I have been busy as a bee, sewing like mad. But it’s for my parents big birthdays later this year and I want it to be a surprise!! I’ve been wanting to make them something substantial for ages, but I think I mentioned before the pressure of how and what was killing me! In any case I did decide (already an impressive start for me) and I have been sewing tons for the last couple weekends, trying to make a dent in the 288 blocks I need… Phew. (here’s a sneak in progress pic)
It does involve my stash of Liberty I got from the Liberty of London Club at Westwood Acres last year. Luckily I did it then because the American dollar right now is INSANE! I am on a fabric diet (although I couldn’t resist these few new purchases, from a closing down sale, so it was OK!)
I’ve decided to make a couple of little dresses for me niece Lois from a couple of these sweet Heather Ross fabrics (those ballerinas!) using Made by Rae’s geranium dress pattern, which is a classic. I just bought the pattern today and I’ll hopefully make one this weekend. You know it’s so cheap to make them, especially when you can use second hand fabric, I figure the speed she’s growing, might as well make them fast, cute and affordable : )
I’ve had a rough past week or so. These things happen you know, that’s life. I often struggle with homesickness as most of my friends are aware and it’s a weird sort of thing to feel. Often I must seem ungrateful for how good my life is, especially at the moment with so many millions of refugees fleeing their homes, it’s ridiculous that I’m even mentioning this. But it’s not about how lucky I am (and indeed I am) it’s just an ache for something constantly missing.
I’m seeing more people than usual wearing or sewing with these gorgeous African wax prints lately. Aren’t they amazing? This fabric is most recognizably found throughout mid and west Africa, it goes by many names however, as the process has migrated internationally through history. Dutch wax print, Real English Wax, Veritable Java Print, Guaranteed Dutch Java, Veritable Dutch Hollandais and of course African Wax Print. It’s basically the same process as Javanese batik which means it must be insanely time consuming to actually produce meters of this fabric. I’m guessing most of them are prints, not actually done with wax these days, which is more affordable I’m sure.
Can you see yourself wearing some of this? It’s pretty bold, but I would! Now all I need to do is travel to Western Africa to get some. Yes please fabric safari.
Most images here.
As I write, I’m thinking of my Dad, travelling alone and lost in Latvia, apparently (he’s often lost though, I think he likes it). He’s quite the character, Poppy, always really in love with travelling the world and meeting people. He started off young, leaving Germany on a ship after the war to start a new life in Canada first, heading west to the land of golden opportunity, California. Where he grew up. After getting married he travelled for a long time around Europe in a van with my Mum. Lived for a while in Germany again, where my brother was born, returned to California years later and then decided Australia was where their family future lay. They’ve been Australians for many years now, quite proudly so and while they still travel back to the US and beyond, their home is definitely Aus.
You’d think after all that he might tire of planes and ships, my Mum did, but I guess it’s just part of some people. After trying to cycle up the Ganges in India last year, this years trip seemed much more appropriate for a man his age, Helsinki down to Istanbul, back up to Berlin. I’m not sure 3 months travelling alone is easy for anyone, but it sure is nice to have an adventurer in the family. He’s a good example of not getting stuck in routine, especially with aging. Showing me that the world is an amazing place, that people always have something interesting to share, that there’s no time like the present.
I do worry about him though, for a few reasons, but I’m happy he’s going for it. Do you have a bucket list? Somewhere you’re dying to go? Something you’d love to do or see? It’s time and money stopping me, but I wonder whether that’s a valid excuse.
If you’re reading Poppy, take care of yourself! Love you xo
My clients are awesome. They trust me with their hair and their life stories. I really enjoy learning so many new and various things from them all. This post is about a banana bread that changed my life. I don’t say this lightly, I had a food blog for almost 5 years! I must have had 3 or 4 recipes for banana bread on there, but it wasn’t until Alison gifted me a mini loaf of this banana bread that I realized you could take such a classic to another level!
It’s all about the millet, added last minute to the cake batter. It adds the best crackly crunch ever. The recipe is from Smitten Kitchen, it’s so good I’m making it almost weekly!
Bound is designer April Rhodes‘ third line of fabrics (she designs clothing patterns too) to be released in a week or so. I usually gravitate towards fairly bright colours, but now and again I crave the softness of a more muted collection. I love the southwestern feel of all of Aprils fabrics. I can picture still mornings with cool sunrises over dusty rock and tough sun loving flowers that prepare for hot dry days.
