Sunday, 26 February 2012

Unravel at Farnham

This weekend saw the fourth Unravel show at Farnham Maltings and I spent a lovely few hours there yesterday browsing through all the wonderful stalls packed with gorgeous wool, and related bits and bobs. 
I took lots of photos, some of them a bit blurry but hope they give a taste of the show.

Lots of stalls selling hand dyed wool of all types. From alpaca to mohair and all sorts of rare breeds.

My favourite was the Natural Dye Studio where I drooled over the array of skeins in mouth watering colours.  The blankets made from their wool were stunning, my photos don't really capture the beautiful natural softness and glowing colours.  I bought a 100g skein of  4 ply "Dazzling", and a copy of their crochet motifs book, though I've no idea what I'm going to make yet!

There was a Best in Show competition being set up when I was there.  I loved this patchwork hanging basket filled with knitted flowers

And this Noah's Ark and basket of flowers

The knitted farm on display was cute.

And these beautiful lacy scarves for sale on the Selvedge magazine stand made me want to chuck out my double knit wool and try something finer, though I know I probably haven't the patience!

Lots more of course, but I'll leave you with a pic' of my other goodies.  A vintage basket and some pieces of felted wool for crafting.  Another crochet book!  Some cute ceramic buttons and a pretty felted wool 'phone case.  Should keep me occupied for a while :)

Also spent the afternoon tidying my greenhouse and getting ready for the new season.  Love this time of year!


Thursday, 23 February 2012

Spring Decorating

Bit of a quiet week.  After having loads of ideas I couldn't think where to start and ended up just playing around with piles of fabric and starting some crochet which didn't turn into anything!  Hopefully I'll feel more inspired next week.

The fireplace in the dining room has been looking a bit dull since the Christmas decorations were packed away so I decided to brighten it up with a spring display.   I picked some corkscrew hazel branches from the garden and popped them in a jug, with some gravel to secure them, then rounded up some "springy" bits and bobs to decorate with. 

Together with a few flowers from the garden and the remains of my Valentine's bouquet it looks quite cheerful and fresh!  Just need to figure out how to secure the little Easter chicks to the twigs as they keep falling upside down :)

Now I need to do something with the one in the living room as it still has the tea-light holders on it from Christmas!


Saturday, 18 February 2012

Log Cabin Quilt Done!

The little quilt is finished and I'm loving how it turned out.  I didn't bother with a border to keep it simple.  Trying to photograph it was a bit tricky this morning.  Too gloomy indoors, too windy in the garden, so it ended up in the summer house with the random beachy things that have ended up in there!

I've got a plan for hanging my little quilts, when I've made a few more.  We have a hallway wall that is rather long and dull at the moment and I'm going to get hubby to put up some hooks or something like a peg rail and then I'll peg them on a line along it.  It's on his list of "things to do" :)

We lost our 'phone and internet connection all day yesterday and I felt lost!  No e-mails, blogs, pinterest. Nothing!  At least eldest daughter was home for a few days so there was someone to talk to  Thank goodness it's back today.

I'm off to plan my next project.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Quilt Progress

I decided on the first layout for the log cabin quilt, though I might have to make some of the others in different fabrics!  The back is a cream and blue spriggy fabric that I thought went well and the binding is a lovely soft brushed plaid that gives it a country feel.  I've quilted it on the diagonal and once inside each block, and I'm really happy at how it's turned out.

I did try quilting  in the ditch up and down and then side to side, but wasn't happy with the way it kept puckering towards the end of each row, so ended up undoing it all and starting again. Thank goodness for seam rippers!  My machine is usually pretty good at avoiding that thanks to the dual feed system, so not sure what was going wrong there?

Here's another bit of my room.  I would love a bigger workspace really but I'm happy with my sewing space. The machine lives in a Horn sewing cabinet that stays open and the desk next to it gives me a big flat surface to work on.  I love that the sewing level is flush with the table, the only slight drawback being that as it's a bit lower than it would otherwise be I can end up with a stiff neck if I sew for too long!  Has anyone else got one of these?  Do you find it comfortable?

Just need to hand sew the binding on the back now.


Sunday, 12 February 2012

Log Cabin Layout

I finished my log cabin blocks and need to decide on a layout for the quilt.  It's amazing how different it can look simply by re-arranging them. There must be dozens more variations, but these are some of my favourites. The colour looks a bit off as I had to have the light on in my room, but it's got a nice cosy feel  to it. I'll add a border and it will finish up about 30" square.  About the right size for a wall hanging.


Friday, 10 February 2012

Snowy Garden

Just a few pictures of the garden and the view from upstairs this morning just as the sun was coming up.  It all looked quite magical, until it started melting and turned to slush!

Lottie's in there somewhere!  

Hope you have a good weekend.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Little Quilts

Having tidied away all my wool for a while, the shelves on the other side of my room have had a big sort out.  This rather ugly unit was in our living room at our last house, but it does a good job of storing all my bits and pieces now.  Just wish I'd taken the time to paint it white.

The fabric had a tidy, with lots of the bigger bits moving to another shelf unit and I found some new boxes to house all the little scraps and strips etc.

This little quilt top was pieced together a few years ago and I finished it off  a couple of days ago.  It's from the book "Little Quilts all Through the House" and I've seen loads of variations on the internet. All of them a lot neater than mine, I'm sure!

I've challenged myself to use up a lot of the strips I cut ages ago, so out came some of my books for inspiration.  Little quilts really appeal to me as they're quick and easy to make and look lovely displayed on the wall. 

Kathleen Tracy has written four wonderful books on the subject and has a lovely Blog.  Also check out Hen House and the beautiful quilts she has made if you need any more inspiration!

I've made a start with some log cabin blocks.  Hopefully it should look something like this when it's done

Now I need to go and put some more logs on the fire!

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Spring Flower Blanket Ta dah!

It's finished at last,  Yippee!

I've spent the last week joining the squares together and tidying up the ends as I knew I wouldn't get round to it for ages otherwise.  It was a great feeling to finish the border and stand back and know it was all done. The sun was getting quite low when I finished, but I took it out the garden for some photos.

I just love the colours. It's so spring like and pretty. Definitely a keeper, this one :)

It seems like it's taken ages, but checking back it has only been a couple of months with not much being done over Christmas, so not too bad.

For the border I did a single round of double crochet, (UK terms) and then a simple shell round of 3 trebles into 1 dc, miss 1 dc, slip stitch, miss 1 dc.  I tried a few ways of doing the corners and settled on 3 trebles in the corner stitch and 2 in each of the ones either side, giving 7, which seems to work ok.  I couldn't decide what colour to use so I used a different one on each side!  Well, why not :)

The wool was a mixture, the same as my last blanket Here,  just leaving out some of the brighter colours.
It's quite weighty at 2lbs 11oz / 1.2kg which works out at 24 x 50g balls.   At about 4 feet square it's a nice size to snuggle under on the sofa, or lie on the end of a bed.

I've really loved making this one and enjoyed reading all your comments.  It's so much more fun making things when you can share them with loads of other people, rather than just hubby saying "nice, what's it for?" !!!!

So, what's next?  I've been getting inspired by quilts again and think I'll try and finish some of my old w.i.p.s before starting some new doll quilts. Watch this space.

Hope you have a lovely weekend