Wednesday 27 July 2011

tools of the trade

 There seems to be a wave of paper piecing in blogland..
a fair few of the big hexagonal nature.
I wonder..
That said, I thought I would share my
homemade templates,
as I am often asked where I get my papers from.
These are made from card, and yes I even have templates for squares!
 I keep them here.
(zipped bag that some pillow cases were wrapped in
makes me wonder how the world got in such a financial mess with such waste)
I mean really how could I throw away something with a zip!
I use computer paper for the templates or used envelopes etc.
I am up to my eyeballs often surrounded by
paper templates!
I reuse them until the corners get squashed.

Paper piecing tip: use a bright coloured thread for tacking pieces.
So when it comes to cutting out the papers it is eay to see which knots to cut,
and not your whip stitch patchwork knots.

Of course some help with cutting out the fabrics
would be handy!
You cannot have missed the baby go
it's been everywhere!
If you haven't
then GO and take a look*

*yes this is an unashamed plug to catch the eye of the people at

Tuesday 26 July 2011

just... and the radio*

*other paints are available

Monday 25 July 2011

tis the season...

 ....of the raspberry!!
I have shared this recipe before,
but it's so good I'm rolling it out again!
And as you can see
thats how much we ate yesterday!
This is the easiest recipe
and a great way to use fresh rasberries.
I imagine it would be good with cherries too,
I liken it to a bakewell pudding.
ps. just wanted to add that I used less raspberries,
and it turned out well enough.
Whilst I'm on the subject of fruit,
here are my gooseberries that I picked on my birthday.
It was the second picking of approximately 1kg
which I made into 3 jars of gooseberry sauce,
as I had already made 3 jars of jam.
The sauce I just added some sugar to stewed the fruit,
which made a pale green sauce on the right.
The jam recipe was a Mary Berry
which I found  here.

I'm fearing another week of painting..
and no patching of the fabric kind

Tuesday 19 July 2011

Ooh la lemon!

 No painting so far this week.
So with a clear head 
I bring you 
mes souvenirs fran├žaise!

 Les details importants:
polka dot scarf €11  Bonobo jeans Vannes
green enamel coffee pot €2 vide grenier (loft clearance)
lemon plate and cream dish €5 vide grenier
white and green floral Quimper jug €25 brocante
stripe Breton style top €19 Bonobo jeans
turquoise cushions €6 sam textile
lime cake box free
tarte au citron priceless..

Models own:
cut offs  new look jeans
crinkle skirt (vintage) d perkins
lemon cardie £19 gap sale
sandals merrell Florida
satchel €2 france last year
shelf £40 shepton mallet
rope doorstop st ives
lovely floors mr fete
giant hollyhocks the garden
patchwork selfsewn..

Friday 15 July 2011

fresh air friday

 Again fresh air most definitely needed this week.
A week of painting has left me high and dry!
This post was going to be devoted to hollyhocks,
but they seem to be nothing new on the blogs.
So instead I'm bringing you a post on poppies.
 They always crop up in the veg patch!
 These are a first for me.
A few years back my mother in law gave me seeds from her garden.
And here they are, I always find poppy seeds take a couple of years to come up.
 This morning they are all a buzz!
 I am glad that they chose the veg patch to grow in,
as they are not something I would want in my garden.
Colourwise I mean.
They are much brighter in real life and very frilly
like a queen mothers hat.

Looks like a rainy weekend ahead
so enjoy these before they become bedraggled.
talking of bedraggled, I better brush my hair...
just a little diy this morning,
but that's it for now!

Enjoy the weekend again!

Wednesday 13 July 2011

stash dash

 I've taken time out from the diy to show you my new fabric purchase.
These came from the great UK company Simply Solids.
Why such a great service?
The majority of fabrics are sold as half metres
which is two fat quarts.
Fat quarts are great, but always seem so precious!
On top of that there are no delivery charges,
so what you see is what you get.
It's bonus time at the moment with a great sale.
These beauties cost just £2.50 each.
 I have been coveting the sweetwater sunkissed collection from Moda. 
It's different.
I feel like a change from all the colours.
Well most of them!!

Monday 11 July 2011

maniac monday

Actually it's not just today that I'm a maniac.
 Sunday, on a whim I painted the kitchen,
unintelligently   unintentionally.

I figure whilst I'm feeling energetic of mind
I may as well put it to good use.

So now I just have 
kitchen worktops to sand and oil
all the woodwork (incl doors) in the house to paint
front door to paint
hallway to paint
kitchen table legs to paint
two more chairs to paint
loft room to paint
new front fence to stain...

So not much sewing doing,
GIANT patchwork!!

I am intending this to be a cushion.
(but unlike my friend Diane
who sets out to make quilts and ends up with cushions,
I always set out to make cushions but end up with quilts!!!)

