Categories: slow stitch; tips and tutorials; patterns

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Once Upon A Time… A Quilter Had A Plan

 

Star patchwork made with 6 point diamonds in progress. © Stephanie Boon, 2017. www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Star progress

The Plan

Once upon a time there was a quilter who had a plan, and the plan was a good one. She really enjoys English paper piecing so she decided to use her scraps to make a simple star quilt. A hand pieced quilt takes months to make, but that’s ok because that just becomes part of the plan. This quilt would be an ‘infill project’, something to work on for just a few hours a week.

Star patchwork made with 6 point diamonds in progress. © Stephanie Boon, 2017. www.dawnchorusstudio.com

The last diamonds

Diamonds were cut and prepped and carefully put into a little case to take out with her to a weekly lunch date with a friend.  A quilt would take shape over a few months without her really noticing the time she spent on it. Multi-tasking at it’s best. Or so she thought.

The Best Laid Plans…

Do you have a tv? Lots of quilters enjoy a bit of hand sewing in the evenings, sat around the tv with their family. It’s probably the most sociable sort of sewing there is.

The quilter in question doesn’t have a tv but watches the odd film on her laptop instead. She usually sits alone, sewing along to whatever’s on Radio 4. But this week she discovered an old re-run of a tv series online: Prime Suspect. Do you remember it? Part nostalgia, part fascination: she was gripped.

She just grabbed whatever project was to hand to work on. So the star quilt grew. And grew. Until she ran out of scraps in the blue/green colour scheme she’d picked.

When she looked up, a few days later, she realised she didn’t have a ‘months’ long’ project anymore. Oh dear, that’s annoying.

Plain Sewing improv patchwork in progress. © Stephanie Boon, 2017. www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Plan B: Plain Sewing

Time for plan B: get on with the ‘Plain Sewing’ circle quilt instead.

Sorry

The comment form still isn’t working. Another plan that’s gone to pot! Drop me a line instead: email me.

Linking up with Judy for Design Wall Monday – and belatedly with Kathy for yesterday’s Slow Sunday Stitching.

Signature: Stephie © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnchorusStudio.com

Free Template And A New Tutorial

PS last week I published a  60 degree diamond template sheet  so that you can make your own star quilt. There are instructions here for sewing too).

I’d love it if you take a look at a new tutorial I published recently How To Hang A Quilt With A Hanging Sleeve. It’s how I made the hanging sleeve for my wall quilt On The Edge. Is there anything you’d add, any tips you’d like to share? Let me know!

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Starry Landscapes And My Instagram

Hello and happy Wednesday!

Comments

Sad news: the comments still aren’t working around here, so it feels a bit lonely and like I’m talking to myself (actually, that’s nothing new!). Lack of conversation is the reason I didn’t post last week, but feel free to drop me a line while I try and sort the problem out. I’d love to hear from you.

Let’s change the subject before I start ranting!

Moving On

Fete‘, my latest finished quilt top, is still waiting for me to buy the wadding so in the mean time I’ve been faffing about with an old idea. Remember these stars from 2016? I made them when I was away camping on Exmoor last August (read more here and see some of the inspiring scenery).

English Paper Piecing - Joining Stars with Diamonds © Stephanie Boon, 2016 www.DawnChorusStudio.com All Rights Reserved

Exmoor Stars version 1 from 2016

Exmoor Stars

The beginnings of this patchwork reminded me of a night time walk on the moor when there was an incredible moon, magnificent clear skies and twinkling stars. Trouble is, I decided I didn’t like the patchwork (above) after all.

I think it’s something to do with the size of the diamonds (7cm) – and too much of the ‘dirty pink’ print, so I tried again.

Making a star patchwork with English paper piecing. © Stephanie Boon, 2017. http://www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Exmoor Stars, version 2 with 5cm diamonds

I started fiddling about with it again recently and version 2 was born. This time I’m using 5cm diamonds.

Size Matters

Making a star patchwork with English paper piecing. © Stephanie Boon, 2017. http://www.dawnchorusstudio.com

2cm difference!

