Categories: inspiration; home life

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Festive Robins and Rag Wreaths

Soon after we moved into our new home I began putting out food for the birds. After a couple of weeks they tentatively began to come to the bird table and recently they seem to have permanently moved in. We have regular outsize visitors including a wood-pigeon, at least 3 jackdaws and a crow, plus 2 magpies. They vie for space on the table, shoving each other off with their wings: it’s an entertaining sight. I’m beginning to know their behaviour well enough to give each of them names. When they’ve had their fill and fly back to the roof tops, the song birds come in.

Robin tea lights on a hand quilted red and white table runner

I love bringing out my hand quilted Christmas table runner at this time of year. I think the robins like it too!

There’s a blackbird, a robin and a wren and dozens of sparrows too. The robin sits on the handle of a garden lantern nearby, watching me watching him, making sure I’ll do him no harm before his breakfast. He sits for minutes at a time, picture perfect. If I had a snowy garden he’d be perfectly posed for a Christmas card.

Festive Decorations

But we don’t have any snow, sadly. So I’ve been enjoying the robins on my festive decorations instead. They’re slowly beginning to appear, from a string of fairy lights around the window to the sweet robin tea lights my friend gave me as a house-warming gift. I’ve put Kim’s red and white quilt on my chair and my hand quilted Christmas table runner on an old tool chest I use for storage (in the photo above).

More decorations will come out of the cupboard this week to be dusted off and put around the house. We’ll buy a tree too and bring it inside to decorate on Christmas eve. And I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I can finish On The Edge (Floating Squares) this week to put on the wall above the dining table. Progress has been slow but I’ve managed another peaceful hour or so today. And next time I show it to you it’ll be on the wall!

Drum Roll Please!

The run up to Christmas is busy for most of us and I’ve spent the last week or so making gifts for friends and family.  A little over a week ago I showed you a rag wreath I’d made. Several of you said you’d like a tutorial, so after a week of intense writing and photographing, here it is!

How to make a rag wreath. Purpler rag wreath hanging on the wall. © Stephanie Boon, 2016 www.DawnChorusStudio.co,

Learn how to make a rag wreath like this one – follow the link to the tutorial below

A New Rag Wreath Tutorial

I’d be honoured if you take a look and tell me what you think. Is the text clear enough, the layout ok, the photographs good enough?! I’ve been fretting about it and so focussed on it I can’t see the wood for the trees anymore. Most of all, I hope it inspires you to try your hand at one too – go on, there’s a whole week before Christmas and you know you want to!!! (Let’s be honest, there’s not much else to do now is there, haha!)

The tutorial is here, and over the next day or two I’ll add it to the ‘how to‘ page and link it up elsewhere so that it’s easy enough to find.

Now it’s finish, along with the gift making, I’ll be back again in the week to share a couple of other things I’ve been up to. I look forward to catching up with you too, I feel like I’ve been awol for too long!

I’m linking up with Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching and look forward to seeing what you’ve been up to too.

Happy stitching

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

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Finding A New Sewing Space

Stitching has Resumed!

I managed a few hours hand quilting during the evenings this week, which has been bliss. And I’ve found the perfect place to sit and sew in our new home.

We have a larger kitchen/dining room than we previously had. There’s more wall space for sure and much more storage. There are alcoves fitted with shelves either side of what was once a fireplace. It’s not taken me long to fill them up with quilting books and baskets of fabric!

Moving into a new home. The dining area is covered in boxes still to be sorted. © Stephanie Boon, 2016 www.dawnchorusstudio.com

So much sorting out to do in the kitchen/dining room/sewing room! It’s still a complete mess.

Best of all is the space I have for a large farmhouse table to sit and quilt at – it was languishing in the shed for years back at the old place. I had to make do with a much smaller one, which was always covered in detritus for lack of storage. And now, oddly enough, I can’t get the smaller one into the house! The large table has detachable legs, the small one doesn’t and the front door is very narrow (it’s a Victorian terraced house). The door opens onto a long hallway and there’s no turning space. There’s no rear entrance either so the small table’s gone to a new home: Kim’s dad’s shed! It’s the big old table for me. Serendipity.

