Tag Archives: Material Mountain

Strawberry Season- A Rocking Dog Salad

Strawberries For Supper,Rocking Dog

Strawberries For Supper

Rocking Dog was inspired to make a quick summer salad using some punnets of local strawberries. I love to use fruit for savoury salads, a favourite is sliced fresh peaches with buffalo mozzarella, basil and toasted pine nuts. Butternut squash, broad beans, feta and raspberries together with roasted pumpkin seeds and a zesty dressing is another delicious summery bowl. In late summer figs and goats cheese make a wonderful base for a salad.

Last nights salad utilised the following ingredients:- Edamame beans (I used frozen), strawberries, baby spinach, whole toasted blanched almonds, finely grated lemon zest, juice of one lemon, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, chopped fresh mint, creamy feta crumbled, seasoning.

Drop edamame beans into boiling water and cook until tender. Drain and refresh the beans in cold water to help retain their colour. Toast the almonds by dry frying them in a small pan ( I use this method as I am less likely to forget them rather than toasting nuts under a grill!) Make dressing with zest, lemon juice, and a good glug of olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar. Grind in some black pepper and salt. Assemble salad by tossing together all the salad components and the dressing. Serve with some good bread.

I loved the baubles I bought recently in the clearance section of Ikea. I knew when I saw them that they’d make good strawberries! I made strawberry leaves from tiny pieces of fabric found on Material Mountain. I used an air erasable pen to draw my leaves. After cutting the pieces out I used Beloved Bernina to sew lines of stitching to emulate leaf veins. I finally cut a small hole in the centre of the fabric to thread through the bauble wire. Voila! summer baubles to decorate gifts or hang for summer parties.

Whatever the weekend holds for you I hope it’s happy and summery

Love Rocking Dog x

PS Rocking Dog Huddle Wednesday 26th July 7-9pm. I would love to see you here at the kennel for chat, cake and creativity. Donations into the teapot for Fine Cell Work encouraging and supporting prison inmates to sew & embroider.

Strawberry Deliciousness!,Rocking Dog

Strawberry Deliciousness!

Chelsea Strawberries,Rocking Dog

Chelsea Strawberries

Rocking Dog Tart,Rocking Dog

Rocking Dog Tart

Summer Baubles,Rocking Dog

Summer Baubles

Stylish Wrapping,Rocking Dog

Stylish Wrapping

Summery Rocking Dog Gift Tags,Rocking Dog

Summery Rocking Dog Gift Tags

A New Rocking Dog Quilt In The Kennel

Latest Rocking Dog Quilt,Rocking Dog

Latest Rocking Dog Quilt

I am still a deaf old bat! Holding conversations has been difficult and so I have used the opportunity to seek solace in my sewing machine. A new quilt has been started and finished in the kennel and i’m rather pleased with it!

It all started with the glorious 1930’s embroidered bolster cover bought at Bermondsey Market. For a long while I contemplated how I was going to do this embroidery justice. I started collecting together lovely floral materials and vintage linens from Material Mountain. They stayed together in a lavender scented box waiting for the day when I could give myself the time to make an heirloom quilt.

Looking at the worn bolster cover I decided to remount the fabulous flower border embroidery onto a new backing. With some intrepidation I ironed Bondaweb onto the back of the embroidery. The Bondaweb was used to help prevent fraying and to eventually adhere the embroidery to the new mounting fabric. I carefully cut around the Delphinium and Hollyhock spikes, there was simply no going back now!

I then cut squares of ticking for the central panel and a variety of floral fabrics to create my double sized quilt. I used a patchwork template, rotary cutter and cutting mat. I spent time creating my quilts layout and as in the past chose to use pattern throughout. I worry that plain fabrics can really “kill” a quilt! Some of my squares were sewn with vintage lace and embroidered coasters to add additional texture. The squares were collected up into rows and pegged together. Sewing could begin!

Rows of squares were sewn and then the resulting rows sewn together. A quilt was forming! All the seams were pressed neatly and then it was time to adhere the embroidery onto its custom made ticking panel.There followed the somewhat laborious task of hand sewing the embroidery using carefully matched threads.The quilt panel was then laid onto its “filler”. For this I used the thick interlining of a bargainous curtain I had purchased a while ago in John Lewis. I pinned the quilt to the interlining using safety pins, working from the centre outwards. I then “stitched in the ditch” sewing carefully through each seam of each square. There was a tremendous amount of fabric to feed through the machine and I found it helpful to roll the quilt to help with the manoeuvrability.

