Tag Archives: Patchwork Quilt

Yay! Well Hello May. The Year Is Simply Galloping By.

May Blooms. Douglas In Amongst The Pretty Weeds!,Rocking Dog

May Blooms. Douglas In Amongst The Pretty Weeds!

I know, my posts are evermore sporadic, whatever happened to my daily Rocking Dog blogs of times gone by?! Perhaps it’s because sometimes it’s too difficult to blog speak, a falling out of like (for I never did love) with Facebook, a busy life and well …does it really matter if I don’t blog. Nearing 450 posts is it time to hang up my blogging finger I wonder. However I am not going to be gloomy, let’s celebrate the month of May. How wonderful the blossom is this spring, skies are blue and birdsong increasingly deliciously evident.

There have been plenty of opportunities to get out and about in the last couple of weeks. Recently we hosted a German creative, Bea Winkel. Bea is on a years stay in the UK, mainly cat sitting whilst staying in peoples homes around the country. OK, we don’t have a cat but I thought it would be good to host a stranger. For four days we talked Angela Merkel, Brexit, healthcare, old age, food and lots more besides. I also showed Bea a diverse Bristol. There was the harbour with its shipping container eateries (can recommend Sholay Indian Kitchen), the SS Great Britain, and Swoon for the most divine ice cream. Less touristy, we did St Werburgh’s City Farm and Feed Bristol. There was a trip to beautiful quintessentially English Tetbury and some good walks with Real Live Rocking Dog. On one walk we dropped RLRD at Sam’s Woof Wash for a radical haircut (can heartily recommend Sam for all your… oops your dogs pampering needs). Bea also accompanied me to see my lovely neighbour who was having a spot of respite at a swish and expensive care facility. In Germany if an elderly family member can’t fund their own care their children are legally obliged to fund the care. One of the highlights of Bea’s visit was a drop in to one of my favourite houses in Hambrook, it’s like a mini stately home and has the most hospitable and gorgeous owners. Apart from the interesting chat we loved the friendly hen eating grapes on the window sill! We spent one morning discussing Bea’s colouring/recipe pages which encourage children to eat a diverse range of fruit and vegetables. It’s an interesting concept. I however feel I rather burst Bea’s balloon when I told her that the average Brit’ does not eat pumpkin. Pumpkins are for lanterns and the pulpy unloved flesh gets thrown away in most households. I then rather guiltily said that my first taste of pumpkin was when I was 40 and visiting New Zealand. It was served in roasted wedges and was rather delicious! After four days it was time for Bea to head off to her next feline stop in Leeds. It was an interesting four days and I look forward to seeing her “take” on Bristol on a future colouring page.

Beds were stripped and there was a quick turnaround with Sorrel, Pete and little Douglas coming to stay. There was time to photograph beloved boy in the sunshine and amongst the flowers. It’s true what they say, never work with children or animals, they never stay in the same place for long! Doug’ definitely wanted to remove himself from my weedy albeit pretty patch! We celebrated a first birthday with the two extended families and friends. There was cake, lots of pies, fizz, millions of cups of tea and a lovely busy little children. It was fun especially as Doug’ loves a good Mexican Wave!

The weekend came to an end, there was a mad cleaning blitz and admin’ tasks on Monday. Meanwhile Tuesday arrived spectacularly sunny. It was time to put on some walking boots and head out with a friend on a route chosen by her (we democratically take it in turns). This walk took us around the Tortworth Estate, Gloucestershire and its piece de resistance is the Tortworth Chestnut which claims to be one of the oldest trees in the country. What a lovely walk, and again so quintessentially English. There was a sweep of verdant green meadowland, trees cloaked in blossom and a church which could so easily be the setting for a Pride and Prejudice wedding. Beside the church we examined the Tortworth Chestnut. It’s not the prettiest tree I grant you, but it had the most beautiful inscribed plaque on a latched wooden gate.

