Thursday, 24 April 2014

A welcoming note

When you work at home all day, it is lovely when friends drop in for coffee. Jasmine and little Fred used to call in around 4pm most days for tea and a little play with the Duplo bricks before bath and bedtime. 

Yesterday three friends came for lunch and I really enjoyed their company.

But with my blog, when people visit I have the same feeling. I am curious to read about other people's lives, I read about their interests, hobbies, businesses and busy days. I have felt sad for their sorrow and happy for their triumphs. Sometimes they become real friends too.

So I have decided to welcome followers of my blog , just as I would if they knocked on the door and called in for coffee. Everyone has interesting blogs, websites  and it's lovely to link up with them.

So here are some of my visitors  so far, if you would like to meet them too just click on their names...
Nicola  who works as a freelance consultant in the overseas development field

Chelsea  who lives in New Hampshire, makes fantastic quilts and teaches too. Chelsea has inspired me to try making The Farmer's Wife quilt.... it is one of life's mysteries that my blocks have all turned out six and three quarter inches square instead of six inches....

Farmer's wife quilt blocks
Lorna   who runs a very established garden design and landscape business

British wildlife quilt detail

Maddy   who is a brilliant photographer and has wildlife at her fingertips

heron quilt detail
I will introduce other visitors soon...

Talking of wildlife, I have finished the British Wildlife single bed quilt for Jean. Here it is and I am really pleased with it: 

British Wildlife quilt 
If you are making the Farmer's Wife Quilt, do tell me how you are getting on with Those Templates, if you are, you know what I mean... and for those of you not struggling to print them the right size, enjoy your coffee!

Thank you everyone for visiting my blog,
Kind regards,

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Vintage gals

At our quilting group we had two lovely speakers last week. Julie and Serena from Tempo Promotes came to give us their talk ''Rummaging Through Grannie's Drawers''. The title was a fine start to the evening! You can read about their business here and we had a huge laugh as well as lots of nostalgic chat as they talked about vintage fabrics, hankies, anti macassers ..... did anyone else have a mum who had a crocheted  apron for wearing on Sunday afternoons when we had visitors ? 

Lori Holt design for Riley Blake fabrics

Julie and Serena had a wonderful collection of vintage aprons and overalls and yes, we tried them on and the memories of the wash days, polishing days, spring cleaning weeks of our mothers all flooded back! We were only little girls then, but the need to carry a duster at all times was impressed on us from an early age! It has taken years to overcome this urge in my case....

vintage sewing items
The talk made me think about my mum's and even my granny's sewing baskets. Threads and incredibly fine hooks for mending stockings, enough hooks and eyes to start a shop and buttons, white fabric covered buttons for pillow cases, and replacement straps for petticoats.... 

vintage sewing items
The packets had wonderful names.... The Snowdrop and The Owl buttons and The Sentry waxed thread for sewing on army buttons.... The Defense button.... what for?  Sewn on to petticoats  or cotton bloomers maybe?

vintage sewing items

Does anyone remember Dorcas pin tins? Darning wools and silks in all sorts of colours, the tiny red buttons from a baby's shoes, the mother of pearl fancy buckle from a silk dress...all things I loved to play from her sewing box when I was little.

Then there are the magazines and leaflets, so carefully kept and valued as housekeeping money had to be stretched to buy them....

Home fashion leaflets from 1950's
Home fashion leaflet 1950's

Such elegance, sweeping skirts, little hats, gloves for every occasion and to my delight I find you can meet Mrs Hall.....

vintage home fashion 1950's

She's the not so slender grandmother, but she knows how to dress!! Love the tiny net veil too! Here is another treasured magazine from 1958....
Women's magazine 1958
and reading the love story I find some advice to young girls about handsome men with a taste for tartan ties....

Women's Weekly 1958

Well you might think that if your child was having a day of throwing pastry on the linoleum.... can you read the second column  at the bottom ?

Housewife magazines 1950's

So if you need the instructions for making a Coolie hat of your holidays on the beach, I have them right here!

Modern material by Lori Holt for Riley Blake fabrics

My wildlife quilt is coming on well despite me having an awful cold  and cough so I will show you it next week. I hope you have enjoyed my rummage through my Mum's sewing box, maybe it has brought back happy memories for you too,

Hoping you all have a lovely week,
Kind regards,

Sunday, 6 April 2014

A nature walk

This week I am starting a new quilt. The theme is British wildlife and it will be a gift for Jean to give to her little grand daughter. I have really enjoyed the designing of this quilt, today I have been drawing a kingfisher pattern, this little bird is a flash of colour we see often along the river bank on the way into town. The colours of the quilt are yellows and greens, soft and subtle with little touches of brighter shades. Here is the first block...

This my favourite book for drawing birds from, I bought it in a thrift shop:

Kingfisher by Green Star Quilts

 There will be lots of other wildlife, but now I am making the fill in blocks...

I found I have some printed small panels which are just right with three squares added....

I hope the hedgehogs in our garden are waking up now and soon I will see them pottering around in the evenings. Last year I found one eating the fallen wild plums near the vegetable patch. 
Last year I went to an exhibition of one of the artists who most inspires me. Mark Hearld is a British collage artist and he had a brilliant display of his work over several rooms at The Yorkshire Sculpture Park...

From the exhibition catalogue of Mark Hearld 

I love his painted animals, both wooden sculptures and painted pictures, he captures the essence of each animal in simple shapes:

Mark Heald's wooden, painted animal shapes
The Yorkshire Sculpture Park is a marvellous place to visit, loads to see, places to walk, great food and Henry Moore sculptures in the grounds:

Henry Moore sculpture, The Yorkshire Sculpture park
Thinking about  places and everyday journeys as I was cycling to the library last week, I realised it must be one of the most beautiful journeys to a library a person could have, so come with me on a trip:

Over the little foot bridge on my bicycle and there's The Witham river flowing into Lincoln

Along the riverbank beside the allotments with Lincoln Cathedral all misty in the distance

Time to say hello to the Shetland pony in the field, I don't know his name though

Boutham Park lake
Past the lake with ducks and swans waiting to be fed, 

detail from Sam's quilt

Through the beautiful Victorian wrought iron  park gates

Boutham Library
To our local library, then back home again with lots of books, for coffee and some of Lucy's excellent Lemon Drizzle Cake

Lucy's lemon Drizzle cake

I hope you have enjoyed my nature walk, There will be more photos as the quilt grows bigger. The weather is warming up here, time to plant my potatoes, the weeds are definitely growing too! Thanks for dropping in to visit,

Kind regards,