Tumbling blocks is an extremely old patchwork pattern. It can be machine-made, but this one's assembled using the English paper piecing method. It's a slow & steady way to create, but has the advantage of being very portable. You can take your sewing with you on sunny days in the park or when you travel. The 3D effect works well as long as you have a darker diamond, a mid coloured one and a lighter shade. I'm using two mainly red fabrics plus a variety of lighter ones, but the pattern would work with a complete mix of scraps, as long as the dark/medium/light balance is kept.
On the reading front, I've started 'Grace' which I stumbled across by chance in the library. (As always, thank heavens for libraries. They're a blessing, aren't they?) If you've not heard of her, Grace Coddington is a creative director at American Vogue. I only really knew about her, like many people, through the film 'The September Issue'. She was the inadvertent star of it, much more engaging than the chilly Anna Wintour, and clearly passionate about clothes. I'm not a fan of Wintour (she wears and through the magazine American Vogue promotes the wearing of real fur. Vile.) and don't buy fashion magazines. Too advert-heavy, too interested in fashion brands rather than beautiful clothing. However, it's fascinating to read about this entirely different world, and how a girl from a remote island off North Wales became immersed in it. I used to buy fashion mags as a teenager in a dull as ditchwater English market town. During boring factory jobs, dreaming of escaping, I read Vogue and Elle, seeing glimpses of another life, one of glamorous locations and fabulous photoshoots. It's a shame that fashion mags nowadays are just vehicles to push brands. Clothes, perfume, make up. It's all about who made it and what it cost. Clothing has been reduced to brands, when it should be about flair, creativity, individuality, telling stories of who we are, who we want to be, the tales of our lives, not just which shop we went into or how much cash we have.
I handed over almost sixty quid today.
I'd umhed and ahhed, but decided I wanted to do a short painting course. It's an introduction to acrylics, running for six Monday afternoons from next week onwards.
I'd hesitated as I need to conserve what savings I've got while I'm not working/earning, but having said that you've got to live a bit! Hopefully I'll learn some useful techniques, and maybe meet some friendly people too, always a bonus. In the meanwhile I'm stitching yet more of these 'flags', wonky seams and all. I've been making multi-coloured quilts from these type of Union Jack blocks, but I'm going to try a 3 colourway design - a gorgeous Liberty-ish red, a pinky flowery pattern and a black starry fabric. I don't usually 'do' restrained palettes, so we'll see how this experiment works out.
Apart from that I nipped up to the allotment today, before the rain began falling. I'm gathering seeds - mainly marigolds, but also snap dragons, Sweet Williams, hollyhocks and poppies. Sneakily I'm doing my bit for the bees by scattering seeds (when no one's looking) in local parks. All those green spaces can do with some more blooms, so hopefully next year I'll see the odd hollyhock here, a splash of poppy red there, and - I'm sure - lots of marigolds. Calendulas are prolific self-seeders, so once they're established they'll flourish. Fingers crossed.
I've been calling this WIP a quilt, but actually there's no quilting involved. So it's going to eventually be a bedspread - or at least a medium sized throw. You wouldn't think there's any warmth to something that's partly made up of empty spaces, but it's surprisingly cosy when it's draped over my lap.
Each of the yo-yos has a button at its centre, and I'm running short of buttons now. Time to rummage around in some charity shops and see what I can find. Someone's bound to have given away a button tin or jar, or at least a bagful of assorted buttons. Don't you love charity shops? You never know whether you're going to come away empty handed or with a new 'treasure'. Some nifty piece of china, a bargain priced dress, tapestry wool or a book you've wanted for ages. Everyone's got a tale to tell of their best ever find.