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There’s a Fete going on in Cornwall!

Hello lovely, patient friends! I hope you’ve all been enjoying the summer so far, the weather’s been pretty rubbish here, so at the first glimpse of clear sky I grabbed the chance to take some photos of what’s in my hoop at the moment. But more on that in a mo. First off…

Comments Are Working!

I’m sooo glad to tell you that I’ve moved the blog to a new hosting company and finally we have working comments again…we can have a conversation! I have to admit that as well as being really busy with all the walking, I haven’t felt very motivated to post over the last few months, because talking to myself was a little bit dull to say the least (even the blog emails weren’t working)! Hopefully that’ll change now.

Out Of The Hoop

Since I last posted I’ve taken Prosperity out of the hoop. I’ve only got the borders to quilt now (I’ve finished one of them) and I don’t always use a hoop for those, mostly because I’m too lazy to add extra strips of fabric to the sides to hold it in place. Let’s be honest here, who does that anyway?!

Hand quilted patchwork quilt 'Prosperity'. Improv design © Stephanie Boon, 2017

Just the borders to quilt now

One quilt out another one in. And that’s my sister’s 40th birthday quilt ‘Fete’.

Fete

The Basting

I thread basted this quilt with herringbone stitch. It’s so lovely to work on because you don’t have to keep removing pins every time you move the hoop along a bit.  And it really doesn’t take that long to baste this way, especially if you work at a table. I did in a couple of hours over 2 evenings and I could have done it in one go if I’d been feeling more industrious!

Hands quilted improv patchwork quilt by © Stephanie Boon, 2017 www.Dawnchorusstudio.com

Fete, basted and being hand quilted…at last!

Who else prefers to thread baste?  I imagine pins are much easier to remove if you’re machine quilting, as you wouldn’t have the trouble of trying to extricate thread from under small machine stitches? I’ve been enjoying snipping the basting threads as I go along, which means I get to see the gorgeous texture developing.

Fete, a hand quilted patchwork quilt by © Stephanie Boon, 2017 www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Hand quilting in big stitch style

The Quilting

I had a couple of attempts at a quilting design before I settled on this one. My first idea was to create an all over zig-zag pattern in a random style, rather than geometric and even. I didn’t like it. At all! It seemed to lose the flow and movement of the bunting flags. So I tried again.

This time I stitched about a quarter of an inch from the seams and then another parallel row about another quarter inch apart. I didn’t like that either for two reasons: 1. it still felt geometrical and ‘rigid’ and 2. it left some of the larger flags without enough quilting to hold the layers in place (for my taste).

I went with version number 3. This version comprises ‘random’ echo quilting, various widths from the seams, with the second row various widths from the first. And if the smaller flags look good with just one row, they get just one row! And the larger ones might get 3 or more. I much prefer it because the quilting works with the flow of the bunting, rather than creating a pattern of it’s on own top.

The Thread

Hand quilted patchwork quilt by © Stephanie Boon, 2017 www.dawnchrousstudio.com

Hand quilting on the Kaffe Fassett backing fabric

The back looks good too I think. I’m working in ‘big stitch’ with a cotton perle thread in blue. I chose blue because I didn’t want to see the flags too distinctly on the back. This was another decision I made so as not to detract from the pattern of the fabric.

The big, bold Kaffe Fassett design has as much exuberance as the front and the quilt could easily be reversed. The other thing I like about the thread is that a friend gave it to me. Her mum died relatively recently and she had lots of perle cottons in her sewing box that my friend was unlikely to use. It makes me happy to think she’s part of this quilt too.

Walking and Drawing

My desire to be creative seems to be on a bigger roll lately. Maybe having a break from being online so much has had its benefits? Instead of thinking about things I’ve been getting on with it. Perhaps all the long distance walking has helped too. It clears the head and allows you to see the landscape in a different way. I’d all but forgotten how much I love the simple act of looking and  painting too. I always draw, but colour and mark making is an enlivening experience.

