Thursday, 31 May 2012

Paper piecing

I did the traditional hexies years ago, - before children!- and made a cushion cover. I may still have it somewher, who knows? Anyway, Leila put up a block to be made with EPP, as one of the latest skill builder blocks, and as so much of it is hand sewing, and I was so busy with other things, it took a while to get around to it. But now I have. ( No, that is not English, but it says what I want it to say.) And I quite enjoyed it. And then this evening I decided I was doing something for me, so I appliqued it onto some left over azure, using ribbon for the stem, and using some of my lovely rainbow King Tut round the flower. Well, I didn't want to change thread for each one!

So there it is. Rainbow flower hexies.

I am looking forward to the next one, which is a particularly lovely star, just to choose the fabrics, and I can get it going.

Sorry, you can go away now, if you like, but I need to put more garden pictures in for DD1, as she cannot see them in person, and I think she likes to be kept in touch!

yellow flag iris

We shall have strawberries- unless Mr Blackbird has them first!

 Love the clash of colour here!
Bourbon, just look at the colour of that!

Wednesday, 30 May 2012


Now I am back to 'normal', this is what my table looks like,

see, Nicky, my mouthy pouch is being used! couldn't live without it, in fact.
Anyway, all that chaos needs tidying so I can start the next lot of chaos.

I finished the little caddy to give to the dance teacher, and discussed all sorts of variations that could be made, how about an octagonal one? and a square bottom one? how about the sides being made proper hexies, just with longer sides than top and bottom? all sorts of inspirations going on there.

And the garden keeps producing new treasures. I have a flower on my tomato!
and another of my Spring garden show iris has bloomed. Did I say I was in love with irises?
isn't she wonderful?    I also have some yellow flags out in the garden,and, apart from the weeds, it is very satisfying. Now on with the other bits I am due to do. My day off today, so I should get stuff done!

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Garden day

We have been having glorious weather lately, but of course work gets in the way of enjoying it. However, I have officially finished with the costumes, so, after work yesterday, it seemed a good idea to tackle the grass! I can hardly call it lawn at the length it had got to! So, out came the mower, and I got the basic mowing done and made a start on the edges. Why is it that my other half doesn't consider edges as part of cutting the grass? I last cut and edged a month ago, and he last cut, but not edged, about two weeks ago. So it was slightly desperate.

Then my Dance teacher arrived to collect her costumes, and brought a surprise. My dear friend arrived with her, and we had a cuppa, and agreed, I would hang on to friend, for supper (very tasty) and she stopped the night. She sat on the grass, while I edged, and then, after supper, we sewed. Penny's hexie pincushion caddies. Together.  It is so satisfying to sit and sew and chat as you go. I supplied fabric, and cereal packet, she supplied company and chat and fun. At midnight we decided to call it a night, but put in another hour sewing this morning, before I had to drop her off to a Christening.
These were her fabric choices. Sorry no photo of the work in progress here, and she has taken it with her to finish. Pretty though.

I used some of the bodice fabric and teapot fabric, as an excerpt from Alice is also being done, so it feels appropriate.

Not finished yet, but perhaps tonight.

I have done more garden this afternoon, and also found time to do some more bits for the stash bee I sent iff the block, with a promise to sort out the signature block and post later. I used some 12 weight thread, and a topstitch needle. I had not used this weight of thread before, but I really like the effect. I also made a smaller wonky star block for Helen, which I hope she will like. She did say she was happy to have smaller blocks as well as the standard 12.5 " one.
So I will have to post these off now.

Now I need to put in some garden photos for my DD1, so she can see what is going on.
 Bourbon, hiding behind a peony,

 A little scabious, bought half price from the 'sad' bench, and flowers prolifically,
 My climbing hydrangea

And my cheapy clematis with no name. 

 These poppies are glorious
 I cannot remember if this is Niobe, or Rouge Cardinale, another flower is coming, but this is solo at present.

 Silver wedding, a present from my haunt 3 years ago.
Rhapsody in blue, secretly flowered while I wasn't looking!

Unfortunately, my lily of the valley has quietly flowered and gone over, without my even noticing. I have the dead flower heads showing it has been, in both parts of my garden where it hides.

On a plus note, we have seen evidence of a wren feeding her brood in one part of the garden, so I am very pleased to have spotted her about her business.

