Tuesday, 24 March 2009

A weekend of cutting it, making it, doing it. And books of course!

As I am allergic to the smell of paint - that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it! - whilst Himself was repainting our bedroom I got crafty. The bedroom, just in case you're interested, was previously a pale green, lovely and calming, up to the picture rail, then a creamy colour above. However, of late I have begun to feel it a bit cold looking, not a snuggly down under the eiderdown sort of colour, so the hunt was on for a new one. Well, the walls became a patchwork of matchpots as I went from yellow, which I thought I wanted but realised it would be like sleeping in a bowl of custard, to a pinky shade which I thought too girly for a shared room, with a variety of other colours thrown in. Maybe that's what I should have done, got all the matchpots, added them to a basic magnolia and used the results? No, you're right, perhaps not. In the end, we settled on Farrow and Ball's SMOKED TROUT, which sounds a bit uninspiring but in the end turned out like the lovely chocolate and hazelnut mousse from Oenken. The result is that the room is warmer, cosier, the contrast between walls and dark furniture more marked and therefore more pleasing to my eye, and since the colour has been extended above the picture rail, the room looks taller. I joined in for the best bit, the finishing touches, choosing pictures, stitched ones, photographs and watercolours, all in dark brown frames. Husband sighs with relief at another decorating job completed to Madam's satisfaction!! And he needn't hold his breath waiting for the next 'brilliant idea' as I am happy with all the rooms now. Or should that be 'for now'???

Back to my weekend. As you can see, I have been cutting hexagons for a flower patchwork quilt, in primary colours, these red and green fabrics being the first ones I am using. I thought I would also include a mini version... now I should tell you that each of the little flowers on the mini quilt, and it is quilted as well, is made up of seven individual hexagons, each the size of a tiny little finger nail. My hexagons are about an inch and a half in diameter, so you can see how tiny the others are, and it's a one in twelve scale quilt. A dear, dear friend made two for me.. this one is in the male-inhabited dolls house, I am yet to find a feminine dolls house that really appeals to me, but when I do, I have a quilt for the lady inhabitant's bed all ready.
The friend was a lady called Pat, who was married to a Polish woodcarver and they lived in a wonderfully typical Norfolk cottage of brick and flint, next door to me, when I first came to live in Norfolk back in the early Eighties. He made the most wonderful carvings and was responsible for many of the beautiful village signs this county has in abundance, and she made fabulous tapestries, patchwork quilts (full size) and crocheted lacy bedspreads. Then she got into miniatures, and crocheted bedspreads in sewing cotton with the finest hook available. She made tiny pictures, carpets and quilts. She taught me how to do needlepoint, to design my own. She taught me new crafts and revived my interest in others, and was known affectionately in our family as 'the mad woman with a stick'.. she walked her two dogs every day, needing a stick to help her most of the time. Sadly she died some years ago, and I miss her encouragement and telling me that of course I could do it, but if I didn't try..... her legacy to me was the two quilts.

Another creative job this weekend was to finish off this little one-twelfth scale carpet. I made it years ago, but never got around to backing it. There is another one still to go, but by the time I had sewn in threads and so on, I had had enough of the miniature world. This is in reds, greens and creams, done in one ply knitting wool, on canvas which has twenty four threads to the inch. It measures six inches square.

I also made some bunting for the front of the summerhouse, out of bits of the patchwork fabric. It's not exactly the colours I wanted, but I wanted to use this as a trial run for the 'real thing'. I was quite pleased with it, and as you can see, we had a gloriously sunny weekend, with beautiful blue skies and lots of sunshine.

And of course a weekend without books wouldn't be quite right, so here are a couple of new craft books I bought, having been enthused by a certain Pipany and her beautiful workwomanship with embroidery. It is many years since I did any, in fact I don't think I have done any for about twenty years, the last time was when I was on dialysis in the mid-80s, when I had no energy sometimes and spent a lot of my time sitting around. I had a whole load of craft items on the go, I get bored easily you see, and an embroidered picture of a dog and kitten, worked in long stitch, was my first attempt at embroidery since school days and the obligatory pot holder or cross stitched hem on a pinafore. It turned out really well, but since then I have only done cross stitch, never gone back to lazy daisies and chains and stem stitches. I have a boxfull of skeins, beautiful strong and vibrant primary shades, soft and delicate pastels.. now all I need is the right fabric. But these two books are full of helpful hints, and an outright beginner will find them invaluable, and the transfers are gorgeous. None of your ladies in crinolines, which I was a bit disappointed about to be honest as I rather like them, but some beauties all waiting to be stitched all the same.


mountainear said...

I used to love making things for my doll's house - but I never made anything quite as exquisite as that little patch work quilt. (not sure I would have had the patience in truth)

I did make little rugs and carpets though - but shh, don't tell anyone - I never got around to backing them either.

Pipany said...

I had a doll's house and loved making things for it too. Good luck with the embroidery PFG and the bunting looks great! x


PFG, Your miniature quilt and rug are magnificent. I, too have taken up embroidery again due to inspiration from Pipany. I have restored our daughters dolls house for Muffin(Grand daughter), and she loves it. My big bender at the moment is knitting for some vintage dolls I have bought on EBay, and bought materials in the U.S. to make my grandchildren Golly Dolls.

Elizabethd said...

Your mini quilt is jsut lovely, all you need is the dolls house now!
Embroidery isnt my favourite thing, though I do admire people who can. My love is counted cross stitch, the more complicated the better!
Thank you for visiting me recently.

Calico Kate said...

Mum made my dolls house in basket work and then Nan and she made curtains and cut pieces of real carpet for it, and gramps wired it up for electricity and each room had a little light bulb, until the batteries leaked and the system stopped working. I still have it though sadly no-one plays with it.
As a reward for learning my times tables mum would make me a peg doll Mum, dad and baby then various aunts and uncles, they all lived in the house rather like Milly Molly Mandy's family, unfortunately now though I have mislaid the dolls and most of the furniture.
Thank you for reminding me of this.

Quilting Cat said...

Love the miniature work PFG and glad you like hexagons also, I think they have a real charm about them. I think I am beginning to enjoy embroidery more than quilting now and congrats for finishing those UFA's, I should learn from you.

gaohui said...

As soon as the chilly winds Abercrombie Polos initially start to blow every year as autumn sets in; people go to their closets Abercrombie Polos and pull out their sweaters dog coats and ed hardy Hats jackets to ensure that they are comfortable as the temperature drops. Your Ed Hardy Sale dog deserves this equal treatment so when you pull out yours, do Ed Hardy Sale remember to pull out your dog's warm dog clothes as well.If the night is chilly, but Ed Hardy Swimwear not quite freezing, even something as Ed Hardy Swimwear simple as a warm dog sweater will help you to keep your dog warm.