 

Oak trees. Oil pastel on paper. July 2017 © Stephanie Boon, all rights reserved. www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Oak trees. Oil pastel on paper

Painting - Beech Trees In The Rain, © Stephanie Boon, 2017. all rights reserved. www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Beech trees in the rain.

Painting. Pines Through The Beech Trees. © Stephanie Boon, 2017. All rights reserved. www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Pines through the beech trees

Painting: Dead Tree at Trelissick (Beech Trees). © Stephanie Boon, 2017. All rights reserved. www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Beech trees in fading light

Another old friend gave me a wonderful gift of a set of oil pastels. I’d never used them much before and I’m amazed at the range of marks I can make with them – I wonder where these sticks of gorgeousness have been all my life!

I’m using them to make the series of small woodland drawings/paintings you can see here (they’re just a little bigger than A4). I’m aiming for 10 or so and maybe I’ll even exhibit them some day!

Another Hike

Cliffs and beach at Duck pool. North coast of Cornwall. July 2017. © Stephanie Boon, all rights reserved. www.dawnchorusstudio.com

Cliffs on the north Cornish coast

I’m heading off to the north coast again tomorrow and I’ll be taking some art materials with me, of course. It’s a short trip, only two nights, but what with the weather and a load of appointments (more about that next time) just squeezing in 2 nights seemed to be better than none (it was meant to be 4). Things won’t be so frantic towards the end of the month and I’m planning another 80 mile stretch, this time on the south coast. When I finish that section, I’ll have walked the entire Cornish coast in one continuous route (that’s 300 miles). That makes me happy.

Come and join me on Instagram (I have 2 different accounts) to see more pictures of walking and hiking in Cornwall and how my quilting is coming along (slowly, haha!).

One last thing before I head off to pack my rucksack, please, if you find any glitches on the site just let me know (in the comments, haha!); I have every confidence I can sort it out with this new host! (And a few oddities are to be expected when you migrate a site from one host to another.)

I’ll see you on the other side of my hike, so until next time have a great end to the week and a fine weekend too.

Best wishes

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

Art Studio – finding a sense of place

Rising Ground, a search for the meaning of place, Philip Marsden, with watercolour Devoran Creek (Looking for a sense of place) © of Stephanie Boon, 2015

Good reading

I’m reading a fascinating book by Philip Marsden Rising Ground: A Search for the Spirit of Place. Lately, as I’ve mentioned before, I feel I’m trying to find a sense of meaning and have been considering how that relates to my being in this place, the place I inhabit every day.  I ponder whether really knowing the landscape, defining a sense of place, will help me know and understand myself any better.

It wasn’t much of surprise, when I was browsing in my local bookshop, that this title caught my eye. I’d never heard of it before, but was delighted to find that I’d heard, and know, a lot of the places described in the book: Philip Marsden seems to be searching for his own sense of place – and he lives within a 40 minute drive from here.

Much of the book is set in Cornwall and Marsden travels from the east of the county to the far west by foot. He explores the landscape through its history from the Neolithic age to the present, describing the renovation and discoveries about his own ageing home alongside. I realised that many of the books I’ve recently read are about people looking for, or describing, a connection to landscape or sense of place (Kathleen Jamie, Helen Macdonald, Robert Macfarlane, Hugh Thomson…). And they search on foot. Walking, it seems, is the only way.

Painting of Devoran Creek (Looking for a sense of place) © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Watercolour, pencil and graphite

It’s interesting to discover how many of these authors, Marsden included, relate their explorations of place to explorers or settlers of the past. They delve into how others viewed or inhabited the same landscape, how it changes and what this means.  As well as all the walking, there are hours spent in libraries, heads buried deep in books and historical documents.  There are meetings with experts from archaeologists and historians, to falconers and fine artists (some finer than others!).

And it all leaves me with an aching feeling that I don’t walk enough. Something is stopping me and I can’t put my finger on what it is.  I take familiar routes. I sit and I stare at the same skyline, the same fields, the same creeks, questioning how my sense of place, this place, is reflected in who I am. Or whether I’m reflected in what I can see in front of me. This week I sat on the quayside at Devoran, took out my paints and looked hard. I was looking for two hours.

