Tuesday, 8 September 2015

More Good Things...

It's been another weekend of celebrations here in Worcester..
On Sunday we drove down to Oxford to take my Father in Law out for his birthday.
He was delighted with a 'Jan Original' patchwork cushion
(in colours to match his conservatory furniture...)
Mark and his Dad share a passion for sweets and puddings - especially ice-cream sundaes.

Yesterday I took my parents out to celebrate BOTH their birthdays
(Dad is exactly four years older than Mum)
We went to Upton House - the lovely National Trust Property near Banbury.
After days of gloom and dampness, we were so lucky with the weather...

The gardens looked fabulous, with just a hint of early Autumn colour..

My parents love gardens and enjoyed exploring each of the terraces..

The borders were really pretty..

After lunch we went into the house.
Normally it's presented with a '1930s House Party Theme'.
This year it's been completely transformed to tell the story of it's life during WW2.
The owners were a rich banking family and they decided to move the bank from London to their home pretty much as war broke out.  The rooms now capture the bizarre combination of beautiful art and functional wartime food, furniture and crockery.  It's really well done...
Everything is designed to prompt memories...
Internal mail envelopes have a drab 1940s colour and
children are encouraged to use the type-writers to create memos..
One of the upstairs bedrooms is given over to a display about Ladies fashions and 'Make Do and Mend'.  Then the next room is presented as the Ladies dormitory, with everything from this little Singer sewing machine to reproduction 1940s WC roll.

All the clothes in the wardrobe were made from war time patterns by the volunteers.

It's clear that everyone involved in the house has put an immense amount of energy into this wartime project.  It's been carried out with a tremendous eye for detail and I'd really recommend a visit to anyone who's in the area.
Today things are a bit more 'normal' again...
Walking, harp, housework and preparation for our approaching holiday...
I'm popping round to help Mum with Facebook this afternoon..
We're out with friends from the car club this evening..
Can't think how I managed to find time to work!!!

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Rainy Days and Patchwork

The last few days have been wet and miserable over here - the perfect excuse to immerse myself in another patchwork project...  I saw some seaside-themed fabric in Dunelm and guessed that it would pull together all the stripy denim and checks from my fabric samples pile.  I must confess that it took me ages to work out the width of the repeat in the pattern, and how I was going to create the patches.
I've never made a bag before in my life - and I didn't have a pattern - so it also took me ages to work out all the sizes and dimensions from another soft fabric bag.  The final challenge was to work out how to fix the handles and lining.  It took quite a lot of creative thinking during last Tuesday's thunder storm before I worked out that I had to stitch the first seam at the top of the bag THEN turn it inside out to finish off the top stitching!

This bag has excellent frugal credentials....
I've only used a third of the material I bought at Dunelm (about £1.50's worth)
This is the fourth project I've made out of the £10.00 pile of clearance fabric.  There's still masses left so I'm guessing that these pieces are worth about £1.00.
The lining is inherited from my Great-Aunt's fabric stash.
The handles are made out of the back of an XL Denim shirt (M+S Blue Harbour - £1.00 clearance from a local charity shop.   There's still loads of useful material left from this shirt so I'd guess that the handles cost me 50p)
I've done all my patchwork so far on an ancient Singer sewing machine that we inherited from Mark's Grandma.  (I call her 'Sissy the Singer' because she's a sweet old lady who doesn't mind machining at my slow speeds!)
This bag is going on holiday with me shortly.
(I'm very excited about the prospect of a September holiday.  Currently the weather in the area we're going to visit is a very pleasant 20-25 degrees, with sunshine and light cloud.   I'm hoping that it's going to stay like that... I'm not looking for a heat-wave but some blue skies would be nice!)
To all the teachers out there... I hope that the start of the new school year is going well for you.
All the best,