Monday, 28 February 2011

The Big Reveal!

WARNING: This is a very long post, so please feel free to move on if you have more thrilling things to do than fabric gaze!

Ok then, time for the big reveal. The reason I couldn't show what we had been up to is because it was all for our daughter, Matzen, whose friends had organised a surprise baby shower which took place yesterday. So, now the party is over and there is just a baby to look forward to - note the played down 'just' there when in fact the whole household is in a state of utter baby excitement - I can actually reveal the things we spent half term making: these fabrics became...

A cot quilt in raspberry pinks, soft whites and a touch of red to lift the whole.

Unfortunately yesterday morning was dull here unlike today with its bright, beautiful sunlight which would have made photographing the fabrics so much easier. Never mind, you get the gist anyway. This is the reverse. The mix of soft fabrics makes me want to sigh with pleasure every time I see them; they also produce an almost overwhelming need to curl up in their quilty swathes for a snooze or two!

The 'top side' is even more special to me as we each designed a motif which I then embroidered onto the quilt. Everyone drew their own design onto paper first and then had free reign of my sewing room and its many piles of fabric - gulp - to choose what colours they wanted to use for the various components of their design. Even Isabella was completely involved in the process, drawing a house and having the most definite ideas about which fabric to use for the roof.

I tried to ensure that each of the designs was appliqued and embroidered in such a way as to retain the style of the designer. For example, the grass in the image above shows the naive style Isabella draws grass and windows (I traced her pencil strokes onto the fabric to keep it as exact as possible). Dave also has a very er, naive style! he is renowned for his pictures of boats such as this one...

and sea creatures such as this!

Elias drew an amazing lighthouse

I thought a little girl was needed, what a surprise

and Lucy wanted her signature cupcake to keep things girlie.

I realised the only picture I took of the whole together was really rather a poor one. So typical isn't it?

The binding was a soft duck egg blue with rosebuds sprigs scattered over, A pretty contrast to the rest.

So there you have the first of the makes. I get such a deep sense of happiness when I think that this is the fourth quilt I have made as gifts for our children and love the fact that so many of us worked together on this very first one for one of our children's children! I'll save Davey's knitting for the next post as I truly feel I have rambled on long enough. I'll leave you with a photo I took early this morning when the sun shone with such warmth that it is impossible to believe spring hasn't arrived at last.

Have a lovely day x

Saturday, 26 February 2011

A Taste of Things to Come.

You know how some half term holidays are gone before you can look round? You know, that waking up each morning and finding the day has disappeared with no-one getting properly dressed; no child wearing clothes that are remotely clean enough to be seen out with on the rare occasion they actually do dress after much tiresome nagging. Nothing achieved other than the endless handing out of nourishment for fear they (I) should fade away.

This holiday has been different, each day evolving into a time of making and doing. Projects have been finished and new ones started. The problem is, I can't actually show you much of what has taken place until after the weekend, merely give you little tantalising glimpses instead.

The above projects are Mr Davey's. He has been knitting up a storm and turned out three - yes, three completed items of knitwear in as many days.

One of them is for Isabella who has been in desperate need of a new hat as her two other ones have looked rather like tea cosies perched upon her head, both having a tendency to slide up over her manic curls as they escape from her ponytail during a hectic day at school.

Did I ever mention my baby girl is now at school full-time? Probably not as it has taken me a little while to accept this fact, much as I revel in the extra time I can now spend on developing the business.

Ah well, at least I know her pretty head will be kept warm in the playground by the soft Crofter wool hat Daddy has knitted her.

We have also undertaken a family sewing project, though again I can't actually reveal it just yet. Here's a taster

or two

and maybe just...

one more!

So after that rather unenlightening post, I will leave you with the one thing I can show you, Miss Isabella wearing her new hat whilst playing with a bowl of water and her toys at the kitchen sink. Doesn't that face say it all?

See you Monday x

Monday, 21 February 2011

A Need For ...

Still fighting the lurgy here, though I am feeling so much better than when I last posted. Thank you lovely people for the get well wishes; so very appreciated and comforting when you are feeling yukky - hmm, didn't recover my poetic use of language just yet then.

Being so ill has made me look for comfort in all around me and the somewhat dark, grey days we have been experiencing have added to this need. I finally cut open our tiny Munchkin squash to see whether there was anything to be had from within its hard shell.

It is one we grew in a pot outside the girls' bedroom and though only measuring about four inches across it had a little flesh to add to a rich stew. Comfort food indeed.