This Tree supposed to be six hundred years old
1st January 1800
May Man still Guard thy Venerable Form
From the Rude Blasts and Tempestuous Storm
Still mayest thou Flourish through Succeeding Time
And Last, Long Last the Wonder of the Clime

This questionably old tree was selected in 2002 by the Tree Council as one of fifty Great British trees to commemorate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Tree marvelled at, we completed our walk and enjoyed lunch in the Tortworth Estate farm shop cafe. It was great to blow away the cobwebs and walk 13,000 steps! Thanks Karen.

It’s hard having been nice for two entire weeks so the remainder of the week I have been quiet. My deafness has returned and it feels as if I am in a giant zorb! It’s exhausting and frustrating to be in social situations even though I think i’ve perfected lip reading! The tv is too loud for any other human beings and i’m sure The Archers at full pelt is unbearably unpleasant! I have used this anti-social time to continue researching “my” soldiers for “The Remember Me Project” and have made good progress on the spring quilt for youngest daughter. The planning of the bathroom is still work in progress, but today we received a video of our copper bateau bath made and now awaiting polishing and its nickel lining. We may have the work done by Christmas!

Next week there’s a blind waiting to be made for a little grandchild’s room (we don’t know what variety it is) who is due to put in an appearance in the next couple of weeks. Exciting times!

So, the bank holiday weekend beckons with the promise of wonderful sunshine. Whatever you are doing I hope it’s lovely, spent with family and friends whilst eating delicious things. Monday for me will be a walk to the Winterbourne Down Village Carnival (listen out for the bagpipers and drummers) and then onto Redland May Fair. What treasures await I wonder!

Love Rocking Dog aka Liz x

Frank Sinatra Hat!,Rocking Dog

Frank Sinatra Hat!

Last Year,Rocking Dog

Last Year

Cake To Celebrate,Rocking Dog

Cake To Celebrate

Brunel's Masterpiece,Rocking Dog

Brunel’s Masterpiece

Feed Bristol,Rocking Dog

Feed Bristol

Eat Pumpkin!,Rocking Dog

Eat Pumpkin!

That Old Chestnut!,Rocking Dog

That Old Chestnut!

New Blossom,Rocking Dog

New Blossom

Spring Quilt,Rocking Dog

Spring Quilt

Research Continues,Rocking Dog

Research Continues

That Old Chestnut!,Rocking Dog

That Old Chestnut!

Yay! It's Redland Fair,Rocking Dog

Yay! It’s Redland Fair

Let’s Try Again! The Rocking Dog Huddle This Wednesday.

Oh You Pretty Things,Rocking Dog

Oh You Pretty Things

For many reasons including heavy snow (sorry, ANY excuse for that link!) the Rocking Dog creative Huddle has not managed to well…. huddle this year. This Wednesday come hail, blizzards and tornado’s the doors of the kennel will be open. Gentle chat, creative bimbling, cake eating and a glass of bubbly awaits huddlers old and new to celebrate the new, now old year! Arrive at 7pm and head out into the snow drifts at 9pm. As ever donations go into the jolly tea pot for “Fine Cell Work” a great charity who teach and support prison inmates to embroider and sew.

Knitting, crocheting, sewing, just bring what you fancy. How about letting out, taking in (I wish!), hemming, pinning and patching. Make do and mend by keeping the skill of darning from disappearing. How much i’d covet a piece of Celia Pym’s darned loveliness! If you come empty handed don’t despair. If you are amenable, I have a quilt in need of about 100 vintage buttons to be securely anchored to it.

I do hope you will come, I can’t promise we won’t talk politics, sex or religion, but whatever the conversation it will be fun.

Love the everso friendly Rocking Dog x

I'm Quite Friendly!,Rocking Dog

I’m Quite Friendly!

There's Always Cake,Rocking Dog

There’s Always Cake

Knit....Rocking Dog

Knit….

....Sew.....,Rocking Dog

….Sew…..

Make Do & Mend!, Rocking Dog

Make Do & Mend!

