Thursday, 27 July 2017

A reminder about Max & Rosie in Cheltenham

Just thought I'd remind anyone near to Cheltenham this weekend that my daughter Frances is having a stall at the Suffolks Sunday Market, on Suffolk Parade in the lovely town of Cheltenham. Frances and her partner Matt will be there with her beautiful hand made wares between 11am and 4 pm on Sunday - please go and tell her I said to say hello. Of course it would also be wonderful if you bought something!!

If you can't get to Cheltenham on Sunday you can always visit Frances' website to buy her gorgeous accessories online. Frances uses original, digital prints produced by my other daughter Laura, in the Fingerprint studio she runs with her partner Jamie. As you can see it's a great family collaboration! I'm really lucky to have two such talented girls!

Here at home I've been working on our Summer Stitch-Along book wrap. You can find all the latest details in the 'News' section at DMTV. We'll be posting this week's instalment later today. (That's Thursday 27th July). I hope you're enjoying working along with us and will post photos of your book wraps in the gallery once you're done! Mine is going to transform an old photograph album and I'm liking how it's coming along even before I do any stitching.

I've also set myself something of a challenge with my latest project. These tiny hexagons do take time to put together but I love the results I'm getting - despite all the raw edges I think even the back of the work is lovely! DMTV members saw how the colour palette was selected last week and very soon I'll reveal how the quilt is coming along. I was thinking this would be a small throw for the back of a sofa but I'm enjoying the piecing so much it's given me some very much more ambitious ideas - we'll have to wait and see how those pan out!

Thanks for reading today. I hope whatever creative thing you're doing it's giving you satisfaction and pleasure.

Love Linda x

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Another Year Older........

I had another birthday this week and celebrated it just how I like to, with family and friends and lots of good food. The champagne went down quite well too. You certainly need some kind of anaesthetic when you reach 66!

Although I always say please don't make a fuss, of course they do. And I'm so fortunate that they know exactly what I'll love.

How about this wonderful antique evening bag my mother found for me? My daughter Frances has her beady eyes on it so I'll have to make sure I get to use it at least once before she sneaks it away. With its gorgeous purple velvet lining it's just her style! By the way, Frances will be having a stall at the Suffolks Sunday Market in Cheltenham on July 30th. She'll have a selection of her gorgeous hand made items for sale and if you are in the area between 11am and 4pm I know she'd love to see you!

After the fun of the party we're back at work. This little garden posy is providing lots of inspiration for our latest project - are you joining in? Make sure to read the newsletter or click on the image in the sidebar of my blog to find out more about our Summer Stitch Along

Don't forget to let us see your work in the gallery - we love to see what you create!
Talk to you soon - Linda x

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

What the hard work is about.......

Summertime is when a walk up the garden path reveals the reason why 'He Who Gardens' perseveres every year against unpredictable weather, marauding rabbits, squirrels and pesky pigeons! 

We're spoilt for choice when it comes to dinner time. Will we have courgettes, broad beans or French beans tonight? Maybe all three and a salad with fresh chilli, wild rocket, mint and coriander for good measure!

No question about pudding - with all those raspberries and gooseberries today it has to be a crumble made using both and served with custard of course. Another reason why I'll never be thin!

With dinner taken care of I can return my thoughts to things creative. On one of our regular visits to my mom recently I photographed the lovely hexagon quilt she made for her guest bedroom. It was finished a couple of years ago and was no mean feat for someone who's now 89. It was English paper pieced using 1 inch hexagons.

I thought it looked so beautiful I couldn't resist starting a new quilt of my own. DMTV viewers will be able to see how that's going next week. I'm using a very different colour palette and the set of the hexagons won't be traditional like mom's lovely rosettes in a diamond arrangement. I'll explain all the inspiration that has influenced my choices in the video meanwhile I need to get back to tacking all those bits of fabric to the papers!

Bye for now - Linda x

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Sewing for me and for DMTV

Who could resist a few hours out in the workroom when, even on a dull day, it looks so appealing?

I know how lucky I am to have a little sanctuary out on the garden where I can forget the woes of the outside world. Some days I have to be prised out!

