The First of the Dahlias


Orange Fubuki

The first of the dahlias have flowered. These are orange fubuki dahlias, they’re a soft peach / coral / pink colour rather than a true orange, and they’re just as pretty as I was hoping they’d be. I have had such a struggle to get my dahlias to bloom this year. It’s been a very wet spring and summer overall other than a 5 week period in May and June where we had no rain at all. At first my dahlia tubers got dug up by wild animals, it was either squirrels, foxes or badgers. They’d dig them up and leave them to dry out on the soil surface, covered in teeth marks. This stressed the tubers, and set them back in starting into growth. In the end I laid down holly branches across the entire dahlia bed and this stopped the animals from digging.

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Allotment |

End of July on the Allotment


July has been a very wet month, and the temperature has hovered around 18C. Ed and I fell behind on weeding at the start of the month as it was too wet to spend much time at the allotment, but by the end of the month I feel like we’re on top of it again, for the time being. This first year is very weedy because we dug over the whole plot between October and February to clear the rubble, remove bushes, and generally clear up years worth of neglect. Every year out from the big dig the weed pressure should reduce as we won’t be disturbing the soil and exposing the seed bank to light in the same way.

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Allotment |

Making a Linen Quilt | My First Quilt


I’m making my first quilt. It’s a 90cm by 90cm lap quilt, and the quilt top is made with linen remnants I bought as a bundle from an online fabric store for £5. The bundle was made up with scraps and ends of rolls, and it included a mix of colours – indigo, burnt orange, oatmeal, stone and slate. It’s a mix of Irish linen and washed linen, and I still have plenty left over after cutting the squares for this quilt. Some fibres feel coarser than others, but it’s all medium weight. When I bought the linen last autumn I didn’t necessarily have a quilt in mind, but as I was going through my mum’s craft supplies and helping Dad tidy the house shortly before Mum’s hospitalisation and move into dementia nursing care, I found a 90cm by 110cm piece of quilt wadding in her craft box. Without being able to ask her, but knowing she liked natural fibres too, and judging by the look and feel of it, I think it’s cotton. Dad says she had planned to make a quilt for one of my nephews, and the pile of cotton fabric in children’s prints confirmed it. Whilst the children’s prints went to a charity shop, I brought some of Mum’s other fabrics home with me and thought about trying my hand at quilting to make use of the wadding I had found. I’ve never made a quilt before, but I know how to sew.

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Sewing |

ZW Cropped Shirt | Birgitta Helmersson | Zero Waste Sewing


As a recent sewing project I made the ZW Cropped Shirt by Birgitta Helmersson. It’s a “zero waste” pattern that rather than printing and pinning, you draw onto your fabric. It’s a series of rectangles that fit together like a jigsaw puzzle, eliminating waste. The pattern is one size, and fits a range of body sizes. I wear a UK size 8 in blouses and dresses, and the finished garment measurements looked too big for me, so I cut it smaller. This resulted in a few unused rectangles of fabric, but I plan to put them to use in quilting and for making skinny hair scrunchies, so they won’t go to waste.

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