Sunday, 20 May 2018

It's been a lovely sunny weekend without being too hot, my kind of weather. We've just had another BBQ out on the new patio tonight, it's a really useful outdoor room. Earlier, we headed over to the village of Badby near Daventry to visit a group of four gardens open under the National Gardens Scheme and the weather had obviously given everyone else the same idea.  The little, very pretty, village was packed with cars parked all over the place, we had to drive through and circle round and come back in again to find somewhere to park out on the edge.  We enjoyed strolling around admiring the thatched cottages and old houses, and saw some pretty gardens as well as having some tea and cake in the ancient village church.  Afterwards we stopped into an antiques store in Weedon that we hadn't been to before, and I picked up some embroidered linens and another Victorian beaded panel (DH noted in a resigned voice that I appear to have started another collection...)  The embroidered linens are for a future quilt top like one I saw on Facebook which was pieced from all sorts of vintage linens surrounded by pretty fabric.  I will need to collect for a while so I have an assortment of embroideries to work with. Luckily they are usually very cheap.

Although sunny in the daytime, it's been cool at night so I've been enjoying having my new Bear's Paw quilt on the bed. I was surprised to find it's the right size for my queen-size bed, I had been thinking it was a double but obviously 15 years ago I decided to design the right size to fit my bed.  This quilt was so tedious to make and so much work, but now it's finally finished, I really like it. The blue and white is such a crisp combination, and the subtle detail of having every block in a different indigo print is really nice.

You may be aware that there was a certain Royal wedding yesterday.  I hadn't intended to watch it at all, but turned on the telly as the guests were arriving just to see what was going on, and ended up getting completely sucked in and watching for 2.5 hours right through to the carriage ride. We used to live not that far from Windsor so a lot of the street scenes were familiar to me. Meanwhile I was knitting on a glove to match my Peerie Floores Hat, by following the matching mitten pattern, but I am going to pull back because the thumb gusset isn't in the right place for my large hands and also I don't like the colours in the gusset so I'm going to change the gusset design.

The hat itself is completely finished and blocked, but I haven't worn it because of the warm weather.  It fits well but has come out much more slouchy than the beany hat in the pattern photo, presumably a tension issue but I like it better than the Scalloway Tam because this hat will keep my ears warm.

I did some more work on the Bruges Lace motif I started in my class last weekend and completed the first of the two leaves.  It became very apparent that the rushed five minute instruction on how to do leaves at the end of the class has not sufficiently equipped me and there were several places where I wasn't sure what to do.  I have a couple of books on this kind of lace so I think I need to read through them first before I tackle the second leaf.

My day off this week was all about my vintage Singer Featherweight machine. First I gave it a good clean and polished it with high quality car wax, following the free video tutorial online from the Featherweight shop.  It looks a lot cleaner and shinier now.

Then I spent some time sewing some accessories for it:  a bed cover to protect the bed from getting scratched by the screw holding the side plate, and a bag to hold the power cord and plug.

As a final flourish, I sewed a miniature Dresden plate spool doiley, inspired by one I saw online.  I happened to have a tiny plexiglass Dresden template already, and it was a chance to use up some of my 30s repro scraps. I backed it with felt.

I've been working on my Japanese dollshouse off and on this week, and have now completed up to Chapter 50 which feels like a milestone even though it isn't halfway through the 120 parts yet.  On the other hand, the whole week has been working on the balcony room box which feels really slow, but DH pointed out that it is basically an entire mini-kit on its own: it has interior shoji screens, exterior sliding windows, internal and external finishing mouldings and an external balcony with an intricate railing which is still in progress. And there are three more of these to build in upcoming chapters. At least I will be familiar with the process so they should go quicker.

I thought you might be interested to see this PhoneScope which I bought for £8 on Amazon after seeing Jacquie Tinch using one at the class last weekend.  It clips over your mobile phone so that the lens aligns with the phone camera, and basically turns the phone into a digital microscope.  The zoom on the phone still works so you can zoom in really close on your lace and see every twist and cross (or mistake) or you can use it work out how old lace was made, for example. It's a bit plasticky as you might expect for £8 but it works great. You need to hold it flat on the item you are magnifying as the depth of field is quite shallow. Apparently it's also good for examining coins or for kids to look at nature stuff.

1 comment:

swooze said...

Love your little spool doily. Can you show one of the dollhouse kits before assembly? I never really thought about all the work that goes into building a dollhouse. It look wonderful.

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