Button Volunteers Needed!,Rocking Dog

Button Volunteers Needed!

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!

The Rocking Dog Huddle, Wed 25th January

Sew On A Button, Rocking Dog

Sew On A Button

I have felt slightly overwhelmed by January greyness and sadness, so the time has come to plot some positive things onto the new calendar. I have had a good response for starting an informal sew/knit/etc.. group and therefore will be hosting the first get together on Wednesday 25th January 7-9pm at the kennel. I still haven’t come up with a name for the gathering, so for the time being it’s the Rocking Dog Huddle. I intend to host the huddle on a monthly basis, the last Wednesday of the month.

Anyone contemplating coming please do not feel shy or intimidated, you will be made to feel very welcome. You may have a garment that needs a button sewing on, or hems that need altered. It may be a piece of needlepoint or quilting that needs finishing or indeed knitting that needs to finally leave the needles! Don’t worry if you arrive empty handed I have a shelf full of books and templates, small fabric remnants and cottons etc.. to inspire and utilise. We will have fun.

My hope is that in time we can learn new skills from each other. If there is somebody who can rid me of my zip insertion phobia that would be simply perfect!

Of course the chat, the homemade cake and warming drinks will be just as important, and I hope we’ll laugh a lot! A donations teapot will be in situ to cover cost of refreshments, materials and to help support Fine Cell Work, an amazing social enterprise that teaches needlework to prison inmates and sells their products.

If anyone would like any further information or needs directions (I am based in Hambrook, Bristol) please get in touch with me lizferg@btinternet.com.

I really hope you can come! Love Rocking Dog x

Coffee....,Rocking Dog

Coffee….

& Cake,Rocking Dog

& Cake

Share Beloved Bernina,Rocking Dog

Share Beloved Bernina

My Stash,Rocking Dog

My Stash

Haberdashery Stash,Rocking Dog

Haberdashery Stash

Choose A Project,Rocking Dog

Choose A Project

Ribbons....,Rocking Dog

Ribbons….

& Lace,Rocking Dog

& Lace

Make New Friends,Rocking Dog

Make New Friends

It’s A New Dawn, A New Day, The New 2017

But The Kid Is Not My Son!,Rocking Dog

But The Kid Is Not My Son!

Indeed it’s a new dawn, a new day, and the new 2017! Wishing everyone a VERY Happy New Year. I know it’s very rare for me to share a picture of me, I so stay away from camera’s, and please do tell me what a selfie is! So …this is my favourite portrait of the year, but the kid is not my son! Toby is my sons old school friend and we share the same wayward hair.

I am rather glad to be seeing 2016 out. It really has been a finger gripping twisty turny roller coaster ride, both world news-wise and for us as a family personally.

Who would have ever believed that we would be going into 2017 with Donald Trump soon to be residing in the White House? We are living in difficult and uncertain times. Somewhat unrealistically I hope that 2017 brings peace to Syria, a halt to terrorist atrocities and a real desire by worldwide leaders to utilise diplomacy, cohesiveness and wisdom.

Andyman and colleagues have had a difficult year, much too complicated to explain. However, with the rubbish of 2016 hopefully behind them, a new dawn beckons. I am so full of admiration for the group who stood up to bully boy tactics! We are gradually sleeping less fractiously and stress levels have subsided, phew!

There have been so many lovely things that have happened in 2016 and I am forever grateful for amazing friends and family. We have shared a wonderful wedding (Kylie & Alex), when the sun shone, bagpipes played, Motown band got us all dancing and the girls and I cooked for 120!

I loved my role as judge at the local flower show in July, though I did have to taste some rather unpalatable things. I hope i’ll be asked back, it was fun and made me giggle. I’m rather hoping in 2017 i’ll get to go to an together more prestigious flower show, Chelsea. Love it!

