Sunday, March 26, 2023

Jungle Paradise

Hello lovely lovelies♡ Here I am again thinking upon the week that was. This week flashed by in a blur. A new quilt was made and and a quilt on which I've spent many many, many hours stitching came to a startling halt.

My Flower Meadow quilt. As I was yet again stitching my flowery pretty I realised  there was something horribly amiss.  I began to add hexies to the the right side to even up the side vertically and discovered in every second row there will be one extra hexie than the left side. Oh no!!!! I sat looking at it for ages thinking how in-the-hell did this happen......and how could I  fix it?? No matter what my brain, which I must say was in a state of bewilderment, came up with to fix this problem, the right side was always going to be one hexie out of line in every second row than the left side. No fudging, no tweaking here and there, was going to work as hexies are a tessellation and whatever I thought of was going to be a glaring eyesore, however my addled mind sought to remedy the problem. Quilts mostly are symmetrical and for the design my very muddly mind (obviously a more muddly mind than is usual) devised, the vertical rows on both sides have to be the same. Is devastated a too dramatic word to relay my feelings???? =) Well, to put it lightly I am a bit miffed. 

A rookie mistake in the imagining and planning of this quilt, I'm afraid. It's strange what my brain doesn't think of. I have said this ad nauseum.....the obvious to me sometimes ain't obvious! The quilting world can breathe a very big sigh of relief that Kim Sharman isn't in the designing-of-quilt-patterns, business. Of course, if I depended on one of those computer programs that work out the maths and the putting together of quilt puzzles then it would've been quite evident from the start there was going to be a problem. This go-with-the-flow ethos sometimes gets it horribly wrong.

What will I do now with my pretty but asymmetrical Flower Meadow?? My immediate thought was to vanquish it to the dark abyss and perhaps begin to unpick each hexie flower with many, many impossibly invisible stitches the very distant future, but I had invested too much of my time to throw it into some dark cupboard never to see the light of day for a very long time.

So the unpicking began. I very carefully began to unpick the teeny tiny, almost invisible stitches even though I was most definitely in the mood for a little fabric massacre with my  'Jack The Ripper'. Common sense prevailed over my murderous tendencies and I unhappily unpicked away. That was late Wednesday evening.

Oh, but wait........Thursday morning a thought did cross my mind after an impossibly long time unpicking four flower hexies. Did I really want to unpick a further eighty or so flower hexies??!! Hell no!!!! What if I chose a different fabric for the border to skip around all the flowers?? Now, in the beginning I was going to hand stitch the flower meadow to a fabric for the border and design a trailing vine (perhaps) of hexies around the edge; but what if I made a lot of hexies out of the border fabric and added them all the way around the flower meadow. Of course, I would have to throw my design thoughts for the border out the window but perhaps I could continue.  The design would still be asymmetrical, a little askew but perhaps it wouldn't be so obvious to the eyes. Only you and I would know. You won't tell anyone, will you?? I wonder, is this a light beam from the heavenly realms to save my little meadow overspilling with beautiful flowers from the dark abyss?? Or is it just wishful thinking on my part??

I didn't originally intend to have a border filled with a gazillion little hexies, but I don't want to stash this away having it never seeing the light of day again. Besides, after unpicking a few hexies, which took an age, I wasn't going to give in that easy. I am a stubborn wench! Perhaps my Flower Meadow will be half acceptable. At least I can but try. Am I up to stitching a gazillion little well as some more fussy cut hexie flowers?? Dunno, really. Let's just say I am not as enamoured with my Flower Meadow as I once was.

So, feeling very ho-hum after my calamitous predicament   I dusted off months of gathered dust from my sewing machine and fashioned a new little quilt. A child's quilt. A quilt for a charity called Dandelion, which helps families and children in need. More than ever there are so many families who are one pay cheque away from hard times; impossible situations, so if I can fashion a quilt or two, to help lighten the emotional heartache in a child's day, then it is the least I can do. After all a quilty hug handmade with love would surely put a smile in a little one's day. I have wanted to make some quilts for this charity for a while now so what better time than now??

