Sunday, 26 June 2011

Notes from our weekend


I can't reveal this fully yet as it's not for me, but I wanted to show you a little of what I've been working on over the weekend. It was one of those projects that hadn't even been in my mind on Friday morning, but by Friday evening it was well under way and involved two very late night sewing sessions so that I could get to the point of being left with only the more sociable aspect of hand finishing the binding in the garden on the deliciously hot Sunday.


Although marginally less delicious when half your body is covered by a thick quilt in 30 degree heat, but still highly enjoyable.


An entire rainbow isn't my normal style, but I've found it really lovely to work with, constantly exciting my eyes with all the different combinations of colour that can be seen at any one time. Quilting it in colour-appropriate threads was also fun...until I realised that despite owning well over 100 reels of thread, I don't own anything peach coloured, but I managed to work around that.


This section of blues I particularly fell in love with. Fuller pictures to follow later in the week. While I sat sweltering beneath the quilt (quilt talking with my mother-in-law, and later in the day non-quilt-talking with our friend Ben who popped over for dinner), just far enough away for myself and the quilt not to be attacked by flying wood chippings, my husband was busy taking requests for wooden creations. On previous days he has made broomsticks* and wands (there's a Harry Potter theme to this, although they don't seem to understand that he is limited to using the thin branches found in our garden and repeatedly ask: but why can't you make Hogwarts/an owl/a time turner/a spell book?).


Having exhausted all the Harry Potter paraphernalia that can be made from something long and thin, he made each of the children a knife yesterday. We were all delighted to find that they are perfectly usable and they enjoyed eating apples cut up with their new knives. But even more excitingly, the children found that they could do their own wood whittling with their new knives.


Until this year, I'd somehow missed ever seeing something being burnt by using a magnifying glass** to harness the power of the sun. But my husband spent much of his youth killing ants in this way, when there was no other fun to be had, and so is a master at it (Character redemption: he has been a vegetarian for the past 15 years, buries each and every one of the mice that our cats kill and moves errant snails from the centre of the pavement on rainy days...so please don't hold his past ant-murdering ways against him). To my non-scientifically programmed brain, these scorched drawings look like magic as they appear beneath the glass.

How was your weekend?

Florence x

* A Firebolt, for those who want the full broom specification.
** Yes, this magnifying glass is indeed a state of the art plastic one pilfered from the Early Learning Centre doctor's kit...who knew they were providing tools for pyromaniacs?

15 comments:

  1. Look forward to seeing the rainbow quilt! I have a huge Harry Potter fan, what brilliant fun outside - instead of inside on a machine playing HP...

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  2. Your project looks really lovely, but I have to say I am in awe of your husband making knives from branches that actually cut! I can understand them cutting apples but to be able to cut other wood is amazing.

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  3. When I read about men who actually have useful skills and can do things, it makes me despair of the men I meet! I really won't hold my breath for a useful one but one thing is sure; I will definitely follow the advise in Roxanna - Daniel Defoe. 'Never marry a fool' she said. She did, a handsome one and lived to regret it. Chance would be a fine thing - all the fools I meet are not handsome either. I too might make an exception in that case.

    Lucky you. But I'm glad they are out there. Somewhere. I'll wait.

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  4. love your quilt! I can't wait to see the entire thing :)

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  5. I have to admit I was so disturbed at the mention of the murders of the ants. Young boys are so cruel. I hated it when the other kids would smash the ants after I tried to miss stepping on them. It was hard being a girl among those nasty boys! So glad your hubby has redeemed himself. LOL
    BTW I wanted to stop to get a turtle off the road Saturday and my husband laughed at me.

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  6. I'm looking forward to the big reveal of the quilt - the colours are gorgeous. I love the knives too - is the blade made from wood? Sounds like your hubby is more than making up for his past anti-ant behaviour!

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  7. I used to burn ants with magnifying glasses as a child too. Nowadays I just squish them as I absolutely hate them! However I am very soft hearted when it comes to all other critters (except mosquitoes of course ;D). My husband thinks I am rubbish because I am so soft and I ought to, by rights, be a vegetarian.
    The quilt looks lovely, looking forward to the grand unveiling!

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  8. The rainbow quilt looks lovely, can't wait to see the whole thing!

    I've never seen anything burnt with a magnifying glass either (apart from on TV & now your blog!), but those wooden apple knives sound wonderful!

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  9. Looking forward to seeing the quilt - although I don't envy you sewing with it on your lap in that heat.

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  10. I'm also looking forward to the big reveal! That quilt looks beautiful - I would have given up in two seconds in that heat!

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  11. Why would you kill ants for fun? A reformed child is one thing(and not a very nice thing, using a magnifying glass to inflict harm is particularly horrifying). An adult though is different. It's cruel and unnecessary. It's like a giant boot stamping out your own family - would anyone like that?

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  12. Thank you for all your lovely comments!

    Anonymous - you're completely right, that would be horrible, but if you read that bit of the post again, you'll see that I never said anything about adults killing ants - that's not something that my husband would do at all. I simply said that he did that as a child...as many young boys do, perhaps because they're curiosity overwhelms their thoughtfulness temporarily - happily for the ants I don't think it's a phase that lasts too long. (And I add this only because I don't want my words misinterpreting again: of course my understanding of why children might choose to do this does not mean my own little boy would do this - having been brought up as a vegetarian since he was born I hope that he thinks of animals as having the same rights as humans).

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  13. Oops, I mean 'their' curiosity, not 'they're'.

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  14. Hello Florence

    Actually, I didn't misunderstand you - you were very clear. You have misunderstood me unsurprisingly, as I wasn't at all clear. I know none of your family still kill ants and in fact you do not mention adults doing it at all. No. I did in fact refer to one of the comments made by someone who says she suishes ants as she hates them. The giant boot comment was also directed at her. Being a person of sensitive sensibilities, I know that you do not need to be asked to think of these things. Apologies for being unclear.

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  15. Ha ha! Love your husband! And how clever is he to make those knives! My garden is sandy and infested with ants nests - I hate it when I accidently disturb them and see them all panicking and rushing to rescue their eggs.

    The quilt looks lovely - so softly pretty!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x