2cm makes a surprising difference, one that makes me much happier. The smaller size diamonds means I’ll have a bigger variety of scraps to use, although I’m going to stick to a fairly strict palette of blues/greenish-blues (bye bye dirty pink). Collecting enough blue scraps from other projects will take a while, but that’s not a problem because Exmoor Stars is a ‘Janie Day’ project!

‘A what project?’, you ask? ‘Janie Day’ is a weekly lunch date with an old friend, Janie. I hope that clears it up! We both bring along something to work on; Janie usually knits and I sew. Last year I worked on my Quilty365 circles, but this year I haven’t really got into a groove. Until Now.

English Paper Piecing For Lunch!

English Paper Piecing on the go sewing pouch. © Stephanie Boon, 2017. www.DawnChorusStudio.com

All ready to go

Everything I need for Exmoor Stars is all prepped, packed and ready to work on for a few months. I enjoyed getting a minimal kit together  – what do you have in yours? I have:

  • cheap thread snippers (don’t want to lose my favourite scissors)
  • a few dressmaker’s pin, sewing needles and a random quilting pin (sometimes handy for keeping things together)
  • tacking and sewing thread
  • basted diamonds
  • a few extra templates and cut diamonds – just in case I get really busy!

It all fits in a lightweight case that my friend Roz made for me, which is much easier to carry than plastic boxes – especially when you travel by bike as I do. This little case is smaller than some people’s wallets – and nowhere near as full, haha!

Free Templates

I experimented with a number of different size diamonds before I settled on the 5cm size and then I decided to draw up a ‘master sheet’ so that I could print off several at a time.

Drawing up an accurate template sheet takes a while, so I saved it as a pdf to share with you. Save the file or print off the sheet for a future project and photocopy or print as many sheets as you need.

If you’re new to Epp my tutorial for making 6 point stars will get you off to a good start!

Download

I Love Instagram!

Fancy a chat? I try and post to Instagram (IG) every day and at the moment it’s the best place to find me until I get the comments sorted here. It’s such a friendly place and I love it far more than Facebook, Twitter and all the rest – where do you like to hang out? If you’ve got an IG account drop me a line and I’ll come and find you!

Walking On IG

I’ve done enough walking to make my legs fall off recently, in an effort to gear myself up for some strenuous hiking on the Cornish coast path this summer. Cornwall has 296 miles of coastline and I’ve done about 80 or so as a continuous line so far. My Instagram account’s full of pictures of the fantastic landscape I live in and this week I’ve been sharing landscape drawings I’ve done when I’ve been out about too.

Across The Valley. Brightly coloured pastel drawing by © Stephanie Boon, 2017. All Rights Reserved. www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Across The Valley – Monday’s drawing on a local walk. I shared pictures of the drawing as I was working on it, as well as the finished article.

The Saint Michael’s Way

Fridays or Saturdays are ‘long walk days’ but I’m cutting the miles down to about 13 this weekend, which means I can travel further afield. I’m heading to St Ives on the north coast to walk the St Michael’s Way (part of the Compostela de Santiago), which finishes on the south coast at the iconic St Michael’s Mount.

St Michael's Mount from The Scillonian ferry. www.dawnchorusstudio.com © Stephanie Boon, 2014

St Michael’s Mount from The Scillonian ferry, 2014

Make sure you check out my IG for pictures and drawings along the way – there are some spectacular views.  The forecast is for overcast weather with strong winds, so it should be clear enough but I hope I don’t lose my drawings along the way!

I’m linking up with Lorna for Let’s Be Social today, but before I head off don’t forget you can email me anytime, until I get the darn comment form sorted out!

Signature: Stephie © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnchorusStudio.com

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Sunflowers and Sewing

You know what it’s like when you’re at a low ebb and it feels like nothing’s ever going to come together and all you want to do is sleep. Then something comes along out of the blue that lifts your spirits and makes everything alright again. I had one of those moments recently. A little parcel addressed to me arrived on the doormat one morning. I wasn’t expecting anything; Kim’s the one around here that gets all the parcels from his Ebay trading. I opened it, wondering what on earth it could be, and got a lovely surprise that made me smile all day.

