Saturday, June 8, 2019

WINTER!!

Winter! The very word chills my bones. Way down here at the bottom of the world, where it is just a hop, skip and a jump over melting sheets of ice to Antarctica, Old Man Winter, that blustery, ill-mannered chap has brazenly blown in. Yep.....he has arrived. He has swirled and swirled wherever he will, tempestuously dispensing his frigid tricks from that over-large bag of his, onto us mere mortals........and Maisie, too♥

I wish I loved Winter. I know there are some of you lovelies whom invite Old Man Winter into your homes with outstretched arms and embrace him, chastising him for being away so long.....but I do not. There are some of you whom don your snowshoes, your skis; and trudge through snow up to your chin for mile after mile and have the best time, embracing whatever Old Man Winter heaps upon you. Why, I would believe there are some of you who would lay supine, on that white stuff  as it slowly thaws and turns into slush; looking at the crystal blue sky above with a smile on your face.

What can I say?? I am a gal who as a newborn bairn was delivered by the stork right smack in the middle of a Sydney Summer, where perspiration dripped from those whom, as they gathered to ooh and aah over my sweet tiny self, they then collapsed onto the floor fainting with heat stroke. As for me, I would not have been perturbed one iota. I would've just gurgled and cooed at everybody, happy to feel the strength-sapping heat of Summer hugging me. Wish oh wish I could be as enamoured with wintertime as you......but I quite simply cannot. As Old Man Winter steals his way into my humble abode, squeezing under the door, I love to crank up the fire and see every little corpuscle of his cantankerous self melt away into oblivion.

Oh, I know Old Man Winter paints the landscape in the most beautiful of suffused colours at wintertime; and though the sky blesses me with sunrises which are more beautiful than summery ones, and the kaleidoscope of bejewelled colours which magically appear as the sun shines on the ice-sheathed earth is a spectacle one would never witness in summertime......it's just that.......it's so darn cold. "But you can rug up", I hear you say. Yeah I can, but it wouldn't matter if I walked out of my bright pink, front door clad in apparel that an Eskimo would wear, I still feel Old Man Winter's icy touch.

I have never liked the cold. It's a family thing. I seem to have DNA which has deemed  that I would always shiver.....just a little. My mum was the same, as was my nanna......so I guess what will be, will be. I will just have to suck it up for another three to four months; don my thick aran knits, throw another log or two onto the fire and follow Old Man Sun's sunbeams around my humble abode, as they shine through the windows.

Freezing temperatures aside the tracery of  naked branches plonked in a glass jar or an old tin bucket, with the background of a ramshackle potting shed, or the sky behind them is always a beautiful wintry sight. I do believe tortured willows are one of my very favourite trees, especially in the wintertime.





What has little ol' shivering me been up to since you lovely lovelies last visited?? Why, during the day, I have been following the sunbeams from room to room as I bask in the warm beams of happiness. Yes indeedy, with my quilting needle and thread....and my Buds in The Basket quilt in hand, I have plonked my gluteous maximus...my derriere on many a sunny chair, enjoying a little hand quilting. Sunshine is one of life's pleasures is it not?? Sitting in a comfy chair, slowly stitching away is truly one of the delights of my days. In the evenings too, I have been snuggling under this pretty, keeping warm, happily quilting whilst watching TV. Aah.....the good life!


I am loving hand quilting this quilt. As I meander upwards in a diagonal line.....down......and then up again, sometimes with wonky dashes wandering off that 'straight and narrow' path, the hand quilting relaxes me; calms me. I seem to get in a groove. I find beauty in the slow, imperfect stitches. Mmm...I wonder if I will ever get the hang of stitching perfectly spaced, perfect stitches of even length?? I find hand quilting tactile. I love the squishy squashy-ness, wrinkled feel and look of hand quilting.  Hand quilted quilts I find, are soft to the touch.

As well as line after line after line of diagonal quilting, I am stitching a basket weave pattern in the baskets and quilting around the buds....all rather meditative.