Painting of Devoran Creek (Looking for a sense of place) © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Watercolour, pencil and graphite

And listening. Curlews were crying in their mournful way, geese were honking. There were people playing with their dogs nearby. I just felt empty. Like all I could do was look and see and not feel any connection. Depressed mood. It has a lot to answer for.

I came home, stuck my head back in the book and tried to fight the feeling that at the moment I’m living through someone else’s glorious landscape, instead of my own.

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Art Studio, Painting in the Countryside

 

Painting a watercolour of the English Countryside, © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

The beginnings

I’m close to home. I lean my bike against a 5 bar gate and hop over into the field of barley on the other side. I kneel down and get out my watercolours to paint the English countryside I see in front of me. I’m entranced as the colours change with every shift in the breeze. Words tumble through my mind as I watch, but just one sticks: sway.

Dusk over Carn Brea. Watercolour on paper. © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnChorusStudilo.com

Watercolour painting ‘Dusk Over Carn Brea’

Sway in the Countryside

It’s a gentle word I think, in this context. It describes the countryside in front of me, but what really strikes me is that when I’m looking intently out at something, like I do when I’m painting or drawing from observation, what I’m actually looking for is a ‘way in’. I’ve been searching for a sense of meaningfulness lately and I wonder if engendering a deep connection to the countryside I inhabit will give me that. I have a feeling I can only get that connection by really looking.

I’ve watched these fields of barley over the last few weeks, seen how the colour changes under grey skies or deep red sunsets.  Listened to the swaying of the landscape. Felt the sway.

Field of barley in the English countryside. © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Field of barley

Barely field in the English countryside at sunset. © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Sunset

I noticed that nearby there are fields of dock and grasses that sway too.

 

English countryside. © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Barn below a field of dock

But I kept coming back to the barley.

Field of barley in the English countryside. © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Field edge

You might wonder why the word sway resonates with me. I wonder too.  Maybe you find the same?  A simple word, whatever it might be, just seems to encompass a larger, deeper feeling. Sway feels primitive to me, it’s something we instinctively do to soothe ourselves. My instinct is to keep the word to the fore, it feels like a good metaphor, and develop some work around it. No doubt that will mean reading, more sketches and paintings of the countryside around me, but ultimately I think it will lead to a quilt, a companion to Deepening.

***

The barely was cut this week, ready to be gathered up for winter cattle feed. Autumn is moving in and the countryside is about to change its clothes.  Me, I’m off to find a jumper and head out for another walk before I pick up the needle for an afternoon’s quilting. It looks like another wet weekend and I can’t think of anything better I’d rather do!

Have a great weekend

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Art Studio – watercolour painting

Norfolk

When I was in Norfolk recently I packed a tin of paints and some watercolour paper, hoping to be able to do some painting while I was there visiting family.

Glade, Sandringham. Watercolour paint pallette and sable brush. © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Birthday paint tin!

I was given some money for my birthday a couple of days before we left and I bought a travel tin for my watercolour paints. (I need another tin like I need another quilt, but it was irresistible!) I spent some time deciding which colours I might need for the Norfolk landscape, but as it turned out the only painting I did was this sketch of a glade in Sandringham woods. Not very inspiring and not a great experience: I got covered in horse fly bites!

Glade, Sandringham. Watercolour painting on paper.  © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Glade, Sandringham. Watercolour and conte on paper (approximately A4)

Cambridge – painting exhibition

One hot, sunny day last week though we took a train journey to Cambridge and I got a watercolour fix I wasn’t expecting: The Fitzwilliam Museum was showing a painting exhibition Watercolour – Elements of Nature. Turner, Cozens, Constable, Cotman…the greats of the Romantic period were well represented alongside many others, from Nicholas Hilliard miniatures of the Tudor period to Cezanne in the 20th century.  All the paintings in the exhibition are from the Museum’s own collection. It was a wonderful opportunity to see so many fantastic works side by side, to see different approaches and developments over time. The gallery was busy, but not like one of those so-called block-buster shows where you file through like sheep being dipped. You could take your time and spend as long as you wanted looking in detail at each and every painting. I was in my element. Kim was bored after about 10 seconds!!! (I’m lucky though, it may not have interested him very much, but he is patient and never hassles me to hurry up when I’m looking at art – he’d get short shrift if he tried!)

