Friday, 6 February 2015

Carrying cutlery


I've been working in solids a little more over the last few weeks as I find that I can become slightly obsessed by fussy-cutting patterned fabrics and stop enjoying them for what they are, looking only to whether they can be cut with a pleasing repeat, so it feels liberating to occasionally peep out of the rabbit hole and just focus purely on colour (before inevitably diving back in, because I do love the opportunity to create kaleidoscopes, which fussy cutting gives). Anyway, I'm really enjoying it, although I'm keeping the scale miniature, so that I'm not entirely out of my comfort zone!


This is Alison Glass' Tessellation pattern and I've scaled it down to about 20% of its original size. You can see the cutting mat behind the paper template for scale. I think it's only about the fifth time I've done any foundation paper piecing, but it grows on me more and more as a technique and I'm really enjoying how it allows one to sew at a really small scale but with incredible accuracy. Once I'd printed all my templates and got started, I realised that I could have gone far smaller than this without it being a problem. The completed blocks are pinned to the board below and I'm hoping once I've finished and all the blocks are sewn together, it will look more pleasingly miniature with the seam allowances swallowed up.


I'm unsure why I'm drawn to things being at a small scale, but it's what really appeals to me when I'm sewing and what I'm captured by when looking through books. And possibly always have been: I vividly remember studying the drawings of the elves' work in my Ladybird copy of The Elves and The Shoemaker for longer than any other picture book as a five year old (the advantage of moving around a lot when you're very young, is that you can normally place exactly what age you must have been when things happened, just by virtue of what house or country the memory is set in!)


Sorry if the colours in the photos are a little screamy as most of them were taken later in the day under artificial light. Tessellations is a lovely pattern, because right up until the last moment you can play around with the colours and positioning of everything, completely altering the look of the finished piece. All the completed blocks are identically sized triangles, with different interior piecing options to create the triangle. Alison encourages you to design your own layout, although I've been quite unadventurous in mine so far as I really loved the original version that has a star hidden within it. However, it's a really good pattern for people that don't usually enjoy following patterns, because you really can do what you want with it.

The finished piece is intended to go in a frame in our hallway - we painted it white over the summer and are regretting our move away from a much warmer, creamier white, as it's incredibly stark. So, rather than spend four days painting it a warmer shade of white, we decided to try and add warmth with what we hang on the wall instead.

I did most of this piecing one day last weekend, when my daughter was out with a friend all day and my husband and son had gone up to London to visit a museum and go on a pilgrimage to Homeslice. You may remember from my husband's pizza oven adventures (free build-your-own guide produced by my husband, here, if you'd like one in your own garden), that we have something of a pizza obsession in our family and whenever we go anywhere here or abroad we often look for tips online to find out where exceptionally tasty pizza is being made. We recently found Homeslice when my husband and I were staying in London for work for a few days and had decided to use some of our free time to continue our research. The results of our intensive sampling to date are unequivocal: Homeslice make the best pizza that we've ever tasted and it's conveniently situated in Neal's Yard, Covent Garden, London! If you're in London and love pizza, I must implore you to visit. The only thing that I love slightly less about it is that there's no cutlery and I really enjoy pizza most when eaten with a knife and fork (which my husband finds hilarious, but particularly when it's a thin crust pizza I find trying to wrestle with a large flappy thing, while trying to keep one's paws and chin vaguely clean, slightly exhausting - the whole thing just feels uncomfortably animalistic). I'm tempted to take my own next time. Or perhaps not*. Homeslice make up for the lack of cutlery with craft beer, fantastic Prosecco, a brilliant atmosphere, and really friendly, warm service though.

What will you be sewing or eating this weekend?

Florence x

* As a teenager, my friends and I would always meet the same group of people on our way out for the night and one of those people, I've always remembered because wherever he went, he carried a spoon in his pocket. When we got off the train at the end of a night out, we would swarm to the new convenience store, which stayed open until 1am (that really was exciting at the time, as shops in our village had never previously opened past 5.30pm or at all on Sundays), and this boy would buy a pot noodle and heat it in their microwave or add boiled water to it - whatever needed to be done to make it edible - and then bring out his spoon. He loved Pot Noodles so much that he said he felt it was always best to be prepared and not risk getting caught out, as had happened to him once on a particularly unfortunate night when the shop had run out of plastic cutlery. I love this memory of him with his spoon. But I cannot be the 37 year old who carries around a knife and fork.

12 comments:

  1. I love what your doing...always fascinated by tessellations

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  2. Thank you for the recommendation for Homeslice! That's very close to where I work, so I'll be trying it soon. And I will bring cutlery - I don't care, I also don't like to eat pizza with my hands!

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  3. Fold your slice in half, lengthwise! Smaller, tidier, yummier.

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  4. Love your version of this quilt, the colours are amazing!

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  5. sewing tomorrow...now homeslice sunday!....meeting grown up kids in london and they will love this, thanks for the recommendation

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  6. I carry a spoon with me at work in the pocket of my lab coat ;)), for my yoghurt at lunch, because if you need one, you won´t find one in our clinic ;)
    I am the one, who´s able to eat her yoghurt properly, while my colleagues use forks or even knives sometimes ;))

    the pattern looks fantastic, I was quite surprised, because it somehow seems out of your comfort zone, no symmetry, no flowers, bright coulors ;)) But I like it a lot! Jana

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  7. I'm completely ready to start my first foundation pieced quilt. I have all the fabric-and that took me a year-I have the printed papers. I have everything...But I'm afraid to try it. Maybe today...

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  8. I knew considered shrinking a pattern, but it's a brilliant idea and I can't wait to see it finished and framed (another great idea!). I've loved seeing the Tessellation pattern around and would love to make my own version - I really should make the time instead of just dreaming about it.

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  9. love your miniture scale and your right foundation piecing really works for perfection.

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  10. I was hoping this would be a sewing pattern for a cutlery carrier! I think you absolutely could be The Woman Who Travels With Cutlery, if you carried it in a lovely little patchwork case; I'm thinking something like one of those roll-up knitting needle cases. Just Googled it and found this - apparently you would even become part of the Carry Your Own Cutlery movement!! http://www.treehugger.com/corporate-responsibility/avoid-plastic-utensils-by-carrying-your-own-wrapped-in-recycled-cases.html x

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  11. I've always loved the tiny too. Used to crochet with the tiniest hook and thread. I love your blog!

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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

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