Wouldn't this make an awesome quilt though!!!

* designer jeans models own

As requested a before and after.
The paint was a left over,
the orange was not our choice!!
Not that exciting really!

Friday 8 July 2011

fresh air friday

 Well looks like we missed the whole of June 
in the garden!
Is it July or April?
I'm not sure today..'s a quick snap out the back door
before the next blustery downpour.
I've been doing a lot of pondering in the garden this week.
It's good to get away,
find inspiration 
(mainly from the garden in France)
and take a fresh approach on the garden.
You can see in the above photo a change I'm trialling.
I'm thinking of making a pathway on the right,
and digging up some of the grass.
When I'm in the garden I rarely relax!
I'm constantly moving plants in my mind.
The above tree is a catalpa,
better known as an Indian bean tree.
On one hand I hate it,
in certain lights it looks horribly yellow/dead,
but then there are the days when it really shines.
I had decided in spring that it was for the chop,
but now it's a keeper!!
 Throughout the year there are
pockets of the garden that look 
especially good.
I'm loving this area next to the bean tree.
 It really shows off my gardening style,
and what I like.
Wild types, splashes of colour and subtle romance.
 I've noticed that I have a lot of pointy perennials,
so many in fact that I cannot remember their names,
which is not like me at all!
I know the purple is a salvia of sorts.
 The pink flower is very cottage garden,
lychnis coronaria,
that I grew from seed last year.
It's a biennial, but I've heard its a prolific self seeder!
 Just a quick peek at the edibles.
I have a 2/3 year old grape vine
(cutting from Ma and Pa)
which has many bunches of grapes!!!
I've never had my own grapes before,
and by the sounds of it there might be a fight between 
me and the blackbird!
Here are my dwarf french beans,
with their sparrow proofing cage.
The veg patch 
including marigolds!
So far we've eaten lettuce, carrots and strawberries.
I've also had a bumper crop of gooseberries,
which I've turned into jarred goodness
(to follow)
Looks like a good year for fruit,
the raspberries are huge and plentiful.
I told you a while back that I'd reduced the veg plot this year.
The reason?
I'm getting an allotment!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Brand new allotments are being developed for our village and I have one!
Actually I'm just going for a half jobby,
mainly to grow potatoes en masse.
So my veg patch will be know more..
..but don't worry I have plans!!!!

Fresh air is very much needed today.
I'm painting the woodwork downstairs
and oiling the kitchen worktops.
Is there any wonder why last night I dreamt 
It was okay to walk down the road with no top on!!!

Tuesday 5 July 2011

summer of love quilt reveal!!

The day is finally here..
about blimming time I hear you say!
I hope you love it like I do!
Between loading and unloading the washing machine
last week I made up this
cute label.
Here you can see my choice of binding too.
It was an online buy,
which can be hit and miss,
but I think the colours work perfectly.
The binding fabric was a metre square,
so lots of joins!
Luckily being striped they dont show.
My inspiration for this quilt primarily came from
 I was quite smitten,
and so the journey began.
Searching out fabrics from 
junk shops, charity shops, friends and the www!
Previous to my discovery of the want to make quilt 
I had bought some
that I made into cushions..
which influenced my colour combinations.
To tell you the truth some of the hexagons,
in my mind are downright hideous!!
But strangely they do work together as a whole.

(please click on pictures to get a closer look)


1. This quilt is a hand sewn English paper pieced quilt.
Check out my tutorial at the top of my blog to see
how it's done.

2. I made my own templates with computer paper.
The diamonds measure from point to point 4.5"
Which makes the hexagon sides a little over 5".

3.  I didn't use a pattern from anywhere,
it's not necessary really.

4. The quilt measures approx 70" square,
which fits a UK double bed,
not entirely as I didn't want the pillows covered.

5. I used heirloom cotton/polyester mix batting,
which I got here.

6. The fabrics are a mix of vintage and new,
with solids mixed in to calm it all down!!

7. The bulk of the sewing was done this year.
Totally crazy!

8. The backing is an old duvet cover,
recycle recycle recycle!

9. Each block took roughly an hour
which includes cutting the templates etc.

10. 68 block and 8 half blocks.

11. Find similar quilts here 
a quilt along flickr group for all things diamond!

12. The quilting is basic straight line machined,
I'm not great at hand quilting.

13. The binding was machined on the front
and then hand stitched to the back.

 I'm sure there are many more unanswered questions,
so feel free to ask me anything!!!

To retrace the progress of this quilt
click on the summer of love label in the word cloud
in my sidebar.

I know that I am responsible for this heirloom,
and yet it still amazes me that I made such a crazy quilt!
I hope I have inspired you to create your own..
if so why not join the flickr group 
and share your journey!