As part of the exhibition there were also sketchbooks in cabinets and examples of pigments, old paints and paintboxes that added to the romance of the genre.  There were even a few mussel shells on display…

Mussel shells and Pebbles. © Stephanie Boon, 2015. www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Mussel shells and pebbles

What?! Say again?  Mussel shells!  They make perfect portable palettes!  (Another piece of useless information: Turner used squidged up bread for soaking up excess watercolour – nowadays we use tissue/toilet paper, or a sponge!)

Mussel shell painting palette. © Stephanie Boon, 2015. www.DawnChorusStudio.com,

Innovative mussel shell palette!

When we got back to Norfolk Kim and I went for a nighttime stroll on the beach and I collected a generous handful to bring back with me. I find them on the beaches here at home sometimes, but where my parents live they’re washed up in great mounds.

Home – new watercolours

Back at home this week I blu-tacked a couple of art postcards above my desk, a reminder of the wonderful paintings I saw.  The beautiful red painting is by contemporary Scottish artist Barbara Rae. It was one of the first watercolours I was drawn to as I walked into the gallery, the red colours were almost luminous in the subdued light of the room.

Art postcards on a wall.  © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Art postcards from The Fitzwilliam Museum

Art postcard of a watercolour by Barbara Rae. www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Art postcard above my desk of a watercolour painting by Barbara Rae

We got back late Tuesday evening and I couldn’t wait to get out and do some painting myself. I finally managed a couple of sketches on Thursday. I sat in a field about 5 minutes walk from home.  I’d spotted it before we went away, but there’s something about it that’s been in my mind for a while.

'Kea Downs' Watercolour painting on paper.  © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Field, Kea Downs.  Watercolour of paper (approximately A4)

Right now it’s shimmering with a crop of barley.  It’s giving me ideas.  I love the way nature does that.

'Kea Downs' Watercolour painting on paper.  © Stephanie Boon, 2015 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Across Fields, Kea Downs. Watercolour and conte on paper (approximately A4)

I hope you enjoyed my first Art Studio post for a while.  Hopefully I’ll get it back on track to being a regular Saturday feature from now on.

Hope you’re having a good weekend so far?

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Art Studio – filling up a sketchbook

The last two pages in my Moleskine sketchbook are done!  I filled it up with two watercolour sketches during the week and feel pretty satisfied that I can close the cover on this one.

Sketchbook watercolour 2015: Looking across Butney Banks. © Stephanie Boon, 2015

Looking across Butney Banks 1,  July 2015

Both sketches are looking out at the same view across a nearby creek and were done one after the other.  I much prefer the last one: it feels lighter and more fluid, not so overworked (which I still blame on the poor quality paints!).

Sketchbook watercolour 2015: Looking across Butney Banks. © Stephanie Boon, 2015

Looking across Butney Banks 2, July 2015

It’s so peaceful and relaxing sitting on the quay gazing out across the water (or mud flats when the tide’s out), listening to curlews and buzzards.  At the moment the edges of the creek are rimmed with bright green samphire, which is inedible because of the amount of arsenic in it. Still, it adds a slick of beautiful colour to the view.

Why I loved this sketchbook

          The one thing I loved about the Moleskine sketchbook is the way both sides of paper are sized, so you can work across both pages like I have in these sketches, which isn’t possible with conventional watercolour paper.   It’s got a nice cold pressed paper (slightly textured), but I found that with the quality of these particular paints it would lift if I wasn’t careful (lift means that it gets a rough, very absorbent texture where the size lifts off).  It’s a perfect size for carrying around though and fits easily into a bag, or even a pocket.