It was now time to add the backing fabric for my quilt. This time I used the actual fabric from my aforementioned Designer’s Guild bargain curtain, it continued the floral theme. Again I used the safety pins to attach the layers together. I then laid the quilt out on my dining room table and sewed vintage buttons to each corner of the patchwork squares (leaving the outer edges free of buttons). On the reverse of each button point an embroidered thread tie was knotted. I chose white and clear buttons for the ticking panel so that the beauty wasn’t taken away from the delicious embroidery. After all that button sewing I added a quote from Oscar Wilde to my quilt. On a vintage coaster I wrote in indelible ink “I have many beautiful flowers” he said “but the children are the most beautiful flowers of all” (The Selfish Giant). I Bondaweb’d and hand sewed this in place. Finally I sewed a 5/8ths line of stitching around the outer edge of my quilt before shearing away extra fabric and interlining.

I chose a deep ribbon from The Makery to provide the neat edging for my quilt. I pressed the ribbon in half along its whole length and sewed this in place with two rows of stitching. I finished each of the corners with a pretty button. Loose threads cut, remaining safety pins removed, and quilt pressed Rocking Dogs 2017 quilt was complete!

Happy footnote. I entered this and another quilt into the Frenchay Flower Show. I won first prize in the quilting class and a cup for best handicraft in show. I was quietly chuffed!

Piecing The Patches!,Rocking Dog

Piecing The Patches!

Sew The Rows,Rocking Dog

Sew The Rows

Choosing Thread,Rocking Dog

Choosing Thread

Hand Sewing,Rocking Dog

Hand Sewing

Ditch Stitching,Rocking Dog

Ditch Stitching

Fabric Roll,Rocking Dog

Fabric Roll

Pretty Backing,Rocking Dog

Pretty Backing

Button Anchors,Rocking Dog

Button Anchors

Showtime!,Rocking Dog

Showtime!

A Quick Vintage Tea Towel Make From Rocking Dog

Jolly Tea Towel,Rocking Dog

Jolly Tea Towel

The weather was miserable yesterday, even usually super keen Real Live Rocking Dog did not want to move from under his cosy blanket. I was waiting for lovely Mr Cooker Man to put new elements into my oven, so I decided to do a little bit of sewing. I found a jolly unused vintage tea towel on Material Mountain and decided it would make a great beach bag. The linen tea towel was a recent 50p purchase in a local charity shop. I searched on the Mountain for suitable lining fabric and found a nautical striped fabric remnant. From start to finish the project took under an hour.

If you want to make your own bag:-

1 pretty tea towel
Lining fabric cut to the same size as your tea towel
Apron tape, ribbon or string for handles
Cotton thread

1.Take your tea towel and fold it in half. Unless your tea towel has an overall pattern without script you will find the print on one of your “halves” will be upside down. I cut my tea towel in half so that any script would be right way up on each side of my bag.
2. Check your two tea towel halves have script/pattern going in right direction before placing the halves front side to front side.
3. Sew a narrow hem to form the bottom seam of the bag. Press the seam, and then sew the two side seams. Trim any loose threads.
4. Repeat with the lining fabric but leave a gap of approx 8cm in one of the side seams. Turn the lining out to the right side.
5. Place the lining into the tea towel “bag” aligning the seams neatly. Pin the bags together before hemming the layers.
6. Pull the tea towel bag through the gap in the side seam and then sew the hole up neatly.
7. Push the lining into the outer tea towel bag. Push the corners out using a pencil or chopstick. Press Well.
8. Sort out straps for your bag. I used a double layer of apron tape, sewing the layers together with rows of red stitching.
9. Turn over and press 4cm or so of your lining fabric onto the front of your bag. Pin your straps into place with the the rough edges concealed under your turned over fabric.
10. Sew two rows of stitching, one at the top of your turn over and one at the bottom. Your straps will be neatly and securely concealed under this contrasting bag rim.

