Wake Up And Smell The Violets

VioletsI sort of knew that violets have a strong scent because there’s those sweeties – parma violets is it? – and also some incredibly strong (and cheap) perfume which I vaguely remember they used to sell in our dear departed Woolworths when I was a tot but I don’t think I had ever encountered the smell  ‘in the wild’ as it were.  We have tons in our garden and they have been bursting out all over for the past week but I still don’t recall smelling them.  Then, yesterday, I went to my friend’s house, parked the car, opened the gate to her garden and I was met by a wonderful waft.  It was a hot day (for March) and maybe  it was very still but the air was definitely full of scented violets.

Talking of going round to Sandra’s, who is my sewing friend, sometimes when we are trying to think of a project to do next, we mess around with little bits of fabric and some tried and tested patterns and this little owl was the result of that session.  I remembered that I had some vintage(ish) folding scissors at home so I left sewing his bottom on until I got home and attached the scissors by a black ribbon, stuck in a decorative pin et voila!

PinCushionOwl

I like that, in french, one of the words for ‘owl’ is  ‘chouette’ which also means ‘nice’ or ‘cool’.

I also asked her to help me with my fumbling crochet attempts.  I am trying to make individual roses to make a blanket but, at this rate, I’ll be lucky to end up with a coaster – although that won’t be any good as the surface is raised and the cup would keep falling over, but you get my drift.  I don’t know what goes on with this crochet business.  It’s supposed to be easier than knitting and I’m good at knitting.  I am having trouble recognising what is a stitch, what is a loop, what is the first loop of the first round and the 3rd loop of the last round – Gaaah!  Anyway, here are my attempts so far.  Do you think it will matter if they are all slightly different sizes?  Will it really matter when they are all joined together?  Should I have used fiendishly expensive Rowan yarn when taking my first baby steps?

crochet rosesAnyway, I promised to show you my knickers didn’t I?  I know you have all been waiting anxiously to see them and now I can reveal those frilly, ruffly, artfully frayed babies!

vintage mannequinShe looks a bit stressed doesn’t she? Not my favourite vintage mannequin but my antique ones have a pole where the sun don’t shine so I couldn’t get the knickers on any of them!  I think these bloomers are cute for sleepwear and, once I’ve ironed out a few of my first timer mistakes, I am going to make some more. I am going to give these to Madamoiselle Tialys the Elder for wearing as sleepwear as, let’s face it, if you put those on under a frock you might as well be wearing a bustle!  However, she did point out that her duvet cover is almost the exact same red and white polka dot pattern and she might disappear into the bed and nobody find her which as the mother of a daughter living away from home and getting up to lord knows what, doesn’t sound too unwelcome a scenario to me!

I’m always searching for vintage, quintessentially french fabric but don’t often find it so was pleased to find this the other day.  I don’t know what I’m going to do with it yet but I’m sure I’ll think of something.

vintage french fabric

I’m still working on hand quilting the birthday quilt – only 2 weeks overdue – but did have to stop for a while as I am completely unable to function using a thimble and, as a result, vaccinated myself against something with the end of the quilting needle and had to give it a rest.  It has now healed up so I will start again tomorrow.  On the hand quilting front though, I did find this in a charity shop which doesn’t go with my décor, is too heavy to post so cannot be offered for sale, and is therefore totally useless to me but could not, under any circumstances, be left under a pile of polyester  sheets, ignored and unloved when somebody, somewhere had gone to all the trouble of putting all those stitches in various patterns, no doubt vaccinating herself against things and using up all the plasters in the medicine cabinet, only to have it flung out with last season’s clothes in a bin bag.  Don’t worry somebody, somewhere, I have rescued your hard work for posterity and will appreciate it more than the ungrateful wretches for whom it was made.

hand quilted throw DSC_0041

Look at all those stitches.  How could you throw something like that out?  I have told my daughters I will come back and haunt them if I ever see one of my quilts in a dog bed.

Have a great weekend and I hope you find lots of violets to smell. x

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  1. #1 by Jan Marriott on March 8, 2013 - 23:12

    I remember that perfume…..was it by Bourjois? There is a very expensive Italian perfume of violets, think it is from Florence.
    I also have those exact same scissors.
    Would have bought the fabric too. BTW, It is very rare that I find real Liberty Lawn in a thrift store….think it is only the 3rd time in 40 years of thrifting.
    No signs of spring here yet…Brrrr

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