Getting ready for the shepherd's hut

A couple of months ago we decided to buy a shepherd's hut to sit in the corner of our field.  It is to be a refuge, a private place, a place to sit and read, a place to write.  We visited and talked to the makers and we are now only a week away from it being delivered. I am quietly very excited indeed.   It is being made for us by hutsnstuff,  a father and son business in Powys on the Welsh borders.  It should look something like this:


This is one of their photos and there are lots of others on their website and flickr page.   Our hut should be the same colour as this one with similar windows on either side.  Inside there will be a sofa which converts to a double bed as well as a wood burning stove so the hut can be used when it is cold.  We will be making or finding a little table and it will have a wicker chair and a little writing chair too.

So this week is the week of making curtains, covering mattresses, making cushions and preparing for the arrival of the hut and a grand session of moving things in and playing house.


This is the material for covering the mattresses.  I bought it about eighteen months ago as the backing material for my first ever quilt.  Sadly it was not quite the colour mix I had thought from the small internet sample, just a bit too cream and the wrong shade of green so I put it away rather crossly and work on the quilt stopped.  To be honest, wrong backing material is only one of the many reasons that the quilt is languishing unfinished in my sewing box.  For a time I had  nowhere to sew.  That was quite a convincing excuse.  Now I have colonised a room upstairs as a sewing room so I will have to admit that the real reason the quilt has stalled is that I have bitten off more than I can chew (a frequent problem with me, optimism you might call it) and am a bit terrified of the next stage.  I will get there one day when I have a rush of blood to the head.

Anyway, the guilt about having bought the wrong backing material has now been assuaged by using it for the shepherd's hut mattresses.


I wouldn't like you to think that this was the work of a moment.  There has been some unpicking, much muttering and some swearing as I have inserted the longest zips I have ever worked with but now we have two covered mattresses.


There are curtains to be made next which I haven't started yet.  I like making curtains and hope not to have to sweat over them quite so much.  The material for these came from Abakhan  They have an outlet on the coast about twenty minutes away from here with a whole range of fabrics, from the utterly naff to the supremely beautiful.  If you can make it to a store they are always worth a visit.




Curtains might be the next job.  I think I shall make lined curtains.  We may as well have the best with all this recycling and reusing and attempts at thrift.  I would be happy enough to sleep in the hut without curtains at all but from time to time there will be people in the holiday cottage and we don't want to frighten them in the mornings!

I need some cushions too.  I brought some covers with us when we came years ago.  They look as if they will be a perfect match.  They have been sitting in a drawer as the colours were wrong for the sitting room but now they will have a role to play in  my own private space.  That is very satisfying.


It will be good to use them but there aren't enough so I will be making cushions as well.  Looks like a busy week.

Comments

  1. All I can say is I am now completely green with envy! What fun making all the things for it too, a lovely way to spend the week.

    PS must be nosey, is that Virginia Wolfe I spy?

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    1. It is Virginia. It is a print that came from the National Portrait gallery about thirty years ago! I love it. Ian gave it to me and it has lived in any room I have felt fond of in all of my houses.

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  2. Enjoying your textile bouquet. We are still using some of the curtains I made for our first house.

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    1. I love doing that Diana. Beautiful fabric should be used and reused and cut and sewn into something new. It is really pleasing me that the hut is using some of my store!

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  3. Will it arrive before Tatton? Love the material you are using, but would be completely impractical in my house.

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    1. It should come the day before you do Jane!

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  4. What a lovely exciting time for you - busy anticipation is just perfect for raising hopes and keeping spirits up.

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    1. I like that phrase "busy anticipation". I shall adopt it!

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  5. Beautiful fabrics to decorate your refuge, Elizabeth. Your anticipation is palpable!

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    1. The word "refuge" is rather lovely Dimple!

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  6. There's nothing quite as satisfying as feathering a nest when one is in the mood. Your little shepherd's hut is something completely unfamiliar over here. It is like something from a fairy tale.

