Wednesday, 2 September 2015

August at PlainStitch

Well its the eve of the return to school after the summer holidays so I thought it was high time i wrote a blog post! It's not secret that i just love being home for the summer holidays with my kids. I'm a home bod at heart and the lovely lazy summer days of kids and pets, baking and dog walking, sewing and chatting is my favourite time of all.

My lovely customers are so patient and kind and don't complain that we reduce the shop opening hours down to just one morning a week ( although this summer that weekly morning was sooo mad that we may have to extend the opening hours a little next year for health and safety reasons! ha ha). I have 3 kiddies and all of my tutors and staff are mums too and I really think 'be the change'. It's hard to raise a family and work, even in this day and age and I think we have a responsibility to our daughters to make a world where you can balance both priorities as well as is ever possible! Lets be honest - it's not easy!

This summer was full of the brim of lovely family time and lovely fabric!! The much anticipated Heather Ross Tiger Lily arrived and was even more lovely than we have expected! We set to work cutting and compiling our PlainStitch Bunting Quilt Kit in this line which sold out on teh firstday of the shop being open. We've made a couple of extra ones now so when we re open on Thursday if you're quick you might catch one. This quilt is fun and fast to make and the kid includes full instructions and a special ruler to make your 'bunting' pennants lovely and crisp with nice pointy angles!

Obviously I couldn't resist running up a mini example to hang in the shop! Its delicious fabric!

My original 'Bunting' quilt is now in use on my daughters bed. The 'vintage' weight wadding has just been perfect this summer.

The kits were a lot of fun to put together...obviously my girls had a and in the bright pink ribbons!

We've had soooo much new fabric arriving this summer ahead of the busy autumn class schedule. We've had such a big move around at the shop to squeeze it all in! If you are planning to pop in to the shop with an autumn project in mind my advice is allow plenty of time for your visit! 

I've been working on lots of projects at home. These little hexagons of fussy cut HeatherRoss and lots of scraps are destined to be my 'shop'project for sewing at the shop when i get a moment this autumn! I've been wanting to make something with the teeniest pre cut freezer paper hexes we sell for ages.

I've also be working on some very exciting projects for new classes after Christmas ....shhh

My machine has been running hot on the rainy days we've had recently!

The workroom is spic and span and awaiting the rush back for our busy busy workshop schedule!

M little Miss Stictchers have been busy busy this summer. I love how creative they get in the summer when they have time to potter. Its truely a sadness that today's obsession with endless draconian homework for kids means that that precious time after school when as a kid i just pottered is taken up with hours of homework every day. It's at the expense of their imaginations and i wholely expect that future generations will look back on this time with horror as we schedule young minds into straitjackets of academic success rather than celebrating the rather more ethereal and impossible to teach art of having a creative mind.

This lovely cushion started life as a Boden top, sadly too small. The quote comes from Harry Potter, and the embroidery done by Miss is a lovely herringbone style stitch that she made up herself. Its quilted on a wadding background, lined and zippered. If that's not a skill to applaud at 12 years old i don't know what is! 

My summers reading and viewing has been weirdly attuned, in that serendipitous way that often occurs. On holiday I read the memoir of Alex Monroe the jeweler. It is a great read and a testament to letting kids run a little wild and dream. I loved it, highly recommended, but it will make you want jewelry! Beware!

I've been watching Life in Squares which is a BBC drama about the Bloomsbury set, concentrating on the stories of Virginia Woolf and her sister Vanessa Bell. I really enjoyed it, and the character of Ness as a pioneering feminist woman who loved her home and children and used her creative voice to make art, but also to make a wonderful home for the life she led outside of the norms of the day. Loved it.

A little less Bohemianly I've been making lampshades! This is another of the Heather Ross prints that i am a little bit obsessed with! I have cushions in the works too..need to restock zips after a flurry of back to school pencil case making.

In today's slightly autumnal sunshine, memories of high summer sun and perfect Greek blue and white views seems a long way away. Pictures like these will sustain the summer feel for as long as possible while little brown leaves start to fall from the beach trees in our lawn, boo hoo.

Last but not least I've literally sewn my fingers to the bone putting together the Wendover Remembers Quilt last week. Luckily my mum helped out and my trusty big girl, so between us we planned, sewed and logged names of all of the lovely poppies as we put this jaw dropping quilt together. This is a commission from our village Parish Council that our Sewing Bee have been making as a charitable project. The centre blocks are designed and sewn by our members and the poppies sewn by local school children and the residents of our village older peoples  residential home. It's been a humbling project to be involved in and I hope that the finished quilt top is everything that the originators hoped! It is going too to be long arm quilted in Sept ahead of its first outing in November on the 11th at the armistice parade on the Manor Waste. There will be lots of opportunities to see the quilt over the next few tears and i'll do a post on that after November. If you had a hand in making any of this there will also be a hand out which tells all of the village stories that inspired the centre blocks and listing everyone's name with a key so that you can find your ( or your child's) poppy

Phew..and that was just the tip of the summer iceberg..we got guinea pigs, we raised baby chickens, we made so many cakes, we laughed, watched films, played scrabble, turned out cupboards, spent long afternoons in the barn and in front of the fire as the rain pounded down.Not all of summer is idyllic but I wouldn't swap these precious weeks with my tribe for the world.

The weather is turning, there's an autumn nip in the air and i'm excited to be back at the shop this Thursday. I have soo many autumn/winter sewing plans this year, do you? Do come and see us and lets swap plans!

The shop is open this Thursday 9.30am - 1pm for Therapy Thursday

The Sewing Bee is at St Anne's Aylesbury Road, Wendover 9.30am - 12pm on Tuesday 8th and the shop opens again on Wed 9th for usual hours T,W,T,F 9.30am - 1pm Sat 10am- 1pm