Voila! A stylish and unique beach bag for next to nothing. Right where is the sun and where is the sea– i’m beach ready! Somewhat embarrassedly I have never been to Norfolk, i’ll have to put it on my sixty by sixty list!

PS. Youngest lovely sent me this. I thought this article was a thought provoking read in these uncertain times.

Tea Towel & Lining,Rocking Dog

Tea Towel & Lining

Seam Free Lining,Rocking Dog

Seam Free Lining

Stitched Strap,Rocking Dog

Stitched Strap

Lock In Those Straps!,Rocking Dog

Lock In Those Straps!

Beach Ready!,Rocking Dog

Beach Ready!

T'other Side!,Rocking Dog

T’other Side!

Make It Up As You Go Along Cushions Complete!

Mad Or What!,Rocking Dog

Mad Or What!

My make it up as you go along cushions are complete. I used some soft deep blue denim to back the cushions. I created envelope style openings, no zips, buttons or ties just neatly sewn overlaps.

As the covers were not of sizes compatible with standard cushion pads or pillows, I made my own. In my Rocking Dog hoard I had a huge bag of feathers and down. Simple! I made bolster cushion liners using a cotton sheet. The fun came when filling the liners. By the time I had finished generously stuffing them, my workroom looked as if a cat had got amongst the pigeons! I quickly sewed the open seams shut with two lines of stitching. The clean up could begin!

Plump characterful cushions made from fabrics and bits and bobs from Material Mountain. Voila!

Pastoral Scene,Rocking Dog

Pastoral Scene

Going Digital,Rocking Dog

Going Digital

Denim Back,Rocking Dog

Denim Back

Other RD Cushions,Rocking Dog

Other RD Cushions

Tea Towel Cushions,Rocking Dog

Tea Towel Cushions

Coronation Make,Rocking Dog

Coronation Make

Doggy Cushion,Rocking Dog

Doggy Cushion

Rice Sack Cushion,Rocking Dog

Rice Sack Cushion

Proud As A Peacock!, Rocking Dog

Proud As A Peacock!

A Rocking Dog Make- Lined Drawstring Bags

Holiday Packing!,Rocking Dog

Holiday Packing!

Today a simple Rocking Dog make, lined drawstring bags. These stylish bags are off on a voyage today with friends. They will be perfect for collecting up holiday laundry or holding a stash of socks or lingerie.

Material Mountain was raided for fabrics (main, lining and appliqué scraps). Oh dear my burgeoning textile stash could do with a comprehensive sort.

I hope the photo’s in this post will give you an idea of how I tackled this project. I love the construction of the bags, as all the seams are completely concealed between the main and lining fabrics-ingenious!

Not much script today, it’s all on my blackboards!

Wishing you a lovely weekend and Bon Voyage to our seafaring friends.

Love Rocking Dog x

 

Material Mountain,Rocking Dog

Material Mountain

The Detail,Rocking Dog

The Detail

Hot Iron Required,Rocking Dog

Hot Iron Required

Applique'd Socks,Rocking Dog

Applique’d Socks

Sewing The Bag,Rocking Dog

Sewing The Bag

Important Gap,Rocking Dog

Important Gap

Coming Together!,Rocking Dog

Coming Together!

Magic!,Rocking Dog

Magic!

All Sewn Up,Rocking Dog

All Sewn Up

Near To Finish Line,Rocking Dog

Near To Finish Line

Use A Safety Pin,Rocking Dog

Use A Safety Pin

Bon Voyage!,Rocking Dog

Bon Voyage!

Rocking Dog Does Each Peach, Pear, Plum…

Each Peach, Pear, Plum..., Rocking Dog

Each Peach, Pear, Plum…

Rocking Dog does each peach, pear, plum. Just what project to complete or embark on? Having had a bit of a long lasting headache this week, decision making has been rather difficult. On Tuesday night I was awake at 4am and I decided on a peppermint tea, pain killers and cuddle with Real Live Rocking Dog. The thought of clandestine sewing or ironing I couldn’t contemplate, so I watched a little TV. A programme about Hitler’s drug habit followed by a smaltzy Christmas movie soon sent me scuttling back to bed!