Good Company

I found my quilt On The Edge (Floating Squares) shoved into a carrier bag the other day, along with some reels of thread and a needle or two. I cleared the table of boxes and sat down to take a few stitches. It was dark outside and I felt so at home, cosy, warm, content. Then something surprising happened: Kim pulled up a chair and kept me company for the entire evening. I have no idea when this last happened. He usually holes himself up in his room and I only see him when he comes out to raid the fridge. It really was special; the kind of thing everyone hopes for with their children, time to sit and chat, time to sit in peace and quiet, just be. Together. And I got lots of stitching done.

Quantity not Quality

I’m a bit concerned I’ve got this the wrong way round on this quilt. I know I said I was going to forgive myself, but I caught sight of the big stitch quilting on my Norfolk Bricks lap quilt, when I was finding a new home for it, and couldn’t help compare the two. The stitching on Norfolk bricks looks pretty even and regular (I was impressed!), On The Edge doesn’t. At all! But it’s getting done and I think I have the perfect place to hang it: above the farmhouse table.

Moving into a new home. Trying out a red and blue patchwork wall hanging on the wall above the farmhouse table. © Stephanie Boon, 2016 www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Trying out On The Edge on the wall. (And wondering when I’ll have the time to refinish the table, fit more shelves in the alcove, change the paintwork from an insipid pale pink to white, glue another chair back together that Kim broke some time ago, and oh I don’t know…find homes for the rest of the stuff lying about!)

Knife Edge

The blue border won’t feature on the finished quilt, it’s there for a knife edge binding. This quilt was designed as a wall hanging and I want it to have the borderless quality of a painting. It’s the first time I’ve made a knife edge binding on a quilt this size so it’ll be a good learning experience. It’s also the first time I’ve made a quilt this size exclusively for hanging, so I’ve got to consider the best way to do this too. I was thinking about a tube for a rod at the top and possibly one at the bottom to give it some weight. Before I decide on anything though, I thought I’d ask which method you’d use and which methods you’ve tried and had the most success with. Let me know in the comments, I’d love your advice.

I’m getting ahead of myself though: first off I’ve got to finish the quilting! It’s on the agenda for today’s Slow Sunday Stitching with Kathy over at Kathy’s Quilts. I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in, and I’m hopeful for some more company along the way.

Enjoy your slow stitching today.

I’m looking forward to popping over to your place to say hello and see what you’ve been up to, but there’s still no broadband here so my online time will be a bit ad hoc for another week or so. Will definitely see you soon!

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

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We’re in!

Time to Stitch Myself a New Home

Last night was the first night we slept in our new home! And this morning was the first time in 13 years I woke up to gas fired central heating warming the bathroom – in the bathroom people, omg that stuff is awesome! No more seeing your breath and freezing to death, oh the luxury!

Who’s the Fittest?

Moving home over two days took 3 Luton van journeys and a lot of hard work (exhausted isn’t a tired enough word). That furniture I feel so sentimental about…it weighs a ton. It’s also been 13 years since I ran a handmade furniture and kitchen business, when I was used to loading the stuff onto vans and manhandling it up and down stairs every day. Perhaps it’s time to admit I’m no spring chicken anymore. Er no, I think not: my 18 year old son made me realise just how fit I am, and how desperately unfit he (and his father) are. The pair of them were shattered after just a couple of hours shifting, his dad falling over everything, Kim looking like a ghost. I’m exhausted because I was running around like a loony to make up for the time they were losing, ha!  Needless to say, it’s almost midday and Kim’s still under his duvet dead to the world. I expect his dad will sleep for the next month.

Resting in an old pub near Truro. © Stephanie Boon, 2016 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Taking a mid-move break at a local pub with a large enough car park for the van!

