Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Spring has Sprung

As I just sat preparing my photos for this blog post, I realised how much life has moved on.  Photos taken outside are distinctly more sunny and blossom-y and inside, there has been quite a lot of progress.  Hurrah!

The Old Vicarage is proving to be all the country home we hoped for and more.

There is plenty to keep us busy and never a dull moment but it all takes time and we are enjoying the ride.  Well, Mr HenHouse is enjoying the ride on his new toy, anyway!

The views surrounding the house continue to delight us.  They are views I do not think we could ever tire of.  It is so lovely to look out and see the landscape changing with the seasons.  It may sound trite but we really do feel so much closer to nature here.

In between keeping busy at home and with the cottage (more exciting news of that soon),  we've also managed quite a few trips out and about.  I'm always on the hunt for textiles. as you know.

(Talent for Textiles, Ilminster) 

The odd decorative accessory for our new home is most welcome when we find something special.

(Brocante, Totnes)

Sometimes there are things you've had on your virtual wishlist for sometime and one day, there it is.  Can you guess what came home with us from this shop?

(The Life of Riley, Catherine Hill, Frome)

On the home front, there is much to keep us busy (probably for a long time to come!)  We have finished redecorating the sitting room downstairs and embarked on one of the guest rooms on the first floor.  In fact, it is now finished so I will hope to share that with you soon.  Here is how it looked before we started to work our magic.

Rather more disruptive was the renovation work to our en suite bathroom.  We called in the professionals for this and of course, the in between stage, shown here, looks so much worse than the room even looked in the first place!  It is now finished, many weeks and several unexpected problems later, and is a bit of a triumph.  Another one to share.  I'm so behind!

Despite the gloriously sunny days we've been enjoying in April here in Smiling Somerset, the nights have still been pretty cool.  There's been less reliance on the central heating, thankfully, but we have had a log fire in the sitting room every evening.

I've also managed to fit in some time for making in between all the renovating.  I finished another English Paper Pieced cushion.  This one was based on a vintage quilt I saw on a lady's Instagram feed (@flowerpotcottage).  I already had homemade templates for the hexagons; I then did a little hunting online and found out that the other shape is called a "jewel" and was able to draw up a template for that, too.  The centres use vintage red fabric, the linen is new and the jewels are a mix of modern and vintage fabrics.

I then made yet more cushions for the new sofas in the sitting room.  I do love cushions!  It is much easier to fit in making a cushion than it is a quilt.

I've been obsessed with ruffles.  Particularly ruffles in Cabbages and Roses fabrics.

These cushions are both made from their gorgeous linen fabric and are enjoying their new home on the sitting room sofa.  (They are now covered in Charlie Boy fur!)

I've been dealing with the serious business of stash maintenance: if I'm going to be making things, I need to replace all that fabric used!

As well as making accessories for our new home, I have also been fitting in making some things for my Etsy shop.  I seem to have woefully neglected my little enterprise over the last year.  It is not for lack of wanting to create things, I could just do with a 36 hour day!  They are of a distinctly cushion-y nature at the moment.

Combining linen with beautiful faded vintage fabrics is what I am enjoying at the moment.

A perennial favourite; ticking with appliquéd vintage fabric hearts and a final touch of hand quilting.

In the evenings, I have been busy sewing hexys in front of the fire and making these into the feature panels on cushion fronts.  I have fallen hard for the look of a piped cushion and I make all these cushions on my old Singer Featherweight.  I love the slim, sturdy zipper foot and find it great for sewing piping.

I bought some lovely old quilt blocks at a vintage fair and have made these into some little piped scatter cushions.

I have been a busy Hen!  I am hoping to get lots of these lovelies into my Etsy shop in the near future.

I have oodles more to share with you and lots of photos prepped so I promise it will not be so long until I am back again.  

Thanks for reading along today.  Xxx


  1. Love those cushions.
    Can't wait to see after renovations have been finished.
    Somerset is a lovely part of England!
    Julie xxxxxxx

  2. How lovely to read your latest blog post! I absolutely love the hexie cushions!

  3. wow your house is looking beautiful. The cushions are lovely, I've never been able to pipe them

  4. So good that you're back! I so enjoy looking at all the pretties you make and seeing photos of the house redo!

  5. What a lovely new/old home! I know you must be lovin it! Beautiful Handwork too! Marlynne Snare Folk Artist

  6. Love your cottage. You are so lucky to own such a beautiful home.

  7. Your pillows are so gorgeous! I always enjoy seeing all your pictures and reading what you have been up to. You house picture looks wonderful too. Hugs,

  8. So lovely to see all the wonderful places you have been and the amazing cushions you have made. Can't wait to see your after photos of the various projects. And I am dying to hear the news about the cottage. Your new house looks very beautiful.

  9. It's really nice to see an update from you, Hen. I've just started following you in IG in the past few days and have enjoyed seeing your work and other photos very much. It sounds like you're both working hard on the new house. It's looking great! I can't wait to see more. Take care.

  10. Your new home is looking great! Thank you so much for the "heads up" yesterday in Blandford...that red 50's dress and bolero is a perfect fit. Lizzie x

  11. It is all like a dream. At least for me. I have longed to visit England for as long as I can remember. I wish now, that when I was in Italy a few years ago, that I had made it over for a visit.
    Your new home is enchanting!
    xo Kris

  12. Hi, Its good to see you posting again, love all the cushions and your floral fabrics. Lynne xx

  13. Thank you for sharing pictures of your beautiful home, Hen.
    Gorgeous cushions and fabrics too.

  14. Good evening Hen, after a busy day in work, it was lovely to come home and have a read if your blog.....lovely post....your new home is so pretty!
    I'm busy getting stuff done here....Period Living mag is coming in two weeks to "shoot" our house.....exciting!!!!
    Can't wait!!!!
    Have a super week Hen....xx

  15. All of your cushions are so beautiful!!!!! Wonderful work. Lovely to hear from you and catch up, I am glad that all is going well for you! xx

  16. I was so glad to see this new post from you, Hen.

    Yes, it's clear that you and Mr H have been very busy making your new country house into a true home.

    All those fabrics and the uses you are putting them to are also something to admire. I admit to a bit of envy of your access to wonderful country shops and markets. What you do with all these found treasures is totally down to you very own unique eye, talents and skill. Bravo!

    Please do another post before Spring turns into Summer. I am still wishing to see some pictures from the surrounding countryside. Please do take your camera (or phone) along on your next long walk.


  17. The frilly wire baby bed? Love your cushions.. especially the ruffled ones! Give us more house photos, please! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  18. Your new home will keep you busy for months to come. It's looking really well. I love all the cushions you've made. A cushion is definitely a lot quicker to make than a quilt.

  19. Really beautiful cushions, Hen.

  20. So lovely to see a post Hen. Loving the photos and the progress and the gorgeous makes. Especially the 'ruffled' cushions, yummy.
    just going to take another look !!1

  21. Beautiful cushions, just love the patterns! Can't wait to see more home photos too! We stayed at Vicars Close in Wells, Somerset last May and really enjoyed the beauty of the surrounding areas, you are very lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the country! I live in Sarasota, Florida but would live in the south of England in a heartbeat given half a chance! :o) Love your blog, thanks for the gorgeous photos!

  22. Hi hen, I found your blog, read all your posts and then you went away :( so glad you are back. I love, love everything about your work and your new home. Hope you are all well. Sue x

  23. Oh Hen! You have so much talent for design and colour. I've pinned almost every project in hopes that I can mimic even a few of your fabulous ideas!

  24. I love your pillows and you have such an eye for color. So enjoyed this post! Blessings, Bess


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