It’s beginning to feel a lot like Autumn

And that means it's time for a new hat. Because I spend a lot of time outdoors (blah blah blah dog) I am generally sick of the sight of my hats by the end of Winter. Ah well, if that means I have an excuse to knit a new one then so be it. It's a tough life.I picked up some Malabrigo merino worsted yesterday at Annie's (where else) in a gorgeous green, rather splendidly called "Lettuce". It's so soft and snuggly it almost doesn't feel like wool at all. Of course, I had to start knitting straightaway. It was a hat emergency.yes, those are Hand Drawn Garden pjs. I keep forgetting to mention those.I used a mash up of two patterns from the Purl Bee, with the sizing for the women's hat and the [Read more...]

Drought

I realise that I am starting to sound like a stuck record (blah blah blah work, blah blah blah kids, blah blah blah dog) but I genuinely have had very little time to sew lately, and it's starting to get annoying. The enormous pile of things-that-must-be-made-in-order-to-avoid-nervous-breakdown is just not getting any smaller.I did have a couple of hours the other afternoon for some hand-stitching in front of the telly, which felt so decadent. I'm working on an Oakshott project for Lynne that should have been finished ages ago. Luckily she is very lovely and patient (and beautiful and clever and hilarious and not at all distracted by flattery) so I am hoping she will forgive my [Read more...]

Bad blogger, BAD blogger!

I finished this ages ago and completely forgot to show you. I really like the way it turned out and am thinking about using this idea again but making it much bigger. This one is really, really teeny. Baby sized, in fact, and there sure as hell aren't going to be any more of those around here any time soon.It's backed in the ubiquitous Ikea Nummer fabric, and machine quilted in a diamond pattern with extra stitching around each dark hexagon.The London MQG has partnered with the Octavia Appeal to donate quilts to the Royal Brompton Hospital paediatric ICU, so this little one will be heading off there soon and where it will hopefully bring some comfort.

Eleven

Dear LucyYou came in a hurry, and you've not stopped since. Running to do it all, make all of the things, dance all the steps, sing all the songs. You fill the house with joy and life and creativity. You are hilarious and kind and sharp as a tack.I watch you finding your way in the family, in the world, and I wish I could make you see how amazing you are. Ironically, the one thing you don't excel at is self-confidence. You have always been that way - the curse of the second child, I guess. My one hope for you this year, and every year, is that you will learn to believe in yourself. To compare yourself a little less harshly with those around you. To see what we all see so clearly.Sweet girl, [Read more...]

Your mother was a hamster*

*and your father smelt of elderberriesThe kids are back to school and work has returned with a bang. I've had my head down deciphering awful writing all week, with very little time for anything else. The dog walking must go on, however, and with it the final little bits of foraging for the year. The blackberries are all gone now (mostly to my house, admittedly), so this week was all about elderberries.They take quite a lot of cleaning and de-twigging, and you end up with a far less impressive amount than you thought, but hey - free food, right? And jam. You can't go wrong with jam.Steamy!This autumn I've made a ton of apple pie filling (yum!), a million blackberry things (jam, cobbler, [Read more...]

Juicy fruit

I am so glad to have this little number finished. It makes me ridiculously happy with all its glowy, shiny gloriousness. It's machine quilted with miraculous size 16 perle cotton. Miraculous because it works perfectly for both the top and bobbin thread in my Janome. I had wanted to hand quilt this baby, but chickened out because of the ridiculous seam situation I would have to deal with. This thread meant that I could get the chunky stitch look without making holes in my fingers. Excellent. I drew around three different sized plates to make the circles and then used a walking foot and five colours of thread for the stitching. I love the way that all the colours can be seen on the [Read more...]

I probably should have brushed my hair for this

We're baaaaaaaaaack! What is it about camping holidays that makes them seem simultaneously too long and too short? It's very odd. Anyway, the weather was fab (thank goodness), the chickens were laying (and taunting the tethered puppy with their just-out-of-reachness), and the kids had a marvellous time. I could have done with a bit more in the way of isolation - I had a phone signal the whole time - but never mind.I was very glad to get home to the big pile of fabric I had cut up for dressmaking just before we went away. First up was an Ashland Dress (pattern bought almost a year ago) in Koi. I chose this pattern because it comes in different cup sizes, and I often have a problem [Read more...]

Going camping

Well, technically we're going glamping. The difference being the flushing loo, running water, wood-burning stove and proper beds. It's a repeat of last year's holiday, but hopefully (according to the forecast at least) without the torrential rain. And with the addition of a slightly crazy dog. Apparently there are free-range chickens all over the farm. This could prove interesting.I thought about taking my new machine with us but have settled on my Lizzy House rose stars that have been lingering for quite some time. Like over a year. I kind of lost interest once I'd done the interesting bits but I really want to get it finished. I'm hoping that the lack of electricity will focus my mind [Read more...]

Colourful language

Another wall quilt finished, although this one is quite a bit less subdued than the last.It's a collaboration with Chawne, who is renowned for her quilts that don't mince words. We got talking about the UK vs US difference in euphemisms and decided to celebrate our "two countries divided by a common language" in quilty form. It was quite difficult to pick out those expressions that are entirely British, and haven't been bastardised from American English. Consequently, my quilt is pretty small. I think Chawne's will end up queen size at the rate she's going (you can see two of her recent blocks here).My little quilt is made with raw edge applique letters, which were then scribbled out [Read more...]