You may think from the title of this post that I am talking about Daisy – and her love of stealing my footwear! She doesn’t damage it – just lies quietly and sucks on the laces – which are then of course all soggy and horrible when I retrieve my boots or plimsolls from her determined grasp. But in fact I am talking about the snaffler-in-chief – my daughter Rosie! She and her boyfriend Dan are here for the Bank Holiday weekend and, as always Rosie has been having a good rummage through my cupboard! I wouldn’t let her snaffle my Great British picnic blanket (pattern in June issue of Bustle & Sew Magazine) – I have visions of myself using it on sunny summer afternoons …
And anyway, she already has the patchwork one I made for her last month! She did however manage to acquire another June issue project – my Naughty Kitten wip pouch …
Arguing very persuasively that it would be absolutely perfect for carrying her crochet around with her …..
I had envisaged carrying my embroidery around in it, but she’s right, it will work well for crochet too. I’ll simply have to make myself another! Then Rosie noticed my current work in progress ….
Some candy pink satin stitch roses destined to form the border for a small mirror – another pattern for the June issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine . She has reserved the finished article, assuring me that it will be perfect to sit on the chest of drawers in her bedroom. I think next time she comes I will have to hide all my stitching from her!!
The snaffler-in-chief and me!!
As the warm and sunny weather continues, this morning we set off early for our walk in the woods before it became too hot for Ben who hasn’t yet shed his extra heavy winter coat. I stopped on the way at our little village hall which has been turned into a polling station for the day for our County Council elections. Maybe it’s because I’m older – and possibly more cynical – but it seemed to me that there wasn’t much to choose between the candidates – and none of them really seemed to be concerned about the issues that affect small rural communities like ours. But nonetheless, remembering the Suffragettes and “Votes for Women”, I marked my “X” in one of the squares and posted my vote in the large black ballot box.
I’m hoping this wonderful weather will continue over the weekend, so am sprucing up the summerhouse in readiness …..
… repainting the furniture, which has been with me for – oh – well over 20 years!! It actually dates back to the early 1970s and was a gift from my mum when Rosie was very very tiny. It is still good and solid and although it was originally a very dark teak, over the years it’s been all sorts of colours – this year I’ve opted for pastel shades (very on-trend!) with pale pink, blue and white. And in the back corner you can see my latest completed project – it was outside for its photo shoot. Finished just in time for this lovely weather – my Great British Picnic Blanket – with its own bag for storage and transportation.
The Great British Picnic Blanket (and bag) will be in the June issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine (published 30 May). I’m still working on another project for the magazine – my Blackwork Butterfly – which is going well – the fluffy body makes a most effective contrast to the lacy wings as I hoped it would …..
The summerhouse makes a lovely warm weather office, so as the paint had dried on my furniture, I took my laptop outside this afternoon and settled down to do some work …
Ably assisted by my two furry friends …. both large ….
And under the table, next to my feet, in the spot Ben used to love when he was a puppy, the small one (though growing larger every day!)
Hopefully they’ll both stay fast asleep for a while so I can get some work done!
Yes, really – a little nellifant called Nelly – on a hill against a summer sky – deep dark indigo with silver stars sparkling like diamonds above her head ….
Nelly is all finished! Unlike my blackwork butterfly which is still – and will be for some time yet – a work in progress. I’ll report back on him very soon, but thought you might like to know that his turkey stitch body has worked perfectly – creating a wonderfully tactile contrast to his lacy wings. I’ve shown him to some of my friends and the first thing they’ve done is to stroke his fluffy body with the tip of a finger. I promise I’ll take another photo very soon.
Meanwhile, I’ve been working on another project for next month’s magazine – my Great British Picnic blanket – in anticipation of warmer days to come. I’ve just finished the centre Union Jack panel ….
and I’m planning to surround it with a blue gingham border. It will also have its own integral bag featuring a Great British Picnic applique – if everything goes according to plan that is! Both these projects will be included in the June issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine, and hopefully the picnic blanket will be accompanying us on lots of lovely outings this summer!
Feeling a bit blue today. I always feel a little flat the day after magazine publication day – all the effort, all the planning and creating has come to fruition and – pouf! That’s it until the next time! I’ve also had some upsetting personal news …. so my flatness has turned into feelings of blue (does that make sense? I’m not sure). Anyway .. as my grandma used to say “When you’re feeling blue my girl, just stop and count your blessings!” And I do have a lot of blessings to count, probably many more than I deserve. But the real pick-you-up for me is fabric and sewing, so I thought I’d make something I’ve been planning for a little while. Nice and simple, but lots of colour to cheer me up:
Doesn’t look very colourful at the moment does it? But I’m sure you have guessed what it is …..
It’s a picnic blanket – a patchwork one – with a waterproof backing (perfect for our damp English weather). And it’s a gift for one of the most enthusiastic picnic-ers I know – my daughter Rosie. I’ve tried to choose fabrics that she’ll enjoy, and not too much Cath Kidston!
I’m trying to convince Rosie that there are lots of other lovely fabrics to choose from as well as Cath. So there’s quite a lot of Tilda in this blanket, as well as some Cape Ann by Liesl Gibson for Oliver + S, vintage Laura Ashley and some pieces that I simply can’t remember where they came from. I think the strong geometric designs of the polka dots and red gingham set off the florals nicely and stop the blanket from becoming too “wishy-washy” (another term from my Grandma!). It’s nice and lightweight for carrying too. I cut 5″ squares and joined them into strips and then into a 12 x 9 square rectangle which I lightly quilted onto a Hobbs Poly-Down Crib-size backing. I chose this as it won’t shrink on washing and is nice and light.
I didn’t quilt the waterproof backing though as in my experience(!) water will leak through even the smallest needle holes if given the chance. I simply stitched the backing to the top, right sides together and turned out, topstitching all the way around the edge to encourage the layers to lie flat together. During this process I developed a strong admiration for anyone who works with waterproof nylon on a regular basis – it’s the most horrid, slippery stuff! Two pink (very girlie) ties stitched into the turning gap when closing complete the blanket. I do hope Rosie likes it.
Now we’re off to the beach – perfect for blowing at least some of those blues away!