With my good-ol'-girl of a sewing machine whirring away I quickly whipped up a quilt using 5" charm squares called Jungle Paradise, designed Stacy lest Hsu. It is a bright and playful, whimsical collection  where monkeys swing from vine to vine while squawking toucans and trilling parrots sit in safety of the canopy of the trees from tigers and leopards prowling the jungle floor below. Green Tree frogs are leaping here and there while elephants slowly walk among the labyrinthian undergrowth causing the jungle to vibrate with each step.  A happy little band of animals against a background of teals, pinks, yellows, oranges, emerald greens.......just waiting to hug a child. For the borders I used a geometric pattern with brightly coloured tiny polka dots by Tula Pink and for the backing another Tula Pink fabric with dots dancing all over. A perfect match me thinks. The machine quilting is simple with diagonal quilting lines intersecting each square and straight lines dancing around the border. The binding, which I hand stitched yesterday is the same fabric as the backing. Hand stitching the binding I know for some of you is your favourite part of making a quilt. For me....definitely not so!

A simple quilt but one that is visually pleasing and fun. Hopefully it will find it's way to a sweet child who at day's end will cosily snuggle under it and when sleep time bids, drifts off into the land of counterpane, to the wild land of overgrown vegetation and tangled vines, where wild adventures with all the playful jungle animals await. 

Before I go to enjoy a little Sunday hand stitching, this week a package arrived for me. It was from a beautiful lady, Elizabeth, a fellow aussie who reads my blog and thought I needed this pretty remnant of fabric and bag handles. Oh my, the fabric is beautiful with. flowers, frogs, butterflies, lady bugs and hummingbirds. It will surely have to find a home on a garden theme quilt sometime down my flowery, quilting path. Then there are the bag handles Elizabeth found in an op shop!! Oh my, just exquisite!! Little wooden handles with floating swans on either side. Truly, I don't think I have seen such charming handles before. And......from an op shop, no less. I will have to design something worthy of these handles. My deepest thanks, lovely Elizabeth. Your generosity and kindness has humbled me♡

Have a beautiful Sunday, lovely lovelies♡ Me thinks I might enjoy a little hand quilting of my Crazy Flowers quilt this afternoon, for I'm in a no thinking, happy, hand quilting, frame of mind. Besides, she and me haven't spent much time together, of late. =)

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

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Song Sung Blue

Hello lovely lovelies♡ I hope your week was a pleasant one. Mine was. A week with chilly autumnal mornings,  smiles of sunshine, warm Indian Summer days with a little rain thrown in for good measure; more hexie sewing....and enjoying capturing oodles of happy snaps........♡

Summer. It has left my little part of the world but oh, how lovely it was.  The echoes of summer days are still with me.  The bright and vivid colours of the dahlias and cosmos are still singing a song, albeit a wistful song whose tunes will soon fade away. But it is the harmonious melody of blues of the hydrangeas which sing the sweetest tune to me. A calming, melodic song which has been crooning since December and the strains will be heard until May. Though I adore all flowers, it is the hydrangeas which will always make my heart beat just that little bit faster.

The blue of summer hydrangeas are now wondrously beginning to transform into beautiful muted autumnal hues. The miracle of the autumn hydrangeas. As I look outside my sewing room window it is the soft song of autumn that is playing. The hydrangeas have taken on another life changing into earthy, vintage-like hues for which hydrangeas are acclaimed. Pale blue into green, deep blue into wine, lilac and mauve into plum, maroon into currant.....all are gorgeous. Some shrouded in veil-like, silky spider webs. So, so pretty.

To some the colour blue is associated with a feeling of sadness, with a feeling of ho-hum. For me the colour blue makes me happy, joyful, peaceful; fills me with a sense of calm. Blue has been my favourite since....well.....forever.