 

Now the Fun Begins

Well, that’s if you consider fighting your way through a jungle of cardboard boxes fun. Which I really don’t. I’ve been looking at piles of them for months and can’t wait to see the back of them. Deciding where everything will go is just as much a headache as moving it all in the first place. Priority will, of course, be finding my quilting and art materials. And somewhere to sit – our sofa wouldn’t go through the front door so that may be more of an issue than you’d think!

On the Edge (Floating Squares) patchwork quilt being hand quilted. © Stephanie Boon, 2016 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Little quilt, little quilt, where are you?! This small quilt needs finishing up asap – it has a wall space waiting for it. First off I need to find it!

Today’s Slow Sunday Stitching will consist of slowly trying to find my sewing stuff! There probably won’t be much actual sewing going on for a few days or so, but I wanted to let all my lovely Slow Sunday Stitching friends know that things are finally coming right and to thank you all so much for your support and encouragement over the last few difficult months. You lot, you’re the best! x

PS Apologies for the late replies to your lovely comments, still no broadband at home yet!

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

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Looking For Peace With Every Stitch

This Quilting Life

My quilting life has almost come to a standstill over the last couple of months. There’s no floor space to work on my piecing and my sewing machine is buried under mountains of stuff to be sorted. But over the last few weeks I’ve managed to carve out a little space for hand quilting, something to calm me between all the packing and panicking. I sit at a small white bureau, laptop in front of me playing a film or some random tv program, thread and scissors to the side. I try and stitch away my worries and low mood.

Moving home and quilting : cardboard boxes piled high against the wall, bookcases and desks stacked out of use and a small bureau used as a place to quilt. © Stephanie Boon, 2016 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

I’m getting a bit sick of this view now! But I’ve almost finished painting all the furniture you see white (with the exception of the grandad chair which is staying as it is!)

on-the-edge-detail-sept-16

I haven’t got a lot done, but I’ve promised myself to try and quilt at least one square a day on this quilt On The Edge (inspired by Sherri Lynn Wood’s score Floating Squares), even if it’s just a 1.5″ square. It’s quite a small quilt, intended as a wall hanging, so even a tiny amount of hand quilting makes a visible difference. The squares I’m quilting don’t follow the squares and rectangles of the patchwork, but are overlaid on top. They criss-cross each other, linking one square to the next, creating another layer of floating squares. I reckon I’ve quilted just over half the area of the top so far.

You get a better idea of how the quilting design works by looking at the back:

The back of a hand quilted quilt, showing the stitch design of overplayed squares on a plain blue background. © Stephanie Boon, 2016. www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Floating squares on the back – and some wobbly lines.

My stitches are all over the place. A consistent size one day, a different size the next. I’m forgiving myself: I’m mentally and physically exhausted. This has become therapy. I think all us hand quilters find the process therapeutic, but I’m switching off and not striving for anything other than peace. It works, even for a few minutes a day.

Handmade quilt hanging over the back of a chair at a writing bureau. © Stephanie Boon, 2016 www.DawnChorusSTudio.com

A calm space to quilt amongst the chaos

I’m on tenterhooks waiting for news of a possible place to call home. References have to be got, money has to be found for fees, deposit and rent. And we’re meant to be out of this house by Sunday 9th October. That’s this weekend. It’s not going to happen and all the uncertainty is unbearable. I’m grateful that every small stitch I make is a move forward, helping to build a new picture. It’s a picture I look forward to hanging on a wall. Pride of place. A reminder that quilting can carry us through even the roughest of times.

I’d love to hear how quilting has helped you through a difficult time, share your story in the comments below.

I’m linking up with Lorna for Let’s Bee Social today – and look forward to being social!

Keep on stitching

 

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

Addendum!

I’m really pleased to say we’ve finally secured a new home…at the 11th hour! We found out yesterday, the 5th, and are meant to be out of our current home on the 9th – a close call indeed. I’m not sure exactly when we’ll be moving (we can’t pick up the keys to the new home until the 10th), but I’d really like to thank everyone for all the best wishes you’ve sent and for reading about my concerns, doubts and anxieties over the last couple of months. Friends indeed – and it could just be all your finger crossing that helped! Thank you once again, I really don’t think I could have got through this period without the support of you all. Love Stephie x

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The Lost Quilter

Craving Simplicity

There’s no denying life’s been hard of late. I just want to rest. Rest everything, from my mind to what I see, to what I do and what I feel. I want everything to be white.

