achievement, necessitating amazing gymnastic feats on my part to clamber over them.  But now Daisy has taken this attachment to new extremes…

Yes, a sight never before seen on the internet (and most unlikely to ever be seen again), me in the bath closely monitored by Miss Daisy who knows very well that she is not supposed to be upstairs.  I forgot to close the bathroom door and this was the result.  I had a nice new magazine on my iPad and had settled down for a lovely soak in my deliciously fragranced Lush bubbles when a black furry face appeared over the side of the bath. So I had to get out, wrap myself in a towel and send the naughty puppy downstairs again where a totally horrified Ben (who is by far the best behaved of the two) had to be reassured that he was a good dog and Daisy’s naughtiness was in no way his fault.  Then by the time I returned my bubbles were vanishing fast and my bath water was growing chilly.  Ah well ….

But unlike my bath which turned out to be a bit of a disaster, my sewing has been going well this week.  I’ve started another – yes another(!) – Esme top from the pattern by Sew Liberated.  I love this pattern – it goes together really well, is easy to wear and suits my body shape.  This time I’ve chosen a lovely splashy roses print…..

Just the cuffs left to add and the bottom hem to turn up.  I am sure that wearing this top will definitely get me in the mood for visiting the wedding florist with Rosie this weekend!  And I used some of the scraps in my next project for the June issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine – my Summertime Picnic Blanket …

Here’s the top nearly finished – just the borders to add.  I used lots of lovely soft pastels to try to achieve an effect reminiscent of handmade paper when combined into simple patchwork, then added Gershwin’s famous song title.  Perfect for balmy summer days ahead!

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Some hexie loveliness …

by Helen on April 19, 2014

I’ve really enjoyed my hexies project using up all the lovely tiny scraps of fabric in my box that are too small for anything else.  I have cut and stitched over a hundred little hexies to create a lovely little pouch for toiletries.  And there’s more .. some vintage stitchery too.  I thought very hard about this, and as my pouch is likely to be used at the beginning and end of the day, combined the phrases “Good morning sunshine” and “Goodnight sweetheart” with some beautiful vintage bluebirds.

When photographing my pouch I decided that I needed some little models to enhance the pictures, and chose the French Hens for the morning side of the pouch, and Lovebirds for the evening.  

They all gathered round to receive some words of advice from Mr & Mrs Mouse who, after all, were professionally photographed for their cover appearance not so very long ago.  Then first it was the turn of the French Hens …..

Who did rather well.  The Lovebirds were a little nervous, but quickly got into the swing of things ….

Though Mrs Lovebird got so excited she nearly fell off her perch!  The pattern for my Sunshine Sweetheart pouch (as well as a little more about English paper piecing) will be in the May issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine – out on Thursday.

Oh, and I nearly forgot to tell you – it was soooo funny!  I was sitting on the sofa handstitching my hexagons – or was I tacking them to the papers – I can’t quite remember.  Anyway, I threaded my needle and held it up in front of me to straighten out the thread when …. along came that naughty Miss Daisy – caught the end of thread in her flubbery mouth and sucked it – right out of my needle and down to goodness knows where – it vanished completely into her insides!  I was left threadless – and speechless too.

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