We visited lovely places both near and far. Cuba was a particular highlight, an amazing country where I had the humiliating experience of being kicked out of a Salsa class (my mother always said I had two left feet!). We enjoyed visits to Umbria culminating in buying some ancient olive trees with a little apartment close by to watch them grow. Incidentally if anyone fancies watching our olives ripen, it’s available to rent and i’ll post a link later this week. Feel very blessed.

The sewing machine has rattled through various projects (wedding coat, cushions, blinds, stockings etc..) and i’m about to start on my hollyhock quilt. I have fathomed that there are enough delicious vintage materials to make myself an heirloom quilt. How lovely that I have built up a few omnibus editions of The Archers- perfect!

Sewing this year has been a wonderful bonding and rehabilitative craft for a lovely friend who is currently in the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit at Frenchay. Her family have been truly amazing, and I have been humbled by their love, strength, energy and innovation. As for my friend I have no words to describe how brave and determined she is. 2017 there’ll be more sewing, fabric painting and the like with lovely friend. Wishing for progress and continued support and love for all.

Still on a bit of a sewing, crafty theme I really want to start a kitchen table group at the kennel- Stitch ‘n Bitch/ Knit & Natter sort of thing. Haven’t come up with a name- but one eve a month to bring a nodule of crafty stuff and to talk and eat cake, simple. I was thinking of hosting this the last Wednesday in the month 7-9pm ish. Anyone interested, please shout!

There is much to look forward to in 2017, as well as an absolute purge on the house and garden. Paint is flaking, weeds are a growing, damp needs to be kept at bay, a shed needs dismantling and the list keeps growing!  When most folk are in bed I hope to keep on blogging and hope the inspiration for posts keeps on coming.

Have a wonderful 2017, may it bring you and your families many lovely things.

Love Rocking Dog x

Alex & Kylie, Rocking Dog

Alex & Kylie

Sorrel & Pete,Rocking Dog

Sorrel & Pete

Our Liv',Rocking Dog

Our Liv’

Places We Went,Rocking Dog

Places We Went

Cuba,Rocking Dog

Cuba

& Closer To Home,Rocking Dog

& Closer To Home

Glamping....Rocking Dog

Glamping….

...Umbrian Pad,Rocking Dog

…Umbrian Pad

Flower Show Judge,Rocking Dog

Flower Show Judge

Maker Of Coats...Rocking Dog

Maker Of Coats…

..& Cushions...Rocking Dog

..& Cushions…

....Quilts...&,Rocking Dog

….Quilts…&

Helping Others To Make,Rocking Dog

Helping Others To Make

House To Spruce,Rocking Dog

House To Spruce,

& Garden To Conquer!,Rocking Dog

& Garden To Conquer!

Hand Delivered To The New Home Owners- Yippee!

Heirloom Quilt For New Home, Rocking Dog

Heirloom Quilt For New Home

“A house is made of walls and beams; a home is built with love and dreams” William Arthur Ward

On Wednesday evening I found myself travelling London-bound by train with Andyman and Real Live Rocking Dog. For Andyman a Thursday meeting beckoned, and for me a visit to my two lovely girls and to my sister’s family. We took the recently finished Rocking Dog quilt and Moet to celebrate a “new” house for Sorrel & Pete. London house buying has been an arduous and frustrating year long process for them, and I am so pleased they persevered.

Before the embarkation, there was the small matter of picking wild garlic. I went out on a spying mission along the Frome on Tuesday and found clumps ready to pluck. I made the decision to pick the crop early on Wednesday morning. Wednesday dawned, and with it the realisation that there had been VERY heavy rain overnight. The path was now in places under a foot of water, and hopes of picking the wild garlic were very precariously waterlogged! Not wanting to arrive in London without a crop for recipe testing I persevered on slightly less soggy terra firma. I hope Abel and Cole appreciate the efforts us sub-contracted foragers go to for providing test ingredients!

Today started with a dog walk and coffee and cinnamon buns in Hej Coffee, Bermondsey Square. Lovely to find a place that welcomes dogs through their door, serves great coffee, delicious cake and in a calm creative environment. Real Live Rocking Dog and Dougie Scott thank Hej for the Bonio’s! Real Live Rocking Dog enjoys walking (and eating!) in new places and seems to take the train and Tube very much in his stride. He’s a well travelled boy!

