Patchwork summer

It’s been so hot here this week, so hot even the lovely Kiwi struggled with the heat;16 years of living in the UK has changed him. The monkeys have spent most of their first week of the holidays pretending to ignore the constant soundtrack of ‘hats, hats, KEEP YOUR SUNHATS ON!’. Seriously though, I don’t want burnt scalps on my watch, brushing Miss Marmoset’s hair can be traumatic enough as it is.

Yet despite the scorchio conditions it’s been a great start to the hols. We have pottered in forests (shade), splashed in the paddling pool, taken leisurely trips to the park, it’s been exactly the kind of week I think we all needed by the time school was out. True, it was tense when the TV broke on Day 2 of the holidays. There was a brief moment as all family members exchanged shocked glances and pondered the possibility of having to spend six weeks actually talking to each other. However we’re all adjusting well and I think the hot weather has made that adjustment much easier. That and remembering we can still get BBC Iplayer on the computer, telly methadone as it were.

I will be tackling nothing more demanding than paper piecing this holiday. When I first found the on-line quilting community I had no idea what English Paper Piecing was when people referred to it. It took a while for the penny to drop that it is just patchwork. In my head things that are made on a sewing machine are part of quilting. Things that are made by hand, patchwork. I have no idea why or when I made the distinction, but it’s stuck somehow. So it will be a patchwork summer. I have the many diamond hexies to work on and I think I’ll dig these octagons out again and see if I can turn them into a big sham pillow. 
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The last time I showed you any pics of the garden it was looking pretty bleak and empty, so some pics of the border in full bloom. Enjoy, I am!
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Happy summer hols and as always, thanks for reading,
Helen
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Thirty minutes and counting…

In thirty minutes I’m leaving the house and picking up the monkeys from their last day at school! It will be game on for the summer holidays and it even looks as if the British weather has realised it’s in full view of the world this summer, pulled its socks up and got over its current rainy/sulky adolescent behaviour.

I cannot wait for the holidays this year. The small people have worked really hard and I’m so proud of them; but they are shattered. The last couple of weeks have really been spent on a knife edge of tiredness, with both Barbary Boy and Miss Marmoset being grumpier than usual. The annoying thing is though, they are only mentally exhausted. Which means that when they get home from school they still have heaps of physical energy to burn, but not the mental energy to get the best out of their games. This usually ends in tears, TV bans and brief room banishments. I want my happy little monkeys back!

I have managed a couple of small finishes before the holidays start, the embroidery that I was gently stitching up last time is now all finished and serving as a nice big coaster for vases of flowers from the garden on my mantelpiece. I’ll be the first to admit that I think the lovely Liberty bias binding from Eirlys deserved better treatment than it got, I haven’t ruled out unpicking it and having another go. However I am thrilled with the embroidery and definitely want to do some more now.

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This handy little pouch has made me very happy. Compared to how spectacularly it went wrong the last time I tried to make anything remotely zipped and bag related this little patchwork pouch was a breeze to put together. The pattern comes from I Love Patchwork, and I think I can see me whipping up plenty more in the future. This one will be holding all my first aid kit for summer adventures. First aid kits work like charms in this family, if I have one with me we are an injury-free zone, if I don’t, well, you can guess the ending, it usually involves a trip to A&E.
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Finally I’ll be hoping to finish up this hand-quilted top into a big, snuggle-on-the-sofa cushion. I love the colours in this, wish I had enough of the fabrics to make a big quilt for our bed!
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Here’s to a wonderful summer break!

Thanks for reading,
Helen
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