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.

samedi 16 novembre 2019

Friday Night Sew In

Last night it was time once again to join with Wendy for a stitchy evening with friends. Thank you Wendy for getting us together. Click on the link to see who else took part.

After a large lunch and a brisk walk I got down to getting this little bag (for a small person) finished. I had to attach the lining to the bag, add the straps and then the popper. Very happy with how it has turned out.

I used that large pink spot as the lining too.

Time to move to a seat by the fire - it has been a chilly few days here. I needed to finish embellishing this heart which is now ready to make into a lavender sachet, along with another one. Hopefully this afternoon!

I have had a busy week in my sewing space, nearly all of it I cant share for now! However, I think I am safe in showing this postcard.

I made an acrylic print onto brown wrapping paper, then when it was dry scrumpled it up. After a bit of smoothing it was pressed onto pelmet vilene with bondaweb and embellished with machine embroidery. Its a while since I made a post card so this was fun. I made two actually - similar but not the same! I love using this technique and have a few more - different designs - waiting to be made up.

Right! Now to get on with finishing those hearts and then hopefully a walk between showers. Enjoy your weekend.

samedi 2 novembre 2019

FNwFriends, November already!

Many thanks Cheryll for getting us all together again - you can see what everyone was working on here

I had about half a dozen pieces to add to my latest 1797 round so I made myself do that first.

This is now going away out of temptation as I need to complete some Christmas projects and a few other bits and pieces.

However, the great excitement of the day, being the 1st of the month, was that the instructions for the first border of the Red Manor House BOM popped into my inbox! And so that is what I spent the rest of my Friday (and Saturday morning while watching the rugby) working on.

First there is a narrow floral border - cut and ready to machine on. Then there is a diamond border. Now the instructions use foundation paper pieceing for the diamonds - I don't care for FPP. So I decided some nice hand pieceing would be great for working on, on the sofa in front of TV So that is what I did.

These are all pressed and ready to have their ears trimmed before I machine them together.

Last Friday Jenny released the last embroidery for 'My Vintage Kitchen' and earlier this week I got all the blocks machined together, quilted and bound.

I kept the quilting simple and decided not to add a border  as I do not have a large enough space to display it! I am very happy with this especially using up some of my stash of vintage Laura Ashley.

I also added the background to my watercolour

which I am pleased to say worked out not too bad! However, I have just noticed that pale 'hole' in the middle of the picture! That leaf is going to need darkening up next time I get my paints out.

Hope everyone has a great weekend - we have a big storm heading towards us for tomorrow morning so a bit of hatch battening is in order this afternoon.

samedi 26 octobre 2019

Persian Tiles - a finish!

I have been busily crocheting away every evening this week and finally finished my blanket on Friday. I have to say I am really pleased with it!

And I was happy that yesterday was a nice, dry sunny day and perfect for taking photographs.

The last block of My Vintage Kitchen came from Jenny of Elefantz on Friday so I now have that sewn up.

I need to get the borders machined around my last two blocks then my mini quilt is ready to assemble. Meanwhile I have gone back to basting hexies for 1797 while watching TV.

I have had a little box of water colours for many years now and a selection of 'how to' books picked up from charity shops but which never seem to quite show me how best to use my paints. However, last week a new video from Design Matters TV did exactly what I wanted. I downloaded the design they used and followed along with Linda and hey presto I seem to have a vaguely respectable watercolour of some rudbekia.

Just the scary bit of adding the background now! Next up I plan to have a go at some winter iris that I have a photograph of!

Well, the clocks changed here last night, so for a few weeks I shall be back to getting up in daylight again until winter creeps in.

I'm off to the cinema this afternoon to see Downton Abbey - can't wait!

samedi 19 octobre 2019

Friday Night Sew In

The months are rolling by and another Friday night has passed in the company of friends. Many thanks Wendy for getting us all together again. You can catch up with everyone here.

Well, I have very little to show I am afraid as I spent my afternoon working on some secret stitching and then in the evening I got out my crochet and made these.

The Persian Tiles crochet project that I kept in UK to work on while visiting Mum and Dad came back to France with me this summer and has been sitting in the cupboard.

As I have finished all the tiles and just need to make the joining pieces I thought that it was about time that it was completed. So this is my evening task for the coming week.

In other news I have completed another round of my 1797 Revisited.

And I have the next round of turquoise cut out. So if I get fed up with crocheting tiles together I can always baste a few hexies!

