Month: April 2022

Pleasure of the Week 6: Miniature Patchworks

Some time ago I made some miniature patchworks as test pieces to see how shapes and colours worked. They were fun to make so I made some more. A small pile grew into a slightly larger one. I have now decided I’m going to join them together and make a quilt of quilts. Each one measures 6 x 8 inches, I think I shall need twenty-four. Here are the first ten.

Jane

Pleasure of the Week 5: Chicks with Clean Feet

Okay, Easter was last week but I’m still eating cake and chocolate. Last year I made the mistake of standing the fluffy chicks in the icing and spent the best part of a week trying to wash it off their little legs. Balanced on their nest they stay clean. Who knew that hens made nests from chocolate flakes and Smarties hatched into chicks?

Jane

Pleasure of the Week 4: Tulips

I tend to treat tulips as annuals, buying new ones each year. They are always planted in pots so they are never planted really deeply and I tend to disturb them during the year when I plant other things so they never last. I only have a few so it isn’t that expensive and it means I can enjoy new combinations each year. I have about six old plastic flower pots that I use – David Austen rose pots are particularly good as they are deep and slot neatly in between other pots. This way I can plant them in November, leave them somewhere reasonably sunny but inconspicuous and then bring them out in spring for their moment of glory.

This year I’ve got ‘Couleur Cardinal’ with ‘Prinses Irene’, ‘Rems Favourite’ with ‘Continental’ and ‘Helmar’ with ‘Flaming Parrot’. I’m still waiting for the parrots to open but the others are brightening the garden beautifully.

Jane

Pleasure of the Week 3: The Perfect Spring read, whatever the weather

Elizabeth von Arnim, The Enchanted April

Just as dogs are not only for Christmas and this book is not only for April but it is the perfect spring read and I reread it almost every year. Four women, dissatisfied with life for a variety of reasons, rent a small castle in Italy for the month of April. The country, the castle and its owner all work their charms and, without spoiling the details of the story, it is safe to say that everyone’s lives are improved. A truly uplifting book which proves happy endings do exist. I have four different editions; these are the prettiest.

Jane

Pleasure of the Week 2: Cutting Corners

This is my Patchwork Radiator Disguiser. I love the comfort that this radiator brings on cold winter evenings but I dislike the look of it. Old-fashioned radiators may have been less efficient but they were certainly more attractive. Now the problem is solved with a patchwork which hangs on a bamboo cane and can be drawn back and forth as necessary.

One of the most fiddly things to make in patchwork are sharp, pointy angles. Anything less than 90 degrees and there is a problem of too much fabric to tuck neatly behind the corner. Possibly that’s why so many traditional British patchworks were made using hexagons. But, like so many things that are just out of reach (to the shoddy sewer that I am), I’m drawn to these sharp points – diamonds, stars and even little triangles attract me, possibly because of their seeming impossibility. I have used them in the past but usually as a single centrepiece or in small areas of the main quilt.

Finally I have solved the problem, at least for some points. Rather than creating the tiny triangles I made two squares and stitched the smaller one at right angles on top of the larger one. Hey presto! Triangles with none of the faff.

Similarly to create the sharp corners of each panel I simply stitched the edging fabric over the top. It means pinning the panels in place but this is an easy task compared with eight sharp points for each panel.   

Jane