There are lots of similarities with the colours of Australia too. I love the subdued tones of those warm landscapes that have to reflect sunlight and store water any way they can. No saturated lush greens. But the sky is bright and the red earth is too. I’ll be figuring out a way to incorporate this fabric into my work soon. Especially because they’re made by Art Gallery fabrics, which is great because their fabrics are super soft and easy to work with. Definitely looking forward to this release.
Bound sprung from April’s love of collecting & making woven wall hangings, cozy blankets, vintage macramé and paintings. Stroll to an empowering environment organically colored with brushstrokes of tangerine, soothing sea, malachite greens and autumn sunset.
Isn’t it strange how some days are just so productive and others are so blah? For me it doesn’t have anything to do with my best laid plans, organized scheduling and alarms set on the weekend. I still wake up and feel one way or the other and that feeling is what directs the day, not my itemized list. I’ve been drinking coffee, which if you knew me, you’d be gasping at that news! So I know I’m working hard. I had intended to slow down a little over the summer, just so that I could really enjoy the warmth and catch my breath a bit. But it’s busier than ever and not just with work either!
Montreal botanic gardens
When you have your own business it takes precedence over everything. I want things for my clients to be as easy and convenient as possible. I work my weekends if they can’t come another time or have special events and I often start early or stay late. It’s my pleasure really, I like my job and I’m so grateful people support me with their business, I feel it’s the least I can do. That being said, it’s really important not to lose yourself and especially if you are in a relationship, to take the time to make sure other parts of your life get the attention they deserve. Nothing new here right? The all elusive work-life balance that a couple of people seem to have achieved really well, but most of us struggle with for years. I just need to clear my head more often and feel ok with saying no. Or even just, not at this moment, but how about this time? I’m pretty sure no-one would bat an eyelid.
Taking the time to sew is time for myself and while it seems like that’s all I ever do, it’s really just a few hours each weekend that I cherish. But lately, like I mentioned, I prepare for my precious sewing time full of ideas and plans and then can’t figure out how to start! Not usually my problem, but the last month or so, gah! I guess usually I would expect myself to have a problem with choosing an inspiration, but this is more with motivation. I just feel like things are so busy I want naps instead of projects and even writing that gives me the lazy guilts.
I did make a secret pillow and this colourful flying geese quilt top (with legs!!) as a test for a bigger one I might make soon! It’s insanely bright in person, which I love, but Ange was right when he mentioned it might come off as a bit hippie-ish all together. Seeing as I come from the ultimate hippie parents (sorry Mum, you were) I figure it’s good to have some bright psychedelic cheer in your life. It’s a wonderful pattern called the Four Winds Quilt from Fancy Tiger Crafts a great store I’d love to visit in Denver, Colorado. Hopefully I get back on the organized motivated horse and will report back with a dozen inspiring completed projects soon.
Through the year! Whoa. Thanks so much for all your kind words regarding the little for sale quilts! Some are still available and I am going to add a couple more soon. I will be opening an etsy store soon too. Turns out it will be the easiest way, ha!
I’m home alone for almost the week, well Mitch is here too, we’ve been walking a lot. Turns out having a dog and not sharing the walks with someone else is tons of work! I’ve been making a few things, trying to stave off some homesickness as I miss my little nieces first birthday and my sisters 30somethingth. Rainbow coloured breakfasts, Scandinavian music, the worst romance/comedy movies I can find on netflix and sewing are all helping. And Skype. Thank the maker for Skype.
I made another little delectable mountains quilt for Ange’s good friend Eamon, who had a baby girl earlier this year. I like how bright and cheery this quilt is. I always ask Ange’s advice on backing fabrics and while we don’t always agree, this one we both were 100%!
The cool thing is always when I get a picture of the little recipient with their quilt! Even better Luella’s Dad, Eamon is a professional photographer.
I’m trying to decide (agonizingly) on which pattern to use for a surprise quilt I’m wanting to finish by the end of the year (it’s a biggie) but sometimes when something means so much to you, it’s especially hard to just go with the flow and not over analyze every detail. I want it to be super special, but I’m second guessing my original idea, so I’ll have to spill the beans with someone to get some advice!
Enjoy the week. I hope it’s a goodie wherever you are. Make a rainbow breakkie if you get the chance! It’s surprisingly satisfying : )