Springtime always explodes with yellows, blues, purples, pinks and oranges; a succession of flower after flower bursting on the flower scene but quickly passing. It is the summer garden filled with hydrangeas that linger month after month, casting contentment around our humble abode. Why, here in my little corner it is 'The Land of The Blue Flower'.  I bought a little blue book by Frances Hodgson Burnett ages ago and found it sitting in the bookcase this week. If I remember correctly I bought it because it was a little book with a blue cover and with the perfect title, The Land of The Blue Flower. Any book with a title such as this had to come home with me....a gal whose favourite colour is blue and whose little plot of land is covered in blue hydrangeas. =) Shallow gal that I am, I oftentimes purchase a book purely because of  the title and the cover/binding which envelope the pages within. Though I must say in this case it is a sweet little story, a fairy tale, where a land and its people are transformed by the planting of magical blue flowers everywhere. Mmm.....I feel as if  I'm a character straight from the pages of this sweet book. =)

This week I fashioned a few more hexies. Alas, not a lot, but then those of you who love to make hexies, know it is never a fast process; is it?? Especially when a lot of the hexies require fussy cutting. But that's okay as I am never one who is in a hurry for a quilt to be finished. I am still finding more fabrics with different floral patterns. Surprisingly, thus far there are no repeats, though I am certain soon there will be. More flowery hexies in pinks, purples, peachy oranges, apricots.......and blues, of course.

Hexies hanging on a ric rac line....again. Though, to be fair, the  view......the different.

We intuit colour. Each one of us has a penchant for a certain colour or colours. I wonder what colour or indeed colours, make your heart sing?? So many colours in all their variations of tones make me smile, but it is the hue blue which will always sing the most lyrical of songs. I have read "the hydrangea represents gratitude, grace and beauty, radiating abundance because of the lavish number of flowers and the generous round shape. It's colours symbolises love, harmony and peace." Who am I to disagree??!!  So, so very thankful, every day for this little patch of God's sweet earth hugged by blue, blue hydrangeas. 

Summer has gone and the hydrangea song, sung blue, with it. This week I have picked armfuls of blue hydrangeas, those which still have the appearance of summery blues, ones where autumn has not sprinkled it's magic upon them. They now sit in vases where over the next few months they will hopefully dry into beautiful earthy hues. Some have already done so. Some do, some don't. There is no rhyme or reason why some are successful and some are not. It is one of life mysteries to me. For the time being though, as I sit  and look out my windows on this Sunday, and a little hand stitching is enjoyed; I will listen to the song sung blue, throughout my day.

Oh....I almost forgot.....I picked an armful of pretty, blue hydrangeas just for you♡ May your Sunday be filled with your favourite colour♡

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

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Flowers And Hexies.....Hexies And Flowers♡


Hello lovely lovelies♡ have found yourself here again, at my little happy place where there is an abundance of flowers and hexies........and hexies and flowers♡ Boring, (for you) I know......but not so for me. So, so delighted you stopped by♡ I could gaze upon hexie quilts for the rest of my life and never grow tired of them. Yep, I'm a hexie-loving gal. Humour me, allow me to sprinkle yet again, a little, flowery hexie, loveliness into your day......and a vintage pitcher of roses♡♡

It is getting decidedly chilly here. I suppose before not too long, in the wee hours of the morning, Jack Frost will appear earlier than he should ravaging all the summer-loving flowers in one fell swoop, casting his icicles everywhere, burning and killing everything in his path. I just know it. He really should wait until winter, but he never seems to.

The infinitude of vases of flowers have dwindled to but a few each week; though the hydrangeas are beginning to morph into those fabulous autumnal hues that only hydrangeas can do. Every other flower expires and refuses to flower, but the hydrangeas.....well, they have months of beauty left in them yet. But let's not chat about the fabulousness of summer and autumnal that will be for another post.

