William Morris and Peter Hall ukulele gig bags

William Morris ukulele gig bag case
I've listed two more quilted vintage cotton ukulele gig bags in my Etsy shop. The one on the right is made from an original piece of William Morris Chrysanthemum fabric in muted browns and pale oranges.  The one on the left is cut from a stunning piece of Peter Hall's 1960s Candida screenprinted cotton in browns, black and white. I previously made a bag for a pocket uke in the orange colourway of this design.

Both of these gig bags are now available here.

Peepo! at The Quashetts

Wood knot holes at The QuashettsA walk down one of Worthing's ancient twittens The Quashetts becomes a game of Peepo as we peer through various knot holes in the wooden fences. Brief glimpses into other people's lives show us rusting garden furniture waiting for warmer days, well tended plants in terracotta pots, sprawling overgrown weeds in the next garden (a haven for wildlife), shiny polished double-glazed windows with a forbidding burglar alarm, abandoned moss covered children's play equipment and a solid brick wall built right up against the fence.
From our viewpoint not much is revealed but we feel like cat-burglars for looking. I hope no one saw us...

The Quashetts Worthing twitten with wood knot holes

A Festival of Fungi

Festival of Fungi mushroom

My daughter's participation in a Weather Watching course on Saturday took me to RSPB Pulborough Brooks and the Festival of Fungi trail. Searching for mushrooms felt like looking for fairies hidden in the undergrowth. The activity was completely absorbing and I spent an hour finding fungi with names as enchanting and sometimes terrifying as their appearance; Amethyst Deceiver, Green Elf Cap, Collared Earthstar, Yellow Brain, Jelly Ear, Tawny Grisette, The Sickener, Poison Pie, Lilac Bonnet and Hairy Curtain Crust.

Festival of Fungi

It was a clear, fine autumn day for a walk around the hedge-lined paths of the nature reserve - a twitcher's paradise. As well as wild and waterfowl I saw herds of deer, cattle and six still dragonflies.

Ivy Arch at RSPB Pulborough Brooks

Pulborough Brooks lies in the Arun valley and unfortunately is not easy to reach by public transport. We travelled there by foot, bus and taxi - an expensive trip but the only way for non-drivers from Worthing to arrive in time for the start of the course. However it was worth the awkward and circuitous journey to spend time in such an outstandingly beautiful place.

Pulborough Brooks

Ukulele book bags in jewel bright cottons

ukulele book bags with polka dots and owls
While browsing fabrics at the weekend, these jewel coloured cottons caught my eye. With appliqué ukuleles embroidered on top in bold polka-dot and owl print fabrics, these handmade book bags are cheery enough to brighten any grey day. I'll be making more appliqué bags in the next few weeks, but to snap one of these up now, visit my Etsy shop.

Same Sky - Seven Days in Worthing

Last Thursday, overjoyed at the bright blue morning sky after a gloomy grey week, I took a photo of the celestial view over my back garden. I posted this bright Pantone blue picture on my Facebook page. This small square patch was well 'liked' and seemed to cheer everyone up. I decided to photograph the same spot the following day at the same time of 9:20am. Seven days later an overview of a week's autumnal weather in Worthing emerges. Day 4's sky shows the criss-cross vapour trails left by the biplanes that fly overhead every Sunday from nearby Shoreham Airport.
     Of course I could extend this experiment to photographing the sky every day for a year, but I know there'll be days when I forget to do so. Then there's the 'What to do with all that footage of sky?' conundrum. I still have rolls of film of the view of tower blocks opposite my eleventh floor flat in Poprad, Slovakia in 1997-98 - photos of the same sight taken every day that I lived there, waiting to be turned into a great art installation. That's if I ever get round to turning the Dictaphone cassette tapes of announcements recorded at every Eastern European train station I travelled through that year into a musique concrète radio work for Resonance Fm first. Maybe one day...
    For now then, an ergonomic piece: Same Sky - Seven Days.

Quilted ukulele cases in rare vintage fabrics

Original vintage fabric ukulele cases
Five new ukulele gig bags have gone into my Etsy shop today. They're all made from original 1950s, 60s and 70s fabrics (a William Morris design, Bernard Wardle screenprinted cotton, Liberty prints and Heals fabrics).
     I've used a combination of channel quilting and free-motion quilting here. As a naive self-taught quilter I wasn't actually aware that was the name for what I was doing until my friend and sewing expert Leigh Otterson-Walter of Quilty Pleasures enlightened me!
Detail of channel quilting and free motion quilting on Ivy Arch uke cases
I love the look and texture of quilted fabrics and sometimes find the stitching on the back of the piece as interesting (if less colourful) as the pattern on the front. There's a secret work of art hidden away inside the lining of every ukulele bag I make. 
free motion quilting
Hidden back view of an Ivy Arch quilted ukulele bag
These vintage fabric ukulele gig bags are on sale now in the Ivy Arch shop.