Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter & knitting

Phew where did those days go?! We had a super busy half term, after our London days away we have been on an Easter Egg Hunt in the woods,
on a print making Easter cards workshop at the Harley Gallery
had lots of fun sewing and stitching on an brilliant Easter Making workshop with Louise at Hope & Elvis.

Hot tubbing at a friends house (no pictures I'm afraid!), family bbqs, car booting (more of that another day) gardening, and a bit of time for knitting! I've made some progress on the Shalom cardigan. Look...
Thanks for the encouragement Debs I have persevered and you were right - the bit past the cable has been much faster and more enjoyable. I have gone wrong again a couple of times (I'm not sure why I think I must have picked it up back to front or something?!), so I have a couple of unintentional stripes. The thought of unpicking it was too scary, so I have left them in, but I like to think it makes it my own!

Lastly, most exciting of all........ I have a window in my workroom!! I was blown away with my window which replaces two velux windows you couldn't see out of,
when my workspace is reinstated I will have this view!!
and a perfect space for cutting fabrics and patterns!

I can't wait for it to be finished so I can paint it and get all my stuff back in. To do that I will have to sort out all of this!

Thats next weekend's job then! Enjoy your three day week! xxx

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Lovely few days down south

We've just returned for a lovely long weekend down south, in our caravan just outside London, which we used as a base for days out.

It was my birthday on friday which was spent at Legoland watching the little peeps going mad in the sunshine.
My favourite bit of the whole park is Miniland, especially Amsterdam


and London.
This year they had set up the Royal Wedding at Buckingham Palace
The next day we visited Windsor Castle another lovely day out (not many pics though as you can't take pictures inside, but well worth a visit, especially to see the fantastic Dolls House).
And who would have guessed that there was a Cath Kidston shop bang opposite? IMG_1332
Of course I had to have a tiny look, I loved how it was decorated inside, especially the patchwork wallpaper.
(I googled it when I got home and found out it is for sale but its a whopping £150 a roll!).
Upstairs was the fabric & bedding department.
I came away with an ironing board cover and some fabric samples (including this one in the middle below) as I'm planning to make some curtains for our new bedroom and recover a headboard (in a different blue floral, below, below!).

Day three, and a day at the Natural History Museum, The Science Museum, and a quick look round the V&A. Again, not many photos but the children loved it and we all wished we'd had more time to spend there.

I took my knitting away with me. I am still knitting the Shalom cardigan from Ravelry but I am not enjoying it. In fact on in the car after a lot of huffing and puffing I would rather sit and look out the window than knit, most unlike me! I think its because I went wrong but carried on anyway because I wasn't sure how to unpick it, and because the rows are so long I'm finding it tedious... The first two lots of ribs look ok, then I had to add lots more stitches and the third lot of ribs look a mess.

I am one third through it and approaching the armholes and am seriously considering undoing it all and giving up. What do you think?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Summer Frilly Pinnies!

One of the things I am making for my new shop are summer frilly pinnies!

Here is the first sample of a frilled half pinnie in vintage Laura Ashley Fabric.

Doesn't the lovely blue sky make it look lovely! Its fully lined, and has a lined pocket in green polka dot fabric, and is edged with blue bias binding.

First boot sale of the year this weekend and I managed to find some lovely skirts (too small alas) but made with vintage Liberty fabric, 50p each!

Not sure how much sewing I'll get done in the next couple of weeks, what with half term and all this lovely weather, but long may it continue!

Enjoy everyone!

P.s Thank you Deb for sending me a lovely vintage 1970s pattern for a frilly pinnie, I'll definitely be blogging about that soon! It will be next on my list to make, its so cute!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A wonderful weekend of making

This weekend definitely goes down as a perfect weekend, sewing with lovely like minded ladies who all share common interests (on a Janet Bolton two day sewing course at Hope & Elvis), listening to Janet showing us how she creates her beautiful fabric art, and rummaging through Louise's treasure trove of wonderful fabrics to create our own unique pieces all whilst chatting, drinking tea and eating cake.

These are some pics of Louise's fantastic studio at Hope & Elvis.
When we arrived we discovered that the Smile Exhibition which features Janet's work, together with that of Julie Arkell and other artists was opening at the Harley gallery that morning, and it was eagerly agreed by all that we would start our two day workshop by all going over to view the exhibition for inspiration and see the work.

Take a look at some of the charming pieces.
Love love loved this picture "Good Angels Leave Early"!!
More of Julies's magical work.. "Missing Stanley"IMG_1135
"The day I nearly lost Lamby"IMG_1138
"A lamb for Heidi"
Several people purchased (one of them may or may not have been me!) some pieces by Julie Arkell and Janet Bolton.

After we'd had a good look around the exhibition and ooo'd and aah'd over the pieces we made our way back to the studio and enjoyed a lovely hour where Janet told us all about her work, her inspiration and how she discovered her art. Janet is an excellent teacher, very down to earth and friendly, and I really appreciated the way she described composition and using negative space as well as positive space, and how using tiny pieces of colour in your work can really draw attention or highlight certain things. She is such an interesting lady and told us some lovely stories of her travels and teaching all around the world.

Janet suggests that you start with a background, I wanted to use just one type of fabric, this lovely linen and Janet suggested that I cut it and sew it together with the grain running to different directions to make it more interesting. We all had a good rummage through all the lovely fabrics making out selections for our borders, and sewed them on, everything was handstitched.

Believe it or not, to get to this point took the rest of the day!
The next day we got onto our composition. I had already spent a week deliberating over what I wanted to sew and had been discussing it with the rest of my family. I was going to hang the piece in our new bedroom (in the new extension still being built) so I wanted something appropriate for that room that was something special about us as a family. Here it is in progress...
"Can you tell what it is yet?"
Here is the finished piece! (Yes, I managed to finish it, yey!)

Its all of us under a patchwork duvet in bed, with my son leaping onto the bed like he does in the morning!

One of the best bits of the workshop was the show and tell at the end where we got to look at everyone elses work, each one unique, beautifully made and really striking. Here's Janet holding my piece!

Same used shells and driftwood, the colours were beautiful.IMG_1145
I loved Anita's chicken house and chicken, especially the shape of the piece.IMG_1152IMG_1151

It was such a lovely weekend, great to catch up with old friends and also make new friends. We all had a really memorable time and I know several of us can't wait til Janet's return next year when we would all love do it all again :-)