Thursday 23 May 2019

RHS Chelsea - on TV

I always enjoy the RHS Chelsea coverage on TV.  I have never been to the show and I think I would find it too claustrophobic.  However, as a TV viewer, you can see far more than if you were actually there.  As always, here is a (totally biased) view of my favourite gardens.  I think this year the gardens are all 'playing safe' - possibly to do with the unsettled political climate.  They are all very green in colour too and many feature woodland areas.
The photos are all from the RHS Chelsea site:
 I like the wall with the circular window in it in the Harmonious Garden of Life.  The swing seat powers the water feature, there is clover instead of lawn and the planting is all about insects.
 The Family Monsters Garden is a lovely slice of woodland.
 This is probably my favourite garden - The Donkey Sanctuary Donkeys Matter garden.  I like the idea behind it, of celebrating the work donkeys do all over the world, often in harsh conditions.
 I really like the planting in this garden.
 Andy Sturgeon's garden for M & G won best in show and again feature woodland planting interspersed with blackened timber structures.  (Nice to think that my own black fence is still on trend!)
Chris Beardshaw's garden for Morgan Stanley  has some beautiful planting, as always.
Finally, the Miles Stone Kingston Maurward Garden has some lovely curves and a wide rusted bowl water feature.
There were elements of lots of the other gardens that I liked, but these were the gardens that appealed most to me from the TV coverage.
I am going to RHS Chatsworth in a couple of weeks and am really looking forward to that.
Edited to add:
The Back to Nature Garden designed in collaboration with the Duchess of Cambridge (but not judged) was a big success with the children allowed on it.  It is another woodland garden including a treehouse, rope swing, fire pit, running water and looks like the sort of garden we would have all loved as children.

Thursday 16 May 2019

Finished - at last!

Here is my patchwork quilt, almost finished and ready for binding.  I don't know how people manage to quilt a big quilt on a domestic sewing machine because I did struggle fitting this small quilt through, even though I rolled it up and everything! (Many choice words were muttered under my breath!) The walking foot was brilliant with the straight line quilting and I was pleased with the result.
 Here's the back, ready for binding.
 Someone (I'm looking at you, Scruffy!) decided that the quilt would make an extremely comfortable bed.
 No, he wasn't going to all!
The binding went remarkably smoothly, owing to my little Accuquilt Go Baby machine which cut beautiful straight strips for me.  So, here's the finished quilt (I need a drum roll or something).
Hmm...I was trying to artistically drape the quilt over the wall, but it just looks a bit crumpled.
 Here it is laid out on the sitting room floor.
Here's the back.  Choosing a nice patterned material disguises any wobbly stitching lines.
So, what have I learnt from this project?
  • I don't like rotary cutting, which is a real skill.  If you don't cut accurately, you can't sew accurately.  This may well curtail any thoughts I had about attempting other quilts
  • I would not want to attempt to quilt anything bigger than this quilt myself. (It is about 32 inches square)
  • I like using the Accuquilt cutting machine
  • I enjoyed making and sewing the binding on
  • I still like the materials used in this quilt
  • I am not a perfectionist, which is a slight disadvantage with quilt making.  I am much more of the 'oh, that'll do' school of sewing 
  • I may attempt another quilt one day, using strips, but won't be quilting it myself, unless it is by hand
The biggest positive is that I am proud of myself for completing this project, my first patchwork quilt, and on the whole, I am pleased with the end result.

Sunday 12 May 2019

Crafting projects

 I do enjoy making cards - possibly because they are quite quick to make and are a complete little project in themselves. 
 I also like being able to make a card for different reasons.
 I have recently bought some lovely new stamps and dies - this teasel stamp looks like I have lino cut it.  The best thing is that I can alter the look of it by changing the background, or embossing it, or watercolouring it.  I think it will prove to be really versatile.
Here is another card with a relatively newly purchased stamp (Chris rolls his eyes heavenwards...).  The problem is, just when I think I have all the stamps and dies I could ever need, along comes another one and I need it too!  This stamp has a simple image of dandelions but is really effective and another stamp which will be versatile. It can also be used with other media as it is a rubber stamp, rather than a clear polymer one.  Bring on the experiments!

Tuesday 7 May 2019

Early May in the garden

 Despite the rather cool weather for this time of year, the garden is blooming.  Above is Magnolia Fairy Blush, grown in a large pot.  It isn't the most interesting of shrubs during the year but the flowers do make up for it.
 They are so pretty and slightly lemon scented too.
Some of the tulips are still in flower - this is the mystery fringed one.  I didn't plant it, but after a gap of a few years, it has started to bloom regularly, so is very welcome.
 Ronaldo, Ballerina and Queen of Night...
 I do like this combination.
 One of my lewisias is flowering too...
 It has some apricot shades amongst the pink.
 Star plant is Rhododendron Tinkerbird again.  Lots of flowers and when the sun is out, the jasmine scent is beautiful.
 Pink buds opening to palest pinky-white flowers.
One of my many favourites at the moment!
Camassia Blue Candle is also in flower, although the lower flowers are going over.  I didn't keep on top of the watering this Spring and Camassias don't like to dry out, but it looks like I have been forgiven.  I probably do need to divide these bulbs this year as the pot is getting rather full.
 Beautiful pale blue and lilac shades.  Lots to enjoy and the alliums will continue the display in a few weeks.