Friday, 21 July 2017

Such a long time.............

.........since I've posted on here!!!

Back in the Spring in fact, and now we're already half way through the summer.

Not quite sure how I've filled that time but I know I've been busy doing something!

The garden is looking quite colourful and productive so I know I've been spending a lot of time sowing, potting on, planting, taking cuttings, watering, weeding and yet more weeding and watering!

We have picked our grown from seed broad beans, and are currently picking the climbing beans and dwarf French, all which have been good this year and surprisingly free from the usual slug/bird/rabbit attacks. The broad beans suffered a lot of black fly this year, which the ants valiantly tried to keep under control, but it didn't seem to hinder the growth of the bean pods.

For the first time I'm trying soya beans grown from seed and they seem to be doing well. I've also got a fair few runner beans although I've lost one or two plants which seem to have just faded away although I'm not quite sure why as there is no sign of any insect attack.

I've also grown outdoor cucumbers from seed and they are romping away with the first cucumbers almost ready for picking. The courgettes are a bit slow this year so we haven't yet picked any but there are lots of baby courgettes coming so it won't be long.

I grew rather too many kale plants, both ordinary (Reflex) and red (Curly Scarlet), and they are looking pretty healthy and growing nicely. So far no sign of caterpillar attack although now I've said that.........

The swiss chard and spinach which I planted direct came to virtually nothing, so we've re-sown in pots and will plant out another batch in a week or so.

The tomatoes are just about ready to harvest in the greenhouse, and they are the only vegetable plants I bought as I left it far too late to sow any seeds this year. A kind neighbour topped up the few I'd bought so I have 3 or 4 different varieties ripening, including a golden cherry type.

I've had a good few days out visiting gardens for inspiration and buying a few new plants. An annual trip to Sissinghurst for my Birthday was brilliant as usual, and a trip to Great Dixter was perfect too. I always take new ideas away from these gardens, whether it be new favourite plants or planting combinations, or a clever way of growing or staking vegetables.

The following photos are of Great Dixter Gardens, Northiam, East Sussex.
 Great Dixter

We had a gloriously peaceful week in Cornwall with the dog back in June, where we walked to pretty Port Isaac in the rain from the holiday cottage, visited numerous beautiful sandy beaches and coves, explored a few National Trust gardens including my all time favourite Trelissick Gardens on the Fowey estuary, and pottered round quaint villages and towns.

 Port Isaac

 King Harry Ferry adjacent Trelissick Gardens, Fowey Estuary

I also had a day out in Arundel a few weeks ago, and whilst there visited Arundel Castle where the gardens were a huge surprise. So much to see and so totally unexpected! Well worth a visit if you are in the area.

Arundel castle gardens

an enormous peony flower, so beautiful!

I have done very little sewing these last few months as the garden has taken over, but I have made a few little things, and I've also added a few new items in my Etsy Shop.

 dish or pot stands soon to be in my Etsy Shop

 provence lavender filled sachets and hearts are in my Etsy Shop

 lavender filled antique fabric key fobs

I also have another Etsy shop now, an Etsy Studio shop which has a few supplies for making your own items, mainly pincushions at the moment, but I'm hoping to add a few new items in the coming weeks including upcycled and vintage fabric bundles / patchwork pieces.

Thank you for your visits and comments on my last post. I look forward to catching up with you on your blog very soon!

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Spring Makes

Hello everyone! It's been a month or two since I last posted, and spring is thankfully here!


New makes this last month include neck scarves that double as headbands and a couple of new cushions. I couldn't resist making Logan his own neckerchief!

The LOVE cushion with crochet letters is already in my Etsy Shop here and the Tilda floral cushion will be heading in there soon.

Soon to be listed in my Etsy Shop are lots of pretty lavender filled hearts pictured below -  made from vintage embroidered linens, antique floral linens and cottons, and linen hearts with applique roses. They are all filled with a heavenly scented lavender from Provence.

Also going into my shop are some more linen glasses cases. 
I only have two left at the moment, both in a pretty duck egg polka dot Rose and Hubble linen, lined with natural linen, but I shall be making more of the pretty floral and polka dot linens that I have made in the past which have now all sold.

I also have a charcoal grey polka dot linen tea cosy lined in red and white stripes with a heart applique going in to the shop, and a couple more planned.

Hope all is well with everyone, take care xx

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Pieced and Quilted

Just a quick post to share my latest makes, and to share a quick way of making a cushion back using an old shirt!

After a bit of a break from creative sewing last year, except for a few commissions, I've finally got back into sewing again and realise how much I've missed it.

Last year I pieced together this triangles cushion front and hand quilted it, but then never found time to make it into a cushion.

I've now finished it using an old work shirt as a back. 

I love to use this method as it is both a good way of getting more use out of a shirt no longer fit to be worn, and for making a quick cushion back without the fuss and bother making buttonholes (which I hate) or having to cut out fabric to make an envelope closure.

How to Use an old Shirt to make a Cushion Back
Lay out an old (but washed and ironed) shirt and cut along the side and shoulder seams to separate the shirt front. (Remove breast pocket if it has one)

Using your finished cushion front as a pattern, place it carefully onto the shirt front making sure the button closure is placed centrally, and check the buttons /buttonholes are not where you will cut.

Once you are happy with your placement, pin the cushion front to the shirt and cut around it. 

Now place the cushion front and shirt back right sides together, making sure to undo two or three buttons to allow for turning it the right way round once sewn up, then stitch together around all four sides. 

Trim seam to within 1/4" of stitching and neaten off either with zig zag stitch, pinking shears or using an overlocker.

Turn cushion cover to the the right side and press.

Job done!

I also used this method of cushion back for another cushion which goes well with this one. 

This one is made from vintage linen and vintage lace.

Both of these cushions will be heading into my Etsy Shop this week.

At the weekend I added some pockets to a reversible apron I made for my Mum a couple of years ago.

Before, without pockets.......

 And with pockets.....a large one on the floral side....

.......and a smaller, double pocket on the patchwork side

The double pocket came about by chance. Attaching a long pocket like the one on the reverse would have covered up a lot of the patchwork design, and having already sewn up the double sided rectangle I just folded it in half, then dropped it down an inch, then attached it to the apron stitching down two sides and the bottom leaving both top sides free. 

Voila! A double pocket.

I made another one of these reversible patchwork aprons for my daughter.

One side is a pretty strawberry print on a white background with a contrast waist band and ties in a little red polka dot fabric.

The other side is the strawberry fabric striped with the red polka dots fabric.

Hopefully the weather is finally warming up now. 

I came across this photo yesterday of daffodils in my garden flowering at about this time, on 10 February 2014, but I cannot even see the buds yet this year, so Spring is well behind at the moment compared to past years.

Also from the past, I came across these sweet photos of our Toy Poodle Logan with our beloved Bessie whom we lost a couple of years ago.  A bit fuzzy, but so cute lying next to each other and acting in unison with first their sleepy heads up, and then heads down!

 heads up.....

and heads down!

 playing in the sun

Cat in a pot!

We do miss our Bessie!

Thank you for all your comments on my last post, it is lovely to hear from you and I'm trying to visit your blogs too.

Have a good week everyone!