Tag Archives: Braid

Rocking Dog Thinks Ahead To A Chocolatey Easter!

Are You Ready For An Egg Hunt? Rocking Dog

Are You Ready For An Egg Hunt?

I got a little bit carried away thinking about a chocolatey Easter. The vibrant blossom everywhere set me mulling over all those forthcoming opportunities to gather flowers, select pretty foil wrapped eggs and making indulgent Rocking Dog bakes for friends and neighbours. Admittedly Easter is still a little way away but there is nothing wrong with a little bit of planning, hunting and gathering! As we left Umbria our local patisserie Michele & Co was beginning to put out Easter loveliness. Crisp white tissue papered packages were embellished with silk flowers, wool, lace, ribbon and twine. His styling is inspirational as are his delicious sweet offerings.

Yesterday I made pretty lined bags for going on a future egg hunt. Gingham was selected as the structured pattern is perfect to use as guidelines for sewing lines of braid and ribbons. I added appliqué eggs and the linings came from a vintage embroidered tablecloth. The bags constructed, I used lace for handles and finally sewed some pretty vintage buttons for extra frou factor.

My favourite garden in the village is in full flourish. It is wild and lovely. Narcissi, Tete de Tete, Daffodils and Fritillaria push through the grass in generous clumps. The garden is bordered by Japonica, Camelia, Catkin and fruit trees. Its organic wild nature makes me smile… always. After cutting back hedges neatly in Italy I had that moment of bad haircut regret! A degree of shagginess and un-eveness definitely gives a garden an air of mystery and romance. This local garden has romance and whimsy aplenty. I can definitely imagine a good egg hunt there.

Oooh I feel a Chocolat moment coming on!

By the way the next Rocking Dog creative Huddle will be on Wednesday 29th March 7-9pm. All welcome. Delicious homemade cake, chat and creativity. Donations into the teapot with a percentage to Fine Cell Work supporting prison inmates to sew wonderful things.

Spring Branches,Rocking Dog

Spring Branches

My Blooming Garden,Rocking Dog

My Blooming Garden

Favourite Garden,Rocking Dog

Favourite Garden

Easter Kitsch,Rocking Dog

Easter Kitsch

Embellished Brownies,Rocking Dog

Embellished Brownies

Vintage Stash,Rocking Dog

Vintage Stash

Michele's Easter Frou!,Rocking Dog

Michele’s Easter Frou!

Calorie Free!,Rocking Dog

Calorie Free!

They're Going On An Egg Hunt!, Rocking Dog

They’re Going On An Egg Hunt!

Make It Up As You Go Along Cushions

Pattern & Texture,Rocking Dog

Pattern & Texture

After a long morning of very boring brain numbing admin’ tasks I needed to sew. I decided on making a pair of large cushions. These were cushions of the make it up as you go along variety. I “played with fabrics putting charity shop bought vintage needlepoints with sumptuous silks. I added in digitally printed fabric, braids, bobbles and lace. I know this melee of textures and patterns is an acquired taste but the idea could be toned down and tamed.

Once I had decided on the fabrics I wanted to use in each cushion I worked out the proportions of each fabric strip. The size of the needlepoint panels gave me the width measurement of each cushion. The cut strips were sewn together and for extra strength I chose to “stitch in the ditch”. Stitching in the ditch involves top sewing in the seams of the panels.

I then frou’d. My motto is definitely more is more! I added vintage bobbly braid, heavy lace, ribbon and glitzy floral braid.

So the front panels are complete and now they await their backings and plump fillings. Watch this space for the finished rather mad “make it up as I go along cushions!”

Wishing you a lovely weekend, love Rocking Dog x

Playing With Fabrics,Rocking Dog

Playing With Fabrics

Charity Shop Tapestry,Rocking Dog

Charity Shop Tapestry

Before The Bobbles,Rocking Dog

Before The Bobbles

Vintage Braid,Rocking Dog

Vintage Braid

& Vintage Lace,Rocking Dog

& Vintage Lace

Silk, Wool, Digital Print,Rocking Dog

Silk,Wool,Digital Print

Sewing Just For Me

A Boxful Of Bling, Rocking Dog

A Boxful Of Bling

Yesterday I did some sewing just for me, and no darling Sorrel I haven’t forgotten your bay window curtains! I was sewingly unsociable shut away in my workroom. The heat outside was uncomfortably unbearable and the news on the radio too depressing for words. I decided to simply shut the door and sew something creative for the kennel.

A cushion-less chair provided fodder for a Rocking Dog sewing pimp.The chair which dates from the 1930’s has been with us for the last 25 years or so. I can’t remember where it came from or how much (or little) we paid for it. For the majority of that time it has been cushionless and therefore a fairly large and useless piece of furniture. It’s funny how you live with some things without question, and the way that they harmoniously blend into the background despite their lack of function.

The day had finally come to make cushions for the long forgotten chair. I started with an old grain sack which my lovely friend Steph had bought me back from India. It had seemingly witnessed overfilled hard times, it required a little patching to make a serviceable cushion. I used some ancient Osborne & Little fabric salvaged from the bottom of my workroom curtains. The oval panels contain exotically dressed little figures and I thought these would make ideal sack patches. I used metallic thread to sew the patches and became evermore crotchety when the thread repeatedly snapped! I then added some Indian bling with sequinned paisley pieces, and glittery braids. I added detail to both sides of the sack, so that I could use the cushion with either the pink script or the red peacock. With all the patching and blinging completed I could then sew the sack into a cushion.

