Sunday, 30 March 2014

Mother's Day

Today has been a lovely Mother's Day for me; the boy picked me a couple of daffodils and gave me some rather nice plants.  Actually the plants arrived by post and had suffered a little in transit but with a little re-potting all was sweet!
PLH was home from sea and cooked us all a delicious roast lamb lunch too - amazeballs!  The roast potatoes were almost as good as my own mum's.  There's nothing quite like being a mother to make you appreciate your own one, and I feel particularly blessed in the mummy department!  Not only is she an awesome roaster of spuds, she's pretty awesome in all round great mother-ness.  She was the one who really taught me to sew, so it seemed appropriate to stitch her a Mother's Day card...
Happy Mother's Day Mama!

Kate x

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Putting the gloss on it

I have never been lucky enough to see a glossy ibis.  They don't, as a rule, hang out over here in the UK, preferring (like many), the warmer climes of southern Europe.  But occasionally they do stray across the channel to our sheltered shores.  At the beginning of the year there was one taking in the sights around Weymouth; I did pop down there to have a look but there was no glossy ibis to be seen.  

I might not have seen one, but that doesn't stop me from stitching one...
Kate x

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Fluttering by...

Yesterday I went to visit my oldest friend's new baby girl.  It seems strange to think that we are both mothers now - our misspent youth seems a dim and distant dream!  We didn't spend much time thinking of the future (too busy singing along to East 17 and fantasising about Brian!!??), although I do remember a couple of teenage baby name conversations featuring names such as Jade and Sky...  Neither of which made it into either of our shortlists as far as I'm aware!

I took a gift of butterfly bunting; I've been keen to make some more of this, it is such fun picking out pretty fabrics to turn into fluttery butterflies.  
This time I went for an array of greens - which turned out to be a good choice as it will go well in baby Maya's room!



I've run out of boxes so trialing a new packaging...
I was also missing my normal labels whilst staying at my folks, so stitched up a quick label for the package...


Right, off to drink wine and watch the GBSB!

Kate x

Friday, 21 March 2014

Awesome avian adventures - an avocet!

At the beginning of the week the boy and I took a trip to Titchfield Haven.  He was recovering from a miserable infection and not up to his normal Monday swimming and music makers, so we packed a picnic and went for some sling snooze birdwatching.  A scan of twitter told of the arrival of avocets at the reserve - oooooh, I love an avocet!

We were not disappointed; along with numerous other brilliant birdies including an enormous number of black-tailed godwits resplendent in their breeding plumage, was a colony avocets.  (Incidentally a "colony" is the correct collective noun for avocets - not as much fun as a "fling" of dunlin or a "parcel" of oystercatchers - see this link for more avian collective nouns.)  With their upturned beaks and long grey legs, these truly must be one of the most elegant of british birds.
A colony of avocets (picture from the BBC news website)
How could I fail to do a little avocet-inspired stitchery?  Here is my applique/free-motion embroidery effort...
An avocet wading through the water bending to feed in that characteristic sweeping motion with that wonderful upturned bill.

Titchfield Haven is fast becoming my favourite spotting spot; it is just perfect for a day out with a toddler.  There are lots of hides, which midweek are quiet enough to let the boy run around whilst I take a look out.  Perfect paths for toddling along, through read beds and woodland; then there is the beach for running off any remaining energy and picking out sticks and stones.  You could easily walk a pushchair around although we tend to stick with the sling.  
I've really loved getting the opportunity to do more birding since becoming a stay-at-home mum (still hate that phrase!).  It's true that unless he's having a sling snooze I can't really stand around for long looking at any particular bird, but he definitely enjoys the fresh air, the walks, the hides and he is forever pointing out "birrs"!

Kate x

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Time for a change?

Despite the myriad things new parents can spend their hard-earned cash on, one thing I found particularly uninspiring as a new mum shopper was the dire selection of travel change mats out there.  Most changing bags come with a cheap and nasty wipe-clean plastic job, and there are a number of slightly better quality but equally dull mats in plain colours.  But given the truly ridiculous number of times we mummies (and daddies) have to change our little ones' little bums, I felt something a little brighter was needed.  
A bright and individual mat, with soft cotton in a fun print on one side, and a wipe-clean surface on the other.  Gently padded and all bound up with hand-finished binding.  Easy to fold up and pop in a changing bag, secured with a ribbon.  Perfect for those precious bottoms!

I've cut out the fabric for a whole load of these so hopefully will be spreading the nappy-changing love.  Halcyon threads - bringing a little colour to those nappy changes!