Since I filled it up I bought a new (different) book but it’s not as good; I won’t be able to use it for watercolour as the paper’s too thin, so it’ll just be tucked in my bag for drawing only.  I’ve used a wide range of sketchbooks over the years, but I still like to experiment and try new ones. Which sketchbook would you recommend and why?  Maybe it’s one I should try?
Back tomorrow with some slow stitching, have a great weekend!

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Art Studio

 

Looking

I don’t know about you, but I find carrying a heavy camera around with me everywhere I go a right pain in the bum!  Enter the camera-phone. Lightweight, discreet and pretty good pictures. Sometimes. But the trouble with snapshots is that they’re just that: a quick click of a button and you move on.  What do you really look at, really see?  A better way of looking is to carry a sketchbook and pencil in your bag.  Add a small palette of colour (watercolour, coloured pencils, etc) and you can come home with a much truer picture of the things that catch your eye.

I’ve had my head down for so long though that I haven’t been looking around me with any real focus. But recently, when I’ve been out walking locally, I’ve felt the need to drink in the landscape and have rummaged around in my well-worn rucksack to find my tiny, not-quite-A6  Moleskine sketchbook (it’s 3.5″ x 5.5″) and 7b pencil.  There they are at the bottom of the sack in a clear, scrunched up plastic bag with a rubber (eraser) and a (useless) pencil sharpener. Probably lighter than an iPhone.  Definitely more creative (for me anyway).

© Stephanie Boon, 2015 A6 pencil and wash: Misty hillside Coosebean

Misty Hillside, Coosebean. Pencil and wash.

© Stephanie Boon, 2015 A6 pencil sketch: Truro Cathedral

View over the Cathedral. Pencil.

© Stephanie Boon, 2015 A6 pencil and wash: Coast Path, Porthtowan

Thrift. Coast Path, Porthtowan.  Pencil and wash.

© Stephanie Boon, 2015 A6 pencil and wash: Coast Path, Porthtowan (detail)

Detail

Some sketches get finished, some, like the Oak Tree (below), don’t.  Sometimes you have to move on too soon; it doesn’t matter.  With more regular practice you can train your eye to see/draw more quickly.  This particular sketchbook has some pretty rudimentary stuff in it.  Embarrassing really, but it’s been a while since I’ve been able to do any regular sketching. I’ll get back into it. In the mean time, I’m not worrying.  It’s a sketchbook, so who’s going to see it except me?  Oh, and you of course – but I’m only showing you some of the ‘best’ bits!

© Stephanie Boon, 2015 A6 pencil: Oak Tree, St Clement

Oak Tree, St Clement. Pencil.

Colouring

‘Best’ is a matter of opinion. It doesn’t even matter if you think you can’t draw: take a sketchbook and a few coloured pencils or watercolours (watercolour pencils are great too), look at something closely but don’t try to draw it representationally.  Just draw some squares and fill them in trying to capture the colours you see.  For example, you could look at a rose in a hedgerow – what colours are there?  The petals won’t be just one shade of pink so try and fill your squares with the variety of pinks you see.  There might be yellow stamen, but what sort of yellow are they? Gradually you’ll begin to build up a picture of the rose by colour.  You could photograph it too, to stick in later. Write notes. It’s a great way to design a colour scheme for a patchwork quilt.

Concentration

Snatching a few minutes here and there for drawing has been fulfilling this last week or so.  Kim’s health is slowly improving and my concentration has improved along with it.  Looking through this sketchbook reminds me of that; but I wonder if maybe it’s the walking itself that’s helped with concentration.  I find it quite a meditative process, especially over longer distances.  A couple of times this week I’ve walked between 10 and 13 miles and that’s when I really start to lose myself. I’ve been thinking about hiking a lot lately. Getting itchy feet. I’ve got a strong desire to head off into some hills for a while, or out on the coast path at least.  But it’s raining, pouring in fact, and I don’t have any shelter.  So, for now, I’ll have to take day hikes. And remember to pack a sketchbook.

What do you do to help you concentrate?

Back soon with something stitchy, until next time, have a great weekend.

