Tuesday 25 June 2013

New to me in June

After the totally unexpected success with Auriful it was tempting to try to start a viral "send Catherine a Bernina" campaign but I will stop wingeing about my dead sewing machine except to say that obviously all my sewing projects have ground to a standstill.

The gap left by sewing has been mostly been filled with catching up on work, however it turns out that a ninth wedding anniversary is represented by Willow, and having decided that giving me a wicker laundry basket would not be diplomatic my lovely husband sent me on a basket-making course.

It looks wonky because it has a decorative spiral running through the weaving!  Just wanted you to know:-)

It was such a fun thing to do so if you have the opportunity near you I can highly recommend it.  This was what we made, using willow from Somerset, and for the whole day I didn't once think about ill children, work pressures, defunct sewing machines or anything else other than basket weaving.

Linking up to to the inspiring New to Me in 2013 and looking forward to seeing what everyone else has been up to.

Sunday 23 June 2013

Well, blow me down, Aurifil!

When I posted last I was feeling a bit sorry for myself but my post was totally tongue in cheek and I didn't actually expect anything to come of it!

You can imagine I went quite pink with surprise when I read a comment from Alex Veronelli of Aurifil! Thank you very much Alex, I am very grateful!  I have never had the opportunity to sew with Aurifil thread so I am really looking forward to trying it out, once I have a working sewing machine BERNINA.   

(Only joking!)

Friday 21 June 2013

Search engine maximisation

Bernina    Brother     Pfaff

               Bernina               Janome               Brother                Janome

Bernina       Brother          Bernina           Janome      Bernina

I am a hardworking occasional blogger and maker of sewn stuff.  I need cheering up and a new sewing machine.  Anyone want to send me one?   ;-)

Probably no harm in throwing in a reference to Aurifil too, just in case.


Thursday 20 June 2013

Ups and Downs

Down.  Rattle, rattle, rattle, rattle, bang.   Just as I thought I was catching up the timing has gone on my sewing machine again and the needle started striking the bobbin case and snapped.  Now I have to decide whether it is worth paying to have it fixed or bite the bullet and buy a new one.  Meanwhile, no machine sewing.

Down.  My poor daughter is still under the weather, and I am fitting in extra work whenever she is at school.

Up.  Today this parcel arrived for me from the sweetie shop of fabric stores.

Ali has very kindly sent me a Maxi Scrap Bag so that I can try out an idea I have - it's an idea which requires a sewing machine, but at least I can cut and prepare, and be ready to hit the ground running.  Look at the contents:

Aren't they beautiful?  What a great way of getting a little bit of lots of loveliness.  It reminds me of my dad who spent his wartime sweetie ration on hundreds and thousands (coloured sprinkles) because obviously you got more of them in a bag!  I find Liberty very hard to resist and charm squares and scraps are perfect for playing with.

I have to admit I have stashed some Very Berry Fabrics Liberty in the past which is so pretty that I haven't been able to do more than take it out and ponder, but these are some of the things I've actually made with it:

Round bottom bag with Liberty detail

Reverse applique cushion - Liberty and blue jeans

Liberty origami brooch
Liberty ATC

Experiment using Liberty, linen and embroidery

I'm looking forward to seeing if I can turn the idea in my head into a reality which does the fabric justice.  Thank you Ali.

Saturday 15 June 2013

Slow Blog Linky

Welcome to the Slow Blog Linky Party for June - where you don't have to feel alone if you're not turning out projects at enormous speed.

Not as much creativity as I would have liked has been going on here.  It's been a mad time lately in the Knotted Cotton household - two children off school one after another, and rather too much catching up to do workwise as a result.  But I'm crawling along with my stripey pebble quilt, after an enforced break when I ran out of Oakshott.  This wasn't really surprising because, although I'd drawn up a pattern, I hadn't actually considered any measurements! Winging it means it is turning into a large quilt...  Also on the go are three small secret projects to be revealed shortly.

