Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Winter of my content

What a wily winter this is! With some days bathed in sunshine and then others like today which are dim and blisteringly cold. So cold you just want to curl up in your cave and stitch, knit, read, eat..... Not to be for this little Ma - the two Pickles do not feel the mood altering affects of the cold. For them it is a day like any other and like all days it begins with the refrain of "Mummy, I think we should go somewhere". Sneakily, as they eased into their day with a four course breakfast (oh how hungry these boys are at the moment) I managed to sew together three of the seven strips for the quilt I'm finally making for our bed.

That was enough to fortify me for an outing so, hats, layers, coats and boots on, we popped down to Footscray market to meet some friends for lunch. Delicious delicacies were devoured at the Japanese eatery at the front of the market and then after a little stroll through the wilds of Footscray we returned home with an extravagant box of four Cavallaro & Sons cannolis. I love that place, it's such an anomaly in the predominantly Vietnamese landscape of Hopkins/Barkly St but has actually been there longer than nearly all of them. Great, strong coffee and brilliant, authentic cannoli that pretty much justify the $3 a pop pricetag.

From there it was home to put the Pickles to bed and I succumbed to the chill induced lethargy and parked myself in front of the heater to knit some more duck bodies. A mother duck and three babies is the answer to the plethora of new babies that need to be acknowledged. I did a calculation last night and established that I need 7 mothers and around 19 ducklings........daunting? or inspiring....? Bit of a test really to see if I can sustain the satisfaction and joy I usually get from making these and therefore whether they would be a feasible contender for my hopefully soon to be launched Etsy store.
Who could resist these lovelies:

  I'm hoping to put the collection of silk dying materials that mum gave me to use in making blue playcloths to go with at least some of the sets.

 Some of the duck families will also be accompanied by wraps made from the 9 odd yards of beautiful double gauze Me-In-Beby fabric I searched the internet world for and finally found in a great (because it has this fabric) Etsy store - Sewtropolis. They have a great range of the Cloud 9 Organic range too.

This print by Mico Ogura is covered in gorgeous little pictures of various baby items and then you have the Japanese quirky touch with the crocodiles. I love this fabric so much that I am going to secretly make one wrap to keep.......for......a rainy day.......a possible, maybe one day, baby more than a twinkle in possibly just the mothers eye at this stage.....a very faint twinkle on cold wintry days when two little boy Pickles seem more than this mamas both hands full.

Also in process is the aforementioned quilt for our bed. I bought the fabric for this quite some time ago, possibly before the little Pickle was born. It has sat in a neat little display stack in my beloved cupboard for nigh on two years because I didn't want to buy a pattern and didn't have the courage to embark on designing one myself.

Finally the other day whilst looking through Anna Maria Horners Handmade Beginnings, I looked again at her Centre of Attention Quilt design and decided that it had many of the features I was looking for. A clean, easy to construct base design with some interesting design features. So, I cut the precious fabric into by 13 x 13 inch squares and have almost finished joining them all together. Next I have to choose the highlight fabrics with which to make the Dresden plates that are appliqued over the top.
Straight after cutting all the fabric I had grave concerns that perhaps my mixture of light and dark fabrics wasn't really suited to the design but I'm just going to hold my breath, keep the faith and believe it will all come together. The piece of fabric on the right is a Liberty print that sort of inspired the collection of fabrics going into this quilt. It has the red and navy colours that tie in to my current bedlinens and also a blue that matches the curtains in my room. The funny thing was this was the one fabric I didn't have. My sister bought it some time ago to make herself a skirt and I had been trying to track down a piece of it for ages only to find that it was one of the limited run Liberty that had seemingly vanished. In the end I asked her if she had any left and could I buy a piece from her and she handed over a very generous piece. I'll use it in the large Dresden plate in the centre of the quilt and hopefully it will live up to the vision in my head.

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