 

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The Yorkshire Dales

A6 watercolour sketch of the River Ure near Reeth, Yorkshire Dales. © Stephanie Boon, 2014 www.DawnChorusStudio.com

River Ure near Reeth, Yorkshire Dales

Good morning campers!  How was your weekend?  For me this weekend wasn’t as memorable as the previous one, when I was in the Yorkshire Dales National Park for a trail running weekend with friends from my running club. I meant to show you one or two pictures of the landscape there, because it’s just so inspiring, so I thought I’d kick off the week with a quick look back.

I knew I wouldn’t be running as far as my friends, due to an achilles problem, but I managed 4 or 5 miles a day and an 11 or 12 mile mountain bike ride.  I took along a small sketchbook and some watercolours thinking I’d head off walking and do some drawing along the way. As it turned out there wasn’t much time for that after all and the little A6 watercolour sketch above is all I managed!  I was out for a run with the group and after a few miles I came over a stile and slipped on wet grass on a very steep slope, twisting my ankle. After that I hobbled along for a while until I came to the river and decided to be sensible and head back. The group disappeared up hill and out of sight!  I sat on some stepping stones with my feet in the water trying to quell any swelling and numb the pain!  As I wandered back along the river I came to the spot in the sketch, which was so peaceful and beautiful I decided to sit for half an hour or so and draw.  Until my hands got too cold!  I’ve promised myself that I’ll go back one day with more time for walking and drawing – I just wanted to scoop up all the soft autumnal colours and pour them into a quilt!

View above Thoralby, Yorkshire Dales. © Stephanie Boon 2014. www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Above Thoralby

View above Thoralby, Yorkshire Dales. © Stephanie Boon 2014. www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Dry stone walls divide up the landscape

View above Thoralby, Yorkshire Dales. © Stephanie Boon 2014. www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Gate in the dry stone wall

View above Thoralby, Yorkshire Dales. © Stephanie Boon 2014. www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Cattle shelter near the walls

View above Thoralby, Yorkshire Dales. © Stephanie Boon 2014. www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Some tracks are just too steep to run!

View above Thoralby, Yorkshire Dales. © Stephanie Boon 2014. www.DawnChorusStudio.com

High moors and big clouds above Thoralby

View above Thoralby, Yorkshire Dales. © Stephanie Boon 2014. www.DawnChorusStudio.com

Old barns dot the landscape in the valley

One of the most wonderful things about this landscape was to sit and watch the light change minute by minute.  It was pretty spectacular to see the sun break through the clouds and the shadows move across the hills like they were trying to win a race. I feel so lucky to have been away to such an inspiring place and came back feeling fresh and restored. With a swollen ankle!

Last week was quite hectic with the final class of a start-up business course I’ve been studying, a presentation and who knows what appointments – and the time in Yorkshire seems to be slipping past pretty quickly. It’s been lovely to capture some of those memories here and I hope you enjoyed the pictures too.  I’ll definitely be back later in the week with more quilty goings on, promise! I’ve got a couple of things I really want to share with you, until then

Happy Stitching!

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That orange feeling – and how to make a tea cosy!

It gets me every autumn: orange! I just love it! It’s my favourite colour and my favourite time of year, and this year the autumn light has made the colours so spectacular around here that I think they’re seeping into my bones.

© Stephanie Boon, 2013, www.dawnchorusstudio.com Sunset at Chapel Porth, Cornwall, 24.11.13

Chapel Porth, Cornwall

Kim and I watched the sun set at the beach last night; there was a nip in the air, but it didn’t deter the surfers from making the most of the waves. It was spectacular and I felt so lucky that we just happened to go out for an unplanned Sunday walk and got to watch this unfold.

Then there have been the woodland walks with golden leaves to crunch through.

© Stephanie Boon, 2013, www.dawnchorusstudio.com Autumn leaves.

Golden leaves

Not forgetting to pick some up to look at in closer detail and study with a paintbrush and watecolours at home.

© Stephanie Boon, 2013, www.dawnchorusstudio.com Autumn leaves., watercolour and gouache on paper.