Whilst creating, I loved listening to Woman’s Hour, it was an edition dedicated to young women and social media. Oh dear, I did feel more than a little despondent listening to women with millions of followers on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook etc… My blog is a bit like my gym membership that I had for years, I was ever hopeful that one day I would jump out of bed and realise that I wanted to exercise for the rest of my life! Alas, the day never came and reluctantly I gave up my membership… but it took several procrastinatingly expensive years! As for my blogging… I sometimes wonder whether I should put my energies elsewhere, however there is always the hope that it will get spotted somewhere along the line…… Check out rubyetc …love that girls work and she deserves all those followers… She describes in line drawings my own struggles with bra shopping and the like SO blooming perfectly!

Back to Planet Cushion! Stuffing was a messy affair. I made a cotton liner commensurate in size to the sack. I then filled it with feathers and down from an old sofa cushion. The liner was given a few lines of stitching to prevent any feathers escaping, and then it was time to introduce the cover to the cushion pad. As I wanted the cushion still to be identifiable as a sack I top stitched the opening rather than doing a more conventional concealed seam.

For the seat cushion I used a remnant of brightly coloured Sanderson crewelwork (from the very lovely boys at Whittaker Wells) and completed it with ribbon ties. Thankfully I didn’t have to deal with more loose feather and down as I found a large cushion pad, phew! Voila! my sewing project was complete.

Yesterday evening I did a lovely Mall catch up with my friend Di (lots of talk and not a lot of shopping generally) and we spotted some great cushions in M&S, very Anthropologie. As ever the Dog loves to over-gild everything so I couldn’t resist a bobbled embroidered number to utterly frou the new chair.

Now for those bay window curtains……I’m done with being selfish!

Cushionless Chair, Rocking Dog

Cushionless Chair

Indian Grain Sack, Rocking Dog

Indian Grain Sack

TLC Needed!, Rocking Dog

TLC Needed!

Splendid Patch, Rocking Dog

Splendid Patch

Sequinned Bling, Rocking Dog

Sequinned Bling

Sew The Sack, Rocking Dog

Sew The Sack

Add Crewelwork Cushion, Rocking Dog

Add Crewelwork Cushion

Comfy Seat, Rocking Dog

Comfy Seat

Final Flourish, Rocking Dog

Final Flourish

Hambrook Quilting Bee Hangs Up Her Needle!

Ready To Slumber Under, Rocking Dog

Ready To Slumber Under

Yes, the Hambrook Quilting Bee has hung up her needle- the quilt is finished!

Lots has happened since my last quilt making post. After sewing the squares together I backed the patchwork mass with some cotton batting (wadding) using safety pins to secure the layers. Following this I used a special walking foot on beloved Bernina to do something called “stitching in the ditch”. This is a technique to topstitch accurately between each square and to anchor the various layers together. I then added a border of dog tooth gingham before cutting backing fabric of traditional pillow ticking.

Some very late nights followed, sewing vintage buttons between the squares to further secure the three layers. I used green embroidery thread for the task and left decorative knotted threads on the quilts reverse.

Searching through fabric mountain for edging fabric I came upon my dusty French ribbon box. I remember buying this box at some street market in a now long forgotten French city. I remember seeing boxes upon boxes of ribbons, obviously the contents of some ancient defunct haberdasher. Sadly with space at a premium (no doubt a car bulging with three children, tent and camping paraphernalia) I could only choose one box! This box is labelled “bandeaux autruche coul” Translated, bandeaux means strip, often pertaining to fabric strips used for the hair. Autruche meanwhile is a place in the Champagne region of France, whilst Coul I see as an abbreviation for coleur (colour). As most of the ribbons are in shades of creams through to browns could this be the box that the Haberdasher labelled “Champagne coloured ribbon” ? I am reminded of the custom of buying and wearing new ribbons in books by Jane Austen and the like. In my box I found ribbon to edge my quilt and some lovely old Swedish braid to completely over gild the lily!

I didn’t quite make it round with my edging ribbon so I improvised with a little braid that originally came from my Mum’s sewing box. I have an old Welsh quilt that has lots of odds and ends incorporated into its fabulous make up…and I love it!

Loose threads cut, quilt pressed, there was just one final flourish. I added a verse and chose something from Virgil, the Roman Virgil and not the Thunderbirds Virgil! Incidentally, it reminds me that my son Alex’ as a little boy hated going to have his hair cut, so the promise of a Virgil (the Thunderbirds variety) hairstyle was the only way we could avoid tantrums! Back to Roman Virgil, I love “the dank night is sweeping down from the sky and the setting stars incline our heads to sleep”, thus I penned the verse onto a vintage linen coaster, backed it with Bondaweb and ironed it to the quilt.

Voila! The quilt is finished. I just need to decorate the room it is destined for, so that I can let the patchwork slumbers begin!

Stitch In The Ditch!, Rocking Dog

Stitch In The Ditch!

Laborious Buttons!, Rocking Dog

Laborious Buttons!

Quilting Bee, Rocking Dog

Quilting Bee

Swedish Border, Rocking Dog

Swedish Border

Champagne Strips, Rocking Dog

Champagne Strips

Vintage Haberdashery, Rocking Dog

Vintage Haberdashery

Edging Improvisation, Rocking Dog

Edging Improvisation

Finishing Touch, Rocking Dog

Finishing Touch

Folded & Waiting, Rocking Dog

Folded & Waiting