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.

Monday 22 September 2014

World Wide Blog Hop

Hello and welcome to my blog.

Last week I was nominated by Sheila to take part in the World Wide Blog Hop. Sheila has become a good blogging friend over the last eighteen months and produces some beautiful work. She also hosts a couple of postcard swaps every year and it has been lovely to meet some new friends this way.

I am a quilter and embroiderer - neither take priority - and spend most of my spare time making and creating. I have been sewing for as long as I can remember and in 1980 I joined a City & Guilds embroidery class and around the same time I also became a member (founder member) of The Quilters Guild of the British Isles. At that time there was no City and Guilds for patchwork and quilting - it was part of the embroidery course. So nine years ago after we had moved to France, I took a distance learning course and completed the City and Guilds part one course.

1.What am I working on now?

My main project at the moment is a four seasons wall hanging in crazy quilting. This is the first time that I have done any crazy work and so I am learning a lot as I go along. So far I have completed 3 of the 4 panels.




Now that I am learning more I shall go back to the first two blocks to add more stitch as I feel that they are looking a little sparse!

I have recently returned to hexagons - my first quilt was a hexagon quilt, I had no idea there was any other kind of patchwork! The hexagons I am working on are 1/2" which are tiny but lovely and I am using a pack of samples from Strawberry Fayre so feel very virtuous making something out of nothing.

As usual there are many other works in progress! A quilt that I am hand quilting, a Dear Jane (doesn't everyone have one of those) a handbag, some Christmas presents, a mystery quilt and there are always postcards either in progress or waiting to be made.

2.How does my work differ from others of it's genre?

Not all of it does! But I do like to take a traditional technique and see how I can turn it around or use it to make something unusual. For instance, having seen a lot of hexagons around in the blogging world I got the itch to do some myself but wanted my work to be different and to use up some of the fabrics that I dye myself. And so I made this cover for my sewing machine which combines hexagons with handstitch, another favourite technique.

Again, looking for a way to use a variety of hand dyed fabrics I made these two panels 'in the style of crazy patchwork'

3.Why do I create what I do?

Because it's out there to be done and I love the doing!

4.How does my creative process work?

I like to work from photographs of which I have many! I am more interested in colour and interpreting that in any way I can. For instance my recent series of pomegranate postcards

and this 'Pink' wall hanging which was based on a pink, mop headed poppy that we have in the garden.

Sometimes I make sketches or designs but more often than not my work evolves as it goes along.

A few more pictures of past projects. First a book wrap for a project about part of my garden.

A clutch bag that I made for a competition.

Two small quilts - Peace River I and II

And so the blog hop continues - I have to nominate two bloggers who will post next Monday. My nominees are

Susan of Sew Susan blog
is a brilliant artist and produces some amazing, and sometimes quirky, work
Do go and see what she is up to.

Jennie of Jennies Threads blog
is a prolific patchworker and quilter who has a gorgeous 7 month old baby, Mia.
Her work is colourful and fun - I hope you will visit her.

Also nominated for the blog hop by Sheila is
Annette In Stitches and Seams blog
She is posting today so I hope you will go and visit her too.

Thank you so much for coming to visit - I hope you will drop in again.

Saturday 20 September 2014


I am in UK at the moment visiting my parents for a long weekend. Arrived here on Thursday from a stormy France and found lovely warm weather. We were able to sit in the garden in the sun yesterday.

No pictures of my sewing for last night I am afraid but be assured that I was adding plain hexagons to the outside of my flower mat. Wine and chocolates to hand too!

Thank you Wendy for hosting.

Today we have been to a fabric shop with the tiniest area dedicated to patchwork. But that area is packed from floor to ceiling with fabric and other goodies.
Should you be in the Braintree/Dunmow area then Blake House Craft Centre is where you will find the fabric shop 'And Sew On' and you can get an excellent lunch in 'The Timbers'.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Thursday 11 September 2014

TAST and some autumn flowers

This weeks TAST stitch from Pintangle was lock and double lock stitch. Here is my sample.