And this morning I saw a blackbird, with worm in beak, on the grass. Well, he dropped the worm, and picked it up. He rubbed the worm on the grass. Put worm down, picked worm up, dug in the lawn next to worm, and finally ate the worm. It took him a good five minutes to prepare the worm to a point where he could eat it! Daft bird!

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Done! I think..

This is what 14 purple Waltz of the Flowers bodices look like.

And this is a mock up of the result, on an underskirt belonging to my daughter, The real ones will have a shorter, flatter tutu under them.

Over 700 metres of thread went into these. I bought a pack of five 100 metre reels of thread and also used two different ones I had in from something else, and still had to go and buy more. And that doesn't include the overlocking round each piece. It was just seams.

And this is what 14 swan bodices look like, all in a heap.

and a mock up of these?

Difficult to see on the spare bed. I think they will be okay.

Dress rehearsal Sunday, we will see if they ride up, in which case they will need anchoring. Hand sewing of press studs. I hate hand sewing, so keep fingers crossed they behave.
Thank you!

And does this clematis remind you of anything? I think it has similarities to those waltzing flowers I have been working on!

So from the second half of April, until now, I have made 40 separate garments!

I may now be making petticoats as well for some of the dancers. How many? What style? Not sure, but will find out tomorrow.

Happy sewing...

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Getting there..

Took costumes back last night, and I think we are winning, the details on the flower bodices have been agreed, so I was cutting petals last night. Five petals per bodice, eight bodice-worths cut, overlocked and hemmed, between 8.30 and midnight. Six more lots to go, and then attach. Then shoulder straps, and they will be more or less done.
Swans need trimming and then slitting to give a feathered effect, and some more hooks and eyes applying, the bodices gape slightly where the gap is. I got more tape on Sunday so I can do that today.
Breakfast and then SEW.

What do the trimmings from overlocking thirteen bodices for swans look like?

A bin full!

On another note, my first rose is out!
Graham Thomas. Thus far, this year, holding his head up , usually he has drooped, but looks like he may now feel able to sit up, rain permitting!
Five years I have had these roses in, and either they droop, or the rain turns the flowers into soggy balls of nothing. Perhaps, this year... Don't count on it...

And camellia?  A birthday gift some years ago, from my children, flowers a little later than a lot of them, glorious in it's dark foliage and those pure flowers. 

And lurking in a hidden corner, this pretty rhodedendron, I hadn't even noticed her come into bloom. I like secrets in my garden.
And my guilty clematis, Bought a year or two ago. Cheap, from the supermarket. It is the cheapest clematis in the garden, and the best doer. Rampaged up the trellis, flowers like there is no tomorrow, but bought against my better judgement, as I do not like the buying tactics employed by the 'big boys'. Such a joy to have though.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

photo tales

No time for this really, but, inspired by Lucy, I made this for myself. It is a really useful size, I have never had a pincushion as such before, popping stray pins into the tray under the free arm of the machine, or scattering them liberally across the table, or, sometimes, back intheir box. However, this with its handy pot for dropping scissors, cutters, whatever, is just great. why did I not have one before?

Well, Lucy hadn't shown me where to find the tutorial of course! And I couldn't justify making this just now, as I am struggling to get these swans done in time, but it is hand sewing, so I can do it while down timing with the idiot box, so it happened over a couple of days. And is so useful! And very simple to make, with Penny's tute.


Laid out ready to assemble

I have been factory sewing three sets of back bodice, three sets of side backs, all overlocked now, ready for seams, but I need to cut the side fronts, and the fronts, now . I have finished- bar a few attachment details - five,  three are part done six not started. Shopping for hook and eye tape tomorrow, and hopefully I will get most of them finished ready to fit, tomorrow. But just now I am zonked, so time to stop.

in order, ready for the machine

DD2 has been angelic today, sorting out laundry, dishwasher, FOOD, and gardening, as I haven't time to do it!

 putting the wigwam together for the peas,

 Rescuing last years fuschias

 Some of our haul from last weekend

  Some bought at the show, others acquired from my generous friend's garden.
Veg grown from seed

And the promise of goodness to come, that funny fuzzy 'bean' is a damson! And it has friends! So I am hopeful. Not confident, but definitely hopeful!

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