Remember Roz? How we met on line some years ago and then in real life when she was on holiday in Cornwall this summer? Roz had sent me “a little something”.  A little something she’d made.

Sewing case sent by a friend. © Stephanie Boon, 2016 www.dawnchorusstudio.com

I’m not going to pretend my desk is tidy!

The Sewing Case

I was so touched when I realised she’d sent me a lovely little sewing case that’s perfect for putting in my bag with my portable English paper piecing (EPP) (follow the link to my tutorials on this technique). It has a pocket for just about everything I need, from scissors and thread to fabric and templates. The cheerful sunflower fabric will always make me think of Roz and how she made my day…again!

Slow Sunday

This Sunday has been all about slowing down and easing the stress. I went out for a walk (the first since camping and food poisoning) and a bit of blackberrying with friends this afternoon, followed by a cool glass of summer cider in one of our favourite pubs.

Friends Belinda and Steve on the village green at Cowlands Creek, Cornwall. © Stephanie Boon, 2016 www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Friends on the village green!

The blackberries will go perfectly with a big bag of apples they gave me from the trees in their garden. Blackberry and apple crumble is one of my favourite desserts at this time of year, and the rest of the apples should make a good batch of chutney.  Or maybe I’ll pick some more berries and make jam or jelly. That’s yet another lovely and unexpected gift from friends. In return (as it were) I took them on a walk they’d never been on before, a lovely meander through the woods and creeks a few miles from home.

Slow Sunday Stitching

I’m so exhausted that this evening’s slow sewing is going to be very slow and peaceful. I plan to do nothing more than organise my lovely new sewing case and baste some EPP diamonds for next week.  What was the best slow sewing gift you ever received, and why do you cherish it so much? I’d love to know, tell all below!

Inside of a sewing case made by a friend. Pockets for scissors, needles, etc. In sunflower fabric in blues and yellows. © Stephanie Boon, 2016 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Putting everything in its place

Don’t forget to hop on over to Kathy’s to find out what the other slow Sunday stitchers have been up to today. Have a lovely start to the week and fingers crossed I’ll have some news about somewhere for us to live next week. Until then…

happy stitching!

Signature: Stephie © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnchorusStudio.com

 

 

 

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Patchwork for a Starry Night

One Crazy Month

I’ve been in a tail spin as usual, running around and getting nowhere fast. About 5 weeks ago we were given 2 months ‘notice to quit’,  i.e. told to move out of the house we’ve been living in for 8 years. It was a complete shock and I’m still reeling. And in the middle of it all I’d arranged to take Kim on a camping trip for 5 nights. I decided we should still go: two months to find somewhere to live in our circumstances is never going to be easy, so what difference would a few less days make?

Camping on Exmoor

Westermill Farm Campsite, Exmoor National Park, 2016

Peace and quiet at Westermill Farm campsite in Exmoor National Park (that’s our tent and Kim at the picnic table).

None, as it turned out: we still haven’t found anywhere.

Camping was a mixed bag of beautiful scenery, long walks, peace and quiet…and moody teenager! We spent 5 nights at Westermill Farm, a simple campsite on a working farm right in the middle of Exmoor National Park. Exmoor crosses two counties, North Devon and Somerset, with a good deal of dramatic coastline, open moors and rolling countryside to explore.

Kim’s biggest complaint? The fact that we used public transport and carried our tent and everything else on our backs. When we got to a nearby town we discovered the bus service we planned to use to get us to the campsite had been withdrawn. It was 15 miles away – and Kim refused to walk! (To be fair it was late in the day, haha!) We took a taxi. This much he coped with, but it was the realisation that he’d “have to walk 7 miles to get anywhere” that put him in a right strop. (And 7 miles was a slight exaggeration, the nearest village was only 1.5m away!) So he spent the next 2.5 days lying in the tent. We locked horns anytime he refused to go anywhere, because he specifically asked to go walking on Exmoor to take photographs. I went off on my own instead and had a wonderful time exploring valleys and villages. His loss, I told myself, but to be honest I really missed his company – there were so many delightful things to share.

