Saturday, April 10, 2010

Wot no pictures?

I just have to say this...I finished P's quilt! All that hand-stitching is done, all the ends tidied away and trimmed, tacking removed. Made with lots of love and rather less skill and experience, it's by no means perfect, but there's an argument for hand-made not being perfect, isn't there? Plus, it's my first attempt at quilting, so it will only get better. At the moment I haven't got pictures to post. The camera on my phone, which I use for pretty much all the pictures I put on here, is pretty good considering. However, having spent so long on this project and with it being a bit big and therefore tricky to photgraph I'm going to use the proper SLR for this one. It's just a question of finding time when P is asleep or otherwise occupied and there is enough daylight to do it justice. Probably tomorrow. He's asleep now and sun is streaming in, but not wanting to waste a beautiful afternoon, we're getting ready for a walk...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


More poetic types than I could, and no doubt have, waxed lyrical about the simple beauty of eggs. This particular egg is beautiful to us though, as it came from our own lovely Penelope and was rather unexpected.
Poor Penelope has not had the easiest time in the last year or so. Her life partner and leader of the pack Beyonce passed away last Spring and due to the uncertainty of our housing situation, we've yet to replace her (soon though, we hope). Then she had to cope with not one, but two changes of location, ending up some 300 miles or so from where she began her egg-laying career. At three and a half, she's not exactly elderly in chicken terms, but after a fairly sparse and unreliable egg-laying season last summer we had quite accepted that she would be pet rather than provider in future.
We were delighted then, when with total seasonal appropriateness on Easter weekend, she began to lay again! So far we've had four perfect pale brown and freckly eggs in four days and I can't tell you how nice it was to make P's lunch using just about the freshest egg possible. The yolk was a dazzling yellow. Maybe Penelope likes the new food we've got her, or maybe she's appreciating the end of the long, cold winter as much as we are. Whatever the reason, it's amazing how homely it feels to have eggs from the garden, not to mention giving a great excuse for cakes, meringues, custard, mayonnaise, lemond curd etc. etc!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Bump and baby pillow

Here as promised is the reason for all those lovely, juicy coloured fabrics. Despite the temptations of all the scans I'm having for this baby, we still don't want to know whether it's a boy or a girl. This obviously means that I can't start sewing or knitting in girly colours as there's a 50:50 chance it's a 'he'. However, since borrowing a certain Kitty B's feeding pillow back when I was feeding P, I've been meaning to acquire one, and was only really put off by the price, which always seemed a bit excessive for what it was. This pregnancy I had two thoughts- firstly, why the heck didn't I make one as it would be cheaper and secondly, as I'm a girly, why can't my feeding pillow be girly-coloured, even if the baby turns out to be the non-girly variety?
So here's what I did:
Selected some of my favourite zingy coloured scraps and random fat quarters, then lined them up in an 'artfully hotch-potch' way, pinned, tacked, then sewed them together.

Then, using a paper template kindly provided by the self-same Kitty, and with some- ahem- 'help' from the big-brother-to-be, I cut what appeared to be two boomerang shapes from my hotch-potch pieces.

Slightly smaller boomerangs were cut out from some brushed cotton and sewn together to make the inner layer, leaving a hole for filling later.

I'm very proud to report that by taxing my little grey cells I managed to set in a vintage zipper on the inner curve of the outer layer, before sewing the rest of the seams.

There followed a short wait for these to arrive in the post. I had originally hoped to stuff the pillow entirely in the spelt husks, but found that 500g made for a rather floppy pillow. By the way, as if jam funnels weren't useful enough in their intended role, they also prove to be invaluable for feeding spelt husks into pillows! Anyway, to solve the floppy problem, I used a layer of natural wool from a fleece I acquired and washed last year to make a peg-loom rug. It's created a nice effect in the end, with a bean-baggy, fit-to-your curves effect on one side of the pillow and smoother, sproingy softness on the other. At this point I would think that, when feeding, the bean bag side will be on my lap so that the baby is on the more stable and less rustling side. Until then, it's going to be getting some use as a bed-time bump support.

Girly? Yes. Full of bright, summery loveliness? Definitely. Boy or girl, I don't think the baby will mind. Although it does need an iron, when this tired pregnant lady can be bothered to!