Kate x


Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Flying geese?

Over the last week or I have been paying more attention to the wonderful brent geese that are so abundant in the Solent area.  Present in their thousands over the winter, they will soon be heading back to the cooler climes where they breed.  I will miss their flying flocks - groups of geese going from here to there across Langstone Harbour.  So elegant in flight, accompanied by a gentle gandering sound.  
Flying geese at Farlington Marshes, picture by Daniel Brown
My latest stitchery reminds me a little of flying geese...
A tenuous connection, me?!  There's been rather a run on baby girls recently amongst our friends so I ran up three sets of pretty bandana bibs for these lovely little ladies...


A little bit like geese, maybe!
Backed with fleece or toweling and hopefully perfect for prettying up those dribbly days!
Kate x

Monday, 10 March 2014

Roses and teddy bears

Over the weekend I took advantage of the sunshine, and having my mum around to keep eyes on the boy, to get in the garden and prune one of our many out-of-control roses.  Actually I think my pruning was a little out of control; there's not much of the rampant rambling rose left across our fence now.  I'm seriously hoping that my aggressive stance will in fact result in a less leggy, fabulously flowering  wonder, but only time will tell.

Having mum to stay for the weekend was bliss, and on Friday night we sewed together with wine and GU chocolate desserts - mmmmm, three of my favourite things - sewing, wine and chocolate!  My stitchery for the evening was a coupe of prezzies for a couple of little girls.  I went through my stash and came across four pretty rose fabrics, which I stitched together, backed with fleece and created two little blankets, the perfect size for teddies and dollies!

 Kate x

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

The WIPs

I gave my sewing box a bit of a clear out and reorganise yesterday - the contents had begun to spill out over the dining room and were proving far too enticing for the boy.  In an effort to save my stash from sticky banana hands and snot I emptied the lot and packed it away again to keep it ship shape.

Whilst in the throes of thrashing out the mess, I came across my many WIPs (works in progress).  Time for an inventory and definitely time to get on with converting the WIPs into works complete, got to keep those new year's resolutions!
A pile of WIPs
So, here goes:

1.  The neglected quilt #1:
I'll be honest - there's no way this is getting finished anytime soon.  I made the patchwork quilt top about 6 or 7 years ago, whilst I was still in the Royal Navy during a leave period.  It was my first real foray into the world of patchwork and the beginnings of reacquainting myself with sewing after many years without doing more than stitching on a button or a nametape.  This completed quilt top was finished pretty quickly - lots of ludicrously late nights as my addiction snowballed.  But since then it has sat in my sewing box awaiting backing and basting and quilting.  One day!
2.  The neglected quilt #2:
A few years ago I bought a moda layer cake and resolved immediately to turn it into a pretty quilt.  An idea for a design soon followed, then the quilt blocks were completed.  But then I edged them with a fabric, which I almost immediately decided I didn't like.  So there's rather a lot of unpicking to get on with, then I need to think about how I really want the quit to look...
3.  The (semi-)neglected quilt #3:
This one is less neglected and more a casualty of my slack attitude towards the timely delivery of presents.  I started this for my godson's Christening which was 18 months ago.  It doesn't need much more work - just finishing the quilting then binding.  This is definitely high up on my list of priorities - it would be nice for little Jasper to get his quilt before he gets to university!
4.  Butterfly bunting:
Another set of butterfly bunting for another lovely new arrival...
5.  Changing mats:
A whole stack of changing mats that I started ages ago!  
6.  Top Secret:
A top secret WIP - here's just a glimpse...
7.  Christmas bunting:
I started this robin and heart bunting for Christmas.  Failed spectacularly to get beyond the first 2 flags so decided to complete it for Valentines Day.  Lost my sewing mojo so that didn't happen either.  I'll get back to this sometime before Christmas 2014.  Maybe.
8.  Rompers:
2 pairs of rompers I started for the boy.  One of which is so nearly complete, the other is just cut from the pattern.  Neither will fit him now; not a great incentive to finish them.
9.  The extra-large owl:
A couple of years ago I decided to make an owl tea cosy for a lovely lady who rather loves both tea and owls.  I designed it myself and was pretty pleased with the results, until I realised it is entirely too big and the wrong shape for any teapot I have seen.  So it was never finished and now I have no idea what to do with it.  Any suggestions gratefully received!
Best I get sewing then.  Not tonight though; this evening I'll mostly be drinking wine and eating pizza with a couple of friends.

Kate x