Starry Night

Exmoor was designated Europe’s first International Dark Sky Reserve and we were lucky to be there on a full moon with a brilliantly clear sky. Even Kim couldn’t resist a night time walk. Discovering the world in the ‘real’ dark is like discovering a whole new landscape: the sky, the sounds, the wildlife, the silhouettes. It was magical and I couldn’t help wondering what life was like before light pollution.

The night-time walk worked wonders, because the next morning Kim was up with his camera ready to take a bus trip to the medieval village of Dunster. We took a walk up to Bats Castle Iron Age Hill Fort where he finally got into his groove and photographed some unusual butterflies and flora. I couldn’t take my eyes off the wider landscape.

Stephanie Boon, walking up a track on Exmoor, uk

On the wooded track up to Bat’s Castle

 

© stephanie Boon 2017. cornwall, UK. All Rights Reserved Exmoor

Watching the changing skies from Bat’s Hill Iron Age Fort

© stephanie Boon 2017. cornwall, UK. All Rights Reserved Exmoor

Blustery walk with Kim

It’s a stunning place. I share lots of pictures of my walks on Instagram, come and say hello and find out where I’be been.

Starry Quilt

Another great thing about a camping trip is the opportunity for some sewing: you can’t go camping without taking along some English Paper Piecing, it’s not allowed! There’s the time to fill on the train journey and quiet evenings in the tent too. I prepped some diamonds before I left, picking out blues from my scrap box and a couple of pieces left over from my Summer Blues quilt. Why make stars? I have no idea, I just fancied playing!

English paper piecing patchwork with diamond shapes. © Stephanie Boon, 2016 www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Night sky?

It occurs to me now though that it was a serendipitous decision. One of my abiding memories of this trip will be the moonlight walk with Kim. Maybe I’ll call it Night Sky or Exmoor Stars (if it ever gets any bigger!) – what would you call it?

Tutorial

As random as the stars seem, it kick started me into updating my English paper piecing tutorial on making 6 point stars. The old tutorial is still available, but I’m expanding it and adding new photographs. I’ll let you know when it’s complete!

From Bad To Worse!

I’d hoped that by the time we got back from camping I’d be feeling refreshed and ready to take on the challenge of moving home, but life never seems to be that easy! The day after we got home I was wiped out with food poisoning and then gastroenteritis. It’s lasted well over two weeks now. I seem to be over the worst of it and finally feel up to decorating and packing up our home (even though we’ve still got nowhere to go). The illness has been a nightmare with trips to a&e for morphine, sleepless nights and generally wishing I could sleep until it was over!

Last night was the first night in weeks I felt up to taking a few stitches – and had the energy to look for the quilt I’m working on under all the dust sheets and boxes! And it’s this improv quilt, On The Edge, that I’ll be working on again today for Slow Sunday Stitching with Kathy. After all the trauma of the last few weeks, some quiet stitching is just what the doctor ordered!

Hand Quilting Floating Squares Patchwork, 2016 © Stephanie Boon, 2016 http://www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Taking some stitches

What will you be working on today?  I plan to get a good stretch of this top done over the next few days, but who knows what else will come along and put a spanner in the works!

I hope to be back soon, but if you don’t hear from me for a week or so rest assured it’s not because I don’t love you anymore, I’ve probably just lost the plot!!!

Signature: Stephie © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnchorusStudio.com

 

 

What’s Next? How about a Hexie Quilt?!

Thank you so much for all your lovely comments about my Summer Blues finish at last weekend, you definitely know how to make me smile! I was in stitches at a comment from Maureen over at Mystic Quilter: “what’s next?” she asked! Well Maureen, there’s a list as long as my arm hahaha! Where shall I start?!