A quick view of the new property in Plumstead followed. Lots to do, but plenty of potential. An exciting but somewhat daunting phase for the couple. There are so many lovely things to go into the little house, but remember Sorrel that “The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it”! Ralph Waldo Emerson. Sorry Liv’, I didn’t quite get the time to see your Hackney pad. Hope there’ll be another opportunity soon. I’ll come and have a cuppa around the kitchen table and enjoy 4x over girly banter!

The remainder of the day was spent somewhat ashamedly at Westfield, Stratford with both girls. Culture will have to wait for another day! Lots of trying on, but not a lot of buying. We all especially liked Cos.

Back home now in this somewhat quieter backwater the Magnolia in the garden really is trying to send out its showy blooms. The brook has receded and I hope that today’s dog walk will be somewhat less watery, especially since it transpires I have very leaky boots!

Have a wonderful weekend and I sincerely hope that the sun shines for you!

London-Bound, Rocking Dog

London-Bound

Yippee!!!, Rocking Dog

Yippee!!!

Sentimental Embroidery, Rocking Dog

Sentimental Embroidery

Leaky Boots, Rocking Dog

Leaky Boots

Well Travelled Boy!, Rocking Dog

Well Travelled Boy!

Magnolia 2015, Rocking Dog

Magnolia 2015

It’s Coming Together- The Rocking Dog Quilt

Decisions On Quilt Frouing!, Rocking Dog

Decisions On Quilt Frouing!

Yes the latest Rocking Dog quilt is beginning to come together. It’s great to have a project to take my mind off the problems of living in a very old and crumbly house!

There have been many problematic instalments whilst living here for nearly two decades. Defunct Death Watch Beetle, no damp course, THE windows, the roof, a collapsed sewerage pipe etc… etc… The latest issue is electrical. With electrical folks at their wits ends to solve the unpleasant shocking issues, it could come to a complete rewire! The prospect is a truly unpleasant and expensive. Carpets up, floorboards up, kitchen tiles broken to retrieve wiring, furniture moved etc… etc… and ideally for the ease of the electricians we would need to move out for a week… Agggghhhhh! As with the medical field there is to be a second opinion. I hope there is a miraculous and simple turnaround! I can see why the past inhabitants sold up and moved to a new build. Very sadly for us they decided to take their handmade cobbled together four poster bed with them.

Enough of wattage, wiring and wistful new house living! Progress on the quilt continues with rows sewn together and pressed to give a flat finish ready for “stitching in the ditch’. This is a technique whereby the quilter top sews between the squares to attach the pretty top layer to the batting. I have chosen to use bamboo batting as it is eco friendly and very soft. Though eco friendly there are some air miles to factor in, for it has come all the way from Fort Worth, Texas.

Before sewing recommences there has been a session of collecting things together to complete the quilt. Old fashioned pillow ticking will form the backing, and dog tooth check will form the border. I have chosen a selection of buttons to embellish the quilt, and there is green embroidery thread when hand sewing finally beckons. Vintage French ribbon from my treasured haberdashery box will neatly enclose the three layers. The only thing I am still debating is as to whether I give the quilt a border of eclectic vintage braids. Some of these braids are ones I remember from my childhood, so are sentimental. There are braids too which are Swedish and have come from a now deceased bohemian neighbour. I do like the thought of this piecemeal border as it sits well with the whole ethos of patch working. Evidence of patchwork has been found in Egyptian tombs and ancient China, whilst a huge revival of the craft came about during the Great Depression (1929-late 30’s) when American women recycled worn clothing into warm quilts.

The special two sole walking plate is about to be fitted to Beloved Bernina for the task of quilting to begin. I always think that this sinister foot looks like a Scarab Beetle. I must add that thankfully I have never seen one in real life! The damage caused by that old death watch beetle has been enough for me!

