Friday, 24 March 2017

Spring is Sprung

It's time for a smile and after popping in on Annie's Friday Smile over at astitchintime I realised that I needed one to cheer myself so I ventured out before my breakfast to wander around our garden on this sunny morning. 
It has been a bit pressured lately with a friend and a family member in hospitals at opposite sides of the city but seeing Annie's post made me think and realise that it shouldn't stop me smiling.
The magnolia above is magnificent. It NEVER ever flowered for 7 years after planting so I gave it a good talking to. A firm ultimatum that it was a waste of space and would be dug out if it didn't flower the next year. Wow! it has amazed me for over 30 years since my threat......
There are two pink camellias heaving with blossom at either side of the garden.
The squirrels are visiting frequently and they seems to be attracted to the centres of the flowers so I think there must be a tasty kernel to be nibbled.
I cannot bare to clear up these wonderful pink treasures and, at the moment, I have no time so that's my excuse!
I bought this amaryllis bulb for a £ in M&S sales and planted it 4th January.
 It was so slow until 2 weeks ago when it blessed us with two heads of flowers. 
Fabulous value for £1.
I had to cut off the first head and put on in a glass of water as it was top heavy
Here's the gift that keeps on giving!!
Thanks again to my DD2 for this beauty which was bought when she was a student over 20 years ago for £1.99 in Woolworth's as a Mother's Day gift. 
To cheer you if you need more smiles pop over to Annie's Blog... it's free and it's always happy.
I'll take these pics in to show my friend in the care home and hope it works Annie's Magic on her too.
So sorry that I haven't called in for a while but, Annie, you have worked your magic for me today!
My friend moved to respite care yesterday so I am off now to see if she is settling in and will pop in to all the other Friday Smiles later.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Patchwork Clocks, Apron & Cushions

With all the hospital visiting I have been doing lately, with family and friends in different hospitals, I haven't had time or patience to concentrate on a major quilting project so I've been making small items in preparation for my quilt group's Summer Show. 
It has been relaxing, stress free and rewarding for me to still produce some makes.

At our Summer Show all members will make and wear an apron as a means to identify them to the visitors and here is mine, full of appliquéd cotton reels and edged with patchwork from scrap fabric. 
Lots of precious bits of Kaffe Fassett fabric there that I cannot waste!
I managed to make several of these clocks as they are so simple to put together from scrap fabric, fused onto a backing with bondaweb, then machined with a satin stitch. 
This one is my favourite.

                                           Then again I love this colour palette....
Oh, but I also love the cotton reel fabric and swirls is so effective.
The clock movements are readily and cheaply available on the internet and are easily fixed to make the clock complete and active.

I found a few panels of hexagons I had hand stitched ages ago on my travels so I thought they would make up into cushions for the tombola. A quick fix from my stash of UFOs.
My lovely neighbour and friend has passed me so much treasure from clearing out the sewing stash of her sister, who recently died. I made two of her hand embroidered panels into these cushions and think that they turned out really effectively. Thanks and all credit to the handiwork of Evelyn.

Friday, 3 March 2017

Patchwork Nightmare Produces a Cushion

I am in the middle of so many makes but I still made the  mistake of taking on a group project last week.  Most of my quilt group have joined a "block of the week" project and asked me to participate. Just one block a week, I thought, OK, no problem, I'll be learning new things and the result will be a gorgeous quilt in a few months. Let's get started as I had 3 blocks to catch up as the others started whilst I was away in Devon. 
Hours later my heart was pounding and the block was unfinished so I threw it and tried the next one. Impossible instructions and confusing information, so that one almost ended in the bin when I realised that I really don't need this. I enjoy my stitching too much and find it relaxing.... USUALLY. Sooooo, I made the bits and pieces, I was attempting to juggle, into a block of my own and turned it into a pleasant cushion towards the tombola at our forthcoming group exhibition. 
Not perfect  points but, hey ho, it's a cushion!!!
 I also made one of my practise feather blocks into a cushion..... 5 more to go for the show and I love making them so much I intend to use up lots of scrap fabric and make a "feather" quilt.
Finally for this week, I finished "Penelope Patchwork", adding lots of little details. 
Spot the tiny pencil and ruler in her pocket and she just had to have a bag stuffed full of Liberty Tana Lawn fabric. I actually parted with some of my collection of vintage buttons too. 
One of the members of my quilt group pleaded with me to sell Penelope to her but she is going to keep me company in my sewing room.