So  on the Rocking Dog workbench there are indeed a number of projects which require my attention. There are three Roman blinds to finish for the newly weds. They require complete accuracy to ensure a good fit and un-wrunkled drop. Accuracy, I am the first to admit is not one of my strong points! I must persevere and deal with the mathematics of the folds. Curtains next time Alex and Kylie..curtains.

There is a sweet cross stitch panel (number 3) which has been worked by my very brave friend. It is so lovely to spend time bonding over embroidery. Panels completed, I then do a “Tailor of Gloucester” and make the work into something pretty and useful. I am SO proud of my lovely friend’s incredible strives for recovery. I am so sorry for my oh so painful needle threading- it must be so exasperating to observe! x

Talking of cross stitch, I loved the apron stitched by one of the East Quantoxhead village hall ladies. I did ask if I could photograph her charming cross stitched bosom!

Also on the bench is a bale of scrumptious yellow striped silk which will become simple window panels. They will be edged with some coordinating ribbon (fantastic choice to be found at Livingstone Textiles, Bridport).

A fabulous floral single quilt cover also awaits my attention. The cover will be engineered into four pillow cases to accompany a much larger quilt cover. Perhaps you are asking why I didn’t just buy pillow cases. In short, I bought the single quilt in TK Maxx for £16 and now discontinued, the pillow cases are a ridiculous price on eBay…so…

Other sewful things to contemplate are squares to cut for my heirloom floral patchwork quilt. Then somewhat scarily there is sewing for Christmas. My Rocking Dog sales at the kennel will soon come around! Weds 30th November 6.30pm St Andrew’s Day Celebration pre Christmas sale, and Sun 11th December 11am – 2pm Christmas at the Kennel. Profits from refreshments for Young Carer’s and BUST

In the kitchen, the table is laden with jars, jam sugar and local cider. Today I am going to ask my neighbour if I can buy apples from his mini orchard. We affectionately know him as the Log Stealer, for if we ever have any tree work he’s there in minutes with his mini tractor and trailer, helping himself to the lopped branches. Cheeky!! Apples hopefully scrumped i’ll make Apple & Cider Jelly. It will hopefully be for sale together with other preserves and festive eats at my sales.

I REALLY haven’t got time for any more headaches.

Sew Blind, Rocking Dog

Sew Blind

Vibrant Pillowcases, Rocking Dog

Vibrant Pillowcases

Silken Windows, Rocking Dog

Silken Windows

Brave Cross Stitch, Rocking Dog

Brave Cross Stitch

One We Made Earlier, Rocking Dog

One We Made Earlier

Quantocks Cook, Rocking Dog

Quantocks Cook

Patchwork Squares, Rocking Dog

Patchwork Squares

There's Always Christmas!, Rocking Dog

There’s Always Christmas!

Plea For Apples, Rocking Dog

Plea For Apples

Rocking Dog Bunting To Colour In

Bunting Garb', Rocking Dog

Bunting Garb’

Good morning from the Rocking Dog kennel. I hope you have had a sunny and restful weekend. The Dog has been making bunting for some very special little ones. Six pennants of white have been sandwiched by pennants in pretty prints. The hope is that exquisite little drawings and words will adorn the plain white pennants to make jolly wall hangings.

1.I made my bunting by firstly making a template. Taking an A4 sheet of paper I folded it in half and then drew my pennant to the size I wanted. I cut my pennant, unfolded it, and then transferred it to a piece of card. A rotary cutter and metal ruler was used to cut out my final template.

2.I chose fabrics and bias binding from Material Mountain. I selected a white cotton sheet for the plain pennants. Cotton is a really good fabric when using fabric paints, fabric pens or fabric crayons.

3.Use your template to draw out your pennants. Remember if you are using pictorial print make sure you draw out your pennants with the print in the correct direction. The white pennants can be cut out economically by drawing around template with point at top of fabric and the next with point towards bottom and so on.

4.Put your pennants fabric right side to right side and sew the two long sides together. Continue to sew all your pennants.

5.Now turn your pennants right way out. Use a pencil or chopstick to poke out the point. Press all your pennants with a hot iron.

6.Use the hot iron to press your bias binding (you could also use ribbon or fabric tape) in half its whole length.