Quilty365 - circle patchwork, circle 81 © Stephanie Boon, 2016 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Quilty 365, March 2016

It’s funny, a few months ago I was engaged in psychotherapy and I recalled a dream I’d had. I don’t usually remember them at all. But this one comes back to me now. I described going into a shed, a brick outhouse like the one attached to this house. I opened the door and was so angry because someone had filled it from floor to ceiling with stuff. I couldn’t get in and I couldn’t find anything. There was no order just a kind of chaos of broken furniture pieces haphazardly piled on top of each other. But everything was white. I took it all out so that the space was empty and the walls and floor were clear and white again. Light. I put a few things back, my things, slowly and deliberately. It was a small space. Very small, but with a window. I may have locked the door and stayed on the inside.

White Space

I couldn’t make head nor tail of the dream at the time. The therapist asked me what white spaces came to mind. Hospitals. Empty galleries. Prison cells. Institutions. Curious, he thought. He perhaps expected me to describe a calm, minimalist space. Peaceful. Now though, I wonder if the spaces I described are somewhere to retreat to. Empty. No distractions. Not places to think and contemplate in, but places to let go of everything. To be empty. To be cared for. To start again.

I’m starting again. Precariously. Moving home to somewhere I’ve not yet seen, somewhere considerably smaller with no garden: I’ve always had a garden. Two up, two down. Each of the last 4 homes I’ve had have been progressively smaller and this next one feels like a shoebox. I feel squeezed. Squeezed out. Where will my sewing machine go?

Fitting A Quart Into A Pint Pot

The homes have become smaller, but the amount of stuff has stayed the same. I’m deeply worried none of it will fit in. It’s furniture I’m sentimentally attached to. A bookcase Kim’s dad made for my birthday one year. A full height armoire we designed and made for a home we had. A writing bureau, a dresser, dining tables, more bookcases and bedside cabinets…another chair he gave me. All things we designed and made together when we ran a handmade furniture company, and lived in a reasonably large Georgian home. 14 years of our lives. If I got rid of it I couldn’t possibly afford anything else of the same quality.

So I get rid of the inconsequential. The wine glasses I never use, the umpteen mugs I seem to have accumulated, old picture frames, pieces of fabric. Things that don’t take up the space. And now I’m painting everything white. White furniture to meld into white walls.

It seems ridiculous to have such attachments. But being attached to something you’ve invested time and love in is something I’m sure any quilter will understand. They’re not things, they’re tangible stories. The story of my life. A life I feel I’m losing any grip on at all. A life eroded.

Plain Sewing patchwork quilt in progress. A circle a day wuith the Quilty365 sew-along. © Stephanie Bon, 2016 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Plain Sewing in progress (currently 16″ x 22.5″ / 40cm x 57cm)

Plain Sewing‘, keeps rising in my thoughts. I want to work on it, but it’s packed away in a cardboard box somewhere. It feels lost.

I feel lost.

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

Linking up with Lorna for Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts.

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Good Things Come in Threes

Sometimes, amongst all the anxiety and stress, a day comes along that seems so full of goodness it’s hard to believe. It’s like a beacon, something to hold on to while you weather the storm. Monday was one of those days.

When Two Quilters Meet

Meet Roz (on the left), we’ve been online quilty friends for a number of years now and this was our first ‘real life’ get together. Roz lives hundreds of miles away in glorious Yorkshire, but has come to Cornwall for a couple of weeks’ holiday. And not just anywhere in Cornwall, but a mere 3 or 4 miles down the road in St Agnes! (A lot of the photos I share on Instagram are taken around the coast of St Agnes – it’s a beautiful place to escape to. Have a look at my photos and you’ll see what I mean!) It was a rare opportunity we couldn’t pass up.