Hope you are having a good weekend.

vendredi 11 octobre 2019

Catching Up

Earlier this year I started putting together a collection of fabrics that I liked but with no specific purpose in mind. Some of them came from a shop that was closing down, some from my stash and a few just caught my eye elsewhere.

As I say, I had no real plan for these fabrics - I just liked them.

Then the Quilters Guild announced over the summer that they were planning a BOM and when I saw the quilt I knew that this was what my fabrics were for!

The Red Manor House BOM is based on a  quilt in the Guild's collection The Red Manor House Coverlet dated to the mid 1800's. A stunning quilt with so much detail.

To sign up for the BOM this is the link.

The first block was released on October 1st and here is my Red Manor House.

So looking forward to November 1st and the next section.

I have also been working on the Jenny of Elefantz stitchalong 'My Vintage Kitchen'. This is the latest block.

I loved those big chunky creamy beige mixing bowls. Two more blocks to go I think.

There has been some secret stitching with these gorgeous Kaffe Fassett fabrics.

And after dyeing some more fabric I now have all the hexies basted for the next round of my 1797 Revisited quilt.

Stitching has commenced!

Weatherwise we are experiencing a very late 'Indian Summer'. Today it was 30 degrees on our terrasse and we are expecting higher temperatures over the weekend. However, the rain that we have had over the last few weeks does mean that the garden is coming back to life and looking green again. But, as I found yesterday when I started digging over part of our vegetable garden ready for planting broad beans for next spring, the ground is very dry still.

Have a great weekend everyone.

samedi 5 octobre 2019

Friday Night with Friends and Rainbow Scrap Challenge for October

Many thanks to Cheryll for getting us back together again on the first Friday of the month. Pop over to Cheryll's blog here to see what everyone was working on.

On Thursday evening I completed my RSC block for October. The colour this month was 'darks'! brown, black or grey. I chose brown so pulled out my brown box from the back of the cupboard and found some lovely browns! Anyway back to FNwF and my first job on Friday was to photograph my RSC block.

I am very happy with this. In fact I am very happy with all my blocks. I allowed myself the treat of putting them all together to see how they looked.

It's not the best photograph I am afraid - it was wet out so I had to do it on the sitting room floor. My aim is for 20 blocks altogether so another year of RSC to go.

I have been thinking about getting my 1797 revisited out again so next up I pulled out my fabrics to see which colour to go for next.

I have decided to reverse the colours back to the centre from the green row so searched my supply of mixed turquoise and emerald for the next row.

Not quite enough so then I searched through my supply of white recycled fabrics for suitable pieces to dye and enough for the next turquoise row. That will be my next job after finishing this post.

After popping out for a couple of hours to visit a friend who is recovering from an op, by the evening I just wanted some quiet hand stitching to work on while we caught up with a few TV programmes.
I decided to crack on with my Advent calendar and added all the red and silver cross stitches separating the numbers.

Which means that I am now ready to add the backing fabric. Maybe a job for later this week.

I am very happy with my progress yesterday - thank you all for your company.

dimanche 29 septembre 2019

dimanche 22 septembre 2019

One Mission Accomplished!

Yes, the three Santas are complete - and I love them!

It's amazing what a difference those beards make - I really was not sure until I added them. I have decided not to stitch them together until nearer Christmas as I don't know where I would store them - and this could be an ongoing problem! Anyway, meanwhile I shall hunt for a suitable storeage box and some little dangly things to add between the hands.

The pattern for the Three Santa Garland

was sent to me by the lovely Maria from Life on the Block when I admired hers last year - and I could not find the pattern anywhere in Europe!

Now that I have finished with the pattern we would like it to go to someone else to enjoy it - and to see where it might travel next. So if you would like to have a go then please say so in the comments box and if there are more than one request then I will pull a name out of the hat. It was fun to do - each figure is about 9.5" tall so not mega fiddly!

samedi 21 septembre 2019

September FNSI and our last day away

Thank you very much Wendy for getting us all together again for our virtual sew in. Pop over to Wendy's blog here to see what everyone was working on.

This week I have been on a mission to complete two Christmas projects that I started earlier in the year. So for FNSI I spent the afternoon at my sewing machine dressing the second of my little Santas for my Santa Garland. Here he is.

All he needs now is his beard! Santa no 3 is coming along nicely too so hopefully a completed garland to share with you soon.