7.Start by sewing your tape approximately 10cm before adding in your pennants between the folded bias binding. Again leave 10cm at the end (these will be your ties for hanging your bunting)

8. Press, and then get the little artists decorating!

Shortcuts. Use your template to pinking shear single layer pennants, or you could cut paper pennants and glue ribbon to link them together.

I’m hoping to get all artisty this week by getting down to some mosaic in the garden. The best laid plans……

Whatever your week holds I hope it’s a good one.

Mini Bunting, Rocking Dog

Mini Bunting

1970's Bob A Job Bunting, Rocking Dog

1970’s Bob A Job Bunting

Select Fab' Fabrics, Rocking Dog

Select Fab’ Fabrics

Template Time, Rocking Dog

Template Time

Economical Cutting, Rocking Dog

Economical Cutting

Start To Stitch, Rocking Dog

Start To Stitch

Snazzy Thread, Rocking Dog

Snazzy Thread

Add Pretty Tape, Rocking Dog

Add Pretty Tape

Neat Piles, Rocking Dog

Neat Piles

Bagged Up!, Rocking Dog

Bagged Up!

Ready For The Artists, Rocking Dog

Ready For The Artists

Mosaic To Continue, Rocking Dog

Mosaic To Continue

A Weekend In Fabulous Colour

Vases Of Cottage Flower Colour, Rocking Dog

Vases Of Cottage Flower Colour

The weekend bought with it blue skies and other fabulous colours. On Friday I bought lovely cottage garden plants from a street stall at a local town. These leafy purchases are currently residing in that rather infamous cast iron roll top bath. Six months on it is still waiting for a gang of burly youths to move it, ready for my vegetable garden planting.

On Saturday after a day of mainly domestic dross, we headed into deepest darkest Wiltshire to eat with the newlyweds. Whilst on honeymoon in Bali they took the opportunity to have a Balinese cooking lesson. Recreated for us the food was yummy, we especially loved the green beans with spiced coconut. Thank you A & K.

Sunday morning, Andyman and I headed for Frome, a 45 minute drive from the kennel. The first Sunday of the month Frome plays host to an amazing market. Flea, food, craft, plants and a plethora of other goodies, this small Somerset town throbs with people, noise, dogs and bunting. Many of Frome’s shops open their doors, whilst a number of enterprising householders also sell their wares on their oh so familiar doorsteps.

We bought a couple of old pitchforks to continue the embellishment of our fence, and a trio of rather sweet old hand painted decanters. After a coffee I sniffed out a fabulous material shop James Gaunt in Church Street. Many of his fabrics including silks were £5 per metre. Some citrus yellow striped silk proved irresistible! Material Mountain- just…..well…keeps on mounting!

Bramble & Wild offered a beautiful array of garden flower posies and Elizabeth Lee Interiors showcased her shop with a wonderful ad hoc display of vintage galvanised metal buckets and watering cans.

Frome really is the perfect place for a spot of shopping for gifts. I certainly know where i’ll be doing my Christmas shopping this year. Absolutely utterly not Michael!

Out on the streets The British Blanket Company had a wonderful stall with the softest and most colourful snugglies. However, being fiendishly warm it was rather difficult to think of cold chilblained nights when a blanket will be an absolute necessity. Plant stalls, artisan food, street food …it was all rather lovely.

A pop up beach was proving very popular with  children who were making the most of building sandcastles, whilst parents enjoyed sinking into  striped deckchairs.

I definitely recommend a visit to this 1st Sunday Frome extravaganza. Make use of the Park & Ride and definitely aim to arrive early. Yesterday it all got rather uncomfortably busy, so it was “Home James and don’t spare the horses!”

The weekend finished with eating food at the “Souk Kitchen”in Southville. It was lovely to catch up with friends who’d made the brave move to live in France. As ever we ate beautiful and colourful food. Plates of octopus, calves liver, salmon, Halloumi etc.. all with Middle Eastern twiddling were stunning. The panna cotta was also so very lovely and glorious to look at. Food and banter at the Souk was the perfect end to a very colour infused weekend.

Wishing you a very happy and productive start to the week, one hopefully with lots of colour!

Safe travels Huw and Selina.xx

Bathfull of Colour, Rocking Dog

Bathfull of Colour

Blue Skies In Frome, Rocking Dog

Blue Skies In Frome

Deckchair Stripes, Rocking Dog

Deckchair Stripes

Rainbow Blankets, Rocking Dog

Rainbow Blankets

Mary, Mary...., Rocking Dog

Mary, Mary….

