Monday, 1 September 2014

Lavender Hearts

 As summer nears its end and autumn is in the air i've been cutting lavender to dry to make little lavender hearts and sachets with.............i love the floral scent and the delicate shades of this plant...
............these gorgeous softly coloured fabrics have inspired my making........they are from the sausalito cottage collection by holly holderman for lakehouse dry goods and i think they are some of my favourite designs............
 ............as well as making lavender hearts i made some simple lavender sachets too.......the fabric is perfect for these......if you don't grow lavender yourself you can buy it online (which i also do)....i need a LoT of lavender..................i bought the soap below in the south of france............it is not actually lavender scented but i love the look of it here........


 ..............collecting decorative bottles, soaps and scents is something i love to do and have always done, to inspire design ideas and to just look pretty around my home, studio and now to photograph to share with my blog friends :)...............i love the floral fragrances too, especially when winter arrives and i can't pop out to the garden to pick a scented posy (though i do have lots of bowls of bulbs around the house in the winter time instead)....................
 ................three little lavender hearts.........now i have got over the initial 'cutting into' of these sweet fabrics i can get on with using them in a new patchwork design.................
...............i had a tidy up in my studio this week......only a quick one and i need to do a lot more, but i came across this cute little bag of wooden letters in my scrapbooking supplies cupboard.......
                                            ...............so i had a little play with them.............
 ................i have cut most of the lavender that i want to dry now and tied it into bunches and hung it up in the linen cupboard to dry............the linen cupboard was one of the things i was excited about when we moved here as it is a walk in one, with the original shelves which i imagined neatly stacked with linen and dotted with lavender bags.....it was like that for a while soon after we moved in but does tend to get filled up with storing other things now and then..............
 ...............i love all kinds of lavender..............below is some dried sea lavender from france......
                               ................and a traditional lavender in a cloche from our garden.................
 ...............another picture from our garden below..............i love the lavender here with the white daises and the beehive which is really a composter..........
 .................i am working on a lot of new projects at the moment, with several magazine commissions to complete so i will be cutting and sewing for the rest of today..........the weather has turned autumnal here but we are told the summer is coming back again later this week :).............the grandchildren go back to school tomorrow, in fact daisy starts school for the first time.......sigh.... (afternoons only for the first week).......how fast the time goes...............
 ..............i have lots of plans and projects for the autumn............i love the variety of seasons we have here in the uk and the pleasures that we enjoy with each one.............of course, making quilts is perfect for autumn and hand quilting is an ideal wintertime pursuit..............i'll be doing lots.......
..............thank you for visiting me here today dear readers, it is lovely to see you and i do appreciate your kind comments.........it is always a treat to hear from my blog friends and to find new bloggers too...........wishing you all a happy september wherever you may be.........back soon xxxxxxxxxxx 

Monday, 25 August 2014

Rosy Red

 The colour theme for my post this week began with a bowl of beautiful rosy red plums, kindly given to us by a friend who lives nearby...........of course i had to take some pictures of the fruits before i made them into a crumble...............
 .............and i used one of my large patchwork hexagon table mats in the photos too..........
 .............the red kitchen mat is made the same way i made the pink summer table mats a while ago....
 ..............the hexies are 2 inch ones (that is, each side of the hexagon measures 2 inches) so the finished mat is a generous size..............i backed it with fusible wadding (batting) and a layer of white felt and then hand quilted through the three layers round the hexie shapes............you could use blanket stitch round the edge if you wished, or machine quilt the mat instead..............
 .............the fussy cut centre is from a novelty kitchen print that has been in my stash for a while....now that the weather has cooled down (a lot) i am baking a bit more again..........
 ................the homemade cookie stamp was used on some simple but delicious shortcake biscuits which were served with strawberries and vanilla ice cream...............some other (red) things in my kitchen this week: a bunch of bright red radishes, my red and white greengate milk bottle, and a card from my sweet sister with one of my favourite dog images...........
 .................the red table mat being made is shown below, with a picture of the back as requested by one of my dear readers, after i made the earlier hexie mats.......you quilt the layers together and then trim away the backing as neatly as possible around the edge.............
 ...........we have visited some gorgeous late august gardens recently, and i hope to show more pictures of them soon, but for this post, here is one i took of some rosy red apples.............
 ..............in our own garden the white japanese anemones are flowering merrily..........
                    ...........i picked some for a posy with a spray of  red geranium flowers..............
 .............this little floral patchwork cushion is one i designed for crafts beautiful magazine and i have shown it here before......but now it is available to download from the crafts beautiful website here.....just look in the projects section for this and lots of other crafty inspiration..................
 ...............bright posies from the cutting garden, to place around the house..........still a few sweetpeas left though not many now...........the few zinnias the snails left for me are a nice bright addition to the daisies and late pale pink roses...............
..........thank you so much for dropping in here to my little blog space to visit me, lovely readers...... and for your kind comments too, they are always such a pleasure to read............i wish you a wonderful week ahead with sunny days and happy crafty times.............back soon xxxxxxxxxx

