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Tuesday, 28 June 2011

We Make London Pop Up Shop

I'll be selling my wares at the We Make London Pop Up Shop in Hampstead from 2-9 July. It opens this Saturday. See my designer feature on the We Make London Blog.

Here is a sneak preview of some of my handmade goodies. 
Lots of lovely things for babies and toddlers mostly...

These are my popular baby & toddler pantaloons, based on a harem pant with a wide waistband and leg cuffs, this pair is made from some natural linen I found in a Norman brocante which was originally a curtain in a Paris hospital stamped 1843. It's beautifully soft with a heavy drape. I just love this fabric. Some of it was beautifully darned too, I'm adding this bit to my darning collection!

A variation on my pantaloons, these playsuits are adorable. They are so perfect for babies and toddlers because they do not restrict the movement and flexibility like many toddler trousers do so they can sit in that perfect lotus pose that only a child can do!

 Also for little ones my patchwork neckerchiefs are made from my scraps of vintage fabrics that I just can't throw away. They are a stylish way of catching the dribbles of a teething baby and reversible too.

There will be much more at the show, please come along!

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Weekly sourdough

I just wanted to share this recipe for Sourdough bread that has got me on a weekly regime that supplies us with more than our fair share of wholesome bread for the week. It was kindly passed on to me by Lina who was given it by Cecile. Now all you need is a Sourdough starter, make one yourself or ask around. You may be surprised by how many people have a starter or know of one that you could have a spoonful of. I hear our lovely bakery down the road called the E5 Bakehouse in London Fields has a new sourdough starter that is over 100 years old and from Iceland. My Grandpa's father was a sailor from Iceland who jumped ship and ended up in Australia. Since we are emigrating to Australia this year as a family and my Grandpa turns 100 later this year, I secretly harbour hopes of getting me some of this infamous starter and baking bread in Australia for the special centenary celebrations. It was be a nice story wouldn't it? Well anyway, here is the recipe, click on the images to view in full and then print. Follow the directions to the letter and you'll have two lovely big loaves. I freeze one for later in the week unless the first loaf doesn't make it past baking day! But remember, resist cutting into the loaf until it has properly cooled down or you will destroy the crumb! (whatever that means)

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Merlin's technicolour dream quilt

I've been meaning to blog about this quilt project for a while now. When I was expecting my first baby (Merlin now aged 2), my Mum had the idea to create a patchwork quilt made up of squares created by all the wonderfully creative women in our family and friends close to us. It was completed for Merlin's 1st birthday Dec 2010. 

The result is this magical technicolour dream quilt with a whole lot of history. There are pieces of retro 70s curtains from my baby room, embroidery from the baby bib of Merlin's grandmother, Merlin's father's embroidered school badge from his uniform showing the ashford river where he grew up. There is a crochet granny square by Merlin's great grandma, stunningly detailed embroideries by Merlin's great aunt in France, wonderful silk applique by some friends living in cambodia at the time which depict little scenes with fond memories of our friendship.  There is even Merlin's knitted umbilical cord tie made of bamboo yarn that I made to avoid the standard issue plastic one (complete with mummified belly button!). I know, I know... slightly weird but nevertheless all part of Merlin's birth story. 

click on image to view detail
The quilt project had its own facebook group where the most active members, my mother and auntie Corrie uploaded pictures of their squares as they went. There were squares from England, Cambodia, Australia and France. It was so touching to have so many dear friends and family add to the story of the quilt. It gives us as a family many visual cues about those dear to us, especially considering Merlin will always be on the otherside of the world to one half of his extended family. It's a story quilt. When he gets his own bed, this quilt alone will provide enough bedtime stories for an entire childhood.

To those of you who contributed, thank you for the love and creativity you bestowed these small squares of fabric that together will keep Merlin warm and entertained for years to come. It's truly an heirloom and we will treasure it always. Sorry it has taken me so long to actually show you photos of the finished piece!

Mum sewed all the squares together with the seams on the right side. With the squares all being quite different in size many of them would have lost quite a lot of their edges. The effect is that each square is kind of framed by its selvedge.

Contributors and relationship to Merlin

Bev (grandmother)
Pat (grandmother)
Corrie (great aunt)
Marilyn (great aunt)
Faye (great aunt)
Elaine (great grandmother)
Josephine (late great grandmother)
Penny & Ellie (aunt and cousin)
Heidi (aunt)
Brenna (mother)
Dominic (father)
Kirsten (friend)
Andrew (friend)
Daisy (friend)
Nami (friend)
Janet (friend)
Mags (friend)

some individual square that were photographed before the quilt was put together, click to see detail

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