Green Door, Rocking Dog

Green Door

Monochrome, Rocking Dog

Monochrome

Citrus Silk, Rocking Dog

Citrus Silk

Souk Colour, Rocking Dog

Souk Colour

Rocking Dog Resurrects An Ancient Skirt

The 30 Year Old Skirt!, Rocking Dog

The 30 Year Old Skirt!

In pursuit of finding lining material for Christmas stockings on Material Mountain, Rocking Dog came across a long forgotten skirt. Put on my material stash to up-cycle, memories came flooding back of how much i’d loved the skirt when I bought it in 1986! I remember buying it in a dark and rather dingy basement store in Park Street, Bristol. Ever the bargain queen I bought it from a massively reduced sale rail, together with a dress (which awaits its fate on Material Mountain). I can’t remember how much I paid for them. Ever camera shy no photo’s exist of me in the skirt, but I do have a photo of me in the dress enjoying the Italian Lakes with a bonneted 3 month old Sorrel!

British born Wendy Dagworthy had her own design label until 1988 when the recession hit. She went on to be a tutor at Central St Martins and then a Professor at the Royal College of Art until retiring in 2014. Many of her clothes utilised Liberty print and my skirt incorporates Liberty lawn. The printed fabric is loosely gathered to a broad stretchy cotton welt. If I remember correctly my skirt is actually a dress, the welt forming a “boob tube”. However, in my ownership it has always been a long skirt.

So much has happened to me personally in the thirty years since I bought this skirt. Three children, six house moves (including a move from abroad and a house build), numerous jobs (midwife, school nurse, outreach worker, teacher, catering company owner), 1 lovely husband, 1 grumpy dog, becoming an “orphan”, lots of travels and thankfully generally enjoying good health. Over that time I have gathered valuable life experience. I always say that I wish that at 20 something I could have known what I know now. My mantra includes, it’s not the quantity of friends that matters, it’s definitely the quality. Depression is a bitch! It’s knowing that the length of time grieving for someone is not quantifiable, but life invariably becomes sunny again. It’s being able to put things into perspective and working out what really is important. It’s always being open to learn and experience new things, because time, well it simply…… flies!

Back to the skirt, rather than being reconfigured into something else, it has found a place back in my wardrobe again, and i’m rather pleased!

PS A very rare photo once again… the first to appear on the blog since New Year!

Organised Material Mountain, Rocking Dog

Organised Material Mountain

1980's Label, Rocking Dog

1980’s Label

Rocking Dog Cuts Out Christmas Stockings…Again!

Vintage Loveliness Ready For Sewing, Rocking Dog

Vintage Loveliness Ready For Sewing

Rocking Dog decided to use the stash of fabrics bought at the Vintage Jumble on Saturday. So on my workbench the lovely Pooh fabric has been cut into stocking shapes ready to be sewn. The stockings will have cheery green & white gingham linings and will be embellished with some lovely frou! I have also cut stockings from a bright 60’s print. This little piece of fabric has been stashed on Material Mountain for a long time. A green check tablecloth bought at the jumble will provide the linings. More Marie Antoinette pretty feet boots have been cut, and in due course will be embellished with buckles, French ribbon and bobbles. Perhaps if I leave everything out on my work bench something magical will happen, those little mice in Beatrix Potter’s “The Tailor of Gloucester” will sew and embroider my stockings exquisitely!

Christmas really doesn’t need to be all about green, red and gold. It can be about French toiles, 50’s and 60’s prints, crewelwork and Pooh! I know it’s really early to be sewing such festive wares but shops are like Boy Scouts, they like to be prepared….dib,dib,dib!

No,no,no….. absolutely no Michael!

Vintage Jumble Fabrics, Rocking Dog

Vintage Jumble Fabrics

More Pretty Feet!, Rocking Dog

More Pretty Feet!

Ribbon Stash, Rocking Dog

Ribbon Stash

Embellish, Rocking Dog

Embellish

Festive Stash, Rocking Dog

Festive Stash

Material Mountain, Rocking Dog

Material Mountain