In the evening I worked on my new Advent Calendar inspired by one I saw on Sheryl's blog - Sheryl's is gorgeous, I shall be happy if mine is half as nice! The numbers have been worked for a while now and so for the last two evenings I stitched the chain stitch border along the length of the calendar.

Tonight I plan to whip the chain stitch with a silver thread.

And so to the last day of our trip away. The friends we met up with on Saturday were staying on the mainland nearby in Brouage a beautiful old walled town. If you click on the link you will see a picture of how the town looked in the 17th century.
We decided to walk all around the walls which are still intact although restored in places. They are also thick as you can see in this picture.

With regular lookout points.

The town was heavily defended - this is one of the two gunpowder stores in the town, which I think looks more like a church!

One of the gateways into the town had a large amount of graffiti worked into it's thick walls by soldiers on duty, but bored!
We found a tunnel that took you out through the walls - presumably a secret entrance at one time.

And this beautiful building was the entrance to the ice house.

Here is a picture of the main street running through the centre of the town.

Our friends were staying in and Air B&B on the main street and we had a delicious lunch in the Breton Creperie next door. Forgot to take a picture of my main but this was my delicious Café Gourmand dessert!

I had half eaten the apple tart and started on the coffee when I remembered to take a picture! There is also chocolate mousse, banana crème brulee and icecream. Yum!

On our return to the island we took a short walk from our apartment to Les Salines where the evening light was making the countryside quite magical. We saw some restored salt workings and the warehouse where you can buy salt during the day.

And more restored fishermen's cabins used as cafes and small shops.

It has been another hot week here but it definitely feels like rain is on the way. Enjoy your weekend.

mercredi 18 septembre 2019

A Few Days Away

We like to have a few days away in September. Usually it is cooler so we can leave the garden untended and most of our harvesting is done. Also September is the month for birds migrating south through France and so it is nice to go to the coast and maybe spot something unusual.

Last week we spent five nights on the Ile d'Oleron, an island on the Atlantic coast of France north of Bordeaux and south of la Rochelle. We last visited 15 years ago in May when it was quiet and windy. This time it was soooo busy! And hot too - we are in the middle of another heatwave, unknown in September. However we had a lovely time with comfortable and very quiet accommodation in the south of the island.

On our first day we visited la Cotiniere, a busy fishing port on the Atlantic side of the island and we sat for lunch by the smaller of the two ports.

It was also busy with people - mostly 'older' as of course schools have gone back.

The next morning was cloudy and cooler and was in fact out best bird morning. We drove across Les Salines - the salt marshes - on a track after Philip thought he had glimpsed an osprey. He had and we saw four - this is the best picture evidence I am afraid as we saw them all through the telescope. They were resting up before continuing their long journey down to Africa.

 Lots of egrets around. We did though get a good view of the Viaduc (yes that is right, no t on the end) which is the islands link to the mainland.

The salt marshes are of course used for the production of salt but the area is also famous for its oysters.

There were some lovely patches of colour between the different beds.

From there we visited St George in the north of the island which has this beautiful market hall.

I am always fascinated by the beautiful wooden beams that hold up the roof in these structures - this is one that we saw at Cozes on the way home.

After lunching on a huge bowl of mussels at St Denis we decided to visit the lighthouse on the northern tip of the island. On our previous visit we spent some time there and climbed the stairs to the top. This time we just drove straight on past as it looked like a fun fair! The car park, which was nearly full, was vast, the footpath leading to the lighthouse thronged with people and lined with  touristy shops.

We drove on and found a stretch of wild coast which was beautiful and with a lack of sand, far less busy.

The next morning was bright and sunny so we were unable to find any osprey on les Salines but we did spot a sparrow hawk and a kestrel.

We went to the town of St Trojan which is on the southern tip of the island. A delightful place and by far my favourite. We stopped by the small fishing port and had a lovely wander. Many of the old fishermen's huts have been done up by the commune and during the summer are rented out to artists. We enjoyed visiting a few and walking out to a causeway which again had a splendid view of the Viaduc.

After another delicious fish lunch by the port we found a quiet spot near the sea to recover and then took a very pleasant walk along the sea wall.

The next day we met up with friends so had to take them to St Trojan for lunch and a wander round. We then went up the coast to show them the fishing port at la Cotiniere. It was early evening by then but oh so hot! 33 degrees and busy. Lots of people out walking along by the port and visiting the fish market and stalls. The range of fish was amazing.

The light on the boats in the harbour was beautiful.

If you are still with me after all those photographs then thank you! I will share our last day in my next post.