Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A finished quilt

Gosh, it seems ages since I last posted. There has been little time for crafting or posting and too much time spent shopping but the quilt is all done and dusted.

The hand quilting was a little painful but I am so pleased I stuck it out. The quilt has now been washed and the wool batting I used has shrunk a little giving it the sort of slightly wrinkly, vintage look that I like. My initial inspirations were the Asa Wettre quilts I saw in August and and I think the quilt has the slightly "Swedish" look that I was hoping for. I had so many doubts and indecisions while chosing the fabrics, they are so different to my usual palette but now that it is done I really like them. The colours go rather well by the tree, making a favourite old chair look all the more inviting.

Here by the window they look fresh and modern.

The fabrics feel soft, I backed with a lovely warm ticking fabric which should help the "cuddle" factor. I hope it will be much loved for plenty of time to come.

This week I had a lovely surprise in the post. This elegant and beautifully stitched star accompanied a Christmas card from Caroline. I was thrilled to open the little tissue paper parcel and discover this, such a wonderful and unexpected gift. Doesn't it look perfect hanging here on the jug? Craft bloggers really are a wonderful lot, thank you so much Caroline, your gift quite made my day.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Christmas is coming

In case you hadn't noticed! We will put our tree up in the next few days, we would normally wait until next week but we need something to lift our spirits amongst all this wind and rain. I use a lot of fresh decorations (for fresh you can insert "free" as I gather it all from our garden and the surrounding countryside), so they will have to wait until next week but the tree will be very welcome.

I have made some new decorations this year having been inspired by all the wonderful creations I have seen around blogland. I love Caroline's stars and the Yo-Yo garlands popping up everywhere are brilliant, I have really enjoyed reading about other people's Christmas traditions in the last few weeks, in particular I enjoyed reading Suzi's post about a Bavarian Christmas. I had really never heard about Christkind before and my children listened avidly as I shared the story with them.

Whilst Christmas shopping on Amazon, it would seem I somehow accidently dropped a little something for myself into my basket. I have always been a fan of Erika Knight and indeed most of the baby garments I have knitted have come from one or other of her books.

This book is perfect, I think I want to knit everything in it, yes really, everything!

I don't think I have ever had a book with so many "must knits". They are all simple, classic, very wearable patterns using yarns familiar to me, a lot of them use fully-fashioned shaping which I really like.

I probably have variations of most of these patterns in other books but it is great to have them all together in one place and all written for yarns that I love.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Stormy Skies

We seem to have been battered by nightly storms all week. Monday night our power went off for several hours (only a week since our last power cut). Our power came back on sometime in the middle of the night but the village remained out in the morning and on arrival at school we discovered it closed for the day, no power and no heat. Delight for the children and disaster for me! A day of cleaning, wrapping, shopping was replaced by a day of playdough, sticking, drawing and picking up toys, ah well.

My current knitting project is in keeping with the stormy weather but I have to say I much prefer the grey of this Yorkshire Tweed to the sky outside. Sadly this is the last of my Yorkshire Tweed stash but I think I will have to visit Ebay and remedy that. I do so love this yarn, 4ply this time but knitting up surprisingly quickly. The project is Salina, from Vintage Style. The pattern calls for Felted Tweed but somehow I got gauge?! The grey is flecked with creamy white which lifts is tones into something relaxing and calm.

I have plenty of other things to show you but all require photographs and the lack of light prohibits photographs for the moment.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

A little more quilting

In the last year I have made a few handmade cards and really enjoy the process of coming up with an idea and trying to see it through. It is time consuming but a welcome distraction from, say the laundry or something equally unexciting. The little quilted card above was made to serve as a thank you for a recent dinner outing we enjoyed.

At the same time I made this birthday card for a friend (he owns a travel agency, hence the theme). Sorry about the terrible photograph, what little light there had been that day was completely gone and I was in a hurry to deliver the card. The recipient opened it and imediately complimented the maker, sadly he believed the maker/makers to be Dylan and Tilly. Humph!

I am still working on the quilt for my Godson, in case you thought I had abandoned it for ever. Once I accepted that it absolutely would not be ready in time for the Christening I sort of put it down for a couple of weeks. However about 10 days ago it once again became the centre of my attention and I have been steadily handquilting. As a result of the hand quilting it would seem I have lost a lot of sensation in two of my fingertips, I think my technique may leave a lot to be desired but the quilting is now complete and I just need to figure out the binding. As I mentioned before this has been my very first quilt and it has been quite a learning exercise but the my enthusiasm for quilting has not been dampened and I do plan to begin another one soon.

Thank you for all the lovely comments on the cake, I really enjoyed reading them. To tell the truth I don't think I would even have dreamed of attempting something like that pre-blogging days. Writing my own blog and reading the blogs of others has made me try so many new crafts and think in a more creative way than I have done for years. I am so thankful for the day I discovered my first creative blog and the whole world it has opened up to me. I fear my housework may have suffered a little as I have less time to spend on it now but nonetheless my life is definitely the richer for blogging.