Monday, 18 August 2014

Scrappy Summer Quilt Finish

When i arrived back from our trip to the seaside i got on with hand quilting this scrappy summer quilt, and after just a few evenings it was done :) ...i quilted it round the edge of each square and then diagonally across the middle of the squares..........i chose a red and white striped binding for it, inspired by the striped awnings of the flower market in nice........
 ..............i love the prints in this quilt, as well as the floral feel and the bright fruit appliques and i liked how the red and white striped binding brought it all together.............
 .................the backing is a gorgeous pam kitty picnic fabric with cherries and roses on yellow......
 .............i love all kinds of quilts and a huge variety of patterns, but i know i will always want to make ones with simple squares (and maybe a bit of embellishment) every now and then......
 ..............i enjoy using text prints as a decorative feature too, and love how they look with a colourful image appliqued on top, like the cherries below which are sewn onto a patch of sew mama sew fabric.........
 ............i took pictures of this quilt all around the house, as usual following the best light, as well as avoiding bright sunlight..........here it is on an old chair in front of a book case on the top floor of our old house............
 ...........sometimes i like to add buttons to my quilts, and i had a little look at these fruit buttons from just another button company to see if any would look nice on my new quilt.............
 ...........i decided just to add the lemon slice to the patch which had lemons appliqued on it.......
 ...............here is daisy whirling and twirling with the new quilt.........the children use the quilts and the crochet blankets to make houses and tents and to wrap up their toys and each other :).............
 ...............we thought the chicken might look pretty with the quilt too...........it is a money box and full of loose change at the moment so is very heavy............
 .............just as my summer quilt is finished we are feeling autumn in the air............the weekend was a mix of autumn coolness, strong winds, grey days and some sunshine..........we had a special outing to a lovely garden where i took this photo of the golden dahlias............
 ..............and i will leave you with this photo of the gorgeous zinnias which have been brightening up the cutting garden recently...........though a snail or two have been secretly munching on them over the weekend and the effect was not a good one..............
..............thank you for visiting me today, lovely readers, it is so good to see you...........and thank you too for taking the time to leave a comment, it is always a treat to hear from you too :).............i hope you have a wonderful week ahead, wherever in the world you may be..............back soon xxxxxxxxx

Monday, 11 August 2014

Sunny Seaside

 We are home again from our lovely trip to the seaside...........a wonderful week full of fresh air and sunshine, blue skies and blue sea............my husband had a great time sailing in the regatta and the family came down to stay too and we had lots of fun..............
 .............mr p and i had a picnic lunch here the day we arrived, watching the waves and the boats and the sea birds..........we explored a bit more of the pretty island too..............
 ..................i love looking for wildflowers (still) a hobby that i began as a child with an i-spy book.....
 ................in the days when i used to paint flowers all day i would carefully draw and paint each flower in watercolour and eventually add them to textile designs or birthday card illustrations......
 ...........purple vetch was one of my favourites and the twining leaves were always useful to fill in gaps in all-over patterns..........i still love to have wildflower posies in the holiday house, even if i'm not actually painting them at the moment..................
 ...............i did a little bit of crochet over the week, finishing my latest flowery cushion.......
 .................here it is outside the holiday cottage.....the chair is mine, i took it with me :)............

                ............now i have my little summer flower pillow collection all done................
 ..................there were bright summer flowers everywhere, and it seemed there were many more than usual, perhaps because of all the good weather............below is a picture of a cottage garden at cemaes bay, packed with colourful flowers............the whole village was decked out with pretty pots and window boxes...............
...............charlie and daisy had a wonderful time playing on the beach and in the water.........there is a safe pool for children where they met up with lots of others too..........they went crab reeling on the pier every day, both proving very deft with the fishing nets, and fascinated by the crabs they caught............we enjoyed every moment of our time.............the house was very quiet when they all left on friday night and we tidied up and packed to come home on saturday morning...............
 ...............as always in beaumaris, i visited the inspiring janet bell gallery and met up with lovely janet herself for such a nice chat and catch up............the gallery always has something tempting and i bought a few treats, including a wonderful wintry print which i will show in a future post.............
 ...............i really love the pretty painted cottages...............i wonder what colour i would choose if i had my own holiday cottage?................i would probably go for something pale like this pretty blue one.............but i do love this rather bright raspberry pink one too..............
 ...............below is my project in this month's crafts beautiful magazine.............
.............a pink cottage and a blue cottage for a cross stitched pin cushion and tag...............find out more on the crafts beautiful website here...................
 ..............now we are home i am getting on with my two quilts and planning more that i'd like to make........i also want to paint some furniture and do some gardening as the garden has been growing madly while we were away..........lots of sweetpeas to snip, beans to pick, zinnias to snip..........and weeds to pull out...........the marsh marigold in the pond has suddenly grown lots of flowers too......i will be looking after the grandchildren a few times over the summer holidays and will enjoy hearing them running about and their little fluting voices again.............
i will leave you with this seaside picture of some ever hungry seagulls watching a family enjoying their picnic nearby............
......thank you for dropping in to see me here, lovely readers, it is a pleasure to have your visits and to read your sweet comments too............wishing you a wonderful week.........back soon xxxxxxxxxxxx