Sunday, September 18, 2016

Aahhh.......SPRING!

Spring is beginning to snail it's way slowly and steadily around the bend in our country road. There is a slightly warmer feel in the air as the warm breath of Spring begins to thaw Ole Man Winter's chill. The chill in 'dem old bones' is lessening and there is a spring in my step. The bare, winter earth is ever so slowly beginning to flourish; beginning to make room for the weaving of the glorious scents and vibrantly coloured, floral tapestry which is beginning to caress the landscape. Each blossom, magnificently 'embroidered' in the richest, intricate and most splendid design. Impressions of Spring are beginning to delight everywhere.

This week we have been out and about quite a few days. We set off early in the mornings with the backdrop of gorgeous sunrises and returned home to evenings where high above transcendent canvases painted with brushstrokes from God's masterful palette, abound.




I never tire of driving through the countryside. Every day I pinch myself, feeling blessed to live in this glorious part of the world, a land so rich in natural beauty. Each drive is filled with delight with an ever changing vignette before us. As we drive along the winding road, with the mellifluous sounds of movie sound track orchestrations reverberating around the confines of our car, each bend in the road reveals another surprise, another view of yet another beautiful vista. Crazy patchwork paddocks, both velvety green, and fertile, red soil ripe for the planting of Summer crops. 

There is nothing quite like the blossoming of cherry trees in early Spring. Each tiny bud cannot sit enclosed within its confines any longer. Blossom after blossom joyously bursting out, unfolding each perfect tiny petal, sometimes cascading down, waterfall-like, in a truly magical way.




Then there are the Magnolias!! Wish oh wish our garden had decades' old Magnolia trees blossoming high, wide and handsome. I discovered this beauty in town. After me screeching "STOP".......my startled husband found a park, I jumped out of the car and entered the gate and proceeded to take some happy snaps. This beauty was in the grounds of an old rectory, so not a soul minded that I clicked happily away.


Each amazing flower was the size of a dinner plate!




Driving through this heaven in which I live, I have been knitting at intervals, whilst drinking in the beauty before me. Remember this blanket which I am fashioning out of vintage Scottish scarves? Well.....I found some more pretty scarves which I wanted to add to my blanket.


I wanted to make the blanket a little larger and sprinkle a little more pretty colour to it. Serendipitously, I happened upon these pretty scarves which would blend perfectly with my blanket.

I have finished joining the patches of scarves together, and now I am knitting the very, very long cable strip which is going to hug my blanket all the way around, as a border. The knitting of the cable strip is perfect for long country drives as there really is no thought required, enabling me to ooh and aah at constant intervals at the vista which unfolds before me.







Whilst in town, we visited our new favourite bric-a-brac shop. One always has to stop because one never knows what is waiting.....pleading, imploring.....to take it home with you. My husband, (yes he found some treasure yet again) espied this dinner set. Oh....glory be; a dinner set which just happens to be my favourite hue blue, and is such a funky shape. It is a Poole Pottery set and it really spoke to our hearts. I am in love with the quirky shape of the coffee pots and the tea pot and I love the happy juxtaposition of the grey and blue colours.

You surmised correctly.......this funky dinner set came home to live with me.


There are two coffee pots, one teapot, one sugar bowl, one milk jug and a dinner setting for six people.



The only problem with this gorgeous crockery set is that when I arrived home I turned my house upside down to find the perfect place for it. I have a sneaky suspicion there just might be a few of you understand my predicament.....I put it here and I put it there, but nowhere seemed quite right. I then entered the man's cave, unearthed an old bookcase from mounds of dust and cobwebs, gave it a couple of coats of paint of a pretty, grey shade called Marina Pearl and placed it at one end of the kitchen bench, with the pretty crockery sitting atop it. Voila!! It is the perfect spot! Though I do confess, the finding and preparation of the perfect place for my dinner set and then tidying up and replacing everything took two days. Why oh why do I do such things!! =)






I also have been enjoying a little hand quilting this past week. I have spent many moments, sitting in my favourite chair with the sun peeping over my shoulder. I sensed the sun's smile, warming me as I slowly stitch. I am hand quilting around each strip of fabric.



Very simple I know but I thought I might leave the dense perfect quilting to the experts. I want this quilt to be a simple one, both in design and quilting. As there are doilies interspersed here and there in this quilt, I didn't want an all over quilting design.