Temporary or permanent Slow Bloggers are welcome to join the Linky - it stays open for a week and I'd love to know what creations you're working on, or what's been keeping you from them.

Saw this work by Ian Hamilton Finlay at Jupiter Artland, which seemed quite fitting.

Knotted Cotton

You can find the button in my sidebar!

Tuesday 11 June 2013


The Very Berry Handmade Textile ATC swap has come to an end.  You can see the lovely cards in the Flickr group.  It was just interesting to see what variety there was.  And here is the one I received!

Isn't it fantastic?  It was made by Hannah who sent a lovely note saying that it represented a whole series of sewing firsts for her, which you'd never know.   I especially love the tutu and the little beads.  So do my children - the reason I haven't posted it already is that it disappeared and I have just retrieved it from their room.

For anyone who missed it and is envious, there is another swap planned for the autumn, so watch Ali's blog for details.

I really have been very lucky because also in my post was this:

It is a felted penny mat made by Elizabeth, whose blog is full of really beautiful and inspiring things.  As soon as I saw these I really coveted them, and I cheekily wrote to ask if she would consider swapping just one "penny" for something small made by me (not sure how I ever thought I could match the standard).  She has very, very kindly sent a whole mat.

It is absolutely beautiful.  The colours are lovely, and the embroidery is too.

Just in case it looks as if I'm having everything my own way, this is going off to Nicky today, because she liked the one I made for the ATC.  It's tiny mug-rug size.

and here's a tiny glimpse of a Pay-it-Forward gift in progress.

Thursday 6 June 2013

Just stuff

Last weekend we had one day when the children were being so horrible that we declined to take them out into the sunshine for the day as planned.  Of course we then realised that they hadn't wanted to go out all along, so only the husband and I suffered.  Luckily the next day got off to a much better start and we managed to go and see Jupiter Artland

Jupiter Artland is essentially a sculpture park, set in beautiful surroundings around a private house.  It's an amazing place - and a fantastic use of money by the clearly stonkingly rich.

The biggest thing to see is this landform work by Charles Jencks.

It looks like a temple complex built by aliens and then abandoned - you look at it and feel awestruck and mystified, which I like in art!  On the other hand in some places, where parts of the structure come together, there's a much more intimate feeling to it.

I love these folds which remind me of paintings by Alison Watt - if you try googling "Alison Watt images" you will maybe see what I mean.

I think that after you've looked at sculpture for a while everything looks like a work of art.

Wednesday 5 June 2013

WIP Wednesday

What is it about lovely pebbles?!

I keep these ones from family holidays on my windowsill and I was looking at them the other day and suddenly got inspired.  I have started a quilt (a second quilt...) made with Oakshott cottons.

I think it is meant to be.  I just finished making this photo mosaic and looked out of the window.

I had to run across the road to the park to take another picture.

Things like this make me insanely happy.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday 3 June 2013

May round-up

It's not very often that I can do a round-up of the previous month's activity because I am very slow at making things [insert shameless plug for Slow Blogger Linky Party here on 15th June], but this time I actually have enough to make a mosaic.

I know, it's a very small mosaic compared to some but here is my May tally of finishes!

Quilt for Siblings Together; Three Textile Artist Trading Cards for the swap at Very Berry Handmade
I had a lot of fun making the ATCs - they are a tempting distraction when you know you should be getting on with something else...  Liberty Union Jack ATC is going off to my partner this week - she has been very quiet so I hope she likes it.   The quilt is very simple - it was the best way I could think of showcasing these large Joel Dewberry prints, which were a giveaway win.  The blocks are partly hand-tied, so as not to distract from the prints, and the binding is white, with a scrappy section on each side of the quilt.  It will go off to London, to be given to a teenage girl attending one of the charity's holiday camps, as soon as I can label it.

I really hope that June is going to be another productive-for-me month - I want to make another quilt for ST, and I have a constantly-growing "To Do" list.

I'm linking up, for the first time ever,  to Fresh Sewing Day at Lily's Quilts.

Lily's Quilts


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