All the children have succumbed to poorliness in differing measure, all feeling snuffly, all a little chesty, but nothing keeps a good cook down and Lucy invaded the kitchen yesterday to knock up a batch of flapjacks. How easy things become when you are merely sitting in the background ready to offer help when asked, but no longer needing to actually 'do' every step for them.

Oh, go away Mamma! Get back to your knitting.

Though today is just pouring rain from the skies in a manner that suggests God's bath is overflowing somewhat, I managed to take myself outside on the drier days to see what has emerged. Hurrah! The first buds of bright zingy forsythia are bursting forth, the ridiculously over-the-top yellow threatening to hurt my eyes should the sun ever appear and strike the petals with its rays of light. A true sign that spring is well on its way I think.

I take my coffee and sit on the step, the first time I have done so this year without a coat.

Next to me the daphne also shows an unfurling floret. This is one of my most favourite plants (from a list of thousands); its sweet scent is so typical of many of the late winter/ealy spring flowering plants: fresh, almost citrusy, light & so daintily delicate, yet one tiny sprig is able to scent an entire garden and will tickle your nose when carried on a soft spring breeze. If you have never encountered it I advise you to search one out posthaste - just walk around sniffing the air and you will be led in its direction should one be close by.

On the courtyard the pots of tulips are racing away and I uncover a few buds fattening ready to bloom in a few weeks. I think they are red, though I can't really remember as they were blind last year and so the thrill of discovery is there.

But on a day like today we are all huddled indoors. It is a day for planning and plotting in our garden book, a day for noting what is missing at this time of year, sketching and scribbling notes so that we will remember to do something about the empty patches which are a little depressing just outside the kitchen window. I think planting more snowdrops and sunshine yellow crocus would help things along.

And once the orders are completed I think a little more knitting will be necessary for the rest of the day. I feel a need to huddle by the fire while the rain does its worst, maybe play a sedate game of Mah Jong - hah, that's a contradiction in terms - and let the last of the lurgy hopefully melt far away.

Sound good?

What are you up to? x

P.S. Still not sure about the larger pics - what do you think? x

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

A Snuffle or Two.

Blogland is full of spring pictures and it is so lovely to see. We all know it isn't here yet, but there's nothing wrong in looking for the signs is there?

Personally, I am so full of the grottiest cold I have had for years that I am desperate for anything that penetrates the fug in my head, including bright zingy citrus fruit for delicious hot toddies.

It is actually very rarely that I get colds and this one is reminding me just how lucky I am. My head feels like Phil Collins is off on one - you know, that bit just before 'I can feel it coming in the air' starts ringing out.

My nose resembles a tap and I ache like I have been steam rollered.

Truly, I feel dreadful.

Aren't you glad you stopped by?

Still, work carries on and bunting waits for no Pip. At least I am finally back working in my sewing room which is so light and, though in need of a sort out not to mention a lick of paint, makes me cheery just to be there.

A trip with the girls to Customs House Quay cleared my head a little, the boats sitting quiet on the still waters of the high tide.

It was so gentle: everything from the scent in the air to the breeze and the chatter, all so gentle and hushed with only the clear, soaring tones of a young girl singing as she sipped her drink on the bench by the quayside breaking into the quiet ... perfect.

As is the sight of the wools in my basket. This one is a mix of moss green, soft mauves and cream. It reminds me of the heathers and mosses found on the Cornish moors or the colours of seaweed on stone.

Ah well, I'm off to take my hideously grotty self off to make the dinner for the troops, pop the washing on and generally try to wreak some order when really I just want to go to bed.

Can't wait...sigh.

See you soon x

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Just Popping By.

I am missing my blog and want to get back here, but I am rather in the midst of some cheery bunting - 40 metres of the stuff to be precise. Quite a large order. Wonder what it is for? Hmm, maybe I'll ask.

I want to get back to sorting the blog out as it is mid change at the moment but oh, doesn't it eat time away once you start playing with new things? Thank you to my dear friend Diana who helped me find my 'global settings' problem (no, I didn't know I had one either!) and also gifted me some gorgeous sock weight yarn. New things to show then...

...when I get a mo. Be good to see some new pics too wouldn't it? The tulips are up but obviously not out as the image suggests. Another photograph of Coombe to keep things going. Well done to those of you who guessed the last boat picture was of Penryn River.

To be continued x