The Project List

  • There’s the piecing and quilting of Fete for my sister’s birthday this January and I’ve got to get my skates on if I’m going to get it done in time.
Fete - an improv patchwork quilt in progress © Stephanie Boon, 2016 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Fete

  • There’s the hand quilting of Prosperity
  • And Deepening
  • I’ve got to finish quilting my floating squares quilt ‘On The Edge
  • Then of course there are the Quilty365 circle quilts to consider (try and catch up with about 100 circles or just pick up where I left off?)
  • Not forgetting the Ocean Waves double bed quilt I’m making for Kim from old shirtings. Still rather a lot of piecing to do for this one…
  • And then there’s my hand pieced hexagon quilt, a variation of Grandma’s Flower Garden (below).

And I have a nagging feeling I’ve forgotten something (ahem, many things!). Fete, of course has to be top of the list and although it’s not going to be a huge quilt, the piecing has proved pretty time consuming and I’m probably only about a third of the way through.  I’m itching to get one of my smaller quilts finished up so I’ll be hand quilting On The Edge this evening – which’ll be a breeze after Summer Blues won’t it?!?!

 

Hexagon patchwork quilt on a bed: English paper piecing tutorial. © Stephanie Boon, 2016 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Hexagon Patchwork – How To Make One Yourself!

The Next Big Thing

The next big quilting project I plan to get started on is my hand pieced hexagon patchwork ‘Winter Garden’ (above). I’ve always had this one in mind for a winter quilt and plan to use a wool wadding to make it good and snuggly. Before I get ahead of myself though I’ve got to make the borders… and that’s where I’ve been deliberating, probably for a couple of years by now! Time to bite the bullet I think. I know I want to applique the borders, but that’s really as far as I’ve got. It would be great to get it finished and sandwiched by the end of the year, ready to quilt in the new year, but I’m making no promises!

Hexagon Patchwork – How To Make One Yourself

Have you ever thought about hand sewing a hexie quilt? Portable projects are the best (no reason to stop sewing just because you’re not at home!) and I enjoyed it so much I wrote a tutorial, which I finished updating last week.  Hexagon Patchwork – How To Make One Yourself starts from the basics of drawing your own hexagon templates to basting and sewing your patches together. There’s also a free pillow pattern to download and try your hand at. Hop on over and take a look!

I’m off to dig out my red and blue quilting thread to take a few stitches before bedtime. Have a great start to the week everyone and see you for next the Slow Sunday Stitching with Kathy!

Signature: Stephie © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnchorusStudio.com

Slow Sunday: hand quilting octagons

Norfolk Bricks patchwork cushion top ready for hand quilting (English paper piecing) - © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

English paper pieced patchwork pillow top

We’ve had miserable weather today and I was pleased to be hand quilting something bright and colourful to remind me that it is actually summer! Recently the days have felt cool and wet enough to be autumn and I’ve found myself adding quite a few inspiring pins to my Autumn Pinterest board.  Allegedly there are a couple of months of summer left, so I had to tell myself to stop looking forward to next season so much – but the idea of cosy hand knitted socks and warming soups is rather appealing at the moment!

I Finished the Hand Quilting!

I mentioned I finished piecing this cushion cover in another post and today the hand quilting is finally finished too. I quilted a very simple outline, about a quarter of an inch inside each octagon, but I love the way it throws the little back squares into relief so I decided not to do any more stitching on the main panel.

Hand quilting an English paper pieced cushion. © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Quilting the octagons

Hand quilting an English paper pieced cushion. © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Quilting in the borders

I stitched the borders to match the hand quilting of the Norfolk Bricks lap quilt that I’m still working on (I think I need to give myself a deadline for this one now), which will tie the two together nicely I hope.  I’ve enjoyed hand quilting this mini ‘collection’, but I feel ready to move on to something new now.

I saw Ann of Fret Not Yourself has begun some ‘floating squares’ blocks from Sherri Lynn Wood’s new book The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters (below) and I’m itching to have a go at some myself!

