Saturday, 14 September 2013

Yesterday Morning ...

...after the boys had gone to school I sat down at my sewing machine and made this.  A member of staff at one of the boys' schools is retiring and over the years we've had many laughs and shared many things  - one of them being a mutual love of, yes, donkeys (I feel as if I'm at a confessional!).    Anything hand-made is slightly more personal and, love them or hate them, a mug rug is the perfect answer for someone of my sewing ability.  So without further ado, here is the aforementioned object.

I love Laurie Wisbrun's fabric designs.  I've had this stashed for ages.

I backed it with something I picked up in a fabric store in Bude, Cornwall, one holiday.   I think it's a polycotton.  It's bound with my favourite Architextures in black (soon to appear as a quilt binding).


I also had just enough of this ribbon in my stash - very timely, I thought. 

Have a lovely weekend, all.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

All kinds of deliciousness...

My eldest went back to school today, so I was up much earlier than of late.  Rather than head straight for the computer with my first cup of tea (as is my wont), this morning I sat down next to the open french doors with this...  

...and savoured the early morning stillness.   The air was still cool, but the sunshine hinted at the temperatures predicted later today here in the South East.

My younger son and I then enjoyed this..

..for breakfast.  Sunshine on a plate for me (yes, one of those evocations of mine, as is the smokiness of my ubiquitous cup of redbush tea - I've always one at my elbow).

Now on to business!  We've just had an wonderful family holiday where we visited old friends and spent a long time with not-often-enough-seen family.  There were a few quilty opportunities on this holiday.  I visited the actual bricks-and-mortar...

look at these Kona cottons

My camera phone pics really don't do this store justice.  Light, bright and spacious - and with bolts and bolts and bolts of wonderful fabric.  There is a squashy sofa area with lots of magazines.  The cutting table in the centre is enormous.  There were some incredible quilts on the walls - unfortunately pics not usable. To the two lovely, helpful ladies who we spoke to and who gave us great holiday tips too - thank you.

Off to the park now to enjoy the sunshine - more fabric bliss next time. 


Sunday, 1 September 2013

Here's another one I finished earlier...

...many, many months earlier.  

This is a quilt I made for my eldest son.  The fabric is one of my favourites, Shweshwe, a traditional South African waxed fabric.  As I grew up there, the smell and look of the fabric is incredibly evocative for me and will forever be associated with memories of singing sunshine and cool interiors of houses.    

The traditional colours of Shweshwe were indigo, red and brown.  Now it's also available in bright pinks, oranges and purples, amongst others.  A wide selection can be found here.  Every now and then limited edition prints are brought out - for example I have a pair of Nelson Mandela print cushions, and gave an American friend an Obama print cushion. 

As mentioned, Shweshwe is waxed, which means it has to be washed at a fairly high temperature before using.  Serious fray alert too. 
The pattern is from one of Pam & Nicky Lintott's jelly roll quilt books.  I cut the strips myself and alternated Kona white and Essex stone linen in the blocks.  The border is solid Shweshwe - not easy to find - I found it at last year's Knitting & Stitching Show at Ally Pally and snapped up the lot.  

what's left on the design wall after the cats had attempted to scale it...
cat photo or quilt photo?
 I had to be patient in finding the right binding for this quilt too - and once I found it there was no doubt - I almost had to wait for it to be designed!  It's Sarah Jane's Stripes in red from her "Children at Play" line.  

The back is no more than a poly-cotton navy sheet.  I can't believe how difficult it was to find a cotton sheet.  I quilted in the ditch with YSL Soft Touch in a gentle stone colour.  

spot the legacy of the cat in this picture!

 My son is very pleased with his quilt, although he has subsequently decided to change the colours in his bedroom.  Never mind, the quilt looks lovely on the chair on the upstairs landing, next to the bookshelf containing all my quilting books.  It just needs a cushion to match!