Saturday, November 28, 2015

Of Cushions, Flowers and Friendship

Good Morning to you. Another week passes by ever so quickly. Another week of lovely sunny Spring days tempting pretty flowers to burst joyously from their garden beds, weaving blushes of iridescent colour throughout our garden.

As my husband is still unable to do any work in the garden for a little while yet, I have picked up the trowel and shovel and attended to the weeds. Oh my goodness, there are sooooooo many weeds, so many, I fear I will become a little garden gnome. I really am too old for this caper!! I am much, much too venerable to yank and heave and jerk for hours on end at these tenacious and pesky varmints!! But.....persistence is paying off. I am determined not to be overwhelmed by these abominable interlopers, these pesky pains in the proverbial, that persist in trying to overthrow the reign of my kingdom of pretty flowers. With dogged resolve I am determined to banish them to the next world!! I have taken residence in the garden, not a lot has been happening in my sunny sewing room; though I did stitch a cushion for a friend whose birthday is just around the corner.

Once again, I buried myself in ribbons and doilies. Yet again, I fashioned another basket of French ribbon work flowers. I never tire of fashioning an overabundance of flowers of the ribbon variety and though I have chatted about making a few of these flower-filled baskets before, one more can't hurt, can it??? And......of course each one is a little different. Besides, one of my dearest friends, for whom this cushion is intended, doesn't have one of these lovelies sitting in her home. With her birthday just a few weeks away, I needed to make something rather quickly. We have been friends since kindergarten and surprisingly enough, although I have stitched her many, many 'Kim Sharman' originals throughout the years of our friendship, I have never stitched her a basket of floralicious delight.

This time the basket of ribbon flowers sit prettily on a background of snippets of doilies randomly placed where they fell. I had a yearning to yet again, rummage through my embroidered pretties. I wanted pretty embroideries with flowers, the odd basket of flowers and butterflies. The fabric I chose for the basket is the prettiest silk fabric of interweaving pastel hues. I brought this lovely fabric a few years ago with the thought it would be an excellent choice somewhere down the yellow brick road of my stitching.

I never, never tire of fashioning these baskets of floral delights! let me see......which friend can I next stitch a basket of  blossoms for??

One by one, the addition of a pansy here and a pansy there, a fuchsia or two, and blousey roses with leaves peeking from behind, assembling another blooming basket of floral delight.

I chose a fabric with weaving vines of flowers with the odd butterfly fluttering by. A doily with a birthday sentiment is free hand machine stitched on a favourite doily. Aah....bluebirds of happiness casting a little magic on our friendship.

Though one of my joys in life is picking a fresh bouqet of flowers and gifting them to a friend for their birthday, in this case my friend lives two states away, so this cushion of floral delight will just have to do. I don't think my friend will be too unhappy. An over-spilling bouquet of gorgeous french ribbon blossoms which will bloom forevermore.

Although a beautiful bouquet of fragrance-filled flowers will always put a smile in a gal's heart, I fear within a week they always seem to metamorphose into a pongy mass of organic matter. Yes indeedy, me thinks a sweet cushion of an over-spilling bouquet of gorgeous, french ribbon blossoms blooming forevermore, is a more lovely sentiment in celebration of our friendship.

Wishing you all the most wonderful weekend. Take time to perhaps pick a pretty blossom......or two....oh.....and of course drink in their fragrance.

Until the next time........

Linking up to lovely Stephanie's, The Enchanting Rose.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

My Trunk Full of Hexagon Quilts

Soma, who has the most beautiful blog, Whims and Fancies has come up with an inspired idea. She is hosting a virtual 'Trunk Full of Quilts' inviting quilters to showcase some of their quilts that their creative imaginations have lovingly whipped up. So I decided I would join in the fun.

As some of you know, I am rather enamoured with hexagon quilts. Oh all right.....I confess, I am besotted with hexagon quilts. I love the hexagon shape. I love how the shape is repeated over and over again, the juxtaposition of each shape forming a beautiful tessellated pattern which fits neatly into each other without any overlapping. I love the myriad mosaic patterns which are conjured up. I never tire of gazing upon these hexagon beauties.