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    1. Their history comes principally from the south and far south east of England Pondside. They date back a very long way but were mainly used on farms in the 18th and 19th century as a place where a shepherd would live at times when he needed to be near his flock, such as lambing. You can still find original ones but there are a number of small manufacturers who make new ones as garden buildings, offices or extra rooms.

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  7. How clever, to cover the mattresses with such fine fabric! And how funny to read that you abandoned the quilt because of an obstacle - sounds so familiar. I shall be watching to see how often you are going to use the refuge, so beautiful and all finished when arriving. Here is no such business to buy them, if we want one, we have to do it ourselves (as mentioned before, quite low on our 4 digit to-do list). I miss a fabric shop nearby, you are lucky. Enjoy your exciting week to the utmost!

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    1. It will be interesting to see how much I use it. At the moment I feel I would happily live in it as long as Ian came too! The novelty may well wear off though.

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  8. Ooh wow! And we get to see it before we go to Tatton :)

    See you sson
    x

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    1. Will be good to see you. Hope the hut delivery happens to schedule!

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  9. Lovely, lovely fabrics
    (My passion and my bank balance downfall)
    K
    xx

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    1. I love them too, almost as much as plants and books!

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  10. Very exciting indeed, what a wonderful place it will be to dream and escape, and lovely textiles to match.

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    1. Cushion made today and then got distracted by a trip to the tip (all glamour and go here). Need to get back to the machine!

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  11. I hate sewing so much that this post made me feel quite ill. But then I went back to the first photo, the wonderful hut, and felt better. What a great thing to own!

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    1. I think it will be lovely Rachel. I used to hate sewing as a teenager but it grew on me!

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  12. Elizabeth, that shepherd's hut is going to have such a wonderful setting in your garden. Each will enhance the other!

    Bravo to you on all the related sewing projects. I laughed at you report of inserting that very long zipper. That would have seemed more difficult to me that putting a back on a quilt. "Seemed" is the key word since I have never sewn a backing on a quilt, or even made a quilt front.

    All your fabrics are going to be lovely together. You are creating a very special place.

    xo

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    1. It is the business of combining the front, the wadding and the back of the quilt which is daunting me Frances, not helped by the fact that instead of starting small with a cot quilt or something similar I have started with a massive great thing!

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  13. Wow your own Shepherd's Hut. I was looking at them at Hampton Court and they're beautiful. Have been eyeing them up for ages now but need a bigger garden first! Looking forward to seeing it all kitted out.

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    1. I have liked them for years too. I was looking at one at Malvern show last year so this feels a bit unbelievable really!

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  14. A bit mega.

    How can anyone be anything other than jealous?

    But whatever would the old shepherds make of it?

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    1. I suspect the old shepherds would be completely bemused as to why anyone wouldn't just want a house.

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  15. A big 'wow' from here! I had read about the huts sometime back (can't remember where though) and remember being obsessed with the idea. And now you are getting one! It'll look absolutely gorgeous sitting amid the pretties in your garden, and your choice of the textiles is a big hit with me.
    Happy sewing!

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    1. I think we all have a wish for a private place, whether a shed or a room of one's own.

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  16. Oh what a perfect sanctuary Elizabeth. I can see you writing your first novel within. I imagine that there may well be some serious competition for occupancy when your grandchildren visit.

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    1. It's going to be interesting. I am torn between a desire to keep it to myself and a desire to share it with those I love - bit of a balancing act I think!

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  17. It looks absolutely lovely. But what is the wifi signal like up there? ???

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    1. Mmm, don't know Judith. I had sort of thought it wouldn't be a bad thing if I didn't get wifi up there but now you have got me wondering.

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  18. It is going to be just wonderful - are you going to have to create a rota for occupying it, though? Otherwise theatre could be fights...