This week the most ferocious winds thundered their way to my humble abode and all the flowers which once were upright and sashaying in the gentle breeze, are now practically prostrate on the ground. The dahlias are not happy. The roses have disappeared. The sweet peas are nothing but a fallen-over drift of brown mess with a gazillion seed pods doing their thing, producing little gems of seeds which will be collected and used for next spring. I will leave quite a few seed pods to burst so that they will fall to the ground, where they will germinate and sprout once again. Flowers are truly genius how they keep reproducing flowers year in, year out from microscopic seeds. Truly fascinating. 'Tis a miracle, really. The cosmos still bloom brightly and happily, though they are a little closer to the ground as well. I shall have to prop them up a bit. The begin of the begin of the season which I loathe,  is not too far away. All the flowers are telling me so. =) 

Summer has gone! It was a strange season. Oh, there were a handful of hot days, but mostly I walked around with long sleeves...blouses, shirts, dresses.....and jeans and overalls....and even cardies. There were only a few days where I thought sitting in an ice bath would be a very good idea. The garden though performed like it always does, and spectacularly so regardless of the cooler summer. But now, everything has the beginning of a woebegone look; preparing for the colder months. Amazing how in only a space of a few weeks a garden which was blooming profusely is now....well....rather blah.  Don't mind me.......I always feel a little ho-hum at this time of the year when summer winds down and the flowers return to the earth. But.......there's autumn first, isn't there?? The season of glorious autumnal hues and mosaic carpets of crunchy leaves to be enjoyed. I must not be greedy though, for I know some of you way up there are still experiencing horrible storms. Oh my goodness......when will they end??!! One would think you have had enough. It is truly your time to enjoy the beauty that is Spring.

About those roaring winds which I shivered through this week. Such penetrating winds, that if they could've, would've uprooted one's house from the foundations of rock on which it stands, swirled round and round. Didn't Jesus say "build your house upon the rock"?? Very sound advice. But I digress. =))

Regardless of the chilly temperatures outside my sewing room window and the onset of a feeling of malady the thought of winter can cast upon me,   I fashioned more happy and colourful flower hexies. No matter what the day, the season presents outside my window there is always the joy of playing and stitching.....petting colourful and happy fabrics. For, here in my little place happy colour hugs me all day long. We who create, play with and pet pretty fabrics, slowly and meditatively enjoy hand stitching, or indeed whirl away on our sewing machines; always find joy, contentment in the moments of our day, as we fashion something of beauty, don't we??

This week, I dived deep into my fabrics and found yet more fabrics where flowers abound. Once again teeter-tottering towers of hexie petals, nearly toppling over, formed. Another row of hexie flowers, both across and down the quilt, sprouted, finding their place, jostling for space among the other flowers. My Flower Meadow is slowly flourishing♡ My Flower Meadow is slowly blooming in a myriad of colour and pattern♡ Such a joyful, little flowering meadow♡

As I sat in my sewing room quietly stitching away a pitcher of roses sprinkled sweet fragrance upon me. The last pitcher, or indeed, vase of roses me thinks....until late spring comes around once again.  Such sweet aroma about me while I stitched. The petals falling from the roses still beautiful, still fragrant, just laying where they fall. Love, love, love a puddle of gathered rose petals. Potpourri at it's very best. Of course, I will remove these delightful gems when they metamorphose into a pongy mess, but for now I will just let them be. Why, roses and itty bitty hexie petals are the very best of friends♡

It really doesn't take much to sprinkle contentment into my day. I will always look for something that brings joyful moments even when the day can be a little glum......a little stormy. A pretty pitcher of roses, hexie petals, and hexie flowers will do it for me every time. Oh.....and of course a visit to my little place by lovely you♡ You always make me smile♡ Me thinks I might go and play with some hexie petals and later this evening visit Kathy's place to see what other pretties are showcased. I am going to embrace this lovely Sunday; for the sunshine is hugging me with it's warmth. On days such as today it's easy to push that nagging, little pesky thought that cooler, greyer days are on their way, into the dark recesses of my muddly mind. Have a lovely Sunday♡  Sending a little flowery, hexie love your way♡

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