Cogwheels and loft rooms

Despite the blog silence over such matters, I've been beavering away on the cogwheels for my Passacaglia Quilt in the evenings, finding that fun can be had in purple horses' heads as well as pink!

The purple cog was a real challenge for me - it's not a colour that I'm naturally drawn to. Someone said to me that you should try to do one thing each day that scares you: so I've been working with purple and climbing up to the top of scaffolding for our loft conversion, even though I found the colour initially difficult and even though I have the kind of fear of heights where I feel so convinced I'm going to fall that I want to just jump off to get the inevitable over and done with. Reader, I actually like the purple cogwheel and I've been up and down the scaffolding several times and am not writing this from a hospital bed. I'd call that success all round, although I don't feel scaring myself in these ways is truly necessary every day.

I think this fresh aqua and pink cog is my favourite so far. 

I find the  intensity of the midnight blue fabric completely thrilling. Here it is when it was still a work in progress. 

I'm now starting work on a grey, coral and aqua cogwheel. I feel slightly nervous about this one as my daughter really doesn't like the colours and I usually find that she has a knack of being right about things when it comes to colour. I'm persevering for now on the basis of scaring yourself apparently being good for you (was it you that said that, Kerry?)…but I'm willing to let it go if it turns out not to be quite right and just reap the terror benefits instead. What I really do love about it though is that the Anna Maria Horner print looks like the the swimming hats of synchronised swimmers when cut like this - it's actually echinacea. 

Because my daughter and I have a slightly guilty habit of absolutely LOVING studying the house renovation details of others, I'm going to assume that others might too and share some of our own loft progress, also known in my own head as 'Dreams can come true as part of this is a sewing room' and possibly in my daughter's head known as 'Dreams can come true as my new room will actually have space for a full-size single bed!' (the latter, while true, reminds me of Monty Python's wonderful Four Yorkshiremen sketch - if somehow you've missed this - although I've never knowingly met anyone in England, at least, who has - please do watch it as it's utterly brilliant. And I defy anyone not to adopt a simple Yorkshire-accented 'Luxury!' as part of their lexicon after seeing it. One word that can convey so much). Anyway, back to our loft. It's all slightly curious as, while I've no idea how long the finishing-off aspects will take, so far everything has been far faster than my wildest expectations allowed me to hope for. In less than three weeks the dormer window was built, the building was watertight again, all the windows went in and a staircase was finally installed last week, which means that I can stop going up and down the scaffolding entirely. This week it's all being plastered, and at the weekend I'll actually be painting walls. Next week will be about bathrooms, radiators, lights and plug sockets and possibly having some doors hung. The staircase going in feels like a real landmark, as even though in reality there's a lot to do still, in my head it feels like it's nearly finished. The photos below are from several days ago now. The side with the sloping roof will be home to my sewing room, while the flat roof side will be my daughter's room. 

On the night the staircase was installed, we took a snackish dinner up there and sat and ate it surrounded by power tools and piles of plasterboard, just because we could (as scaling scaffolding really only lends itself to stashing the odd toffee in your pocket and is less conducive to transporting a feast of houmous and crudité). The smallest cat is equally excited and has been sighted on several occasions testing the stairs out for stability and frequently wearing a veil of dust as a mark of her adventuring. I am convinced that she has been smiling, which is unprecedented in one who normally wears a small, anxious face at all times. My son has even taken to doing his homework sitting on the unfinished stairs because it's apparently more peaceful than the rest of the house.

In non-loft-related news, my lovely friend, Lisa (also known as 'the bag lady'), has recently brought out some children's sewing patterns. You can find them here. They are EXACTLY the type of thing that I would have wanted to dress my own daughter in when she was younger - I'd be tempted to try and wedge her little legs into them now if she wasn't already taller than me. The patterns are graded to fit 2-6 year olds.

Right. I'm now going to return to the job of nursing my hangover, which is the result of an evening of giggling on the sofa with my best friend while drinking something lovely. So far an early morning walk in the rain and a large plate of scrambled eggs and spinach haven't quite returned me to my normal self. I think it may require some chocolate.

Wishing you a lovely weekend,
Florence x


  1. Your cogwheels are incredible!! So pretty! Is there a pattern for them? There's something so dreamy about sitting on a quiet staircase, I think your son has the right idea! :)

    1. Thank you! Yes, there is - it's called the Passacaglia Quilt and it's in a book by Willyne Hammerstein, called Milliefiori Quilts.

      And I agree - there is something lovely about sitting on stairs!

  2. The new rooms and space are going to be so welcome...especially your own sewing space! Can't wait to see them finished...decorating is so much fun!

  3. I absolutely LOVE the grey / coral combo and am currently working on the very same colours for my bedroom. Persevere as I'm sure it'll be lovely -and if not I'll happily take it off of your hands! :)

  4. The fabric you choose and the pattern were meant to be. They are delicious. Your loft is going to be incredible.

  5. These cogwheels are just soooo beautiful! Fantastic, I adore them! And the fussy cutting... swoon!

  6. I also love talking about houses/renovations with my daughter, who is always sending me Rightmove links. Your loft conversion is lovely - I can imagine how excited you are. My husband built me a shed for sewing (and also for said daughter who made cards at the time) and it was the beginning for me of more sewing than I'd ever done. Now I'm back in the house sewing in the "playroom" as all 4 offspring have cleared off....

    Do you know A A Milne's poem "Halfway Down"??!! I often think of it when I am on the stairs.....


  7. I think the aqua/pink one is my favorite too, probably until you show the next one. Absolutely stunning.

  8. I like the grey cog wheel, cant wait to see the next one you make :)

  9. Florence, you blow my mind with your hexie creations!!!!! Wow!!!!

  10. Taking risks is paying off! I love the aqua and charcoal, going outside the comfort zone reaps the benefits, the purple/blue is a triumph!

  11. Having a loft converted and a giggle with your best friend on the doesn't get better than that!
    bestest Daisy j x

  12. Wow your cogweels are just incredible, this is going to make the most stunning quilt ever!

  13. Oh your loft conversion is looking amazing - I'm very jealous; I'm obsessed with interiors at the moment. I'm fairly new to your blog but just wanted to say how inspiring I find your patchwork/quilting skills - simply beautiful! :) Leanne x


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