Monday, 15 September 2014

Dahlias and Evening Stars

 It is dahlia time here.....every week at this time of year i buy a bunch or two of dahlias from the old fashioned greengrocer's shop in our little town, and am always so pleased when i see they have a bucket full of green twine tied bunches of these bright blooms from a local grower...............
.............this time i got pinky purple pastel bunches.......sometimes it's a bright yellow and orange bunch and sometimes a mixture.....i love the shape of those solid little buds as well.............

 ............i cut the stems short sometimes to fit nicely into the smaller greengate jugs
 ............the pretty asters below were from a huge bunch that (younger daughter) rosie and chris kindly brought me at the weekend :) they came to stay and we went out for a lovely meal with (older daughter) sarah and gareth and the children to celebrate sarah's birthday................
 ............as well as birthday celebrations things have been very busy round here in other ways too.......
 ...........i am working on a new book with lots of new projects to create.....i have been busy making some fun things which i would love to show here but have to keep secret for now.......i can show you these new evening stars though...........i love this quilt block and decided it would be a good one to try out my new glue pen on for english paper piecing.............
 .............i bought my pen from sew and quilt here...........and i really like using it.....it is so neat and quick........
 ............i had already made a couple of these blocks and i think they will make a lovely on going project...........it is always fun to choose new fabrics from my stash and scrap bin for this kind of block.........here is the new quilt in progress............
 ..............and now here is a surprise for you..........and this is the main reason why i have been so busy.........meet molly..............she is a bolognese puppy and we have re homed her..........her loving owner sadly became suddenly ill and needed to find her a new home quickly and it just seemed that molly was meant to be ours..............it is many years since we had a puppy, as our last dog lived to be nearly eighteen..........
 ...............molly has settled in well with us and is such a sweet little personality, great with the children and fun loving but she has a calm and peaceful nature too.........
 ...............luckily she loves quilts..............possibly even more than i do :)..................
..............so we have spent lots of time in the autumn garden this week with this little pupster, at all times of the day, early morning and evening..............enjoying the autumn light and scents and sounds and the sight of a little puppy racing round after a ball again..........happy days.............
.............thank you for your kind comments on my autumn blanket, lovely readers, and for visiting me here in my little blog space........i wish you all a wonderful week wherever you may be in the world.....................back soon xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxoooooooooooooooxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Monday, 8 September 2014

Golden Days

 We have been having the most beautiful indian summer days here, misty mornings and then hot sunshine.........not summer, and not autumn but a few golden days in between..............
 ...........the autumn blanket i began during the indian summer last year is now complete......
 ................i added a pom pom trim all the way round to finish it off.......regular readers will know i loved adding pom pom edging to the ripple blankets i made...........i already had some of this darker multi pom pom trim in my stash and when i laid it on the blanket i knew i needed some more of it to really complete it...................
 ...............it was inspired by the bright berries, fruits and blue sky of the lake district last year.......
 ............this year too we have visited lots of lovely gardens, and last week went to one of our favourites where the potager was burgeoning with all kinds of vegetables and fruits in mellow colours......


 .............i love the canes and other structures in a kitchen garden and the decorative way the climbers twist and twine around them...............
 ...........there were masses of marigolds and other orange flowers like nasturtiums, and the bright colours of swiss chard mixed in with them created a lovely autumnal effect...............
                        .................an autumnal bunny just popping in, this is cinnamon.............
 ....................new fabrics to add to my stash.....kona cottons in gorgeous colours...........
..............and a new book on my shelf this week........the quilter's desk diary for 2015 is a colourful and practical organiser with beautiful quilting photos ........two of my projects are in it :) .......it would make a lovely gift for a quilter and is available in book shops, on amazon or here.................
............thank you for visiting me here in my little bit of blogland, lovely readers..........it is always a pleasure to see you, and to read your sweet comments is a real treat..............wishing you a happy crafty week filled with golden days................back soon xxxxxxxxxxxxoooooooooooooxxxxxxxxxxx

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