Tuesday 29 June 2010

Summer doings

Lately I have been busy with my weekly dose of the Between Charming Friends quilt along. This week I have assembled the blocks together for the quilt center and have about one day to finish the inner and outer borders.

What kept me from doing that was another project, with a strict deadline on June 30th, so naturally the strings had to be attached first. Here is a handbag for Stephanie's challenge, sewn with donated strings from my endless stash. I bought some black linen for this when I couldn't find my linen stash, but looking for something else I happened to dive  into a plastic bag with linen scraps and an almost 2 m piece of black linen! So the handbag is completely from stash fabrics after all. I used here the grommets Stephanie sent me some time ago, using the instructions on the back of the packing, Stephanie's tutorial and the encouragement of Suzie.

The other side is also stringy. I took the bag picture with my not so early peonies, but only a few can be seen there, so here is another view. Yesterday they were all just closed buds.

My vegetable patch has changed a lot in 4 weeks, but the only harvest so far can come from the herbs we bought in pots and some lettuce I planted here after using the big leaves for salad. The radishes (two first rows from left) are about 1/4" thick.

I feel heroic after having cleaned the living room windows, finally! The new fireplace caused a repair work on the parquet, and the whole floor had to be treated so there was no colour difference between old and new boards. When this dusty business was over (yesterday), it was so necessary but also so easy to clean the windows. If we had empty rooms with no furniture and especially no "stuff",  cleaning the house would only take a few minutes. But now we are slowly returning to normal life with carpets on the floors, chairs and tables in the room, and I might even hang the curtains some day.

Tuesday 22 June 2010

Charming Pairs

Last Saturday the girl next door got married. Weddings are romantic, I think, so I enjoyed a large cup of tea with a nice piece of pastry substituting the wedding cake. Fore some reason they didn't invite me, but on TV I noticed that there really was no room for everyone in the church. Doesn't she look beautiful and happy?

Her voice was very pleasant and clear, very much like ther mother's. He was moved to tears during the seremony.

Making pairs seemed a suitable occupation during this long broadcast, so I took my half-sewn 16-patch bits and matched them in front of the TV.


The church was so crowded that the bride's father had to ask the queen of Denmark gather her green dress away from his place when he came to his seat. By this time I had forgiven the missing invitation. The church seemed to be a very warm place too, and I don't like it too hot. I was more comfortable at home, and hardly had the time for a trip to Sweden. Looking at this picture made me realize that I don't even have a diadem, so I was a lot happier at home, just wearing lipstick and perfume to my normal clothing in honour of the wedding.

This morning I trimmed the blocks, and now I'm ready for tomorrow's instructions of the Between Charming Friends Quilt Along.

I have also been working on the Unicef dolls' clothes, but I will show them as a group when they are ready for adoption.

Friday 18 June 2010

Summer flowers and new quilt project

This is the time of the year when our garden is most beautiful. The irises are in bloom,and they seem to like their new life in the narrow flowerbed.   

The yellow irises grow wild at my mother's place by the shoreline. Some 20 years ago I brought one tiny bit of root here, and it has grown very well.

This week I have been catching up the Between Charming Friends quilt along I joined two weeks late. They use two charm packs, but as such things are hardly known in my part of the world, and mainly because I already have some fabric in stash, I decided to use and reuse some fabrics.

Yesterday everything was cut to pieces, and this morning I started piecing the 12 blocks with a four-patch center.

The strips are sewn together for the next blocks. They need to be cut into strips to make 20 16-patch blocks. It will be my first time to make them. The squares are only 1" finished, making 4 ½" unfinished blocks.

I hope that by the time I'll be hand sewing the binding, the weather will be so warm that I can sit under this apple tree and enjoy the shadow of the leaves, the warmth of the sun and the singing of our blackbird and mavis.

Thursday 17 June 2010

VTT 16 - Summer Fashion

This magazine of Handicrafts and dresses is dated June 15th, 1921. Let's see if there are any good ideas for our summer wardrobe.


This is a full view of the patterns in the magazine.

Aprons for the big and small.

Summer dresses and coats.

I think they look so modern in the drawings, and look how the little girl is running in her new checkered dress.

Perhaps you should crochet a lace for a chemisette or a summer nightgown? The modern girl would use the lace for a top for clubbing.

Summer walking coats and a travel coat, with hats, naturally. We want to protect our lovely dresses from dust and rain. You can click all pictures to enlarge.

Lignerie for big and small girls.

Summer hats. The little girl on the right top corner (sewing instructions for her hat below her picture) makes me think of Milly-Molly-Mandy.

I hope you enjoyed the fashion review. For more vintage loveliness, visit all the blogs on Coloradolady's link list here.

Tuesday 15 June 2010

Charming Friends

Sweet P Paulette is a master of tempting others to take part in giveaways or new projects. This time she caught me; I will start my first ever Quilt Along hosted by Charming Chatter:

I joined a bit late, but if you are quick you can still start your charming little quilt and play along. Nothing has been sewn yet! Here is my pile of fabrics, from stash naturally:

You can also use 2 charm packs and some backgroung fabric. Last night I started cutting these 1½" x 5" strips:

Only 166 to go!

Charming friends can surprise you in a nice way. My dear friend Melanie has been travelling in different parts of Great Britain and giving beautiful travel reports on her blog. Now she has sent me a holiday parcel with all this loveliness:

Some basic vocabulary of the Welsh language on a towel and a shopping bag as well as the postcard. It looks too difficult to me, and I have no idea how it should sound, so I will not deepen my studies further.
Melanie also visited the Lake Coniston again. Last year she gave a lovely report from Peel Island, the Wild Cat Island in the Swallows and Amazons books we are reading together. That report, and all the background information she gave, woke my interest in Arthur Ransome and his books. - The Steam Yacht Gondola has been restored by enthusiasts, and it is a beautiful yacht today again. You can read about Melanie's  sight-seeing tour on her at the end of this long blog post.

