Saturday, November 24, 2012

Patchwork progress

Things are happening on the patchwork front. I've picked out eight gorgeous fabrics for Little P's quilt. She chose the colour scheme pink (what else?) and green and I ordered a bunch of different fabrics over the internet, most of them from Fabric Rehab
absolutely love the floral fabrics they are so sweet and girly but also a bit cool and retro.
And how cute is Little Red and the wolf - or is it a fox?
I was working on the theory that if I liked a design and it fit the colour scheme it was bound to work with the others. Wrong!

had about as many hits as misses. For some reason the solid pinks and greens just weren't working. I thought they would act as background pieces, but sitting next to the prints they seemed to leap out and take centre stage, so back in the cupboard they went.
I also ordered a selection of gorgeous Scandinavian style designs in red and white and green and white. I adore them but they just don't work with the dainty florals, polka dots and stripes. They'll keep for another project. I see a lot of purses, cushions and dolly clothes in my crafting future.

My lovely postman also dropped off a rotary cutter and patchwork ruler the other day.

Looks like I'm all set. Time to get to work.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Alphabet biscuits

Little M is learning to write - a tricky business for a left-hander. As a fellow lefty I completely emphasise. The letters feel back to front, you can’t see what you’re doing and anything you do manage to get down you smudge over anyway. The whole process feels totally counter-intuitive. Oh yes and to add to the fun they are learning joined up handwriting from the start.

I need to bring back a love of the written word to our household before Little M chucks down his pencil in despair.

I am thinking biscuits – in the shape of letters – decorated with lots of sweeties.
I made a basic shortbread dough by rubbing together 2oz caster sugar, 4oz butter, and instead of the usual 6oz of plain flour, I added 4oz flour and 2oz ground almonds for a vitamin D hit. I needed some way of justifying all that refined sugar.
The kids loaded their biscuits with jelly tots and smarties. And they were gone in a flash.
Ok that’s letters M and P sorted, only another 24 to go.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Autumn beach

Don't you just love the beach out of season? Especially on a bright and bracing morning when you have the place more or less to yourselves.
A perfect day for throwing stones into the sea,
A spot of fishing,
And just enjoying a rare bit of sun on your face.
And don't you just love it when those fortuitous colour combos occur in photos? Like Little M's new winter coat perfectly toning in with the gas pipe signs.
This heart-shaped kite stuck up a tree made us smile.
Hope you had a great weekend too.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Patchwork paralysis

I have been wanting to make a patchwork quilt forever. In fact I am determined to get cracking on one for Little P's bedroom which needs some serious TLC. I have been accumulating quilts that I love over on pinterest but instead of being inspired, I am feeling completely paralysed by the endless possibilities. And not just a little overwhelmed by the incredible talent out there. How beautiful is this quilt by Fresh Lemons?
Do I stick to a couple of colours or go crazy with loads? Do I use chintz, polka dots, gingham, big blousy florals, folksy, fifties, Scandi, stripes? Should I use white to give it a fresh modern look? Do I cut my pieces into squares, triangles or strips? Randomly placed or ordered? What about a log cabin or a bear's paw?
I've been trying to figure out what it is that makes a quilt work for me. I can't say I am any the wiser, though I do like the ones that have an unexpected colour or two thrown in to stop things getting too safe and matchy matchy. Ultimately some people just have an amazing eye for colour and pattern and that's probably not something you can imitate.
Fortunately Little P is more decisive and has told me in no uncertain terms that pink and green are her favourite colours. So pink and green it is. Maybe with a shot of red and a little light blue to keep things interesting. I think Lone Stars and the like can wait until I have more experience. I am going to start by cutting out some 5 inch squares and see what happens.

Enough stalling. How hard can it be?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Autumn forest

There are a lot of things I miss about living in London - a decent flat white, people watching, having theatres, cinemas, galleries on your doorstep even if you don't use them all the time, takeout that goes beyond Indian and Chinese, buses that run more than once an hour, lots of people to call on to babysit (I really miss that!). In fact I thought I might not survive without these things, but I have and quite happily. And if I were in London right now, I would be missing the amazing spectacle of the forest in autumn.