This last little while 'My Pete' and I celebrated another year of wedded bliss. He and me have been skipping hand in hand along the flower-lined, bendy path for 41 years! AND...some said our happy union wouldn't last....hey, what do they know. Our daughter sent this sweet tea towel and oh, how it makes me smile. I wonder......if ever he will?? As yet.....he has not. =)

Anyway......thank you lovely lovelies for visiting my little wintry world♥ As always the thought that you have visited me and read my musings has delighted my heart once again. May you who live way, way up there enjoy your summery warm, sunshine-filled days and I way, way down here will remember that there is much beauty to be seen and to savor in my wintry days. I will do my darndest to keep warm. So very thankful for toasty, cosy fires, knitted aran woollies, pretty cups steaming with hot ambrosial tea and warm quilts that cover me as I slowly hand quilt. As it is Sunday tomorrow, I feel a little snuggling down with some hand quilting will be enjoyed in the afternoon and into the evening.

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



Linking up this week to Kathy's, Slow Sunday Stitching.

Friday, May 24, 2019

'Tis time to quilt



A lovely hello to all you lovely lovelies♥


My husband gifted me this sweet lady pot for Mother's Day. And......how lovely she looks with her hydrangea hat. =)



Why, I wouldn't mind sporting a confection of a hydrangea hat, myself.


Besides having fun with fabulous pots and fancy hydrangea hats, I have been stitching my Buds in A Basket quilt. All my baskets overspilling with tiny little buds and leaves are finished and have been stitched in rows of delight. I must say, seeing them all assembled together sitting ever so nicely beside each other does make me smile. (I smile a lot don't I.) Well.....when you think about it, there are so many joyful, every day things that can make us smile.





But what to border these baskets with?? A lot of dithering has been happening here this past week over the question of borders. Do I go with the scrappy borders as so beautifully presented in the book, or do I use just one fabric??

I always love a smattering of scrappy fabrics dancing around the border of a quilt, but the last couple of quilts I have fashioned have scrappy borders. I wanted a different look this time.  Besides, I have only just tidied up the 'helluva' mess that I created with the pulling out what seems every fabric from my armoire, to fashion all the little circle flowers, leaves, baskets and handles. You would not believe the mess I make when I fashion a scrappy quilt. A textile bomb always looks as if it has been detonated with an explosion of bits of fabric everywhere. I wonder.....are you the same??

So, if I don't have a scrappy border what fabric would I use. I really didn't want to acquire more fabric for the border; I wanted to use a fabric I already had.

About a year ago I happened upon this  fabric. It made my heart aflutter at first sight. I have used it in other pretties I have fashioned and I had just enough for a border, with a little to spare for the binding later on. Love, love, love all the tiny little flowers and I love that every colour is represented. This fabric has a plethora of flowers blooming all over it; roses, delphiniums, forget-me-nots, daisies.......so, so many pretty blooms. I also love that the background colour is pink and not white. The busyness of the pattern  is so very me, but would it look spiffy skirting my pretty baskets. Admittedly it certainly packs a colourful punch, but I rather love how it makes my pretty baskets of sweet buds pop. I am a little sad that this is the last of the fabric but it is always a most excellent thing to use up what's in one stash......is it not??


I love how each blossom and leaf is outlined in black. It brings to mind a fabric I might have seen in the sixties. It also evokes a Liberty feel.





So, now 'tis time to quilt. I chose a white homespun for the  backing. For a girl who loves busy, busy, busy a plain backing is a stretch for me. I didn't have anything suitable in my fabric collection and I didn't want to spend time or money piecing together a smattering of fabrics. Plain ol' Jane, I'm afraid. Though, in saying this I do consider white will be a good fit for this quilt. As to the quilting design, I am following the ideas for quilting as suggested in the book; mostly diagonal stitching, quilting around the appliques and basket weave quilting in the baskets.....easy as.

So, the next little while I will enjoy hand quilting. As this quilt is queen size, I will be fashioning other pretties whilst I am slowly quilting. AND.....there is a small matter of my applique garden quilt to be seen to. I have not picked this pretty up for a month or so. Stitching variety is the spice of my life. Juggling oodles of pretties at any given time is what makes my life beautiful.

I am linking up to Kathy's, Slow Sunday Stitching when Sunday comes aknocking at my door, as that crystal ball of mine reveals me enjoying a little hand quilting  this Sunday evening. Actually, I think I will snuggle down most evenings in the coming week and enjoy a little hand quilting whilst watching a little TV.

