Wednesday, May 05, 2010

The problem with ivy.

It all started quite simply. We had planned to sort out one of the flower beds beneath a wall. The shrubs there were elderly and needed replacing. My husband had bought some redcurrant and gooseberry bushes. Our supervisor of the day was in place, It was Felix's turn on watch.

However, behind the old vegetation we found ivy had climbed up the wall and had fixed itself into the mortar around the bricks. Oh dear. Probing a little further, we discovered that the top few rows of bricks were quite unstable. We were lucky to have found the problem before the wall had fallen.

Luckily, my dear husband is one of those people who can do useful things - bricklaying is one of them. I quickly became the bricklayers assistant. We took the wall down a few rows of bricks removing all the loosened bricks (and several bricks around them).

This is the mat of roots we found behind the pillar taken down in the top photo. You can see scraps of the offending ivy with the mass of roots.
It seemed odd, leaving my sewing behind for several hours, carrying bricks and clearing rubble. We were very fortunate in that one of our neighbours has been having work done on his house and had a skip. He was kind enough to let us unload our pile of rubble into the skip.
This was the pile of bricks taken down from the wall. Don't worry, we have not disposed of these bricks. We did not make the wall as high as it had been before. We had lived with the wall since moving in, but it had always seemed too high. We took advantage of the rebuilding work, and left it around a foot shorter than the original height. The remaining bricks have been stored, waiting for a future project.
Although I have had little time, the knitting has continued. These are the sleeves and the back of the jacket I have been working on.
Rosie's quilt has also been under way. This is the newly cut back, made of squares of fleece.

And now the completed squares, laid out on the floor on top of the fleece squares. I did remember to reverse the pattern of the fleece squares before laying the pieced squares over the top.

There are twenty squares in all. Each square is currently seventeen and a half inches square. Yes, I know that is a very strange size, but then that is what I could make out of the fabric I had to hand.

My last photo shows the pile of (labelled) squares each pinned to it's own backing square of fleece. These are now read for the most exciting stage - the quilting. For this quilt there will be a third layer of wadding between the fleece and the indian cotton layers. It is really an experiment to see how easy this is to quilt. I shall let you know how I get on.
I am planning to let this become as creep-and-go project, fitting it in around my work on my mum's quilt which I really am raring to get on with. Oh, and then theres the May element of the Traveling Pages project which I really must get on with. This time, the topic is "Coastline".
Sadly, work will have to wait since I am off to the V & A tomorrow to see the Quilting Exhibition there. So exciting.


Toni said...

Wow! I've always loved the look of ivy, but maybe it's one of those things best enjoyed from afar.....

The quilting looks fabulous! Can't wait to see how it turns out.

Mandy said...

Thanks so much for your comments, Toni. Yes, Ivy looks wonderful, but the damage it causes to a wall is extraordinary.


I too love ivy but I'll keep in mind the potential damage it can cause, the roots look like a fabric - a non woven fabric. I like that Rosie quilt too, makes me want to start one of my own but I committed to way too many project to start another.

Mandy said...

I do agree about the texture of the ivy roots. They are so very much like fabric - all woven together.