Lock stitch, on the right, makes a lovely place to put a flower. I have just used a single pistil stitch to remind myself. Double lock stitch asks for something in the middle. I think a single pearl would have looked nicer. Difficult to get the tension right - this is my second go as I pulled the first too tight and the fabric scrunched a bit.

TAST stitches for the last two or three weeks have been up and down buttonhole and variations.

On the left a stem of up and down buttonhole to which I have added organza ribbon petals and beads. Next to it is the beaded version - some stitched with bugle beads some with seed beads. The circle is the same stitch. To the right are two rows of interlaced up and down buttonhole with some little individual ones between the top row. The beads were added afterwards.


I have been working in the garden this morning and we have masses of autumn flowers around.

I had forgotten that I planted these autumn crocus near my washing line. They are very cheery first thing in the morning.

We have hundreds of these tiny autumn ladies tresses at the far end of our garden. Mostly they are 6 - 8" tall.

These tiny cyclamen are at the other end of the garden.

Michaelmas daisies are always so colourful in the garden.


Morning glory taking over the runner beans.

And this pretty ground hugging thistle.

Also spotted this large fungi

but we will not be eating it!

Now to get on with some sewing - I have seen various versions of the Charming Stars stitch along and I am thinking Christmas fabrics would be great for a table runner.

Hope your weather is as sunny as ours!

Monday 8 September 2014

A Few Finishes

I had fun playing with these mono printed papers

Which you last saw after they had been inked

The next stage was to crumple them a bit more and then roll lightly over them with some gold paint

Keeping the paper crumpled, I then ironed one piece to a some pelmet vilene using bondaweb.

At this point I decided that the paper was not as rich as I wanted - I was aiming for the richness in this close up of a dried pomegranates skin

So I rubbed gently over the paper with treasure gold which then highlighted some of the finer creases in the paper.

Trimmed and cut into four, this became the basis of four postcards which I then machined with some simple pomegranate seed shapes. A coat of acrylic wax gave the paper a subtle sheen.

One of the other pieces of paper I ironed to Decovril light.

Again, it was not as rich as I wanted so it too got the treasure gold treatment.

This time I machined all over the piece inside the seed shapes before painting with acrylic wax and making it into a book wrap for my present box.


I have also finished this small crazy piece.

Which I made into a small pouch to hold my crazy stencils.

Unfortunately, although  the stitched piece was more than big enough, somehow in the making up it became too small! Well, a lesson learned there. It can always be used for something else but disappointing.

Moving on to some new projects now - have a good week.

Wednesday 3 September 2014

A Postcard, a Win and a Day Out

There is a new postcard on my hanger

This delightful card from Susan.

My own little Angel. When I wrote to Susan to thank her I was delighted to hear from her that she had won a category at the Harrogate Quilt show last weekend. Best Themed Piece on the theme Vintage Charm. If you click on the link above you will see Susan with her winning piece. Not only that but she was an overall runner up. I am so pleased for her - congratulations Susan. And thank you so much for my card.

Yesterday we had a day out to the coast - well, not exactly the coast, the Gironde Estuary. We went to a new to us bird reserve. We had a beautiful day - clear sunny skies and a breeze to stop us getting too hot. We were nearly 3 hours walking round the reserve and saw plenty of migrating birds as we went round. We had a fleeting glance of a kingfisher and saw 3 purple herons flying over.

This family of swans landed on one of the lakes.

All around the reserve we saw this plant growing amongst the grass and reeds.

A new plant to us - it is American Pokeweed. I have to say that the French name, Raisin d'Amerique is much more attractive!
Our guide told us that it is in the area because it was once used to colour wine although I have not been able to verify this. It is toxic however, but the birds love it and feed on the berries.

On the sewing front, amongst other things, I have put together my little hexagons into this.

It is almost 12" at it's widest. I do love the back - the colours of the flowers seem to stand out better.

Next I am going to do all the plain swatches and use them to make the border.

Meanwhile, I have some postcards to finish and my crazy pouch which just needs a few beads.

Hope you are all having a good week.