 

When I finished my Prosperity quilt top the other day I felt very sure that that’s the way I want my quilting to go: improvised but very much inspired by place.  Part of me thinks, ‘well why do ‘floating squares’ then, what’s that got to do with what you want to do’ and part of me thinks that if I try some other techniques it might just give me more inspiration and motivation to get my current projects finished up.  What would you do?

I think I’m going to call it a night and link up with Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching before I twist myself in ever tighter knots trying to decide what I should and shouldn’t be doing!

Hope you’ve had a great weekend and look forward to catching up with you during the coming week 🙂

Keep on stitching!

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English paper piecing – re-use those templates!

Hello hello!  Isn’t it a great feeling when a little hand pieced patchwork comes together? This octagon and square patchwork is all finished up and ready to turn into a juicy pillow – the second cushion in my Norfolk Bricks collection. Here are a few colourful pictures to brighten up your day:

Norfolk Bricks patchwork cushion top (English paper piecing) - © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

English paper pieced patchwork cushion top

 

Norfolk Bricks patchwork cushion top (English paper piecing) - © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Quilting thread at the ready!

This cushion project passed the time on countless journeys to visit my son in hospital over the last couple of months and last week, as the piecing came to an end, he was finally discharged!  I had a ridiculously sentimental thought that as I was putting the pieces of this patchwork together, he was being pieced back together too (ahem, who knew patchwork could be so profound!).  It’s been a gruelling couple of months and it’s such a relief and a pleasure to have him home at last.

The anxiety and disrupted routines have really taken the wind taken out of my sails though and I feel like I’ve lost my way – getting back on track is a struggle in itself. I know being stressed and anxious all the time doesn’t help my creativity (some people thrive on it, but not me) and being eternally exhausted brings a fog that feels like it’ll never lift. But a week after Kim’s discharge things are settling down and the fog is slowly clearing.  Over the next couple of weeks I hope to establish some routines to give me space to be creative again and reconnect with you all. Thank you so much for being there over the last few months, your kind and generous words have meant a lot.

Norfolk Bricks patchwork cushion top (English paper piecing) - © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Norfolk Bricks cushion covers

Before I head off today to write some ‘to do’ lists in a (probably futile) quest to help organise myself I wondered if you’ve ever tried this tip for re-using paper templates when you’re working on an English paper piecing project – I swear by it; anything to save time cutting out more templates (not to mention saving paper)!

Tip for re-using paper templates

Once you’ve removed your papers from a section of finished patchwork you’ll find they’ve become soft and creased and might be tempted to throw them away, but as long as they’re not torn you can use this magic trick to re-use them! Simply spray the paper with some spray starch and then iron them with a hot iron, eh voila! They’ll be as good as new!  Honestly, it’s that simple!

How to re-use patchwork papers (English paper piecing) - © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Starching templates

What top tip do you have for English paper piecing?

I’m really pleased to be linking up with Lorna for Let’s Bee Social this week, so pop on over and check out what’s been going on (I love Lorna’s latest patchwork in solid Kona cottons – almost as colourful as my Norfolk Bricks!).

Until next time (which hopefully won’t be too long!), happy stitching 🙂

 

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Lost in Stitches

 

Slow Sunday

Sunday afternoon. There are a few minutes to spare before your friend arrives to take you out for a walk.  How do you spend them?

© Stephanie Boon, 2015 Hand sewing a patchwork quilt. www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Lost in stitches

Being a quilter, of course I picked up my latest English paper piecing project and set in the last few triangles to finish off the centre panel of the cushion I showed you recently.  It’s almost there now, almost at the end of its journey.  Which is really apt: I’ve been sewing this on my journey up to see Kim (my son) in hospital in Plymouth over the last 6 weeks and as I come to the end of the piecing journey Kim is coming towards the end of his inpatient stay.  He’s been doing so well lately it looks likely he’ll be home in a few more weeks.  So exciting!  The hospital has a gradual discharge policy, to help him settle back in at home while he continues with therapy, so he was home for the weekend. On Sunday afternoon he was visiting friends, so I grabbed the opportunity to catch up with one of mine.

