Sunday 27 April 2014


This is the beginning of my Rona cardigan with the Rowan yarns I showed a while ago. I have been testing all colour combinations and the three different square patterns that make the biggest part of the cardigan.

These are all my favourite colours.

I still need to practice on this square to get it the same size as the others. I love the 3D flower!

This is a new project, to support the New Children's Hospital 2017 charity. Villa Cooper will have a closet full of bird theme items donated by the members of our club. The proceeds will go 100 % to the fundraising, just like the price of my Happy Scrappy Spring quilt.

I decided to make a low price product, a mug rug. Little birds appliquéd on linen with a heat and bond type material, and just machine stitched a couple of times around the edges with straight stitch.

I kept the shapes simple but noticed how easy it was to change the look by changing the wing angle

or playing a little with the legs to give a busy look.

Luckily I had an almost full reel of 20 mm bias binding to finish the edges. I made some careful measuring and sewed the bindings in loops before attaching to the square. Easy!

Look, there is a hint of green in the young birches!

Sunday 20 April 2014

Happy Easter

Tiny Easter chicks

Even tinier bunnies

Tete-à-tete daffodils

First Brambling of the year. We usually see one or two in the Winter months, and in the Spring they come with common chaffinches.

Allergics, stop looking! Pussy willows:

Birches full of pollen this morning.
Yesterday was warm up to 16C/60F and it was all the nature was waiting for. It feels like Spring is really here!

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Silver Darlings

You'd never guess what I have been sewing this week. I needed this self-painted polka dot polyester satin.

I used the shiniest silver lame I could find at the local fabric shop with my sister P. My mother's fabric saving pattern placement advice came in handy:

They are herrings, nick-named silver darlings in Scotland and Ireland, and my niece needed them for her stall instead of a bunting. She is Ireland's only herring pickler, and her company's name is Silver Darlings. Look here: @silverdarlings1.

I copied her logo herring, enlarged it, did my sewing tricks, Mr K. made a 16 mm punching tool for the eye fabric (and cut the eyes for me),

and now the 14 jolly herrings are on their way to Ireland. My niece Kirsti has her stall in Limerick's Milk Market every Saturday, and she will take part in a special event in May. Imagine a tall young pretty Finnish blonde with her pickled herring jars, and these silver darlings dancing above her head at the stall. They must put a smile on everyone's face, and people will come and taste some of her almost exotic Nordic style pickled herrings and buy a jar to take home.

This year the Winter was almost non-existent, and so the season between snow and green grass seems endlessly long. This coltsfoot is the first wild spring flower, photographed in our yard yesterday.

Ages ago our crocuses were showing, and now they are showing half an inch more, but they are not green yet, or showing buds.

The tulips I planted last year are about two inches tall. This morning we had -4C/27F, but it will be a sunny day and get a bit warmer.

What has been the strangest thing you have sewn?

Thursday 10 April 2014

Strings in the wind

Earlier this year Stephanie of Loft Creations challenged her readers to use up their strings and make string block projects without a deadline or any other rules. Finally I have started my own new quilt, using the free String-X pattern from Quiltville. As it was a sunny day, I arranged my 15 first blocks outdoors on the terrace floor. I snapped this photo and was just going to turn the last block the other way...
...when the wind came and scattered all my blocks around! I have my strings assorted according to colour in 6 boxes, and tomorrow I'm going to add one or two colours to my sewing table and maybe put the blue box aside for a while.

At last I got a picture of my favourite little friend, the robin. They come to eat at the bird feeder now that we have peeled sunflower seeds there. Their tiny beaks are not meant for hard food, and as insects are still hiding from the cold(ish) weather, the seeds will do them good. Our feeder is like a building site canteen for most of our little birds who are busy trying to find a place and building their nest and charming their partner. Fast food is a time-saving option!

The swans are back too, I saw them from the school window last week when I was having my last Tunisian crochet class and they were having an evening flight to the pond by the school. I will share my crochet project when it's finished.