With all the components collected, it is time to indeed bring the quilt together in anticipation of the cold wintry nights ahead. Brrrrrrrr!

Stay cosy and I hope you have a quilt or crocheted blanket to snuggle under. x

Pressing Those Squares, Rocking Dog

Pressing Those Squares

Bamboo Batting Buying!, Rocking Dog

Bamboo Batting Buying!

Border & Backing, Rocking Dog

Border & Backing

Loving Buttons, Rocking Dog

Loving Buttons

Walking Foot, Rocking Dog

Walking Foot

Now Shall We Begin?, Rocking Dog

Now Shall We Begin?

A New Year- A New Rocking Dog Quilt

Rocking Dog Loves Pattern!, Rocking Dog

Rocking Dog Loves Pattern!

Yes, the new year has brought with it the quilt making bug! So, a new Rocking Dog quilt is in the making.

As ever, I am using fabrics from material mountain. Many of the fabrics I have stashed are vintage finds, whilst others have been found in the remnant bins of shops such as John Lewis. Just before Christmas I was lucky enough to find some gorgeous Designer’s Guild velvet banded silks and embroidered linens for £3.95 a generous piece! For this latest quilt I will just need to go out and buy backing fabric and cotton wadding. I love to use pillow ticking or ginghams for backing and framing my patchwork. Ikea, John Lewis and Laura Ashley all carry a good selection of ginghams.

Thus far I have selected fabrics, cut 22cm squares (using cutting mat, template, ruler and rotary cutter) and laid out my fabrics (eight squares x nine squares). I have gathered my patchwork rows together and clipped them together with bulldog clips. These neat piles now expectantly wait on my work bench. Beloved Bernina will soon be whirring away to make the quilt a reality. I will sew to Future Islands.

Some of the squares have vintage lace to attach and then I will sew the squares in each row together. Rows completed, I will press the seams of each square before embarking on sewing the rows together. It all grows very quickly. Further along the line I will enjoy sewing vintage buttons onto the quilt. These little beauties will not only be decorative, but will help secure the layers of the quilt together. One of the last jobs will be to sew a suitable verse or quote to the quilt. I hope i’ll think of something beautifully suitable.

I know many of you will worry about my lack of colour and pattern control, but after all it is horses for courses as they say!

Watch this space for the finished article.

PS. Is there anyone out there up for going to see Rick Astley in Bath 14th April? (is this a very sad request!?) x

Fabric Selection, Rocking Dog

Fabric Selection

Tools Of The Trade, Rocking Dog

Tools Of The Trade

Pieces Cut, Rocking Dog

Pieces Cut

Rows 1 To 9, Rocking Dog

Rows 1 To 9

Sew On Detail, Rocking Dog

Sew On Detail

Jumping Way Ahead!, Rocking Dog

Jumping Way Ahead!

A 2015 Quilt, Rocking Dog

A 2015 Quilt

Think Backing Fabric, Rocking Dog

Think Backing Fabric

Think New Verse, Rocking Dog

Think New Verse

Gifts For The Three Graces!

Jazzing Up Vouchers

Jazzing Up Vouchers

Rocking Dog hopes you have had a wonderful Christmas and with not too many “left-over”meals to endure! Our house is now empty and eerily quiet, and with the realisation that there are Christmas cards that never got posted and presents still awaiting their final destination. Winging their way to London as we speak are presents for The Three Graces a.k.a my lovely nieces. Sorry girls it’s another voucher year.. thought you’d appreciate a trip to murderously busy Oxford Street! Your cruel relatives.

Now for pimping boring plain envelopes. Use fairy cake cases of varying patterns and sizes to create a simple rosette. Use Pritt to glue the layers together. Finally add a pretty rosette centrepiece. I cut these Austen age fashionista’s from an old Selvedge magazine. Voila! A simple frou in literally seconds. (P.S Thank you to my girls for my luxurious Selvedge subcription…..Love it!)

