New studio heaven

There’ve been some changes in the laundry over the summer ….. I now have a gorgeous new studio. And yes, this post is mostly showing off how thrilled I am ;-)

In the before ….. a strange, six-sided little thing …. very poorly insulated, so boiling hot in the summer and freezing in the winter, cramped, draughty, and deafening when the rain drummed down onto that corrugated plastic roof. Oh, and the lights didn’t work ….

00-before (1)

So it was with much excitement I cleared it all out (stashing my stuff in various places around the house, much to the family’s delight. (not). )

00-before (2)

bye bye now!

01-deconstruction (1)

going, going ….

01-deconstruction (6)

gone!! YAY!! Not so YAY over the dust levels, nor of my al-fresco kitchen wing …. not much improved by the tasteful chipboard temporary doors they installed. I know I shouldn’t complain, and it will all be worth it in the end, but REALLY. And you’ll note my poor little dog peering out from behind the gate we put up to stop her getting out into the garden. She was not impressed that she couldn’t get out there and supervise all the goings-on.

03-base (2)

After much banging, drilling and various other building related madness (plumbers! electricians!), we had a base …..  at this point I had a minor panic attack that it was just TOO BIG. Bit late for that now ….

04-structure (1)but as if by magix ….. over a couple of days the glass panels went up …… and I started to believe …….

06 - finishing (4)oh yes. plastering done, electrics done, painting done, floor insulation down …..

06 - finishing (5)I feel like I can start breathing again ….. and fiddling with floor plans …..

07 - Done (2)Floor!! Floor!! I can move in, at last ….

07 - Done (3)

I have my main work area, with all my bits and bobs conveniently close to my work table, without being cramped.

A good size floor space for laying out quilts.

A blank wall for hanging quilts and for designing layouts ….

07 - Done (4)

Bookshelves, baskets & boxes ….. a place for everything, and everything in its place


so nice to have all my reference books close to hand …..



My own version of a barn quilt …. “Eve’s Garden” hanging above the door …. and finally the vintage dupatta has a home as a false curtain …..


All my boxes, baskets, tins and jars of supplies and treasures are nicely to hand …. eventually I think I’d like a dresser in that alcove, but for now I’m happy with the old changing table/cupboard and some shelves …..

DSC_0066and my worktable is a good size to make plenty of mess on …… nice view of the garden for daydreaming, too ….. and lots and lots and lots of gorgeous north-facing light.


I am a very happy bunny ……


The peacock quilt – a wedding dress keepsake

I have a little special something to share with you today ….. a wedding dress keepsake quilt, but with a difference …..

wedding dress keepsake quilt

oh oh oh ….. gorgeous turquoise silk, with peacock feather motifs on the bodice and matching bolero ….. rockabilly style full mid-length skirt, with a fabulous amethyst tulle underskirt. *swoon*

Possibilities, possibilities …. we discussed a lot of ideas, but came down in the end to a simple large-scale log-cabin design, using the bodice in the heart of the quilt, and bringing the peacock motif in more fully with the quilting, inspired by this image ….


(if anyone can trace this image, I’d be grateful and happy to include proper credits – I believe it’s a Bengali book cover)

And so to work …. first, the deconstruction …..

wedding dress keepsake quilt

I do so love the anticipation of this stage – everything back to its component parts, ready to be re-assembled and re-incarnated ….

wedding dress keepsake quilt

The heart of the quilt …… using different shades of the silk from the bodice, the bolero and his waistcoat …. really pleased with the way the grain of the fabric adds to the design. I love, too, the way the motif details on the bodice and bolero suggest a heart-shape …..

wedding dress keepsake quilt

Embroidery in next …… within the heart-shape, using a pale amethyst perle thread and a mix of satin and stem stitch for the lettering …..

wedding dress keepsake quilt

and on to piece together the whole quilt top ….. the outer sections of the quilt are overlaid with the amethyst tulle from the underskirt ……. the whole thing is like a slice of summer sky, or perhaps the Indian ocean – vivid, warm and inviting …..

wedding dress keepsake quilt

And on to the quilting ….. the peacock design simplified to reflect more of a folk-art rather than indian feeling …. (and for those who like to know such things, I’m using a chalk pencil here to mark the design before I stitch – it shows up beautifully, and lasts just long enough to stitch over – perfect on these delicate fabrics).

wedding dress keepsake quilt

A quick flash of the back …. the design shows up so beautifully on this vintage damask linen …..

wedding dress keepsake quilt

The circular peacock feather motif continues over the whole of the quilt …..

wedding dress keepsake quilt

finishing touches ….. binding on, and an edging in amethsyt ribbon to match the tulle, with a tulle edging that looks as though the layer of tulle on the outer sections of the quilt just spill over the sides of the quilt ……

wedding dress keepsake quiltClaire's Quilt - complete (5)

And done, and away home …….