    (Lovely Abakhan fabric - I was there on Monday. Dear, oh dear...)

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    1. You were at Abakhan? If you come over and can spare the time for a cup of tea do let me know and come up here. It's not too far out of your way when you have come all that way across the moors!

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  19. It's going to look wonderful. I am green with envy! Stick a shepherds hut in my garden and you wouldn't have much garden left!!

    I get to Abakhan sometimes too, I'm usually to be found in the woolly bit ;)

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    1. Well again, I think we should have a general invitation to anyone on the way to or from Abakhan!

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  20. Wonderful blog again Elizabeth, love the Shepards Hut - you really are going to have a great time in it.

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    1. So looking forward to it! Slight delay now, delivery day is next Wednesday!

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  21. Whoooaaaaahhhhh! Gorgeous fabrics! What an adorable little hobbit hole hut! My guess is that once you get it all tricked out, people are going to want to stay in THAT! I know I would. I just found a gorgeous set of vintage curtains yesterday, and am in a dither about whether to sell them as-is on my Etsy shop, or to make throw pillows out of them and sell them that way... isn't crafting fun? 8-)

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    1. Decisions, decisions! I think if you feel like making something else you should go with that. The fabric is probably calling you!

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  22. One of the things I loved about our boats, especially Veryan, our wooden boat, was the fun of playing houses and creating a home from home there. That lovely, cosy feeling came back to me reading this post.

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    1. I loved that too and loved it when we had a camper van. I think it goes right back to being a child and being allowed to make a house in a garden shed. It is only now that I have my own garden shed which is always full to bursting with things that I realise quite how good it was of my parents to vacate it for us!

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  23. Given the portrait of Virginia, I assume this is going to be the Room of Your Own? Lovely!

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  24. Somehow it looks as though it should be mobile,this caravan-thingy and that there should be a horse, munching nearby, perhaps pulling at the chestnut leaves on the tree you have planted (it was a horse chestnut, no?). Well, but will it have WiFi? In any shade of green? If it does perhaps we can all come and stay. Not at once, though that might be interesting, but a bit too much for the horse, especially if the ground is as soft as it is now. But we might not need curtains for we should frighten each other quite as much as you would frighten us. Which makes me think that the horse would need to be a singularly placid animal, adept at not stepping on the chickens or peacocks. Actually, now that I come to think of it, the railway carriage looking hutnstuff, is reminiscent of that one in Compiègne where an army from the east surrendered to one from the west and vice versa. That was painted green, too, and no doubt it also clashed with everyone's uniform. So maybe you could lend yours out, when the visitors have departed, for the signing of surrender documents between marauding bands from the local mountains. Maybe a dove or two sitting on top would lend an air of purpose.

    Anyway, you have made a good choice - for whatever it might be it seems to have the power to breed fantasy at a distance of 100 country miles. I'm still struggling with a name for the horse, though.

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    1. I think Ian has an idea of a landrover as the towing beast although I do see the attractions of a placid horse myself. I shall have a look at my fabric collection to find something which would provide an encouraging and soothing atmosphere for the signing of surrender documents.

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  25. I seem to be turning a very unattractive shade of green. Converting an old shipping container (the island version of a shed) does not have the same magic. Sadly my sewing skills are far to basic for anything other than sewing on a button - then only if needs must!
    No sour grapes its is lovely and I am sure you'll really enjoy it.

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  26. In short very clever, tasteful and full of admiration. idyllic springs to mind and I wonder what other creations will emanate from this room of your own

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  27. Love this! And love all the yummy fabrics too! What a treat to have one of these in your own garden. I posted about one I saw at a museum here in Holland recently on my old blog. You can see it here...
    http://thecranberrychronicle.blogspot.nl/2012/04/my-gypsy-heart.html

    I can't wait to see yours all done up and ready for you to enjoy the space.

    Hugs from Holland ~
    Heidi

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  28. Love the hut and the fabric. Well done!

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