Monday, 25 April 2016

Tulip bobby dazzlers and some knitting

I planted some tulips last October time in the hope they would survive the winter rain storms, only to find the winter was relatively good but the early new year was a wash out. I had little hope that the many bulbs would be amphibious!
But so far, most seem to be blooming or growing successfully and yet to open.

 There's something dragon like about these orange and green ones!

... and magnolia like white ones!

I bought these frilly pansies the other day to put in pots too, I hadn't seen the frilly varieties before and their petal edges are ruffled beautifully!

I'm still making things for the orchard May Day stall ..
This beret style free form hat. Free form in that I had no pattern, just grabbed some yarns that looked like they might go together, different thicknesses and opted for knitting needles that looked about right.
It works as a pull on nicely but looks much better set beret like, skew whiff.

and I made a Head Hugger, which is modelled here on one of two new heads I got from our Scrapstore!
This wooden one is remarkably heavy but formed beautifully.

I also got a taller, long necked black plastic formed head and a wooden articulated hand on a plinth too - perfect for showing off the fingerless gloves I make.
I sat and made a cushion cover yesterday, using fabric offcuts from my favourite charity shop - more wool tweed but in strips this time. Again I 40 degree washed the tweed fabrics in the machine to pre shrink them but that didn't alter them at all!
 The leaves are cut from an orange felted up jumper, an upholstery sample and finally a patchwork cotton fabric, then machine stitched to jiggery to be sure they don't fall off in the Autumn : )
Of course I have no idea how much to charge for it now but if it doesn't sell it looks quite good on my sofa anyway!

This is my Kefir fermenting away, providing me with pro biotic nourishment - thank you for the advice Mary Anne ! And it doesn't even need to be in the fridge to do its thing : )

I forgot to show you this ace cat/dog cave, made by one of our stitchy club members and shown in our members makes display,
 a month or so back.
It was wet felted on a circular resist shape, then when finally, firmly felted, on both its sides, it would have been cut open and the resist removed.
Then you hand manipulate and further felt the sides bit by bit to achieve this delightful self supporting cave shape.
A lot of work but very rewarding when the result looks this good!
The same technique would have been used to make the slippers too, using a foot like shape for the resist.

Monday, 11 April 2016

Helen Howes at stichy club and stash busting - sort of -

I've been scrap busting, well trying.
This matches the various place mats and mug rugs I have made for myself, so it could make a good table centre.
IF I ever cleared the table to eat at that is!
Scrap busting is all fine and dandy but it doesn't help when you go to stitchy club and find 4 densely packed packets of mixed scrap cottons for sale at £2 each - and you cant resist buying them -
to add to your scrap stash lol
The A3 ish mat above is 'old' scrap stash pieces, all worked round a discarded New Hexagon hexi from last year.
I am determined to use up all the discards as well as the
successfully completed rosettes - in time!
I quite fancy making a selection of mis-matched colour specific blocks, in this skew whiff log-cabin-hexi layout and piecing them together
(quilt as you go ) to form a scrappy quilt.
I picked up some what appears to be Harris tweed fabric at the charity shop last week, unused, 2mts for £4.
( 2 different patterned pieces )
I already had the needlework panel, another bargain buy from that same charity shop last year ( either £1 or £1.50) and had been waiting to find suitable surround fabric for it, to make another cushion.
I cant decide whether to add some decoration in the edgings,
what do you think, does it need more or is the
lovely fine tapestry enough?
I  30 degree machine washed the fabric
( and the tapestry) to see if it would shrink.
It did slightly but not to its detriment and proved that it will
wash from time to time.
I machine stitched the tapestry in place but have hand stitched
simply over any machine stitching on the right side.

We had an interesting talk at stitchy club on Saturday by Helen Howes, who is not only talented in many crafts but also humorous,
always a real bonus for a speaker!
Being the librarian I don't get as much opportunity now to take photos but I adored beyond words this dress she had made for her daughter with scrap fabrics she had rescued from bins at the back of Regent Street in London, way back when!
Can you imagine how fun a tabard-y top would be for an aged biddy too!! Love that idea lol
The 1960s relived maybe?

Helen is a former kite maker and now successful quilter known especially perhaps for her trees, indeed her talk was 'Seeing the Forest in the Trees' and it was really enjoyable.

AND most of her samples came out of this remarkable old BOAC suitcase!
Which was heavier empty than any baggage allowance today!

My elderly neighbours like owls, well who doesn't!
However standing in my kitchen this week I got the distinct notion I was being watched with their latest garden buy .....

: )


Saturday, 2 April 2016

Quilty 365 Circles and some

This month I'm 365 Circling - under false pretences really.
I have been side tracked somewhat, although circling round
- there has been a theme of sorts.

 Some charity shop pre cuts, Insul R wadding and used some of stitched together selvedges as circles and sides : )
Just hand stitched as a quilting, nothing fancy.
As in, I don't an can't do fancy!

Here are the blocks  cut for March and April at least,
beneath the pin cushion and apple pins.

(Apples are roundish after all and so is the teacup)
However, the over all colour theme for those backs there, is cream thru brown/red, and I am wavering on that colour choice now.
It's too similar to my first batch and cover.
I'm into Spring colours now, feeling optimistic there might be more colour in the garden and blue skies above,
so may well use those block backs for another idea later.

I'm making fund raising things for a stall in a community orchard on May Day, Morris Dancing and good clean fun - probably with the great British rain no doubt too : )
A friend asked me to do a stall and it was such a lovely idea, I accepted, so panic making things and thankfully I still have a few of my trees to try and sell too.
They too are round - see where I'm going with this post cant you - cough..cough

The other pin cushions I've made are for it too, though not round!

I also made myself a shopping bag out of Scrapstore sample fabrics and some charity shop stripey cotton though not a circle on it at all.

I also found myself a new pencil caddy at a car boot for next to nothing that I couldn't resist.
It is missing its dark green lid by all accounts but the decoration is what caught my eye, 4 different Victorian pedlars.
It was a jam or conserve pot in its day and one of a series, according to Google.
It's not worth anything, but its charming and the glaze is fractured slightly which gives it that homely, vintage look.
And it's round!

Right, now to get sorting some really colourful fabrics to sue as backs and circles for April - I need some fabric with daffodils and narcissus on, bluebells and other spring flowers - dam it.
I may have to buy more fabric and here's me supposedly a queen of recycling.
Although I did pick up some flowery clothing and vintage pillow cases at sundays car boot, with circles in mind - so hopefully I will have more to share at Aprils end.
Happy Spring folks or for those entering Winter elsewhere, stay warm and well!

I'm linking up with Kathy at below, who inspired this year long journey

where you will find some other folks forays into circling and who knew there were so many options when you furtle 'around' joyfully : )