Thank you for your sweet visit. It is a chilly and rainy Friday evening down here at the bottom of the world, so I am off to  enjoy a little hand quilting. May all you lovely lovelies enjoy a beautiful weekend♥

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


Monday, May 13, 2019

A Mother's Day Gift

A lovely welcome to all you lovely, lovelies♥ This Sunday past we celebrated Mother's Day. Those of you whom celebrated, I hope you all enjoyed a beautiful day surrounded by the laughter and joy of your loved ones; those loved ones with whom you have surrounded with boundless love, all these years. For me, I had a beautiful day with my husband, driving over this glorious countryside punctuated by stops at cafes and browsing markets. These days Mother's Day is always bittersweet as both my girls live thousands of miles away. But not to worry.....my wonderful husband went all out to see that I had a fabulous day....and I did.

But the subject of this post is not about my wonderful Mother's Day but a beautiful quilt which was fashioned by one of my sewing girls, for her mum. Holly, has been skipping along the flower-lined front path and opening the bright pink front door of the 'The Kim Sharman School of Stitching Excellence', one afternoon every week since she was eight years old. Holly is now fifteen! Yes indeedy, Holly has been twirling and whirling all things textile for seven years. I have written about the cleverness of Holly many times before but my favourite post regarding her fabulous stitching talent was written here.  It was an impossibly sad time. Holly's beloved dad had just passed away tragically; much, much too soon. Holly was just a month shy of her thirteenth birthday. Though I wrote about Holly's wall hanging two and a half years ago, I am amazed at how, in such a short amount of time she has grown up, and blossoming into a delightful young lady. That is the thing with 'kids' they just keep growing up, don't they; quicker than quick. How does that happen?? One minute they are so small that when they sit at the sewing machine they have to steady their feet on boxes so their short legs can reach the sewing machine foot. They have chubby little fingers, hair in pig tails, percolating with infectious giggles and fun. And then, as if overnight they are tall, confident young people ready to claim their place in the world, making it a better place. From the very beginning Holly displayed a talent for all things stitching. It truly has been one of the delights of my life to watch Holly  grow from a cheeky little girl to a gorgeous teenager who is funny, (she has the best sense of humour with a quick wit and so very droll) smart, delightful...................so, so many awesome attributes. Truly, Holly is a joy!

Aww.......look how sweet and may I say, little she is!

But........let's chat about Holly's quilt she lovingly designed and stitched for her mum. In February Holly decided to fashion her mum a quilt for her bed. I had bought a couple of  charm packs and a jelly roll in the Sweet Pea and Lily range. This range dances with lovely pattern in a colour range of pinks, purples, greys and greens. As Holly's mum's favourite colour is purple these fabrics seemed to be a match made in heaven.

Holly stitched  four patch squares and bordered each larger square with strips of the jelly roll. In between each block she added a grey and white polka dot fabric for the sashing. We thought a border of strips of the different fabrics would be perfect dancing it's way around the edge. The addition of the grey and white dots really make the blocks pop giving it a modern aesthetic. I found a larger grey and white polka dot for the backing and yet another different grey and white smaller polka dot for the binding.

Holly has been piecing and stitching this pretty since February, with the last stitch on the binding being stitched just last week. As for the quilting I thought it would be fabulous if  it was  professionally quilted. I must say the flowing floral quilting really makes the quilt sing.




There is always a sense of joy and accomplishment when I see a young person start a pretty and work on it week after week till all their patience and determination results in a most beautiful finish. Holly excelled herself this time; but then she seems to excel with every pretty she fashions. With each little stitch she fashioned a quilt of beauty, threading love, and thankfulness, and gratitude to her beautiful and amazing mum. I suppose Holly will one day decide that she wants to pursue other activities on a Wednesday afternoon and will stop skipping along the path that leads to The Kim Sharman School of Stitching Excellence. But that's okay, as it is the rhythm of life. For now though, I will just enjoy guiding this delightful young lady in all things stitching for a little longer. I will enjoy hanging out with her for a couple of hours each Wednesday afternoon, being entertained by her funniness, her keen intellect and her witty insights of her day. Holly truly puts a smile in my Wednesday afternoons.

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