In between eating we have managed some muddy dog walks. Real Live Rocking Dog truly recommends the Bath Skyline Walk. It has commanding views of the city and takes you through a variety of terrains. It certainly blew away the cobwebs on Boxing Day.

I want to make a start on cutting squares for a quilt for Sorrel and Pete. It’s going to be very Arts and Crafts, and I hope it will grace a home of their own, sometime very soon. The Rocking Dog material mountain has been revolutionised by a deep book case, thank you to Leon in Clifton Arcade. Materials are much more easy to select and organise… Hallelujah! The other bonus is that there is floor space freed up to pattern lay and dance!

Whatever the dying embers of 2015 brings, I hope you have an enjoyable time.

Beauty, Rocking Dog

Beauty

Charm..., Rocking Dog

Charm…

And Joy! Rocking Dog

And Joy!

Brass Polishing At Dawn!

Brassy Llama, Rocking Dog

Brassy Llama

With so much to deal with at the moment, I am finding that sleep doesn’t come easily. So at 5am on Wednesday I decided to do some brass polishing to see in the dawn of a new day. Sometimes it’s sewing, at times ironing, cake icing, and other times rubbish TV, but this 5 am I gave my attention to the new -old brass bed for youngest girls room.

It looks as if she’s coming home at the weekend, so the intricate scrollwork was polished with Brasso and a good sprinkling of elbow grease. The detail of this bed is simply lovely. Detailed finials, brass grapes, ostentatious swirls and of course a magnificent beast make this bed so bizarre and unique. So is the mythical animal a llama, mountain goat or deer one wonders. After 1 1/2 hours the bed took on a glow as the first bits of the dawn snuck in. After my black fingered labours I crept back into bed to seek just a little slumber.

Much later, the bed was given a deep sprung mattress and a goose feather quilt. Dressed with crisp white linen, I was finally able to lay out my latest patchwork quilt. It will lay in wait for the raw snowy winter nights when that extra snuggly layer is needed. I give each of my quilts a quote on it’s ticking underside, this one reads “The dank night is sweeping down from the sky and the setting stars incline our heads to sleep” (Virgil)

Sorrel has asked me to sew her a quilt, and I have been gathering together delicious vintage fabrics, including a heavily embroidered Arts & Crafts curtain. It will hopefully move into a house she and husband are hoping to buy in London. I think the patchwork quote will have to somehow reflect just how difficult it has been to enter the London property market (and I appreciate that they are VERY lucky). The speculative and greedy buy to let investors, the astronomical prices, the stressful open days, manipulative estate agents and surveys which flag up WW2 bomb damage have all taken their toll over the last year! Weekends looking for an affordable (!) place to live in, will fingers crossed soon be replaced with frenzied DIY and homemaking. Back to the quilt, I think it will be an after Christmas project. I will so enjoy piecing together fabrics of childhood, home, and scavenging forays. Watch this space for another Rocking Dog heirloom quilt!

An early start will have beckoned as you read this. I will have been down to the St Philips Wholesale Fruit and Flower Market to gather supplies of mistletoe and other wintry flora for a wedding arch I am frouing for a wedding on Saturday. I am excited and apprehensive in equal measure regarding the task which lies ahead- I so love working with flowers and foliage.

PS. It is with regret that I will not be attending the Vintage and Handmade Fair at Chipping Sodbury this Saturday. Life has been truly chaotic and I felt doing this event just a step too far. Sorry.

However, I am still confident that the sale at the Rocking Dog Kennel on Sunday 13th will go ahead, and I so look forward to seeing you. Please contact me if you would like further details.

Swirling Scrollwork, Rocking Dog

Swirling Scrollwork

The View!, Rocking Dog

The View!

 Lookin' Good Llama!, Rocking Dog

Lookin’ Good Llama!

Polished Sunrise, Rocking Dog

Polished Sunrise

From Folded, Rocking Dog

From Folded

..To Turned Back, Rocking Dog

..To Turned Back