Friday, 28 April 2017

Petal Power and a Reshuffle

Hello readers, I hope this post finds you well, this Friday evening of the Bank Holiday weekend.  Thank you for all your comments on my last blog post, it was so good to be welcomed back.  It feels like only yesterday that I wrote it but I'm thinking it probably wasn't.  Hmm!

We're most definitely in my Den today, the epicentre of my little world.  I've been doing reasonably well at carving out some crafty time and I'm here to share my latest project and a few images of my Den with you, too.  I've started with  a piccy of The Stash.  It was quite funny on Instagram as when I posted this photo (a little hazy in the super-bright sunshine that day), I received a few "WOW" type comments and others along the lines of "Is this a shop?" or "I can't believe you have such a lot".  What I didn't dare tell them was that this was just a portion of it.  My name is Hen and I am a Fabricoholic.

I could have started with this picture below as it starts the story of The Reshuffle.  I'm not conviced it is quite as arresting as The Stash, though.

For a good while, I have hankered after having my sewing machine positioned in a tabletop such that the bed of the machine is flat with the table.  Do you know what I mean?  You can buy cabinets for this purpose such as those made by Horn, for example, but not only are they really pricey, I'm not personally that mad keen on the look of them.  Then I saw an idea on Pinterest and another on IG, to craft your own flat bed table.  I've been on the lookout for something suitable and the other Saturday at Bridport street market (where else?!), one of the sellers we know well, had this fairly unexciting modern pine table.  It seemed a suitable size, it was good and sturdy and priced at just £45.  In the back of the Disco (that's a Landrover Discovery, by the way) it went and home to the safety of the HenHouse courtyard where it met up the Mr's toolbag.  Don't you just love a handyman.

Sometime later, the Mr had, of course, done a perfect job of sanding and repainting the table, cutting the hole and making a shelf to support the machine.  There was Jenny Janome in her new table.  I am enjoying using her tremendously and find the position much better for my posture and all round working.  It did necessitate a bit of a move round in my Den to get the new table in and as luck would have it, the new layout works soooooooo much better.  I wish I'd done that in the first place.  Silly old me.

I've been able to move my ironing board from blocking the front of one of my bookcases over to in front of the window.  How's that for an ironing board with a view?  Ah, the beauty of Smiling Somerset never fails to please and I love watching the changing of the seasons.  Everything is growing crazily and greening up quite nicely about now.  A photograph can never do this view justice, however.

On to my latest project.  You may recall that I'm very much a fan of Lori Holt of Bee in my Bonnet.  I enjoyed her first Christmas sewalong (the quilt top may still need sandwiching and quilting, yikes!) and I was pretty much addicted to Farm Girl Vintage (another one to finish in the near future) so when Lori announced that she was bringing out a new book, fabric line, new templates and hosting a brand new sewalong, I got pretty darned excited!  As I understand it, this will involve both pieced blocks like Farm Girl Vintage and blocks using templates and appliqué.  I realised I had better have a practise at the appliqué before everything kicks off in August and as it so happens, I already had an unused set of Bloom templates waiting in the wings as in the end, I hadn't found time to join in the Bloom sewalong when it took place on Lori's blog last year.  Happy days!  I wasted no time in printing out the free pattern for the Bloom blocks and getting right on down to some quality stitchy action using the instructions on Lori's blog.  Each block has a blog post of its very own as Lori holds your hand through how to make each one.  (They're easy to find in the right hand sidebar of her blog.)

I had no plans to make an entire quilt, let me be clear.  I would just try out a few blocks and use those to make into something, maybe pot holders, a table runner, who knows?  I found making these blocks fitted well into my daily schedule.  I enjoyed choosing a block, selecting the fabrics, cutting out the shapes and stitching them using Lori's interfacing method (detailed on her blog), to prepare the block ready for appliqué in front of the TV in the evening.

Reader, I got a little bit hooked on those pretty Bloom blocks.  Soon, I was looking forward to my appliqué fix every day and I was loving how portable the project was, too.  I had to go to London twice in the space of two weeks and the train journey had never been so enjoyable!

Around this time, something in my grey matter started whirring.  I remembered that somewhere I had seen some Bloom flowers which were a little different for they involved patchwork shapes.  Well, I love nothing more than a spot of patchwork so off I went trawling back through Lori's blog posts and there I found full images and details of the patchwork flowers Lori had made.  Yay!

Before too long, my collection of Bloom blocks had grown.  Petal Power!!!

I've now made sixteen blocks and I am pondering what to do next and I am also at that stage of feeling sad that my Bloom time is coming to an end.  There are four blocks remaining which are rather different in style, not quite so obviously individual flowers like these.  I'm not sure if I want to make those, I don't like them as much but then again, they may provide a nice balance to the quilt if I maybe use them in the four corners of the quilt.  I could otherwise just stick with variations on some of the flower blocks.  Decisions, decisions.

Did any of you out there also join in with the Bloom sewalong?  I'd love to hear (and see the results) if you did.

Until next time reader.  Then we'll head off to Lilac Cottage.  I think...



  1. Yes, I made the bloom quilt last year. I have an in house sewing group who meet at my house. Eight of us made the quilt. Eight very different quilts! Mine is mainly yellow and purple. I enjoyed it very much..
    Your new sewing table looks super. You are so lucky to have a home handy man!

  2. Your stash is so amazing, it definitely rivals my local sewing shop. That should keep you nicely occupied for the next 2000 or so years. :) It is very nice to see you blogging again, I really missed your lovely posts, and the opportunity to sigh enviously at your lovely home and so clever husband.

  3. I adore your Den. And I also agree with the WOW comments. It is all quite amazing. The new table is just the thing for your machine and the Mr. did a wonderful job with it. I feel I could iron for hours at your window. Thank you for the glimpse into your cozy home.

  4. Love your quilted flowers.

    Julie xx

  5. Oh my!!!! I love your sewing room and all of your stash, I have never seen anything like it. How wonderful to have such a happy place. xx

  6. And I thought I had a lot of stuff! Thanks for sharing your latest activities and your lovely room.

  7. Oh, my, it is just always such a dear joy to visit with you here. The pictures just draw me in and make me feel as if I am standing there in your beautiful, lovely home! This is one of my favorite blogs, and I get so excited to see a post from you. Thank you for all you do and share here. :)

  8. I made the Bloom quilt last year for my 2 yr old granddaughter. I enjoyed making it and look forward to Lori's next project. I really like your custom sewing table!

  9. Great to see your posts again and your gorgeous home and stitching. The Mr is a keeper.

  10. what a fantastic space, and your faric stash is lovely.

  11. I had wondered what happened to you... so glad you are back! Everything is lovely and inspiring, as usual! My husband is handy also...

  12. Well! Hello Stranger! I thought you'd given up your blog permanently so I finally took your link off my blog list. I was just on Bunny Mummy's blog and saw that you'd posted, so "bonk" I clicked on through. I've enjoyed catching up with you! I do have you on IG but to be honest I rarely check IG and to me it's not as intimate and complete as a blog post, so I'm happy you're back. You look marvelous! I will add your blog link promptly back on my list and I do hope to see more posts from you. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  13. Such a Fun and Happy Post! I Love The Quilt Blocks, now I want to do them too! Your Den is so inviting1 Love It!

  14. I got hooked on Farm Girl Vintage chicken and chick blocks and have made three quilts using those two patterns from Lori's book. Love your quilting nest you have made for yourself and I drooled at all the fabric you have. I thought I was a fabriholic, but you really are!


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