It is a grey, windy, wintery day and I was wondering about keeping this self-imposed Friday blog date. Afterall, there is nothing much to report – no new big work completed or profound musing on life and the universe. But there are some bits and pieces to write about and I did skip last week, so here goes…
A while ago, when extolling the joys of hand quilting, I posted a photograph of a piece I am working on. Well, I am still working on it. I am stitching a garden and, like a real garden, it seems that it keeps asking for more work to be done to it. (Do other gardeners also marvel at the perfect gardens pictured in magazines?) Here are a few more teasers, with the hope that when it is finally finished and I show you the complete quilt it won’t be a let-down.
The garden quilt is taking its time partly because every so often I get bored with it and make something else. For instance, this notebook cover made from silk brought all the way from India by one of my quilting friends as a gift.
The embossed snakelike shapes are part of the fabric. I was writing notes on life and the universe in one of those plain Moleskin soft-backed notebooks and this piece of fabric was just what was needed for a bright and comforting cover. I quilted it with gold thread to add to the luxuriance.
Should or shouldn’t I display a new, wonky, quirky small quilt? It’s called Christmas Buddha and owes its existence to a photograph in a book by Antony Osler called Stoep Zen: A Zen Life in South Africa. (Jacana 2008, reprint 2016). The photograph is of a statue of the Buddha in a niche, surrounded by fairy lights and flanked by two brightly burning candles, as a celebration of the day and of Christmas. After this description, I will have to show you a photograph of the quilt. To see the real photograph, you will have to find the book.
The cover and the small quilt were made from scratch, in between stitching away at the garden quilt. And in between these, I finished a crocheted cushion cover. I have been working on this for about three years, so it is a great achievement! The wool is the most beautiful hand spun and dyed mohair, produced by Adele Cutten on her farm in the Eastern Cape. (The website is at https://www.adelesmohair.co.za/) It took me so long to make partly because the wool is very fine (sock wool guage) and partly because of the three row granny squares. The cushion now sits on our bed and it is both lovely to look at and lovely to lean against.
Last, but definitely not least, is this remarkable candlestick holder, turned by Andrew Stevens for our Victorian bathroom. It is made from solid Burmese teak reclaimed from an old citrus sorting machine, and from a piece of an old railway carriage. Isn’t it magnificent.