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.

Saturday 7 December 2019

Friday Night with Friends

Despite traveling and celebrating Cheryll has managed to get us all together again for our last FNwF of the year. Thank you Chez and I hope you are having an amazing time.

To see who else took part and what they were up to click here

Remember my three Santas that I made for a garland? I put them safely away while I pondered how to transport them to UK for Christmas. Yesterday I got them out and added hooks and eyes to link them up - this way I can take the garland apart for transportation. And I added a few extra bells.

 Now all they need is some red ribbon or cord to hang them up. Not enough in my stash so I will get some in UK - we are restricting journeys by car at the moment as there is a fuel shortage here due to the strike and we want to be sure of having enough fuel to get to the ferry port.

Next up was to get on with these four blocks for my Red Manor House BOM.

They are corner blocks for the next border around this central block.

Hopefully I can get those hearts added today, although we are expecting afternoon tea guests. I have a batch of mince pies waiting for them!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Sunday 1 December 2019


December 1st! So now I can get out my decorations.  And the Advent Calendar made it by the skin of my teeth. My makeshift day marker (modelling foam painted with gold acrylic) dried just in time.

Another finish for me this weekend is another round on my 1797 Revisited and if I am counting correctly then the next round is the last complete one!

I had nearly enough ultramarine fabric for this round so I have been able to get on with cutting and basting some of these while a batch of fabric dyes. However...

...today is the 1st of the month - BOM day, so decks have been cleared and my box of fabrics found all ready for the off later this afternoon following a visit to a Christmas market.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend.

Wednesday 27 November 2019

Where have I been?

Well, nowhere really it's just that there has been a lot of secret stitching going on, so not a lot to post about!

However, time for a bit of a catch up. First up is this little lavender sachet which I enjoyed playing with. Hand dyed recycled fabrics and hand dyed threads.

I needed a boxy bag and had not made one before. I found this tutorial by Pink Stitches which worked perfectly for me. I shall be making more of these.

I dyed some fabric at the weekend for the next round of my 1797 Revisited quilt and have made good progress - one side added, another to do. There is football tonight so I should be able to get plenty done.

Starting to think about the colour for the next round now.

A couple of weeks ago I started another little watercolour but soon had to put it away to concentrate on the SS. When I pulled it out of the drawer to work on again I was surprised at how nice it looked - well to me anyway!

It is now finished and I am not so happy with it. But it was not meant to be a masterpiece, more about learning to use the paints and so from that point I have learnt a few lessons

I am mostly happy with the flowers except in a couple of places where I learnt what colours don't layer well! And I am not happy with the background which looks a bit lighter in this photograph than it is. Backgrounds need to be worked on I feel. I plan to cut it down a bit so those legs don't dangle in mid air and pop it into my journal with a few notes about where I feel I went wrong.

Now though I NEED to finish my advent calendar as eeek, it is the 1st on Sunday!

Nearly there. I have been looking out for a buckle to use as the daily marker but have not been able to find anything the right size. So am going to have to try and make something! Watch this space.

Thanks for popping in, see you again soon.

Saturday 16 November 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.

Saturday 2 November 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.

Sunday 27 October 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!

Saturday 19 October 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.

Friday 11 October 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.

Saturday 5 October 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.

Monday 30 September 2019

And the winner is...

…. Sheila from Sheila's Quilt World!

Congratulations Sheila - I will pop it in the post this week.

Sunday 22 September 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!

Saturday 21 September 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.