If you peep inside you can see I've been dressmaking today. I don't have any fabric shops nearby so I had a bit of a spend online at Minerva Crafts last week.

This is their very dark navy and white jacquard jersey. It only takes 1.5 metres to make yet another version of the relaxed dress from last autumn's Ottobre magazine.

The stripes are actually rows of knitted diamonds. I know I'll wear this a lot - all it needs to finish it is the for the hems to be turned. My daughter Frances says I should find a different pattern because this one is so well used it's beginning to look as though Laura and I wear a uniform. I might have to agree because I've made eight dresses between the two of us so far!

In life there must be balance so dragging myself away from my overlocker I've started a project which will be entirely hand sewn. You may wonder what Modigliani, Hans Memling and hexagons have in common. DMTV viewers will find out very shortly.

In the meantime I'm loving having some therapeutic hand stitching to keep me contented!

Bye for now - Linda x

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Pottery and Patchwork

I love it when things get finished! Laura went to collect the pots we decorated at the pottery a couple of weeks ago. They've been fired and look lovely now.

I'm so pleased with how the colours look against my kitchen tiles. The paints we used don't look like the finished article until they've been in the kiln, making colour selection as you apply the paint a bit of a guessing game. I hedged my bets and mixed two or three different ones.

The unglazed butter dish has gone from this........

To this. I don't think I could have had a better result considering I didn't have a spare tile for reference and just had to carry the colour in my head. Mind you, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen and I just love my tiles so I suppose I do study them closely!

The heatwave this week has meant it was easier to sit and sew than to do anything that involved movement! At least I finished the hand quilting on my Rail Fence patchwork. The cushion is a nice, bright addition to one of our garden benches.

Just have to get on and finish the table cover quilt now!

Talk to you again soon - Linda x

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Portrait Shuffle

You may have noticed I'm blogging quite a lot at the moment - that's because I'm in painting mode and painting is so much quicker than quilting. I'd be keeping you waiting for an age if you wanted to see the finished quilting projects from tomorrow's DMTV video - of course they will be finished but not until I've got the painting bug out of my system!

Today I thought I'd have a change from plants and tackle a portrait. This homage to a favourite artist, Vincent Van Gogh, will be another canvas going to The Portrait Shuffle. Everybody knows his sunflower paintings but there's far more to him that that. Just take a look at the Van Gogh Museum in The Netherlands to see the full breadth of his oeuvre. I think his pencil drawings are a revelation.

I've used acrylic paints on one of the Portrait Shuffle's A5 box canvasses for this. Although I've used thickish paint, you can still see the weave of the canvas in this enlarged detail.

The subject matter has encouraged me to paint in a way that's quite unlike my usual style. I needed thick layers of paint to be able to scratch through with the wrong end of a paintbrush to try and get some swirly movement in the background. Normally I work with thin paint diluted with a glaze medium if I'm using acrylics. Quite interesting to try something different!

Bye for now - Linda x

Monday, 12 June 2017

Great Weather for Painting

Considering it's meant to be summer we've been having horribly wet and windy weather all week. Not good for many things but perfect for hunkering down in the studio with paper and paint. I painted most of the weekend although there were interruptions to the peace - a nearby airshow meant there were a few spectacular sightings of planes doing barrel rolls overhead. I ran out to watch every time I heard them approach - you couldn't miss them with such a huge wall of sound. Because of the clouds they had to fly really low to the ground. Gave me goosebumps!

I had a go at capturing the cactus flowers before they were gone for another year. It's a muddled and complex structure so I kept it simple with just one bloom and a few of the least ugly leaves. I had to include some body colour with the transparent watercolour so that I could place white petals over the dark background colour I'd already applied to the lower part of the page. I don't use gouache all that often because I'm not fond of its chalky character but it has its uses at times!

And the artichoke plants which are growing like triffids right now made a good subject for the adjoining page. I love mixing all those different values of green from just 2 blues and 2 yellows.

Looks like I've always been attracted to the same kinds of things. I found this forgotten watercolour in an old portfolio yesterday when I was searching for some more sheets of paper. It's dated August 1994 - nothing changes it seems!

Bye for now - Linda x