Welcome to my blog. I hope you enjoy reading about my adventures - in stitch and otherwise! And I hope that you will leave a comment so that I know you have visited.

Wednesday 30 October 2013


Every now and again I have the urge to knit a pair of socks! Not really sure why. But they are a small project which is technically challenging and they give the opportunity to be creative so maybe that is it.

Knitting 'stockings' was once a wage earner for many familys from Elizabethan times until the mid 1800's when mechanisation took over. I find the history of knitting a fascinating subject - unlike the 'leisure activity' it is now, it was once a skilled craft practised by men with it's own guilds.

Anyway, I have just completed a pair which I enjoyed knitting. As I hate repeating things they are not the same but have matching cuffs, heels and toes.

I have been busy sewing too but as everything is for gifts I am not showing pictures!

After a very mild autumn, temperatures have dipped over the last few days. There has not been an abundance of autumn colour here sadly. The sumach was splendid but I got there too late with the camera!

So most of the leaves are on the ground!

These few were still clinging on.

There is some other colour around the garden.

We are off to the coast tomorrow so I am looking forward to a day out. The weather forecast is good - lets hope it is right.

Thanks for dropping by.


Friday 18 October 2013

FNSI and another Mystery!

Friday Night Sew In is hosted by Wendy at Sugarlane Quilts and FNSI for October has come at a very opportune moment.
In August I signed up for another Mystery Quilt with the amazing Heather Spence at Heather Spence Designs. This is my third MQ with Heather and I have to say that there is as much fun to be had with the facebook group as there is to making the quilt! What a wonderful group of ladies and Heather and her husband keep us all in line.
The Mystery started two weeks ago and so clue #3 arrived today - as I said, very opportune for FNSI.
I have not been blogging about this quilt as it is a surprise gift and so I don't want to give anything away. However, for FNSI, I am making an exception, without giving anything away! There is quite a lot to do for clue #3 and so I have only completed the first part today. This involves sewing together two 4.5" x 2.5" strips at right angles to end up with a 6.5" strip.

Of course I am adding the extra row of stitching to turn my bonus HST's into little squares.

It has been a beautiful sunny day here so have spent time in the garden rather than cracking on with the clue.
So tomorrow I need to get all these pieces pressed and ready for the next stage. There is a lot to do in this clue to be ready for next Friday.

Have a good weekend and happy stitching.


Wednesday 9 October 2013

Pretty Pouch Swap

The Pretty Pouch Swap was hosted by Kim whose lovely blog is Lilypatchquilts. Thank you very much for hosting this Kim.
This was not a secret swap so we knew who we were making for and were able to email each other to find out our likes and dislikes! My swap partner turned out to be - Kim!
Here is the pouch I made for Kim.

As we decided on a holiday to Spain after I had signed up for the swap I needed something that I could work on while we were away. So this Jacobs ladder pouch which is entirely hand sewn was the perfect holiday project. I added the lace to the front of the flap to make it extra pretty and special.
I promised Kim a gift from Spain and this black bull fridge magnet is the symbol of Andalucia - the southern part of Spain where we were staying. (You can read about my trip to Spain in my previous two blogs).

I also added some lavender bags using lavender from our garden, a notebook and some chocolate treats.

Kim's pouch for me arrived a few days ago.
Here is the lovely pouch that she made for me

Such gorgeous colours and a very generous size. And generous is the word for the amazing amount of goodies packed inside. This was my first swap and I can see I have a lot to learn!

The sharp eyed amongst you may notice that this packet is empty!

These were scrumptious and I must admit were devoured within half an hour of opening the package!

These cards were hand made by Kim

And these fabrics are gorgeous especially the fruity one with it's hint of gold.
Thank you very much Kim - this has all been great fun.

Happy stitching


Thursday 3 October 2013

A little more from Spain and some Africa

During the second week of our holiday we spent some time in Algeciras which is just across the bay from Gibraltar. Algeciras is a busy port with not much for the tourist but it was a convenient place to stay.We met up with friends and our menfolk spent their days on the beach at Tarifa watching the bird migration.
We ladies however spent a lovely day wandering round the narow streets and squares of Tarifa, browsing in shops, churches and gardens.
Tarifa is the southernmost point in Spain and therefore the closest point to Africa although we could not see it because of the haze. There is lots of moorish influence to the architecture in Tarifa and an exotic feel.

On our second day we did a day trip to Morocco. A fast ferry took us from Algeciras across to Cueta which is a tiny bit of Spain in Africa. Then a mini bus took us across the border into Morocco and to the town of Tetuan which I loved. We were taken round the medina, or old town which I found fascinating. The narrow alleyways were lined with vendors with  tiny shops behind them.

This is a Berber lady wearing her distinctive hat.

Red doors are to residential properties

                          green doors for commerce.

This bread oven was just visible from the street.

The threads on the shelves of this tiny shop are all silk - and there were several more shops just like this! No time to stop and shop though!

In the same area there were lots of shops like this one, making and sellng braids and belts.

Numerous tiny workrooms with one or two ancient sewing machines and their machinists - I did wonder where they had room to cut out what they were sewing.
Lots of shops selling finished garments, fabrics, scarves and other wonderful textiles.

We had a delicious traditional Moroccan lunch whilst being entertained by some roguish looking musicians in a very highly decorated room.

Even the ladies had this amazing ceiling!

After lunch we were taken to Tangier from where we would have been able to see Tarifa if it had not been for the haze!

There was a very heavy police presence and masses of red and green Moroccan flags flying everywhere. This we were told, was because the King was on a two day visit to the city.
The medina here had much wider streets and seemed much more commercial.

The coffee was expensive and we were constantly pestered by trinket vendors.
Tetuan I would love to visit again - Tangiers not!

From there it was back to Cueta and the return ferry to Algeciras. And the next day we were on our way home.

Lots of lovely memories and some fantastic inspiration from my pictures. I hope you have enjoyed seeing them.


Wednesday 2 October 2013

Our Spanish holiday

It has been lovely to spend the last two weeks in Southern Spain - we have always visited in the spring before and it was good to see how different the countryside looks at this time of year.
The main difference is that after months of 40+ degrees there is an awful lot of dead vegetation around! Starkly contrasted by the green of the olive trees laden with olives which will be ready to pick in a month or so. A good harvest is expected after last years poor one.
The plants that are dead are a beautiful golden brown and I soon became obsessed with taking pictures of dried seed heads and grasses. Here are a few of my favourites.

Amazingly, every now and then, there would be a glimpse of strong colour and miraculously something was flowering!

This yellow flowering plant is called a squirting cucumber because

when the seed pods are ripe they split open and 'squirt' the seeds all around!

We spent the first week of our holiday in Los Rios, a small hamlet roughly between Granada and Cordoba with friends Clem and Tamara. As we had lovely warm weather most afternoons were spent sitting outside their house in the shade of their grapevine.....

......munching the odd grape or two!

While there I completed my 'Pretty Pouch' for Kim. My package to her has now gone off and I am hoping that it will arrive safely and also that she will like the pouch I have made for her. There were a few little extras in there too. I will show you what I sent when Kim has received her package.

Just before we left for Spain I received this beautiful postcard from Susan. Thank you Susan.

I love the way that the snowflake design on the background fabric has resisted the dye that Susan has used so that they show up on the butterfly. Such a pretty, delicate postcard. A postcard from me will soon be on it's way to Susan.

I have a few more pictures to show you of our trip including my day in Morocco - but that is for next time.

Happy stitching

Lin xx