Norfolk Bricks Octogan Cushion English Paper Piecing © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

On the final stages now

The morning’s rain began to clear while I waited for her to arrive. I sat in the kitchen in my favourite grandad chair under the open window, taking a few stitches, clearing my head as the clouds passed.  By the time we got to Cubert we were basking under warm blue skies.

Walk

© Stephanie Boon, Smuggler's Den near Cubert www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Smugglers’ Den

Before we headed off down a steep hill towards the sea we stopped for lunch at the Smugglers’ Den, a quintessential English pub, pretty much in the middle of nowhere.  I love this place; in winter the wood burners are lit and the low ceilings and low light make it a warm and cosy place to retreat with a good book, on a day like Sunday you can enjoy the fabulous views over the countryside.

© Stephanie Boon, 2015 Footbath near Cubert www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Geraniums growing in the hedgerow

Inspiration was everywhere.  These beautiful geraniums growing wild in the hedgerow remind me of a saying my mum was always quoting as I was growing up: ‘blue and green should never be seen without a colour in-between’.  This photo proves her wrong entirely, haha!  And it goes to show that the best place for colour inspiration is the nature around you…not what your mother tells you at all!

© Stephanie Boon, 2015 Footbath near Cubert www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Walking towards the sea

The footpaths crossed fields full of buttercups and flag irises, lazily drifting across the landscape towards the dunes.  Footpaths we hadn’t followed before.  Belinda and I agree that finding new places, new paths, close to home is as exciting and inspiring as finding them anywhere: we’re so lucky to live in such a beautiful place and have all this on our doorstep. But we didn’t quite make it down to the sea; we had to turn back so that I could get Kim ready in time to go back to Plymouth. No matter, it’s something to look forward to next time.

© Stephanie Boon, 2015 Footbath near Cubert www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Footpath

Back in the car again on the drive to Plymouth I have my slow stitching in my lap, and a lighter heart.

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Norfolk Bricks – a new cushion

Keeping up with things was difficult last week and I was sorry to have missed Saturday’s Art Studio post, but I wanted to share a new quilting project for Kathy’s Slow Stitching Sunday – and as it’s already Monday I’d say I’m a little late for that party too!  Still, better late than never I hope.

When I began designing and writing the pattern for my Norfolk Bricks lap quilt, it was always my intention that it would be one of a collection of patterns for adventurous beginners. This new cushion project is another small step towards that goal (everything has had to move much more slowly than I’d planned due to Kim’s health). I took inspiration for this patchwork design from the flint walls of Norfolk cottages that are decorated with brick shards.

Carstone and flint wall, Norfolk © Stephanie Boon, 2014 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Norfolk Cottage Wall

I’m using a fairly traditional English paper piecing design that, for me, will capture the essence of the patterns you can see there. Obviously there’s nothing traditional about the colours I’m working with – at all!  The orange and pink palette is a nod towards the earthy carrstone and terracotta colours of the natural building materials, and the punctuating black squares to the deep tones of the broken flint, but I don’t like to try and replicate what I see. For me design should speak about the maker as much as the inspiration.  And, at the moment, I need colour like I need sunshine!

Norfolk Bricks Octogan Cushion English Paper Piecing © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Basting 3/4″ squares

Norfolk Bricks Octogan Cushion English Paper Piecing © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Thinking about the layout as I baste the octogans

Norfolk Bricks Octogan Cushion English Paper Piecing © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

It’s like shuffling cards!

There is another reason to have a small portable EPP project on the go right now: it’s likely Kim will be admitted to hospital next week, in Plymouth (we’ll know for sure on Friday) – which is about 130 mile round-trip by train. I’ll definitely need something to occupy my hands for that!

Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead with plenty of time for quilting too.  I hope you’ll forgive my erratic postings of late, but all being well I hope to be back again during the week, for now though I’m linking up with Slow Stitching Sunday over at Kathy’s Quilts – head on over to see what everyone’s been working over the weekend.
signature, Stephie x
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