April Round-Up

Due to the fine weather at the end of April, this month has been a happy mix of sewing and gardening, with a spot of travel thrown in. The latter two activities have meant that I’ve only completed two projects this month, but I have made some good progress on two others.

First to finish was my giant cushion, started at Katy Jones’ workshop in March. At 24″ it’s the perfect size for resting against on my garden bench. Now I just need a sunny evening and a gin and tonic!

My second April finish was a small project to make some gift bags for a family party. It’s a belated Christmas get together that we have every year, travelling around the country each time, so I got to dig out my fun Christmas fabrics for these. This year’s celebration was in Edinburgh, but more on that later.

When it was too hot for gardening over the Easter weekend I put up the parasol and dug out my bag of pre-basted pieces for the Pollinate Quilt. This project started in the heatwave of last summer and so it feels very natural to work on it when the sun is shining, progress had definitely stalled over the winter months. It also came on the train with me to Edinburgh, a great travel project.

A lot of progress has also been made this month on my Trinket Quilt sew-a-long. The posting of blocks on Instagram (#trinketsal) finishes this week and then I have about two weeks to get the top sewn together. With five of the foundation-pieced blocks left to make, the plain blocks already cut out and my layout sorted that shouldn’t be a problem. Check back in the May round-up to see if I managed it!

As this is a round-up of my whole month’s activities I’m going to stick some none-sewing things in too (feel free to skip if you’re all about the fabric).

Despite living in our current house for nearly five years, gardening has never extended beyond managing a few pots as our back garden was 95% gravel and paving slabs. Last year we made a few changes, dug in some borders on either side and installed a couple of veg boxes in a sunny corner at the back. With the help of my dad we hooked up a basic watering system and I travelled back from my Cornish holiday last May with a back seat full of plants!

Being a relatively lazy gardener, I hadn’t done much tidying up at the end of last year and that came back to bite me with the amount of clear-up and weeding we’ve had to do this month to get things ready for a new season. Still very much in the trial and error stage of planting and growing, I’m looking forward to the return of some of the perennials I put in last year as well as scouting out some new additions and filling some gaps. Here’s a few before and after shots of our hard work.

Last on the calendar for this month was the Edinburgh trip, we were a lot luckier with the weather than most of the rest of the UK who seemed to be getting the tail end of Storm Hannah. We explored the botanical gardens as well as shops and restaurants in the city centre. It’s a beautiful city, with a top notch bus system for getting around, more time to see more sights would have been great but there was also fabric shopping to be done!

My cousin wanted to select some backing fabric and wadding for a quilt 30 YEARS in the making! (And I thought my WIPs were bad…) We started our fabric shopping at the small-but-perfectly-formed, My Bear Paw (home of Jo Avery) and immediately found some beautiful Robert Kaufmann soft, brushed cotton which seemed perfect. But, conscious of missing out on a bargain, we decided to visit the two other shops on our list and then come back if we needed to. Three buses and a very nice lunch later and we were back at My Bear Paw for all the supplies and I got a chance to meet Jo, who was running a workshop, and Jane who runs the shop – both were lovely humans and very helpful. If you’re in Edinburgh, definitely go and pay them a visit.

Is it just me that feels that April was over in a flash? This year seems to be going a pace, each time I look up we’re in a new month. I’m off to share this with Mini Archie and his April furtle around the blogosphere – head there if you want to see what other crafty bods have been up to this month. Thanks for reading and have a great month of May.


4 thoughts on “April Round-Up

  1. Oh, I love everything about your giant cushion – it’s just perfect! And lovely to see your Trinket blocks too. I’m also joining it with that SAL and have really enjoyed it so far.


  2. Alex, what lovely photos!!! I enjoyed Edinburgh when I was there in 1992, but I wasn’t into fabric then. That fabric looks perfect. April did go fast! Your projects are lovely and hope to see more progress as we Furtle thru the year together.


  3. I too found april zipped past! I’ve added a garden cushion to my list after seeing yours, and I really like your Trinkets plan–it’s a design I’ve not seen before and you’re the second Furtle blogger I’ve found making one! I was in my 20s the last time I was in Edinburgh, on a coach trip, of all things so I really only saw Princes street shops…



  4. I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading of your quilty adventures but particularly was taken with your gardening efforts. We are re-doing our front and side yard – a definite Work in Progress spanning a few years now. I am very impressed with what you’ve done. Your photos from Edinburgh are wonderful too. I doubt that I’ll ever visit there but your photos help me envision the city where AMSmith’s Isabel Dalhousie resides. (hehe)


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