 

A photo posted by Roz Elliott (@ell55roz) on

We arranged to meet at a lovely open air National Trust cafe on the beach at Chapel Porth. I cycled there and on the way I was thinking that a few decades ago (more than I care to remember!) I’d have been full of nerves and trepidation, but today I was full of excitement. It was the first opportunity I’ve ever had to meet an online friend. And it was even more special because Roz is a quilter, and I hardly ever meet other quilters where I live.

Give Us A Hug!

I rode to the bottom of a stoney track and spotted Roz straight away, and the pair of us were grinning from ear to ear! I felt so exuberant: it was like meeting an old friend you haven’t seen for ages. The disbelief gave way to huge hugs and when we finally found some words I realised Roz had someone with her.

Roz brought her husband Geoff along and it turns out he’s as keen on the outdoors as I am. A biker, a cyclist, a runner, a traveller – they both had some wonderful stories to tell. And of course we talked about quilting! Roz is an awesome hand quilter and you can find her on Instagram and the Celebrate Hand Quilting group on Facebook. She’s also a keen bag maker and machine embroiderer. In short Roz is an inspiration and a most lovely person to boot. I wished we’d had some stitching with us and we could have talked quilting till the cows came home! I can’t wait to meet up again. There’s just so much to share! And luckily for me Cornwall’s a regular holiday destination for them both.

They Say Good Things Come in Threes

The first ‘good thing’ was pretty hard to beat on Monday and I planned to spend the rest of the afternoon gardening. When I got home I rode down the road to my local saw mills about a mile away. I wanted to find out the cost of the timber to make the first raised bed for my disaster-zone-garden. I was surprised at how affordable it was. I had one of those impulsive moments and decided to buy it there and then. Then thought…hmm, how to get it home?!

Making a raised bed with timber carried home on a mountain bike © Stephanie Boon, 2016 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

From bike to raised bed!

I had it cut to size and strapped it to the handlebars and seat of my bike (thank goodness for bungees!) and pushed it back: ingenious, I thought. Back home I was sitting on the kitchen doorstep with a cuppa in my hand and feeling pretty pleased with myself: the second ‘good thing’ of the day had just happened.

I was enjoying a bit of sunshine when I heard a car door close and looked up. Another surprise? Oh yes: an unexpected visit from another old friend, Sally! Sally owns Coast and Country Crafts, (a lovely quilt shop) and brought over a couple of big bags of fabric scraps needing a new home.  This day was turning out to be pretty awesome! What an absolutely wonderful gift for someone who thinks scrappy quilts are the best. in. the. entire. universe!!! ‘Good thing’ number three: tick!

Magnificent Scraps!

We chewed the fat for a while and caught up on family life (our boys were great friends in primary school and went to the same secondary school) until Sally had to head back to the shop. I thought catching up with Sally was the third good thing of the day, but I was totally wrong! Sorry Sally but you were relegated to second place and gardening was kicked off the list altogether!

The bags of scraps she’d brought were hiding a treasure inside. There are lots of strips of fabric in the bags (perfect for a string quilt) but amongst them all were a couple of small pieces of a Kaffe Fassett fabric called Lotus Leaf. In red. I was over the moon: a score for my bunting inspired quilt ‘Fete‘! That really was the third best thing of the day. And in no danger of being struck from the list!

Fete – Growing Row by Row

There isn’t a quilter alive than can put off the excitement of using up a bit of fabric when it’s perfect for the job, so I know you’ll understand what I had to do next. I couldn’t wait to get stitching. I spent about 6 hours or more finishing up two rows of patchwork bunting for Fete, the celebration quilt I’m making for my sister’s 40th birthday.

'Fete' an original improv patchwork in progress © Stephanie Boon, 2016 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Bringing in some blues and purples

Pride of place in the middle of a row are are two pennant flags in ‘Lotus Leaf’ from Sally’s scraps. The smile on my face was about big enough to go well beyond ear to ear by now!

