Spring Has Sprung

Printemps TileTo celebrate all things greening up, I got this  handpainted roof tile from my friend Jan which she has done in the style of Alphonse Mucha.  I put it up on my terrace and the blue matches the window shutters so ‘le printemps’ has officially started in my garden now.

Because of the Great British Sewing Bee programme – the final is tonight and my money’s on Lauren although Ann is soooo talented too – my daughter has shown an interest in dressmaking which I am trying to encourage.  I found this easy peasy skirt tutorial over on Lily’s Quilts.  Being a quilter, first and foremost, Lynne has devised this pattern which only uses those implements beloved of  quilters and patchworkers everywhere, the rotary cutter, mat and quilter’s ruler – so I thought I’d give it a try.  Madamoiselle Tialys loved the Echino fabric ‘Buck’ that Lynne used so I ordered some in pink.

Quilters Skirt

I might put a bit of ‘ease’ in it next time as it does work out very body hugging but I think it looks quite cool and she is chuffed to bits with it.

Quilters Skirts (2)

(I think this is what the U.S. queen of posing – Tyra Banks – calls the ‘booty tooch’  – I blame satellite T.V.)

Of course, she is finishing Uni for the summer in another six weeks or so and it won’t be worth installing a sewing machine in her flat until the next academic year but, when she comes home for the holidays, I will try some more patterns with her and keep up the momentum.

I made a ‘rough’ copy first for myself, just to try the pattern out, but it actually worked out quite well so I might as well wear it.

Quilters Skirts (1)

The trouble is, I made it out of the same Ikea fabric I covered my kitchen stools with and, because I know this, I probably won’t feel right wearing it out and about.  However, it will be great for just hanging out at home during the summer months.  If you want to have a look at the tutorial I followed, you can find it here.

Do you remember I was going to make some hot cross buns à la Paul Hollywood.  Well, I did and they turned out good enough to photograph as well as to eat.  The problem was, I followed the recipe in the T.V. Listings guide which was not exactly the same as the method or ingredients  he used in the actual programme.  So, at one time, I was a bit worried the dough wasn’t going to rise.  Also, by the time they were ready to go in the oven I had to leave to pick Mlle Tialys the elder up from the airport so I had to leave the cross application and baking to Mr. T.  They were rather gorgeous if I say so myself and I don’t think I’ll be able to go back to shop bought ones now.  I think the apple he uses definitely makes them softer even though I was a bit panicked about the amount of apple when I was mixing the dough.

My HotCrossBuns 2013

Flushed with success, I made some scones too – here displayed on one of my vintage cake stands before they were demolished.


Two new addictions I have are retro 1930s, 1940s design fabric and hexagons.  I bought some pre-cut fabric hexagons and some pre-cut cards for paper piecing and now I have something portable to sew that I can take downstairs and do whilst chatting with the family, watching t.v., etc. which makes a change from closeting myself upstairs in my workroom when I am sewing anything.  This has taken the place of crochet roses which, sadly, do not seem to be multiplying and are lying sadly neglected somewhere – I can’t even remember where I’ve put them.  I don’t know what I’m going to do with all these hexies when I’ve finished but I’m sure I’ll think of something.

fabric hexagons

Somebody asked me to make one of my throws with a patchwork top using Liberty tana lawns and, although I don’t usually do this as there is too much work involved in patchwork to recoup the hours spent in making one, in my opinion, I agreed this time as it has no batting and I very simply hand-tied it so it wasn’t too arduous.   I think it turned out quite well but, to be honest, you can’t really go wrong with lovely Liberty.Liberty Patchwork (1)

I’m very excited because there are two ‘births’ on the horizon and I love making a quilt for a baby – a good, manageable size!  One will be in the summer and the father is a friend of Mr. Tialys mostly but I went to their wedding and I need no further excuse.  The other will be in October and the future mum is my goddaughter, Hannah, so I am very excited about that and am waiting for her next scan to see if she reveals ‘girl or boy’ before I choose the fabrics.