So........I decided to showcase my trunk overspilling with some of my completely hand stitched hexagon quilts that I have stitched over the last few years.

My skipping along the yellow brick road of hexagon quilts began when I happened upon a wonderful method for sewing hexagon quilts a few years ago. Individual hexagons are sewn with the top fabric, the batting and the backing fabric all at once and then a little of the backing fabric is brought to the front to form a narrow border. Then the finished hexagons are whippd stitched together at the back to form the quilt.

My first 'hexie' was made from hundreds of scraps of fabric and I must admit it is one of my favourites. It is an oft-used quilt and I love how it has faded with age and has become wonderfully squashy. Indeed, this quilt is like an old friend!.

The back of  these hexies are almost as pretty as the front, which means you have two quilts in one.

A bright and fun hexie quilt I made as a present for a little boy.

The seams on the back of this quilt are covered by lengths of fabric binding which adds to the scrappy look and gives a more visually pleasing finish.

Brightly coloured, scrappy hexagons flying in the breeze.

This hexie was fashioned from gorgeous Chinese brocades my daughter bought as a gift for me whilst on a trip to China.

The front........

The back is rainbow-filled with gorgeous satins.

Aaah yes.....a vibrantly, coloured hexie quilt always adds a little something.....a little pizzazz to the landscape!

To use up some of the gorgeous vintage fabrics.....brocades, silks, velvets, satins....and the pretty vintage laces, gloves, jewellery, ribbons, doilies, buttons and all those other pretties I have hoarded gathered over the years, I decided it would be wonderful to incorporate a lot of these pretties into some sumptuous, hexagon quilts. Yes indeedy, I am a gal whose heart swoons over vintage lovelies, but as a result of my addiction, my plethora of vintage lovelies more often than not, escape their rather confined environs, weaving their way throughout our humble abode. They seem to tangle anyone and anything that crosses their path; thus the eventual compulsion for them to be whipped up into gorgeous quilts and embellish my hexies to within an inch of their lives.

I wanted to incorporate a sense of those crazy patchwork quilts from a bygone era into my hexagon quilts.  I love how there is no rhyme or reason to these crazy patchwork quilts. I love how these quilts are filled with glorious embroideries, swirls upon swirls of pretty ribbons dancing across the sumptuous fabrics, pretty buttons, vintage jewellery, opalescent beads........I love how crazy quilts are filled with treasures from a stitcher's Aladdin's Cave.

This 'Rhapsody in Blue' hexie was fashioned for a dear friend's 50th Birthday.

An overspilling abundance of sumptuous extravagance.

My luscious, vibrantly coloured, hexagon quilt celebrating a bohemian spirit. I wanted this quilt to be awash with glorious colour, breaking a few 'so called' colour rules along the way....oh.....and embellishing with the odd pretty or two.

My pastel lovelies.

This one sits prettily atop our bed, in our boudoir.

I love the random craziness of the hexagon quilts that I fashion. There is never a grand plan. I just adore seeing what exciting journey the fabrics and all those 'to-die-for embellishments take me on, experimenting with colour and texture; and playing with design. I love to twirl all the gloriously vibrant colours round and round in a merry dance! 

It has been a delight to show you a few of my hexagon lovelies. All these hexagon quilts have all been lovingly stitched by hand. Yes indeedy, there is no machine stitching to be seen here.

For those of you whose eyes have looked upon all of these pretties before.....I humbly apologise for this virtual 'Trunk Full of Hexagon Pretties'. I am so, so sorry you have had to plough through these pretties yet again! I promise, with my hand on my heart, to finish those works in progress, of which there are many, and showcase them next year, if indeed Soma should host this fun show again. Thank you, Soma, for hosting this enjoyable 'Trunk Full of Quilt' has been the best fun. It also has been a delight to visit others' lovely blogs and to have a bo peep at their gorgeous quilts. Oh my goodness, there are some wonderfully clever quilters out there!!

 But for now, it's toodles from me.

Friday, November 6, 2015

"Living is not enough" said the butterfly.........

....”one must have a flower (or two) as well.”