Alas, my quilting is a little rusty; it doesn't always run in straight-as-straight lines. I am afraid that my stitches are a little wonky in places, but that is okay with me. I am not overly fussed with wearing my perfectionism hat for this quilt. That hat has been placed in the closet away from sight for this quilt........just for a little while, though I have no doubt my quibbling and fault finding little hat will find it's way out of the closet and perch itself atop my cranium, yet again! =)



A couple more weeks and this quilt should be sitting, ever so prettily, atop my bed......well that's the plan anyway. There are more appointments in town this week, so perhaps, just perhaps there will be some more knitting of my very long, cable strip, which could mean my patchwork, woolly blanket will be warming my tippy toes very soon!! More glorious country drives drinking in the beauty of the fresh and awakening Spring. Aahh....Spring....'tis a wonderful sight to behold!!

Hope you are all enjoying the most wonderful weekend. Until the next time.......



Friday, September 2, 2016

To stitch or not to stitch.......what a silly question!

It is a silly question, when the sunniest of sewing rooms beckons me each morning to enter it's realms and enjoy a little stitching. I have had the most pleasant of weeks. This past week has been filled with many moments stitching my pretty quilt, with whispers of embroidered linens here and there, in my sun-kissed sewing room. Every time I enter my sewing room it embraces me with a warm hug. It is a happy place. It is a place which permeates my being, where my delightful imaginings are free to noodle around in my rather muddly brainpan.





Though the mornings have been a wee bit chilly, with ice sheathed paddocks as far as the eye can see, this past week the days have been blessed with azure blue, sunny skies with a hint of the warmth of the Spring days to come. Miss Maisie doesn't seem to mind sitting on the  ice-covered grass but then I suppose her fur coat keeps her warm. She will do anything to appear in a photo shoot. =)


Though there are very faint hints that Spring is just around the bend in our country road, it seems here down under, Ole Man Winter has decided to hang around a little while longer. He hasn't completely packed his frigid bag of tricks away and headed for the long journey northwards. He is still toying with the gentle Spring Sun, occasionally covering the radiant beams of warm sunshine with His dark storm clouds, outbursts of howls of wind blasts and intermittent lashes of lightning and the outpouring of icicles, here, there and everywhere. I really don't know why He persists. His presence is not appreciated at all. Everybody in this far rural outpost considers he has outstayed His welcome. But, that is okay, we will wait a little longer and then banish Him to the other side of the world. It is always a delight to see the back of Ole Man Winter.



I love spider webs. I can sit for ages, trance-like, amazed, whilst a spider's spinnerets weave it's delicate, gossamer-like, silky threads. I captured this spider's creative genius one frosty morning. Our pond is a little bereft of floralicious delight at the moment, but in a month or so everything will be singing in colourful, rainbow-like harmony.


Hallelujah!! Spring is slowly awakening! William Wordsworth's lyrical poem comes to mind...."A host of golden daffodils.....fluttering and dancing in the breeze."




The biggest problem I faced this week was whether or not each fabric would play nicely with the one I placed next to it. Only a little thought went in to ensuring there were no fabrics throwing little tantrums and being louder than the others. Just a little conscious thought was given to ensure an overall harmonious blend of colour and pattern; an all-embracing acceptance of the placement of each fabric. So......more pretty, patterned fabrics were stitched together with the addition of embroidered pretties sprinkled here and there.

More pretty ladies.













More pretty flowers.





More baskets of flowers.


And.....a couple of sweethearts.





And.....another pretty butterfly.





With each day I stitched a little more and before I knew it, my quilt top was singing a most harmonious song. This quilt top is one of the most relaxing projects I have done for a while.


I have decided to hand quilt this pretty.


I am backing this quilt with a pretty Wyndham fabric called Presents. It is a lovely blue with a smattering of sweet 1930's flowers.


I like the thought of sitting in a sunny spot, or on those chillier nights in front of a cosy fire enjoying some slow hand stitching.  As I stitch I want to just enjoy the slow deliberate stitches thinking upon who might have embroidered each pretty.....wonder who they were, why they chose this pattern, these colours and wonder with amazement at each perfect, embroidered stitch. The last few quilts I have machine quilted were fraught with hassles and botheration. This time I just want to take it slow and steady and with each stitch, drink in the pretty fabrics and just enjoy the process.





I am looking forward to hand quilting this quilt, though it is going to take a while. It has been an age since I hand quilted a quilt. As a matter of fact I might just sit in my favourite chair this weekend and take delight in a little slow stitching.

Wishing you all the most wonderful day. Until the next time...........