Under the spotlight

And all this autumn colour seems to be pouring into the Christmas gift making too: check out this tea cosy and coasters!

© Stephanie Boon, 2013, www.dawnchorusstudio.com Patchwork tea cosy in orange colours.

Time for tea!

These little tea cosies are easy to design and make, here’s how I did it:

Make  a Tea Cosy

  1. Measure the girth of your teapot (much like you’d measure your waist or hips!), divide the number in two and add 1 inch, then measure the height and add an inch and a half. Make two pieces of patchwork to these measurement in your preferred design (I love the simple postage stamp design of this one).
  2. Make a paper pattern based on the height and width of your patchwork,  simply curving the top edges using something like a plate or a compass.
  3. Cut out two top layers from your patchwork, then cut off a half inch strip along the bottom of your pattern and now cut  2 inner layers for the lining from a cotton fabric that you like and two pieces of wadding.
  4. Make a rouleau loop hanger  (follow the link to my tutorial)
  5. Quilt the patchwork to the wadding (excluding the backing/inner) x 2, ensuring the top edges meet (the patchwork fabric will be half an inch longer)
  6. Pin the rouleau loop at the centre top, on the right side of the patchwork, with the loop going towards the centre and the ends towards the seam
  7. Place the two patchwork pieces right sides together and stitch a quarter inch seam right around the three sides, leaving the bottom open, remove pins, press and turn right side out
  8. Place the two inner lining pieces right sides together, pin and stitch a quarter inch seam as above. Press, but don’t turn through
  9. Place the inner over the top of the outer, so that the right sides are together and pin together around the base (note that the wadding won’t be in the seam)
  10. Using the free-arm of your sewing machine, stitch around the base of the cosy, leaving an unstitched gap of about 3 – 4 inches, turn the cosy through this gap and close the gap by hand with a slip stitch
  11. Push the lining inside the outer, press so that the wadding is at the bottom edge and finally top stitch around the base through all layers, including the wadding. And That’s it!

 

© Stephanie Boon, 2013, www.dawnchorusstudio.com Patchwork tea cosy in orange colours.

The lining – this is a fab seersucker that I was given, so fresh and jolly!

I also made some matching mug rugs to go with this tea cosy. I sewed  simple 9 patch squares for the tops and  stitched them together using the instructions for making up mug rugs in this tutorial.

© Stephanie Boon, 2013, www.dawnchorusstudio.com Patchwork tea cosy in orange colours.

Drink with cake!

I think it’s going to make a lovely gift and I can’t wait to give it to someone special…I very much doubt there’ll be any cake left to go with it though!

Back during the week with more quilty goodness to share , ’til then Happy Stitching 🙂

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One step forwards

Thinking cherub on an urn, © Stephanie Boon, August 2013

Pensive

Illness sucks. It sucks even more when you don’t have the motivation, concentration or energy to do the things you love, like quilting and drawing. But over the last day or two I’ve managed to stitch a few hexagons together and put pencil to paper; small, slow steps in the right direction.

I went for a leisurely walk this afternoon, a meander alongside the local river to a spot called Sunny Corner. It lived up to its name today; I spent a quiet couple of hours sitting in the summer sun sketching, watching the birds and listening to the curlews on the mud flats. The tide was low and the only navigable part of the river was the deep channel some way off, so the swans and the cormorants pretty much had it to themselves.

'Sunny Corner' watercolour and graphite on paper, © Stephanie Boon, August 2013

From Sunny Corner

It’s not the first time I’ve sat at Sunny Corner to draw. I used to live on a boat nearby when I was a student and loved wandering up here.

'Towards Malpas' watercolour and graphite on paper, © Stephanie Boon, August 2013

Towards Malpas

I should dig out the old watercolours some day and see how they compare, but this part of the river hasn’t really changed much over the years – and I’m not sure my sketching style has either!

Before I sign off for the evening I’d just like to thank everyone for their kind and generous messages over the last few weeks, especially Paula over at The Sassy Quilter, it’s been so comforting to know that you’re all still here and I look forward to catching up with everyone soon.

With much love

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