Winding down from last week's 'squeeze two years into five days' family time didn't happen as I'd hoped. Life just keeps rolling along, you know? Design work piles up, groceries need to be done, meals to be prepared, an unexpected termite issue in the front yard to be attended to, emails to answer and then one of the worst migraines all year on Monday.
My fault on the migraine though. By Sunday night I was so exhausted I could barely put one foot in front of the other so Mr E said don't worry, we'll go buy some dinner. I suggested this Thai place near where we used to live a couple of years back. It has the most delicious Chili and Basil Fried Rice ever and I had been dreaming about going back there for months. I'd just forgotten why we stopped going there.
Well Mr E said no, that's not a good idea, you always get a bad migraine after we eat their food. I reply (taste buds talking) that it may have been a coincidence. He warns me again, and again...and I keep pushing. So off we go and the food was as delicious as ever.
Shame about the subsequent migraine. That was one of the worst ever.
Lesson learned, listen to my husband and not my taste buds.
But let me backtrack to Saturday.
I had some gorgeous fabric to play with and in between sporadic bursts of housework I made this gorgeous churn dash block from the next Tilda range, Apple Butter, due in stores next January.
I am so blessed to receive pre-release fabrics to design with, it's definitely a designer perk and I don't take it for granted.
Being a stitchery designer with a monthly schedule that requires at least five new patterns every month I lose the opportunity to partake of much patchwork but I have to tell you I love the precision of piecing fabric and as I was making this block that desire to indulge more often came flooding back.
And something else happened, I was inspired to use my Apple Butter fat quarter bundle to make a quilt. And not just any quilt. It's vintage inspired applique and patchwork blocks and if all goes to plan I'll release it early next year as a Block of the Month.
But let's take a deep breath and not run away with ourselves, okay? Pacing myself is not a strong character trait but I'm working on changing that so for now the sketches are drawn and Fiona at 2 Green Zebras (our Australian Tilda distributor) is sending me the background fabric for the applique blocks so I have no choice but to wait. Or draw the quilt layout, something I find challenging.
In the meantime, back to the sewing room I went and put together a sweet door hanger using one of my new November patterns, Welcome Friends...
I love door hangers and always have a number of them displayed around my home on door handles or cupboard knobs, but when my daughter Anita was here last week I remembered just how much she loves them too (especially ones I've made and used) so into her suitcase went a special one and I'll be sending her some others in the future.
This of course meant that I needed more for our home so I began with the welcome design.
For those who are new to sewing, let me assure you that a nice gathered frill across the bottom isn't as difficult as it looks. In fact a number of years ago I made a tutorial to show how it can be done using leftover quilt binding so if you'd like to try this technique you'll find it here.
The frill on this door hanger is longer than the quilt binding one shown in my tutorial and I think it works well to balance the bold aqua applique on the stitchery.
I left an opening along the side for filling.
I wish I'd remembered to add some dried lavender to the filling but I can do that with the next one. You don't need to over stuff a door hanger so just a bit of poly toy filling works well.
This will hang near our front entrance as soon as Mr E attaches a lovely shelf to the wall. I bought it at a garage sale years ago for our 'one day' home and it has four hooks under the shelf for hanging keys, charms or a pretty door hanger.
Should I have called it a shelf hanger, do you think??
I don't often design 'friend' patterns but focus mostly on home and family. Next year however I'll be writing a series of posts on friendships - nurturing them, investing wisely into them, and learning when to step away or draw closer. My introvert personality is such that I have just a handful of close friends and only one lives in my town, but I sense the Lord is going to teach me about making more friends in the months to come - just a few more. Close by.
I've started attending a small craft group on Tuesday mornings and am loving it. The girls are gorgeous, so friendly and kind, and as it's only a small group I'm not overwhelmed. My attendance has been sporadic during this season of looking for/buying/settling in to a new home but now that life has begun to find a nice rhythm again I can enjoy those morning more often.
I still had to add my favourite word. HOME. As I read this back to myself my hand went straight to my heart...yes, home holds my heart for always.
The pattern for this stitchery and the door hanger is in my November Stitchery Club issue but membership for this month closes on Friday 16th at midnight so if you'd like to know more you can read about it here and see the other designs everyone will receive.
Other things at home are the beautiful flowers I find in the garden, like this little stunner which bloomed by the front door and caught me quite by surprise. I'd almost ripped it out weeks earlier but was distracted with the back garden and the building of Mr E's noise/privacy screen.
And the purple-grey-pink in these flowers is simply breathtaking...
My hot pink Kalanchoe has decided to burst forth in a second flush of flowers just as I'd thought it was done for this season...
...and the first of our eight pineapple plants is fruiting!
On the table we're indulging in fresh mangoes every morning at breakfast, a perk of living in the tropics. We can buy buckets full of fresh mangoes on the side of the road for around $9, but some of the teachers at Mr E's school have mango trees and bring bags into the staff room for others to take home. Until March we shall be enjoying them daily...
Still eating a 90 - 95% plant based diet has definitely been good for us and I'm finding it much easier than planning meals with meat. With so much vegetable variety to choose from, and wonderful recipe books and bloggers who share their recipes freely, I am finding this style of life a delight.
Of course I'm still baking. How can I not?
As the postmistress Dorcas Lane (from Lark Rise to Candleford) would say, "It's my one weakness!"
Blossom and the girls have come down with a nasty head cold this week so tomorrow I will head over there and take some love, some baking, and more vitamin C.
Ghastly things those summer head colds. You just want to wallow in your favourite flannie pjs and wrap a snuggly quilt around your shoulders while you drink hot lemon and honey tea and watch Pride and Prejudice...but it's so darn hot this time of year so you just yearn for a winter cold and curse the summer one.
Bloss would appreciate your prayers.
And really, you must be quite ready to close your web browser about now.
What a chat we've had! Thanks for listening, looking, leaving a comment, being my sounding board on life. I am very grateful that you visit me here and hope you know that.
Now to go trace Friday's alphabet letter and make a pincushion...I'm so behind.
Bless you heaps,