…or take four to be precise. Our home improvements are taking a long while to get done, partly because we are on a learning curve with most things, partly because free weekends are hard to come by and partly because two small children don’t really speed things along! These chairs were a nice exception to the rule, though, turning out to be an easier and quicker job than I expected. My Grandma had given us money to spend as a housewarming present, so I bought some ‘Provence Rose Green’ cotton duck from Cath Kidston. It was a simple case of unscrew the seats from their bases, use a (borrowed) staple gun to secure the fabric over the old covers and replace the seats. The only challenge I have is to try and make an extra slipcover for the chair P uses. He insists on a big chair rather than his lovely adjustable high chair to sit up to the table and I don’t want my lovely new fabric splattered with porridge, pasta sauce etc, so I want a removable, washable version. Sewing machine out later this weekend then, to finish the job.
Well, I went and pressed the button and as if by magic (okay, the ‘magic’ of Royal Mail who delivered quickly, but decided to deliver everyone on our street with their next door neighbours mail today. Lucky we are all nice, honest people on our street) today the rest of my fabric for P’s quilt arrived. Beautiful,no? And the colours seem to work really well together. Just a slight hiccup…I spent ages deliberating over shades, patterns, price per fat quarter etc. and then failed to notice that the lovely multi polka dot in the top picture is actually fine needlecord as opposed to the cotton of all the other fabrics. Oops.
Anyhow, no problem, I’m sure I’ll find a use for it- at the moment I’m considering a Noni felted market bag which I made (complete with the fiddly fuschias, which I wouldn’t do again) for my mum’s Christmas present a few years back. I think the larger size, lined with the polka dot cord would be rather lovely.
Of course, the real problem I’m left with is that my careful calculations for how much fabric I need are now out by one. I rifled through my fabric stash and could find any number of blues, pinks, florals etc. but no green to speak of at all really. Then I had a peek in my wardrobe and found a Howies skirt from a few years ago. I think I originally fell in love with the cute little mushroom print fabric, but the style has never really suited me- it’s just a tad to short and flouncy for someone of my shape and age. I’ve hung onto it because it wasn’t cheap and because I still harbour one of those daft hopes you have about certain garments that one day you’ll try them on and magically look good. So what better than a reality check for my wardrobe and a chance for that sweet fabric to look so much better as part of a handmade-with-so-much-love quilt? You can see it nestled in the middle of the ‘final collection’ in the second picture. It fits the sort of ‘magical woodland’ theme that seems to have developed in the prints (the fish are obviously in a pond in a clearing!) and gives another lighter shade to the mix.
I’ve given myself backache tonight, sitting for too long on the floor and using my brand new birthday dressmaking scissors to begin cutting out squares. I’m trying to keep track of the time I’m taking to make the quilt and so far, with planning, choosing fabric and now cutting out I’m on 3 and a half hours of uncharacteristically careful work so far. It’s providing a bit of contrast to the knitting though- at the moment I’m working on a commission (I love saying that!) for Audrey’s Tea Shop, which involves fiddly colourwork that it’s good to have a rest from sometimes. I’ll post some pictures of that soon.
It’s not always great having a birthday in the middle of winter. One year snow meant that nothing arrived by post until a week after the big day. No problems like that this year, a positive flurry of lovely cards and gifts arrived despite the weather. Among them was my lovely new Cath Kidston oilcloth satchel. It will no doubt become a mama bag, filled with spare clothes, emergency crackers, drink bottles etc. along with my usual detritus of knitting, receipts and interesting leaflets and flyers. Still, it is sooo pretty and should last for years and years.
C having taken the day off to spend with us, we went to Lancaster, where, following lunch at the Whale Tail I began the fabric stash I hope to turn into a quilt for P’s move to a proper bed. This needs to happen later in the year and I’m toying with a futon-style bed on the floor as he is so wriggly in bed I think that otherwise he’ll always be falling out and waking up. We also need to sort some safety issues out before he’s able to roam free in his room, but when that’s done I want to make the transition a positive one so I thought it would be a good opportunity to try making my first quilt. I think it’s just going to be straightforward squares so that I can focus on being careful and precise (uh-oh!) in shades of green, just to make a change from the cot quilt in seaside colours he had made for him by my mum. I’ve just spent a happy hour on Fabric Rehab creating a shopping basket of fabric that would mean I could get going. Just got to get the nerve to hit the ‘buy’ button!