Tag Archives: Rocking Dog Quilt

Hollyhocks & Criminal Ladies

Profusion Of Hollyhocks and Criminals!, Rocking Dog

Profusion Of Hollyhocks and Criminals!

Good morning from Rocking Dog, I hope you have had a good weekend. I was in London over the weekend attending the Anniversary Games at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The stadium now has its new livery of maroon and sky blue, West Ham FC now in residence. Although it was great to see Usain Bolt run, a world record being won (Kendra Harrison USA 100m hurdles) and a host of paralympic events (Please Watch this amazing link), the weekend wasn’t all about athletics.

A very balmy Thursday evening was spent on the roof terrace of my brother in law’s workplace. We enjoyed cocktails and fabulous views across the Thames to St Paul’s and beyond. It is such a beautiful cityscape, though we spent some time discussing what Christopher Wren would make of his city. Friday morning, me, my girls and nieces headed to Bermondsey market. Sorrel and I, ever eagle eyed spotted some truly yummy embroidery. The owner obviously loved it and told us that she’d put an inflated price on it in an attempt never to find a buyer for it. Evidently she was genuinely keen to hang onto it. I adored the bold stitchery of the hollyhocks, delphinium spire, pansies, marigolds, phlox and billy-button daisies. I went to sit on a bench to deliberate and cogitate! Sorrel and one niece then went off to seal the asking price deal. The stall holder was somewhat shocked and crestfallen when she saw them approach, cash in hand. She asked if she could have an hour to come to terms with selling it, but eventually agreed on a 10 minute stalling period. If you are reading this blog piece Mrs stall holder……thank you so much for begrudgingly parting with it! It will be Sooooooo truly loved!

I think the piece probably dates from the 1930’s and is currently a slip cover for a large bolster style cushion. After careful consideration, in Rocking Dog’s hands it will more than likely become an exquisite central panel for a quilt. I propose surrounding it with vintage floral fabrics together with 20’s-30 embroidered pieces and fabulous vintage braids. As you probably know Rocking Dog has a penchant for embroidery, and loves a tray cloth, tablecloth or serviette to reconfigure. I will steadily accumulate materials to work towards starting this project. I want to find beautiful cottons and the like which help to celebrate the central panel.

Maybe some of the pieces I will use in the quilt will be iconic 20’s /30’s Crinoline lady embroidery. Between the wars cheerful embroidery was undertaken, sometimes using iron on transfers. Crinoline ladies, flowers and garden subjects were all popular at the time. In addition a whole variety of housewares were available with images of crinoline ladies from table linen, paper and foil crafts, china to early plastics. In our household crinoline ladies have always been called criminal ladies. Sorrel as a child misheard what these vintage ladies were called, so criminal they have remained.

Cumbersome, with steel or whale bone hooped cages the Victorian crinoline was a hazard to wear. Women died or were left badly burnt if they happened to brush against a fire or if a hot ember landed on the multi layers of fabric. In addition, their dresses could get caught in factory machinery or the wheels of a carriage. One woman in 1885 however luckily survived as a result of her crinoline. Sarah Ann Henley, a barmaid working in a public house in Ashton, Bristol had her engagement broken off, in despair she decided to throw herself off the Clifton Suspension Bridge. She survived the 246ft (75 metres) drop because her crinoline acted as a parachute. Sarah went onto marry and lived to the ripe old age of 85yrs. Another interesting fact is that the little Unitarian Chapel in Frenchay, Bristol has a crinoline door. The doorway is wider at the bottom than the top, so as to allow crinoline wearing church goers to pass into the chapel easily.

The hollyhocks part of this post is a bargainous curtain I bought yesterday in John Lewis, Westfield. A display curtain I have several metres of fabric for little more than the cost of a metre. The fabric is “Hollyhocks” by Sanderson and is based on a documented design from 1937. I have a cunning plan that I would like to make a fabulously flamboyant floral coat to attend Chelsea Flower Show 2017. I love Kaffe Fassett’s tapestry hollyhocks (sadly REALLY financially out of my league!) but am very fond of Julie Penney’s reworked vintage piece with it’s cheery hollyhocks and stitchery.

Tyeing crinoline ladies and hollyhocks together, very often these embroidered bonneted ladies are to be found tending spires of brightly coloured hollyhocks.

Now then just where is my bonnet .. so I can go and tend my unruly plot!

Have a great start to the week.

Yummy Embroidery , Rocking Dog

Yummy Embroidery

Sanderson Hollyhocks, Rocking Dog

Sanderson Hollyhocks

Criminal Ladies, Rocking Dog

Criminal Ladies

Floribunda, Rocking Dog

Floribunda

Julie's Flowers, Rocking Dog

Julie’s Flowers

China Can, Rocking Dog

China Can

Edwardian Gardener, Rocking Dog

Edwardian Gardener

Kaffe's Hollyhocks, Rocking Dog

Kaffe’s Hollyhocks

Crinoline Doorway, Rocking Dog

Crinoline Doorway

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

The Quilt, Ready To Leave The Rocking Dog Kennel !

Coveted Cosy Cover, Rocking Dog

Coveted Cosy Cover

Yes finally, the very first quilt of 2016 is ready to leave the Rocking Dog kennel. Buttons sewn, edging attached and the quilt given its very own embroidered verse, this quilt will be hopefully soon adorning a bed in Plumstead.

I decided against adding the vintage braids, the quilt even by my eclectic standards was becoming too busy! How appropriate to be sewing the quilt with an episode of Little House On The Prairie! There was even a quilt hanging from a door in the Little House, not too disimilar from my folky number! When we did a holiday house exchange to Seattle we took a trip to Leavenworth, a town so totally unique and a MUST for lovers of Christmas. The town was struggling, and in 1962 the towns people came up with a cunning plan to reinvent itself as a Bavarian town. Christmas all the year round, and housing a Nutcracker Museum which boasts over 5,000 examples. It was all very surreal! Anyway, driving away from Leavenworth we drove through land which was so reminiscent of Little House on The Prairie. One day I would love to do a bit of an American road trip to better understand the hardships of those early pioneers driving from east to west. Until then, i’ll have to make do with Little House.. and The Waltons!

Back to the quilt, the hand embroidered verse came about after my daughter Sorrel was decrying the fact that she was going to have to seriously cull her books ready for a house move. Like me, she has amassed a sizeable collection of cookery tomes. I hope she won’t be too ruthless. I thought Flaubert’s quote summed up Sorrel’s love of books and penchant for pickles. I am sure Sorrel’s husband too will have to consider a cull of all his beloved cycling magazines, Incidently, he likes pickles too!

As expected I was a little over ambitious regarding how many little projects I was going to complete. Ticked off the list are the quilt and my velvet jacket to bling. So the lanterns to paint, and dog bed cover still to sew, await my attention… maybe this week.

I don’t know when the next wave of quilting bodgery will wash over me, but I think my sore fingers need a little rest from ALL those buttons!

Have an enjoyable week ahead. Love Rocking Dog x

Patchwork Stash, Rocking Dog

Patchwork Stash

Once Just Pieces, Rocking Dog

Once Just Pieces

Then It Was Sewn, Rocking Dog

Then It Was Sewn

Embroidered Quilt Quote For A Future Home, Rocking Dog

Embroidered Quilt Quote For A Future Home

Labelled & Somewhere To Go, Rocking Dog

Labelled & Somewhere To Go

Quilted Bale, Rocking Dog

Quilted Bale