A Pre-Regular Post Update

Hi Everyone,

I thought I would write a quick catch up post before adding further ‘proper’ posts in the near future, about two things I am working on. One is how to create embroideries for tiny frames using English Paper Piecing and the other is a post on some ways of colouring your fabric, which I have been promising you for a while. However neither of them are quite ready yet and I realise it’s been ages since my last post.

There are two main reasons why I have not posted for a while, both of which have prevented me from sewing. The first is that we have decided to move house (this year, arrgggh!) and that has meant a flurry of activity both in the house and outside. The front of the house has been painted from cream to olive green (but not the back, as yet, so it is still two different colours!)

Two-tone house!

and we have had new carpets put through the dining room and study as well as new flooring in the utility room and cloakroom and I am certainly enjoying these changes. Moving the furniture out of two rooms at the same time so that the carpet could go all the way through both rooms was a nightmare. The other downstairs rooms ended up with bits of furniture parked here and there for a couple of days, and lack of room there meant that all the books from my study had to be carried upstairs. I started making piles in our bedroom and they stretched out into the landing, around the corner at the bottom and on towards the bathroom and then all the way back on the other side.

Some people in Scotland do actually have tartan carpets in their homes!

Hmm. I am beginning to think I have too many books.

The other thing that has got in the way of my sewing is toothache. I lost a crown and a filling after Christmas and can’t seem to find a dentist who will see me right away. My previous dentist closed his practice and moved away and other local dentists are not taking on new patients. I have registered with one a distance away but it seems I have to wait my turn, and with Covid still about, it could be a long wait. It’s very hard to focus on anything when your face hurts all the time and often your ear and throat as well. I am living on porridge and noodles because I can’t chew. It’s pretty miserable but painkillers are helping a little.

A group of sweet smelling Hyacinths around a birch tree but nettles are already making an appearance.

I also need to get out and deal with the garden now, as it alway needs a huge tidy up at this time of year. I usually have an audience while I am doing this, as you can see by the title photo above.

I do try to post once a month but is always difficult each Spring when there is much to do outside before the grass gets too long and everything explodes into flower. And now I have the added pressure of the house going on the market very soon which creates an emotion that falls somewhere between excitement and terror! I hope you will bear with me as I navigate my way through all this stuff. I will post as soon as I can, and if I can’t manage a long post I may do it parts.

On a happier note, while I was feeling unwell and rather low, I received an unexpected gift from a friend. I can’t remember getting a surprise from a friend in the post ever before. I mention it here because I think you might love this unusual gift too.

The photo above shows the outer packet of ‘Pigeon’, inspired by origami and intended for people who love to write and receive hand written letters. However, these letters have no envelopes. You write in them, fold them up, add a stamp and send them. I love how the stamp goes over the last fold. The come in a packet containing a set of six, each one a different colour and each one featuring sea birds created by the artist who sent them to me.

Her name is Lisa Hooper and and she is a printmaker, specialising in wildlife and bird art. Please do visit her website Hoopoe Prints at https://hoopoeprints.co.uk and see some of her stunning work. If you love these quirky letters as much as I do and would like some for yourself you may find these packs listed as ‘Hebridean Pigeons’ (because they are letters featuring oystercatchers, curlews, and ringed plovers found within these islands’ coastal habitats.) They are available online from Lisa’s website https://hoopoeprints.co.uk/product/hebridean-pigeons/ from ‘Pigeon’ and from ‘Down to Earth Cards’ who also sell some of Lisa’s greeting cards.

So, back to sewing. I have made a start on a quilt for children from fabric I bought years ago and no longer like but I want to get it done. It has sashing (the solid colour rows that run up and down and across between each coloured block)and I really don’t like quilts with sashing and have never made any before. However, I felt I should make one with sashing at some point because sashing is quite traditional and maybe I won’t be a proper quilter until I have done it.

I was auditioning the pieces on my bed here. The stripes behind are my winter bed sheets, not part of the quilt.

I am planning to add blue cats (and one red one!) at intersections to relive the dullness of off- white channels going between blocks and I might jazz it up with some coloured quilting stitches . Each spotted block with a clamshell patterned roof will be a house with windows and doors. Quilts never look like much at this stage but they liven up as they reach completion.

And here is a sneak peak of my mini 5 cm square embroideries, so far from finished, as well the mini brass frames that they fit into. They would make lovely gifts for friends and family, too, but more of how to do them in a later post.

What will he be looking at in the frame next to him?

I hope you are all well and happy and enjoying some sunshine.i

Until next time…

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