Not to mention another 'must have'.........the comfiest of swing seats perfectly placed where one can sit, enjoy a cuppa, gently swing in the glorious sunshine and drink in all the beauty of an unfolding Spring, around a pond!!

We are home again. Yes indeedy, I live to tell another tale. If you recall from my last post I was a li'l anxious that I might meet an untimely end. You will be pleased to know (but then...perhaps you may not.....) there were no home baked, arsenic-laced cakes left at our bright pink, front door. I live yet to see another day and write another post!! Now....isn't that the best news you have heard today?? =)

We are home again in our strange li'l ole abode.....AND.....enjoying all the sweet, sweet blooms that Spring has kissed in our garden. Spring is truly beginning to perform the most spectacular of shows. A show, I might add, which is a delight to the eyes. My husband is healing remarkably well after his major operation. At this point of time my husband's test results are positive; there will be no need for follow-up chemo or radiation. Of course he will have regular visits with his oncologist and surgeon to see if there are any changes; but for now we are just soaking in the good news and grabbing the simple things of life with both hands.

And what better place to soak up life and recuperate than spending time whiling away the days, sitting in our garden swing overlooking 'his' pond. If you like, you can read about my husband's dream of a pond and how this magical place came into existence here. Indeed our garden swing is rather akin to us sitting in prized seats in the grandstand with the exquisiteness of Spring unfolding before our eyes. It is beautiful!!

The Irises do look rather fabulous at this time of year.

The pond is truly the best place to recuperate; to spend a day.........or week.......or month or.........

Yes indeedy......not a bad place to recuperate.....not bad at all. I'm supposing we could do a lot worse!

Somehow it wouldn't seem right unless my shadow, Maisie made an appearance, now would it??

The paddock next to our plot of land is ready for the planting of potatoes. I did ask our friendly neighbouring farmer, if perhaps he could plant a field of beautiful, Monet-esque Irises.....but is not a field of beauteous Irises I will gaze upon this Summer, but a field burgeoning with the humble spud. Sometimes 'tis such a pity one has to eat!!

As for me, as my husband is under strict doctor orders to take it easy, I have been looking after him and enjoying the garden as well. Not a lot of stitching has been happening, though I have been fiddle-faddling with some pretty flowers. Mmm...just practising my creative, floral skills for the next "Flower Show of the Year". =)

Oh I do love to pick a pretty flower or two and plonk them in a pretty vase.....but you knew that already! you know......I do love to play with pretty ribbons and flowers.

Who needs vases anyway??

Not seems!!

Violet-blue Irises abound in our garden!

Kitten-faced pansies always look dazzling resting upon swirls upon swirls of luscious ribbons.

They seem to grow like weeds in our garden.

It is John Thomas Ouseley who once said.....

"The beauteous pansies rise in purple, gold and blue,
With tints of rainbow hue,
Mocking the sunset skies."

Gotta, gotta love the sweet faced pansies....not to mention a pretty, pansy teapot!! just has to add a doily or two.

And.....perhaps a pretty plate.

It is William Shakespeare who penned......

"Pray you, love, remember.
And there is pansies, that's for thoughts."

It is hard not to smile when one's eyes glimpse a pretty pansy.

Oh dear.......soooo many happy snaps. I did warn you that I have been fiddle-faddling a wee bit!! Besides, I need to hone perfectly, my floral creative skills before the next "Flower Show of the Year"!!!!!!

As I sit with my husband overlooking 'his' pond I am thankful for the wonderful mercies our Heavenly Father has bestowed upon us. We are humbled by all of you whom have sent petitions heavenwards to the Good Lord on behalf of my husband and I.....we express to each of you many a heartfelt thank you!! For all of you whom have sent positive thoughts and those big, warm hugs that have wrapped around us and engulfed our souls with love and kindness.....thank you. Each one of you has truly helped us through the most challenging of days. I am humbled by the generosity of spirit of each one of you. The blogging world is truly filled with the loveliest of souls.

But.....for now there is a small matter of  recuperating, basking in the joy of each day and perhaps even a cuppa (or two or three or.....) swinging in our oh so comfy swing seat, in front of the pond.

Have the most wonderful weekend, everyone. Until the next time.........