Yesterday morning we dragged the two teens down to Mudeford for a spot of Crabbing In The Rain. This is Traditional in our family. We do picnics in the rain, swimming in the sea in the rain, visit country houses in the rain. We even sunbath in the rain....
The boys were overjoyed, as you can imagine. F made a brave show of Joining In after I'd bribed him with an enormous packet of m and m's, while L took himself off to the nearest tree which he climbed up and remained in until the rain had stopped, before relocating to the car where he read a book and munched his way through a packet of minstrels.
Ted and Pop thought they were going to enjoy it, but after a few minutes decided they weren't. They looked very fed up at the wet stuff failing out of the sky, the wind and the presence of their leads, which they are not used to wearing for more than 5 mins at a time. Ted made himself feel better by having a Jolly Good Woof at an enormous Alsatian. The Alsatian responded by giving him the kind of long, withering look big dogs reserve for little dogs. The sort that says you wouldn't be making that noise if everyone was off the lead and there were no parents about.
M had considered swimming but wimped out as he realised the full extent of the Glorious English Summer By The Sea that was going on. I enjoyed it and we did catch lots of crabs...
My energy levels are low at the moment. Muggy weather doesn't leave me feeling enlivened, so I'm taking it easy doing lots of sewing and baking while I wait for them to come back up.
First project knocked off over the weekend was J's university quilt. I was going to make it for her as a surprise (she's off to Exeter to study French in Sept), but then decided to take her with me to choose the fabrics. Wise decision, as she chose stuff I would not have done! I'm pleased with the result. She's seen bits of it as I've been making it and is excited about seeing the finished piece, but I'm keeping it under wraps for now.
For those of you who haven't made them before, quilts are built up out of three layers- top, batting (puffy middle- I use bamboo and cotton which is wondrously soft and easy to work with) and the backing.
The process is thus: 1) choosing the fabrics (we lay various bolts of cotton out on the shop floor to make sure they all go together- a process that takes a while but which everyone in the shop seems to enjoy and join in with with thoughts and suggestions), 2) cutting all the squares the same size, 3) choosing the order they go in, 4) trying not to get them muddled when pinning and stitching, 5) cutting the margins, batting and backing to size and 6) pinning and stitching the whole thing together.
It's work I enjoy, provided I've got a day or two clear without too many distractions, and each time I make one I refine the technique so I feel I'm learning as I go. Here are the eight fabrics J chose for her quilt which we started off with as 1 metre or 1/2 metre lengths...
Starting to put them all together over the weekend...
Cutting the batting to size...
And then the backing fabric..
I get through lots of pins! I love these neon pink ones because they are hard to lose!
Phyllis worked extremely hard this weekend stitching everything together. Good Old Girl :o) (Pop also helped by lying down on the soft batting and watching me with her head on her paws).
All the sections are now stitched together and the quilt is ready! Believe it or not, I did iron it all before stitching together. You'd never know it now..
Here it is folded up and ready to be packed away until September...
Project #2 was a skirt for me, out of this lovely fabric I've been holding on to for a while. It took less than 30 mins to make, is a really simple design with an elasticated waist and the template was from another skirt I already have, so no mad dash to the shops for a pattern required either. Easy peasy :o)
I've been making trousers too, which have been a God Send in the recent hot weather as I had a load of cotton fabric in the stash ready and waiting and can run up a pair in an hour or so. I've been learning how to sew pockets in sewing club and have been practicing with OK results. My next project is a tee-shirt- I've got stretchy material to try. Wish me luck on that one :o)
I've been doing quite a lot of baking. Ma gave me a Mary Berry recipe book which has some lovely recipes in. I adapted her tiramisu cake with a few twists and made one on Friday with brandy and mascarpone topping sprinkled with grated chocolate. There is none left. I also made Nigella's caramel croissant pud which has also disappeared, and a berry baked cheesecake which went the same way....
I really need to get back to running :o)
I also succumbed to some new crockery from EB in her sale. This Zinnias design is so cheerful it makes me smile every time I use it. There is a Jug in the same design that I have my eye on, but I think I need to let the dust settle after the recent steady influx of red EB boxes arriving at our house before I order anything else (honestly, what kind of ninny orders new EB stuff the very week her husband has a week off work? I timed that one well... :o)
I'll leave you with some shots from round the garden.
|Shining Flower Beetles|
|Wildflower garden #1|
|Wildflower garden #2|
And T and P, who are sleepy after their morning walk through drizzle-drenched woods...
Hope all are well?