I’m melting…

I feel like the witch in Wizard of Oz, only it’s the heat not water making me melt.  Me and half the country I believe, except those in the Yorkshire Dales, where I am informed it is raining (today at least).  I’m jealous as I can’t motivate myself to sew in this weather (if the truth be known I can’t motivate myself to do a lot really) and the poor garden is so dry I have to put extra effort into keeping the vegetable patch watered but I am leaving the rest to wilt.  To add to this we have just been away for a week and have come back to lots of ripe fruit in the garden so I have been busy making jam and jelly – yes, in this heat!!!

Anyhow, enough typical Brit moaning about the weather.  The studio/spare room is a general 28 degrees so I am just keeping the door shut and have abandoned working there for now.  That’s the price you pay for an entire wall of glass – fantastic light but during the rare heat waves, not the nicest place to be.  That means sewing is confined to the kitchen (again) and a nice juggling act of moving things around to make space throughout the day.

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This is where I work in the kitchen (the photo is from earlier this year hence the empty garden in the background and nice Amaryllis), one great benefit is I have learned to sew well at the machine standing up.  It’s great for the legs and I avoid back ache which I get if sitting at the machine for long periods.  

I have lots of ideas buzzing in my head but I am failing to get them made up into samples, instead I have been buying fabric!  Nothing like a bit of shopping therapy to get my enthusiasm going.  My fabric of choice is a cashmere and wool mix in pale camel, the kind of fabric you can’t pass without giving it a quick stroke (or that could just be me?!).  I would take a photo but I think it’s a bit boring.  I am thinking a new bunny/cat/alien/mouse/teddy…something for babies all soft and cuddly, but if it’s for a baby it has to washable so may have to think on it…more importantly, I am trying to get away from mainly being known for children’s toys, it wasn’t ever my intention and although my first love are the linen cats/bunnies I also enjoy making other things hence the new cushions (and many more things in the production line, if the heat goes down that is).

Halt everything.  I felt bad writing the above and the next day got my act into gear, got the sketch book and sewing kit out and got back on to work.  I had started work on some more linen cushions before going on holiday, based on sweet peas as they look so lovely in the garden and so I have decided to get the sketches worked up into samples.  I am making them for both my Mother and Aunt (who like the designs and have pre-ordered)…better make sure they meet top standards.  At this stage they look like this:

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Better get back to work or they will never be finished. I’ll post a photo once complete and now I am back into work mode there are a lot of other designs being made up so there should be a lots of nice posts to come.

It’s Raining…and I love it!

I know most people hate rainy weather but I love being tucked up indoors watching it rain and what a great excuse to stay inside and sew instead of work in the garden?  The best thing at this time of year is how green everything is.  We (the boys and I) went for a walk yesterday in our local woods, which have sprung into life with bluebells, anemones and milkmaids (the flower obviously, not a bunch of ladies carrying pails of milk) and there was a lovely fresh green just after rain smell.  I like rain so much I even like walking in it, my husband would say this is because I am from Yorkshire, where as he points out when we visit, it is always raining (which is not true, but it does rain quite a lot).

Anyhow, considering Felix is off pre-school for Easter I am surprised I have had a chance to sew but I have been working on new products for the shop for a homeware collection.  The ideas have been in my head (and sketch book) for a while but I have finally made a start on samples, beginning with some cushions.

I recently bought some lovely new linen and wanted to put this to use so I have decided on appliqued cushions, one based on Winter Berries and the other on Magnolia Flowers.  There is a lot of room for improvement, I think I will keep the Magnolia cushion in creams and whites for the flowers, which need to be bigger and the piping cord should be in a colour (I was going to use the printed cottons as a contrast but didn’t want to waste it cutting it on the bias so I will use cord covered bias binding instead, on the samples I used the linen).  I love the slightly retro feel that linen and the colour orange have so I love the Winter Berries.  I will also make them in reds and tweeds I think.  Anyhow, I am pleased with the first run and they will make nice additions to the living room and eventually to the shop.

I have also been making cushions for my sister from some Harris Tweed she brought back from the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.  I am a bit jealous as I rather like them but the kids would destroy tweed cushions in a matter of days.  I used invisible zips on the back but as you can see from the photo, the ‘invisible’ zips open out a bit once a cushion pad is put in.

 

Winter Berries Cushion

Winter Berries Cushion

Magnolia cushion

Magnolia cushion

Tweed cushion

Tweed cushion