'Fete' an original improv patchwork in progress by © Stephanie Boon, 2016 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Kaffe Fassett scraps (2 large red triangles)

Monday turned out to be an incredible day, unforgettable, all thanks to Roz and Sally. And after such a crappy couple of weeks of raging anxiety it’s wonderful to have some balance restored.

Have you ever met an online friend in real life? What was it like the first time – are you still friends?!?!  Tell us your story in the comments – I’d love to know how you got on!

I’ll be back on Sunday for Slow Sunday Stitching (all being well). Until then…

Happy Stitching!

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

Linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts,  My Quilt Infatuation, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop and Fort Worth Studio

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Chicken Fete!

Cuteness Alert

Hello! Come and say hi to my cute new babies! I’ve got 3 new additions to the henhouse, and each and everyone of them was a bit of a surprise…

2 new chicks feeding with 2 hens. © Stephanie Boon, 2016 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Fluffy bums!

Two little chicks, less than a week old. One black and white, one brown and white. © Stephanie Boon, 2016 www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Less than a week old

If you keep a few hens yourself you know how annoying it can be when they all become broody at the same time: broody hens mean no fresh eggs for a month or two. And no fresh eggs means no cake!

We’ve got three little mixed breed bantams, a mini flock generally keen on demolishing the garden, taking extravagant dust baths and constantly chatting away.  Bundles of feathery fun, one and all. And since they’ve taken to their nests it’s been a bit quiet around here. Then one day last week Kim went out to feed them, heard some curious cheeping and was taken aback to discover chick number one hopping about the place. Why the big surprise? Um, well…we don’t have a cockerel!! Next door’s handsome fellow had taken a fancy to our ladies, abandoning his own brood to follow them around, sadly though he was taken by a fox some weeks ago. Obviously not as long ago as I thought, and not before he’d sewed a few oats!

 

A photo posted by Stephanie Boon (@dawnchorusstudio) on

It’s rather lovely to think that he lives on. I wonder if those two dark chicks will look anything like him as they grow? It’ll be a while before we can tell whether they’re hens or cockerels though. Do any of you keep livestock? It’s a lovely time of year for it isn’t it?

Considering Somewhere to Grow and Sew

There must be something in the air because home-life, including my garden, has been on my mind for a few weeks now. Maybe it’s the sunshine we’ve had for a while? My garden’s a complete mess, overrun with nettles and brambles and knee high grass, and it’s such a tiny space that that means the entire garden! I gave it very little attention at all last year for one reason or another (illness, flies, the farm incursion!) and I’m paying for it now. I used to absolutely love gardening but the expansion of the farm buildings next door has made a serious dent in my enthusiasm.

Farm advancements around a small garden... the encroaching cow sheds, a new machinery shed going up and a silo just out of shot on the left of the picture. And a dying lawn! © Stephanie Boon, 2016 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Farm advancements… the encroaching cow sheds, a new machinery shed going up and a silo just out of shot on the left of the picture. And a dying lawn! (With Daisy sat in the middle of it.) And a missing hedge (I think fruit and veg will need more sun and the hedge had become a straggly eye-sore anyway.)

Since it’s no longer a lovely place to sit in and the neglect’s becoming a bit of an embarrassment I wondered what to do with it. After some cogitation I’ve decided to take a radical approach, start again and turn it into a productive garden with fruit and veg. A mini allotment or kitchen garden: a space I can get dirty in and enjoy in a different way.  There’s some (not too private) space outside the house I can use as a patio to sit in. Sewing outside’s one of the pleasures of a warm, sunny day isn’t it? Not one I’m prepared to forego!

I got off to a bit of an enthusiastic start and cut down a hedge as soon as the robins flew their nest. I decided the only way to get rid of the nettles and unwanted grass was to use a weed killer, something I’ve never used before as I hate chemicals in the garden. I can see why – everything’s dying right back in a matter of a few weeks. And now the weather’s turned. And so have I – back inside until the rain’s passed!

Fete

Which is handy really, because I’ve got a quilt top to be getting on with! I seem to remember the plan was to have it finished by the end of this month, so that I’ve got 6 months to hand quilt it. I best get my skates on.

