Sewing Up A Storm in Spring


Small daffodils newly planted by our gate

We are in strange times right now. I am grateful for our safe world here: A remote home, a big garden, pets for company. My husband is still working and can do the shopping from time to time on the way home. My life has barely changed, yet I know that so many other people are suffering in the wider world beyond and there is not much I can do to help except sit tight and wait. I’m not going to say more about this because there enough talk about it online already and we need spaces where we can escape our anxieties for a while.

I had hoped to be ‘stitching up a storm’ when we were advised to stay home and I began well but then the weather changed. Suddenly it was time to weed and plant, time to Spring clean, and the textile course I am part way though online, began to get more difficult. It finishes in July, after which I want tell you more about it.

In the meantime I have gained two new followers, so I want to say “Welcome!”. Please feel free to comment or ask questions and if you are English Paper Piecing already, tell us about it. I am mainly a pictorial English Paper Piecer and like to add embellishments of one sort or another but I do some patterns too, occasionally.

I hoped to show you a dozen or so little quilts that I had managed to finish but I only managed five before I ran out of steam. We are fast approaching the middle of April already so, rather than wait to finish a few more, here are the ones I have completed so far. You have probably seen all these before, in various stages of progress. They are each 8 inches square except the last one, which is 5 1/2 inches square.

The first one is ‘Stay Home’. with a wishing star to keep you safe.


The second is ‘Murmuration’, which I began at that time of the year when the evening skies are full of Starlings.  It is a mixture of appliqué and embroidery as well as English Paper Piecing.


The third is  a more traditional design which I call ‘Pine Tree Jam’. I began it towards the end of last year, hoping to have it finished for Christmas. I still need to put sleeves on the back of all these, so they put on a quilt hanger and be hung on the wall. And they could probably do with good press.


And finally, a little humour. Here is ‘Sniffing the Air’, one of my series of ‘Dog Logs’ (Log Cabin designs with dogs)


I have been making good progress with two of the mini charm square quilts I talked about in my last post. ‘Building Blocks’ (below), another traditional design, has all the one and a half inch squares sewn together in rows, but now I need to sew the rows together. I want to add a wider border at the top than at the bottom  and sides, with something appliquéd on it, a hare perhaps.  I have become very bored with my borders and edges and I want to try some different ways of finishing.


I am almost ready to complete ‘Little Kitties’ (below). I just have to sew the borders onto the centre piece of one inch squares and then add the backing and binding. That won’t take long, will it? Hmmm.


I am quite shocked at the amount of little quilts I have lying about that just need sleeves or labels, or a little embroidery, or a piece of ribbon to hang it; things that would take only a morning to do and yet they sit there in a pile, no use to anyone. I have given myself until September to complete them all. In the meantime, I have more charm pack quilts to complete. And in between these EPP posts, I want to try some experiments of a different kind.


Before I go, I want to show you my ducks having a quiet nap in the shade. Can you see Plum, the black blob with a beak in the clump of daffodils? Phoebe is at the back, to the right, between a daffodil head and the tree trunk, Bossy-boy is fast asleep and Lily is keeping watch. I have had to add some barriers to their space to keep them safe at the moment, too. They have the garden to the side of the house but the back garden is out of bounds for now as it borders woodland. It is the time when foxes are on the prowl for something to feed their young. I was heartbroken when I lost my fifth duck to a fox a couple of weeks ago and cannot put the others at risk.

So, until next time…… take care of yourselves, keep busy, keep well.



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