It’s just that time of year…



I am aware that I haven’t blogged for getting on for two weeks.  This isn’t because the blog is running out of steam, but because of that point in the term where you are well into marking and feedback and group work teams falling out, and people left over from last year needing attention and and and, and no sign yet of Christmas.  I am aware that I am lucky to have the job I have, but even so, this is the droopy period of the term and not having time to do any sewing just makes it worse.  So, once I have fulfilled my contractual obligations at the day job I will be back to stitching and blogging with a vengeance.

Thanks for your patience.

200 Post Celebration Giveaway

Some weeks ago I mentioned that I had posted 200 posts on the blog, and that to celebrate there would be a giveaway.  Well, here it is.  I wanted it to be for regular readers of the blog so I am not joining in any of the big blog parties.  What you have to do is to put a comment in the comments section saying which of the following Lucy Locket Lost Pockets you would like to have.  I will make the draw on Monday so plenty of time to think about it.  So you just put down the name of the purse and if you are first out of the hat I will post it to you.  Here are the ones to choose from:



Silk squares

Silk squares


Strawberry fields

Strawberry fields













What I did at the weekend part deux




As I mentioned in my last post, I had a weekend of stitch therapy after a hard week teaching the same material many times over.  I finished the mourning quilt or memorial quilt that I wrote about earlier in the week.  I also decided to make another Laura Ashley ghost doll.

These are the dolls which tell the untold stories of my Laura Ashley research.  I will put up a page of the stories at some point, but they make depressing reading, so I wouldn’t look at them over the festive season.  There are now eight of them, and I really love making them.  My lovely friend Beatriz draws Frida Kahlo when she’s out of sorts, and I make the dolls.

This one was interesting because her ensemble started with her underwear.  They all have knickers, thanks to my Aunty Pauline’s early training, and I always make them first because they are boring to make and you never want to come back and do them at the end.  So, I started with some cotton lawn and some lace, and for some reason on this doll they turned into a teddy.  Clearly I cannot show you a picture of the lady in her underwear, but I decided to make her a dressing gown to go over the top.  I had a very pretty pink Laura Ashley dressing gown when I was in my early twenties with a matching nightgown that didn’t really fit, so I suppose it was inevitable that I would end up making night attire at some point.  Anyway, I decided on a very simple kimono structure and was pretty pleased with the way it came out.  I used some scraps that my Grate Frend Becky gave me, including a log cabin block:



I made the fabric with the cotton lawn as a base then I used my new favourite temporary spray adhesive and put the fabric scraps over the top and stitched.  So it’s a form of crazy patchwork.  The belt was a strip of silvery jersey that I found in my trimmings drawer.  I was prepared to make a sash, but the colour and drape of this seemed just right.

I have got making them down to a fine art.  This one took more or less a long afternoon; I can certainly make one in a day now.  The problem is going to be when to stop.  Maybe when I have a women’s hockey team…


I can only apologise





A phone call from my mother at the weekend revealed that I had made a spelling mistake in a previous post.  We had a little quiz on the two spellings of dyed/died and checked that I knew the difference.  I have now corrected the offensive spelling, after pointing out to mama that after 230 posts, I wasn’t doing too badly if that was the first one she spotted.  But early training in perfectionism meant that I had to track the varmint down and correct it at the earliest possible opportunity.


What I did at the weekend


Well, I had a very busy and routine week last week.  I taught the same two seminars over and over again to the point where I wasn’t entirely sure what I had said in any of them.  I am not complaining about this; it is the day job, but it did leave me close to brain dead by Friday evening.  So, I made the decision to do some creative work over the weekend (teaching is creative, but you know what I mean), and there will be plenty to post about.  But, I thought I would start with a project that I thought was finished.  This is the mourning quilt that I  made a while ago, using the fabric from one of my longest standing quilting friends, Peggy, who died a couple of years ago.  Those of us in the little quilting group, St Andrews Quilters, all had a small bag of her fabric.  I decided to make mine into a memorial quilt so I made very simple patchwork and then put on a frame of black beads, like Victorian jet mourning jewellery.

It has been hanging about for some time, but I took it out for another look, it being All Saints Day and All Souls Day last week.  It looked like a frame without a picture.  There was a big gap where something ought to be.  So, I took it up to my workroom. It would have been nice to have had a picture to put in there, but in the end I went back to the death theme and a line I remember from Shakespeare:

Come away, come away, death,

And in sad cypress let me be laid;

Fly away, fly away breath;

I am slain by a fair cruel maid.

My shroud of white, stuck all with yew,

O, prepare it!

My part of death, no one so true

Did share it.

It’s from Twelfth Night, one of those A-level books you never forget for the rest of your life.

I put in the sad cypruses using black silk and spray adhesive and then I stood back.  What would the Kemshalls do?  I wondered.  I have been given a massive sheet of gold foil by the wonderful Davina, artist and walking work of art.  It came from the Scrap Store.  In craft shops it is violently expensive, but this sheet was leftover from photographers putting very fine gold lines on their mounts – I could tell from what had left its ghostly form on the sheet I had.  So it was free.  Such a bargain that I could be liberal with it.  I gilded the trees using bits of bondaweb and then stitched a leafing pattern in to the quilting.



In the end, I rather like it.  The existing embroidery picks up the evergreen foliage theme, and the black and gold lifts it out of being a miserable piece.



It’s a nice way to remember Peggy.

More on the weekend’s activities later.

Sunshine photos

Some time ago now in blog terms, I wrote about how much I like to photograph my work in strong natural sunshine as it gives a really sharp contrast which highlights the stitching.  In September I took these photographs of my Laura Ashley purses, and I have just found time to resize the photos so they don’t crash anybody’s system including mine.

This is just a slideshow really…