Patchwork quilt in progress, displayed on a design board (easel). © Stephanie Boon, 2016 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Fete on the easel (design board!) and Lily on the table…

Patchwork quilt in progress, 'Fete' inspired by bunting. © Stephanie Boon, 2016 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Four or five rows of Fete!

I’m enjoying putting this one together. It’s all about the challenge of creating movement. It looks like an exercise in improv patchwork, but to get movement you have to impose some rules and it’s probably more controlled than it first appears. The improv bit is about technique, working out how to fit the pieces together so that it captures the essence of what I see in my mind’s eye. As I’m working I’m constantly shifting and evolving that idea guided by the discoveries I make along the way. And I get lost in the process for hours!

The self imposed rules are fairly straightforward:

  • the colours in the negative space (the background triangles) will be the lightest value
  • the background colours will move from greys to blues (inspired by a cloudy sky)
  • the positive colours (the foreground triangles) will have very limited amounts of white, preferably none
  • the main prints will be contemporary with large motifs (nothing too ‘ditsy’ in the foreground)
  • use as much fabric from scrap bins as possible.

Did you spot any of the ‘rules’ in the quilt top before I listed them? (And if you didn’t can you see them now?!) I don’t want them to be overly noticeable in the finished design so if I have to break the rules to make that happen I will!

Next up is making the transition from grey to blue in the background and from reds to purples in the foreground. It goes without saying that this might change along the way!

Choosing fabrics for a patchwork quilt. © Stephanie Boon, 2016 www.DawnChorusStudio.com,

Considering colour transition

What’s Going On

I feel like I haven’t had anything interesting to share for ages: all I’ve been working on, quilt wise, is this one and Summer Blues (which I’m sure you’re sick to death of seeing by now). Hand quilting the borders of Summer Blues is coming together and I’m more than half way through the third one now. A finish feels pretty close. And, I’m getting quite excited by the thought that I can finally stick it in the washing machine after all these years, haha! I’ve also been plugging away at making this blog part of a bona fide website, but it’s a slow process. I’d love to know what you think of the new (almost finished) ‘take a tour‘ page – it’s meant to help new visitors find their way around, is there anything you’d add?

I’m heading over to say hi to Lorna and everyone else at Sew Fresh Quilts for this week’s Let’s Bee Social – Lorna’s got a great giveaway going on, have you seen it?

Righto my lovelies, see you at the weekend for some Slow Sunday Stitching!

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

Stitching while the birds sing

Wrack and ruin. That’s my garden at the moment. So I was delighted when I went out after the heavy rain today and found enough roses to make this sweet little posy. Pretty over the moon I can tell you!

Green vase of garden roses. © Stephanie Boon, 2014 www.dawnchorusstudio.com

From the garden

I was so disorganised this year that even forgot to sow my beloved sweet peas that I like to scent and colour my home the whole summer long. Still, these aren’t a bad second best are they?! And they do smell heavenly as I sit here at my desk beside the open window listening to the blackbirds sing as I write and sew (the white rose with the yellow centre is a highly scented rambler called Wedding Day). It’s raining really heavily again now, with a faint rumble of thunder in the distance; I’ll be surprised if there are many blooms left by morning so I think I should make the most of these while I can!

Have you seen the Dawn Chorus Studio Facebook page recently? I’ve been trying to post much more regularly (daily if I can!) with lots of pictures of inspiring things I’ve come across from all over the world, including pictures of quilts, great patterns, colours and textures; the picture of my roses reminds me of some beautiful images of Kaffe Fassett flowers I posted the other day. Oh and if I come across any great giveaways or fabric deals I’ve been posting those too (as well as a sneak peek of something new I’m working on); come on over and and share what’s inspiring you, I’d really love to see you there and have a chat 🙂

Until then, back soon and happy sewing

 

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Still here

Enjoying the scent of the lilies outside my door, after the rain.

Stargazer, scented lily. © Stephanie Boon, 2013, www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Stargazer

Thinking of you all.

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