She also included a pattern booket of angel projects for me. How sweet can friends be?

In my stash use report for May I promised to reveal secret projects when they are no longer secret. They show how deeply Melanie and I are involved in the world of the Swallows and Amazons. I made a Coot Club flag for her and one for me for our bird protection and bird watching activities, and a small one for her Unicef doll Dot. (If you ahve read the books, you will know who she is.)

Dot also received a white flannel nightie, and I sent one just like this to her friend Martha in Germany as well.

Making those nighties I needed a mannequin to get the lenght right, so I used one of these poor things, still waiting for clothes and some hairdressing before they can be given for adoption. This is a real UFO project, because I notice I have mentioned this lot in one of my early posts from March 2008!

The clothes must be made baby-safe, without buttons or any choking dangers. Sewing velcro closures by hand on the tiny seams is not something I look forward to. The big head with thick hair makes it necessary to close the neck in one way or another. I still need to sew the black doll to complete the set of yellow, red and white dolls, as the dolls are meant to represent all the children of the world. The adoption fee, 20 € (or more, like they have added), goes entirely to Unicef, for the vaccinations of one real child.

Thursday 10 June 2010

Launching the Summer String Collection

Raggedy Ann and I decided to have a photo shoot session when I was getting things ready to be taken to Villa Cooper for the Summer season. She was more than eager to pose for me. Here is one last time my big string quilt, all from my stash and for the No Strings Attached Challenge. I still have lots of blues left!

The next quilt doesn't really go with the string theme, but the fresh red and white, polka dotty, pepperminty loveliness matches Ann's stockings and would make any baby happy, don't you think?

Back to the Summer string theme again, the linen and scrappy string bag in feminine colours. You have seen this one too, but we wanted to show a collection!

And here finally comes the newest creation, full of string blocks in amazingly bright and lovely colours. Almost all the strings are for the donated plastic bagful I used for the first bag as well. Notice how Ann learned to catch the sunlight on her face. (We used to watch some Next Top Model episodes together when Mr. K was fishing, and picked up some hints.)

The collection naturally includes the tissue holders I have shown and delivered earlier. With the new shopping bag I'm up to 15 string projects now, and there is still time and strings to make more. If you go to Loft Creations, you will find a long list of names on her sidebar, with  a number of string challenge finishes after the name. If you need new ideas for string projects, visit the ones with a number to see their results. Stephanie has shown many of the non-bloggers quilts on her blog.

I took a couple of pictures in the garden of Villa Cooper, my craft club's shop.

It was a lovely, warm day for a change, but rain and colder weather are expected for the weekend.

Friday 4 June 2010

String bags big and small

This is a new bag I just finished. I took a plastic bag of strings I have from a friend, the leftovers from pieces her mother had cut for quilting. I picked summery colours from the bag for ironing. There were obviously leftover scraps from making summer dresses, curtains and cushion covers.

The string blocks go all way round the bag. I used a foundation and added a thin batting. 

I measured the string blocks and the solid linen/cotton. Just to make sure this would qualify for Stephanie's challenge and not only my "Use your Stash", I made an inside pocket with the last strings of these colours. This picture is rotated; I don't make such narrow pockets.

Then I sewed something I felt I needed last year: a holder for my Epipen. I'm allergic to wasp stings and need to carry a ready to use adrenaline syringe with me, especially outdoors. The syringe is too long for any pocket, and I don't like to carry a handbag in the woods or garden.

This little bag holds just the syringe, and I added a catch for keys and/or phone, if I'm totally without pockets. The strap is long enough to reach from one shoulder under the other arm or behind my back. And yes, everything is from stash! I also saved the ends of the strings I cut making the blocks, they make perfect tiny squares for some future project. (This is why there is no end to my stash.)

Thursday 3 June 2010

VTT 15 - Hoe

This week's vintage thingie is something quite different. It is a tool DH uses a lot in Summer, when there is so much digging and gardening to do. This week he made me a raised vegetable bed, and used this hoe to dig compost soil for it.

The hoe could be seen as a symbol of our family, as the blade is from DH's mother. The handle was broken, so she had a new hoe for her garden. My father made the new handle from a piece of  wood with a natural curve, and my DH combined these two in the first year of our marriage, in the early 1980's. The blade is much older.

Every autumn he cleans the hoe with brush and water and greases the blade to protect it from rust.

The handle is smooth as silk by the hands of the two most important men in my life: my late father, who cut it, and my dear husband, who has used it so much.

I'm growing radishes, peas, lettuce and chive, and calendula flowers. Nothing yet to bee seen above ground!

Coloradolady Suzanne is hosting VTT again, and her list of links is long and interesting.  Be sure to visit everyone.


Thank you for coming by! Happy VTT!

Wednesday 2 June 2010

Stash use Report for May

May has gone and it is time to calculate how much fabric I have bought and used during the month. The "bought" part is easy: nothing! The use part was more complicated, but I only finished this dotty quilt:

It took 3.25 m fabrics, all from my stash. I used a red and white small checkered fabric for the binding.

The 11 tissue holders together with a secret project to be revealed next week took 1 m, making a tiny dent in the string and scrap department. Result for May: -4.25 m!

I have started making a bag with strings, but that will be in this month's report. Stephanie's challenge No Strings Attached has a deadline on June 30th, and I think I will make something small that qualifies for the challenge. The challenge projects must be at least 50 % string blocks, and come from stash. The last condition is easy for me!

I hope you have been using your stash for your projects. Buying some new fabric will feel so much nicer when you have.