Mr. T has also been busy and in his own version of my ‘excuses not to do the housework’ which I call ‘excuses not to clear out the shed’ he decided to build a pond in our garden to encourage toads and wildlife.  This was no mean feat as our garden consists mostly of a very steep, occasionally terraced, stony terrain with lots of bedrock.  Still, I think he has done a good job and, when it is planted up will be lovely to sit by in the summer once the fig tree is in leaf and shades it a little and the solar powered waterfall is making the lovely trickly water sound.  I can just see myself dozing by the side of it whilst pretending to read a book.

DSC_0020We have put a few small fish in there who, after the first 5 minutes, have never been seen again.  This may have something to do with the fact that, as soon as one of our dogs saw the pond, he thought it must be his personal bathing spot and plunged in.  We might have to think about a small barrier…..

TazTaz.  I know he’s plain but we love him still.

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  1. #1 by Jan Marriott on April 23, 2013 - 15:50

    I think you should wear that skirt, specialy whilst sitting on the stool….a bit funky eh?
    You are much further ahead than us….still too cold to go out without a heavy coat and gloves

  2. #2 by tialys on April 23, 2013 - 17:44

    It wasn’t until I compared the colours in the skirt to those in the kitchen stools that I realised how I really need to recover them! Perhaps then it won’t feel like I’m going out wearing my soft furnishings.

  3. #3 by Lisa on April 27, 2013 - 07:41

    Wow, so much to comment on! I love the skirts, but especially like the fabric you used on yours. So what if you match the stool?!! Hee hee! You must wear it! Love the tile too, and those hot cross buns look so yummy!

  4. #4 by tialys on April 27, 2013 - 13:22

    Thanks Lisa. I think the answer is to recover the stools in a different fabric – they are getting a bit grubby anyway – and then I won’t feel so strange.

  5. #5 by Catherine on May 1, 2013 - 11:44

    The skirts look great, and it is a good idea to recover the stools ! That sewing show has been such an inspiration and has got my Mum sewing again after a few years break. I was chuffed when Ann won. And that Paul Hollywood ! I blame him and his show for all my weight gain this Spring.

    • #6 by tialys on May 1, 2013 - 14:41

      Thanks Catherine. I’ve definitely got the bug again. I now find myself looking at fabric with clothes in mind rather than fabric storage bins, étui boxes or bunny rabbits. My love affair with Liberty fabrics, however, can cross over into clothes and I think the tana lawn will lend itself very nicely to some floaty blouses if I can just remember how to do buttonholes. Well, my machine has a buttonhole thingy but I’ve never used it yet and the look of it scares me.

  6. #7 by Jan (Missy) on May 6, 2013 - 10:00

    You’ll give that dog a complex, mrs. calling him plain. I hope he didn’t hear. Actually that made me laugh so much I almost spat tea on my keyboard. Loving the hot cross buns, but would love Paul Hollywood more, I have to say. He is my current squeeze, it’s shame he doesn’t realise and submit graciously.
    Not been reading (or writing) blogs but now I’ve read yours again, I wonder why I stopped! You don’t half make me laugh.

    • #8 by tialys on May 6, 2013 - 11:06

      Don’t worry Jan, he is a French dog and doesn’t understand English.
      I think if Mr. Hollywood submitted to everybody who wanted him as their squeeze, he would have no strength left to suggestively knead dough and do that twinkly eye thing he does which would be a loss to the nation.
      I’m glad I made you laugh although tea spitting is not to be encouraged, especially on electrical equipment.
      Hopefully see you again soon.

  7. #9 by hayley on May 9, 2013 - 08:19

    No such thing as a plain doggie! I think he is a very handsome boy 😉 So is Paul Hollywood but that attraction maybe more to do with his baking…..any boy who bakes is gorgeous! …..plus his name….Paul Hollywood is a really good name! xx

  8. #10 by tialys on May 9, 2013 - 18:21

    Well Hayley, they say the same about babies but I do sometimes have to force myself to be polite. 🙂

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