I am writing to you today very pleased with myself— I finally, FINALLY— finished the natural dye linen quilt that I’ve been working on since last spring.
The quilt is made from different bits of linen that I dyed using madder root, indigo, coreopsis and black walnut. This piece has been a big labor of love and it’s creation saw many twists and turns!
I think the catalyst for it was seeing a big field of Coreopsis blooming last spring in my parent’s neighborhood that was absolutely breath taking. I went to the door of the house nearest it and asked the woman there if I might pick some for dyeing. She said yes, and my friend Tasha and I went back that evening, picking flowers as the moon rose (it was oh so picturesque! Luckily the mosquitoes weren’t quite out yet!)
I got the quilt top pieced, and just as I was about to move on to the actual quilting part, a spring tornado tore through my town in the middle of the night last May, causing horrific damage to some very large trees in our yard (they fell right over, roots and all! Luckily, away from the house and our house— which had JUST been repainted in April— was spared)
Having finally finished the quilt feels a bit like finally finishing the last chapter of a very big and surprising book of the craziness of 2019. And I’m happy to have something beautiful out of it. This project was also the first time I’ve ever used Sashiko thread and needles. I think it came out very nice!
Now here at home— I am insisting on quiet and keeping things low key. I deleted my facebook page, and even took the news app off my phone. It all just became entirely too much, I couldnt take the constant chatter, the constant fighting, the exhausting and endless go-round of arguing and being assaulted by memes and opinions and horrible news when it wasn’t what I had gone online to see. So I pulled the plug. And I can feel my brain relaxing….which is wonderful, and what is needed.
All this to say I’m not being willfully uninformed, but I want to be read the news and see the headlines when that is what I’m wanting to do. I dont want to constantly be blindsided with 24/7 information. And so I’m being more mindful about how connected and available I am to those information sources.
Another fantastic thing I’ve discovered is an app that lets you listen to all English radio stations! It’s called “UK Radios.” (there is also “Radios France” if you’re interested in French stations!) I’ve been listening to a lot of Classic FM and it has been a total balm for my soul. Even when they do read off the news headlines, they do it in the most charming and calm English accents, and American news is rarely top of the list of important issues of the day. I like it! I also realized one of the hosts from the British tv show “Escape to the Country” is one of DJs and her voice is amazing. Margharita Taylor— I’m a fan! 😀
Now that the quilt is done, I’m working on a knitting project. This is a really easy one, just a simple winter hat. I’m making it out of some handspun yarn I spun last summer! The roving was from Apothofaery, and I bought it from her at Fiber Christmas in July last year. I love her colorways and her yarns, and this roving spun up pretty chunky and unique.
I’ve come to realize that as a knitter, I’m pretty simple and I like to make something that is just one thing. I’m not big into pairs, haha, like mittens or socks…..I’ve actually never made socks, the idea of it even is nerve-wracking! But I just can’t imagine I could ever make two identical anythings….they’d be wonky and well, folk art!
I am also spending time when I can painting….this winter I’ve brought some paints into the house as its just easier….closer to all the dishes that need to be done and laundry that there’s always to change out. The new catalog for David Austin roses came a couple of weeks ago, and it’s been a great inspiration for a bride painting I’m working on now! It’s all big, beautiful roses, old lace, an old fashioned bee hive and a lush landscape that I’m still trying to bring into being.
I’m also curling up with books about pretty old houses whenever I can (I just love a good decorating book!) and my current favorite is Perfect English Farmhouse, which I got for my birthday last autumn. Is it just me, or is it not really a birthday or Christmas without at least one new book? It’s a weakness….
Ah, and speaking of treats and weaknesses, Valentine’s Day is coming up! It’s tomorrow, in fact! I put out a gathering of little red courderoy hearts with old photos on them for some romantic ambiance for the occasion…
And since Valentine’s Day is a time for sweets and treats, I thought I’d offer YOU, sweet reader, a little treat! Especially after you’ve read this far— you deserve it!
I want you to know how much I appreciate you coming here to visit me, or following me on instagram or buying from me in my etsy shop. And to celebrate our friendship and Valentine’s Day on February 14, I’m offering a coupon code for 14% off all prints in my etsy shop!
The coupon code is: TREAT14
The code is good from February 13- 16. So if you see something you like, why not have a treat?
Thanks again and know I appreciate you so much! And if you’d like to get these posts in your email inbox, you can subscribe to this blog in the right-side panel. It’s a nice way to never miss a thing. And I’ve got lots more to share! Including new prints coming and baby bunnies!
Have a wonderful day!~