Hello and welcome to my blog. I hope you can stay a while, so make yourself a cuppa, put your feet up and browse through my blog pages.

I like to answer all your comments if I can, unless you are "noreply-comment" blogger.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

LandScape and Dorset Buttons

LandScape magazine is probably the most popular magazine in our house (besides craft magazines, of course!), and the only one DH and I subscribe, and we both equally enjoy.
It has something for everyone - gardening, various crafts, food recipes, visits to British countryside, as well to its towns and gardens.....and very few adverts. It is being published every other month, plus two special issues a year. 
It has been so popular that the publishers have now decided to change it to a monthly magazine.

The reason I am telling you this? 
In the latest issue just out, there is a very interesting article about Dorset Buttons, its origins, and about one woman, Anna McDowell, keeping the craft alive.

Her website is called Henry's Buttons , where you can read all about the history of Dorset buttons, and various events and workshops; for her blog click here.

I had a go at making few Dorset buttons myself in the past, and I also wrote a post about them in April 2010:

The history of Dorset buttons goes back to 1700, when this craft was brought to England by ex-soldier Abraham Case. When in the army, he was stationed in Belgium and France, where he probably saw lace and buttons being made.

On his return he settled in Shaftesbury, Dorset and set up the Dorset button cottage industry. Dorset buttons were used on court dress and also exported to North America and Europe. At the peak of the production there were about 1,000 employed by the industry.

In 1859 the Ashton's Button machine was invented, which was the end of the cottage industry and livelihood of many people.
There had been attempts to revive the craft in the past and lets hope it will not be forgotten.

You can see that post here .

Below are my Dorset buttons.

May be they could be used as establishments for a quilt? 

©pleasureinstitching.blogspot.co.uk 2018

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

more Gardenhurst blocks

Three new (smaller) blocks finished,

 and the start of one of the larger blocks.

Yes, I am really moving on with this quilt!
I have been pulling out so many fabrics from the stash 
(because I am constantly changing my mind which ones to use), 
that there just isn't any space in my room to do anything else!

                                                 The truth is that I am really enjoying it.....

©pleasureinstitching.blogspot.co.uk 2018

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Gardenhurst quilt - another block

It has been a horrid English winter Sunday - it has not stopped raining all day!

The best place to be was my work room, 
finishing the third block of Gardenhurst.

I am calling this one the "Mediterranean" block, 
because it reminds me of summer and holidays........

I wish you all a productive stitching week!

©pleasureinstitching.blogspot.co.uk 2018

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Gardenhurst - first two blocks, and winter "pick me up"

Yes, I have been busy this week and the first two blocks are done.

We are having cold winter this year; cold and grey, although in our part of England without snow, just the little dusting now and then - it is a hibernation time. 
Without snow, the greyness is even worse,
so it is nice to work with this sunny yellow fabric for my next block.

It is from the  Grunge range by Moda Fabric,
and so it the blue/grey below, I really like that one; 
it is actually more grey then in this picture - it is so hard to get the right colours in the grey winter light.

Anybody watched Monty Don's "Paradise Gardens" on BBC2 last night?
What a delight, it is just what we need to see at this time of year!

Enjoy your weekend, thank you for stopping by 😀

©pleasureinstitching.blogspot.co.uk 2018

Monday, 15 January 2018

I found it!

My new applique project, that's what I am talking about 😀

I mentioned in my last post that I miss having a needleturn applique project,
and I have been browsing the internet for some ideas;
so many great designs out there, so hard to choose.

But I did not need to look very far - there is a book on my bookshelf, which I have picked up (and put down again) many times. 
This time I did not put it back on the shelf, because this is just what I have been looking for.
Irene Blanck's book is full of beautiful designs and the only problem is - 
which one to choose?

In the end I decided on "Gardenhurst", so this is my new applique quilt for this year.

Little too much beige and brown for my taste, but I love the design!
This is what happens in my room at the start of any new project - fabrics pulled out from my stash to see what can be used for the new quilt, what goes with what.

Needless to say that a shopping trip was needed, 
so I popped over to my favourite quilting shop  Midsomer Quilting in Chilcompton and came home with some possibles. 

(By the way, the nice people at Midsomer Quilting have asked to spread the word that the new shop is up and running. Apparently some people had the impression that they closed the previous shop at the Chilcompton Garden Centre to concentrate on their on-line business only.   
Both the shop at the new premises at the Manor Farm in Chilcompton, and their new online shop are up and running!)

 In the end I decided on mainly pale greys and yellows for the background,

and here is the start of the first block!

 I traced the pattern onto the fabric using my new LED light pad
( Christmas present, which I did ask Father Christmas for 😉).
It is a very handy A3 size, just the right size for the desk top.

For marking the fabric I am now using Sewline marker or the pencil, 
which both come with an erasers. 
I find them so easy to use and wipe of.

(I did try in the past to use Frixon erasable pens, and at the time it looked like a good idea, but since then the makers of the Frixon pens did say again that they are made to be used on the paper, not on the fabric,
and I did read about instances where it did seemed to work very well on a fabric, only for the marks to come back again much later, after the quilt was finished.
How upsetting!) 

I am looking forward to this!

©pleasureinstitching.blogspot.co.uk 2018

Friday, 5 January 2018

FNwF and my first finish of the year

It is the first Friday of this year and the first meeting at Cheryll's for Friday Night with Friends;
big thank you to Cheryll for lending us her blog again this year!

I have been playing with a small wool applique picture on cotton background (designed by Erica Kaprow), 

and tonight I finished it.
I backed the picture with some thin wadding and a piece of card, and then covered the back with a black felt.

And here it is, hanging on our hall wall, my first finish of 2018!

It was fun and I enjoyed making it, but I realised that it is not going to replace my love of needleturn applique; 
I miss it, and I will need to find some serious applique project for this year.

At this time of the year I often see on blogs lists of planned projects, or projects to be completed this year, or resolutions to work only from a stash.
I can never do the first, because (as many of my followers know 😀) my "projects moods" are rather changeable, there just can't be a "list".
I put this down to my star sign, LOL, but also my stitching often was an antidote to my job and its deadlines, and since I retired, I fully enjoy my freedom.
As for working from a stash only - I do appreciate that often there is an economic necessity to be considered and that we all try to do what we can with what we have.
But seeing new fabrics, feeling them, letting the imagination run riot -
that is a drug I would find very hard to give up!

I liked a post on Kathleen Tracy's blog (dated 27th December), which relates mainly to fabric storage, but she also writes, quote:

"Buying a new fabric is a good thing if it makes your heart flutter and fills your mind with inspiration. Buying and collecting fabric is a part of the reason we love to quilt."

How I agree!
It is often a sight of some new fabric which inspires me to find a pattern to do it a justice.
Or of course the other way around.
My fabric stash is pretty good, and as they are mainly small pieces, it may still have a role to play, but it is the new which gives me the inspiration I need to sit down to a new project.

But whatever you'll do and which ever way you do it, as long as it works for you,
have a fun this year!

©pleasureinstitching.blogspot.co.uk 2018

Monday, 1 January 2018


To all my followers (and to anyone who just pops in now and then) -

thank you for your continuing friendship and support, 

and I wish you lots of health and happiness, 

and many interesting projects in 2018!

©pleasureinstitching.blogspot.co.uk 2018
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