SUCH STUFF AS DREAMS ARE MADE ON

Slowly and intermittently, over this long time that I’ve been gardening, I have been pondering (and very occasionally working on) a new project and, at last, the nuts and bolts of it are starting to come together.

This is a smallish double-side quit. The dark blue is a fairly improv sewing together of night-coloured scraps, embellished with running stitch, darning and some buttonhole edged squares to created a patched together and mended look and the lighter side is a collection of vintage doilies hand stitched to an ivory background

And yesterday, since it was pouring with rain and I had an unusual and very welcome time at home alone, I made a similar sized quilt with light brown linen on one side and a grungy blue sort of fabric on the other. For the sake of speed and simplicity, I machine quilted with organic straight lines.

I’m thinking of these as backgrounds to display other sewn items and perhaps story scenes that could enable me to make something like the ABOUT TIME book but with reusable pages…

ABOUT TIME (blogged here) 2018

I really enjoyed making the fabric book and I love the idea of making quilts that do something more dynamic than lying in bed all day but, being so constrained by time, accomplishing that is a hard task. Since starting this blog, I think I’ve made two!

THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH (blogged here) 2017

EAT, SLEEP, SEW (blogged here) 2013

So the new venture I’m pondering will, I hope, be a sort of hybrid art quilt/book/puppet show. I found a cheap extending curtain rod, which fits in the alcove next the fireplace in the Makery and I’m planning to hang up the backgrounds and attach or hang or somehow or other display other sewings in front of them.

Mrs Hare and Fiona have kindly agreed to relocate their reading group.

Fiona reading (sideways as cats do) with Mrs Hare

Whether this will all work out, of course, is yet to be seen and I wonder if it’s quite sensible to blog about something that might well fail spectacularly but, as Mrs Hare often says, ‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained’.

I hope you you are having a good week :)

Janine @ Rainbow Hare

A Walk in the Park


“Let us to go for a walk in the park”, she said.
“We will take some bread for the ducks
And jam jars to catch fishes in
And, maybe, a skipping rope…”
 
“The blackbird is sure to be singing,” she said,
“And children will be flying kites,
Making castles in the sandpit,
And throwing balls for their dogs”.
 
“You can watch the butterflies dancing,” she said.
And I’ll see how high I can swing…
Then, perhaps, you will buy ice creams
To eat on the bus back home”.

August 1st was a Reveal Day for The Endeavourers. If you haven’t already, I hope you will visit to see the wonderful collection of quilts everyone has made in response to this quarter’s theme – A Walk in the Park.

I struggled for a long time to find inspiration for this theme and, even when I eventually remembered how enthusiastic my pre-school self was about visiting our local park and how my brothers and I used to beg my mother to take us there, my thoughts ended up coming in words rather than pictures. I have been too long away from a needle and thread!

For a long time I have thought about having a traditional quilt block as a background for a picture and it’s something I’ve never tried so I made a QAYG block in Summer colours. I bagged it and then I appliqued images onto it to illustrate the poem.

I attached the bird and kite overlapping the edge of the quilt, which is something I’ve not done before and I like the effect of that but I think the general arrangement would definitely have benefitted from having a clearer concept or more time to experiment with the scale and placement of the various elements.

I used to be very last minute with these sorts of challenges but this is the first time in a couple of years that I’ve rushed to put something together at the eleventh hour and it has made me realise how much I prefer the leisurely approach of starting early and having plenty of time to experiment and let a quilt evolve as it grows.

I hope you are finding time to craft at a speed that suits you :)

Janine @ Rainbow Hare

The Empress’s New Umbrella

Happy Beltane, May Day or what you will!

Late Spring/early Summer is my favourite time of year and for many years, I’ve had it in mind to make a sunny May Day quilt bursting with flowers and, of course, a May Pole full of ribbons and dancing children…

But this is not that year!

Today is an Endeavourers’ Reveal Day and our theme this quarter was ‘Raindrops keep falling on my head’. I’m sure I’ll be bowled over, as always, by the innovation and creativity of the other group members’ responses but I found it the hardest theme to do anything interesting with so I settled for a very literal illustration of the theme.

If you don’t like stories, please skip the following section :)

***

I’m sure you are familiar with the story of the Emperor’s New clothes.

My quilt shows an Empress, who fell victim to those self-same fraudsters. Once they had spent all the Emperor’s gold on high living, they travelled far over the seas until they reached her kingdom. They arrived during the sunny season, which, as they said, is the best time to acquire an umbrella because once the rains start it’s too late, and they set themselves up as makers of the finest umbrella covers money could buy, so fine indeed, that foolish people couldn’t see them all.

They took a common frame from the market and spent many days weaving and stitching. And, naturally, no one wished to appear foolish so everyone who saw them marvelled at their exquisite workmanship and wondered at the fine detail and the beautiful sheen of the fabric.

And, naturally, when they were done, the Empress presented them with an unseemly quantity of gold and many mules to carry it and the umbrella makers found they had an urgent appointment on the other side of the world and took their leave with more haste than you might expect of such respectable artisans and such laden down beasts.

And at last the winds turned and the rains came and the court and commoners alike gathered on the hill to look at and marvel on the wondrous umbrella. Suddenly, their own umbrellas seemed ugly and cumbersome and the foolish people wished for an umbrella like the Empress’s, which would keep them dry even if, secretly, they couldn’t see the beautiful cover themselves.

So there were, the secretly foolish people, standing in the rain, sad but dry under their shamefully ugly, cumbersome umbrellas and wearing their shamefully ugly, cumbersome rain coats. And there was the Empress under her wondrous umbrella and wearing a wondrous ballgown.

And then a very strange thing happened.

For all the world, it looked as if the raindrops were falling right through the wondrous umbrella frame onto the Empress’s head.

More than one of the foolish people rubbed their eyes in amazement. It really looked, to them, as if the Empress was getting soaked right through.

They began to shuffle and shift about uncomfortably.

And, suddenly, the littlest child called out, “The Empress’s umbrella has no cover!”

Her parents were mortified and tried to hush her but soon a murmur was buzzing among the crowd, “What did the child say?”

“Really?”

Can’t you see it?”

Can you see it?”

“The child’s right!”

“Yes. The child’s right!”

All at once, everyone who had been afraid of looking foolish realised that that very fear had led to them being very foolish indeed.

And the Empress, who saw that she had been the person most afraid of looking foolish and had behaved the most foolishly of all, decreed that the foolishness must end straightaway.

And she hung the umbrella frame over the palace gate as a reminder to everyone in the kingdom that worrying about what other people think is the surest way to make fools of us all.

***

This quilt is not as textured as my last one but I did include felt, which was a first for me and was surprisingly easy to applique. I also used some upcycled needlecord as well as scraps of quilting cotton and I added stitching to vary the texture. The raindrops are detached chain stitch and Empress’s umbrella frame is threaded running stitch. I found it quite a fun piece to make, though I always aspire to making something more arty and abstract one day!

I hope you will visit my fellow Endeavourers and see what they have made for this challenge :)

Janine @ Rainbow Hare