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.

dimanche 14 juillet 2019

Rainbow Scrap Challenge

This months colour for the RSC is pink!

 Fortunately it seems to be a colour I have plenty of scraps of. Here is my Dresden for the month.

We have lots of tree frogs around at the moment as it is hot and dry. This one - The King of all he surveys! - was having a good look around this morning.

Linking up with Angela at SoScrappy for Scrap Happy Saturday.

samedi 6 juillet 2019

FNWF - July already!

Many thanks Cheryll for hosting our Friday get together. If you click on the link you will find links to everyone who took part - do go and see what they were working on.

It was 36 degrees here yesterday so needless to say after 11am we were hiding indoors! For the first part of the afternoon I was working on some secret stitching - sorry no pics.
It seemed appropriate to spend the rest of my Friday working on the new Jenny of Elefantz 'stitch-along' - the first stitchery design was released yesterday. You will find the free design and more info here

Here is Jenny's design for the first block

So I drew mine up and then thought about colours. First though I changed cookie to biscuit as this is going to be 'My' Vintage kitchen and we rarely have cookies. More 'British' too. Also I thought that the design of the jar would lend itself beautifully to the blue and white colourway of cornishware - an English classic.

You would have thought that at my time of life I would have learnt to spell biscuit correctly! And I went on to make a right hash of the drawing - thank goodness for Frixion pens!
Anyway, this is how far I got with my stitching last night and I should be able to finish it off today.

We said goodbye to Dad Last Monday.

The lovely service was taken by my brother, I read a short bio and my nieces and nephew shared some memories of their Grandad - so a nice family affair. It was good to have all the family together - we are spread around the world! - and to meet up with other relations and friends that I have not seen for some time. My brother picked some great photographs for the service sheet.

Their Golden Wedding
 With his great grandchildren last year

It would have been Mum and Dad's 69th wedding anniversary on the day of the funeral.

RIP Dad. xx

samedi 22 juin 2019

FNSI and a catch up

Lovely to join in with Wendy and friends for another stitchy Friday - thank you Wendy for inviting us round.

So, the summer solstice and longest day and not a drop of sunshine in sight! In fact it rained all day until early evening. However, we are promised a canicule - that's a heatwave - next week, so once again our temperatures will be going from one extreme to another

I spent an hour early afternoon working on some secret stitching! Then we had to go out - Philip gave a talk to our History society which was followed by a fish and chip supper. I sat next to a French lady who loves English fish and chips!

So by the time we got home I was ready to relax with some soothing hexie sewing while Philip caught up with the football. I have been working on the next round of my 1797 and had hoped to complete it last night but this is where I got to when bed called.

So this afternoon while catching up with the Archers I added the last two hexies.

I think I am going for green for the next round so I shall have to see what I have in my stash.


Last autumn we went to a house sale and I managed to collect a small haul of goodies.

The little cloth is embroidered in all four corners and was in pristine condition. Its perfect for a small occasional table in my sitting room. I love rummaging in button boxes and I found a few interesting buttons in this lady's. The clog pin cushion and thimble holder was filthy! And the pincushion bit really mankie. I quickly ripped out the pincushion and gave the clog a really good scrub - and it has sat on my desk ever since! So this week when I gave the desk one of it's rare cleans I decided that actually it really would not take very long to add a new pincushion and that I had better get on with it! I have some fabrics that came from Holland many years ago and so I used a scrap of one of them, stuffed with batting snippets, to make a nice firm ball which was then glued into place. Here is my finished pincushion. And it really took no time at all!

It is going on the dresser with all my other antique sewing tools.

I promised myself at the beginning of the year that I would spend more time painting and sketching. Apart from when we were in Spain when I worked in a little travel sketchbook most days, I have hardly done any. So over a couple of short sessions this week I decided to have a go at a simplified drawing of one of my fuchsias. It is just a simple outline coloured in with aquarelle crayons but I am pleased with it.

It's large - A5 - so I am thinking it would make a nice applique design with a few leaves added. Something else for the to do list!

Have a great weekend.

samedi 15 juin 2019

Rainbow Scrap Challenge

A very quick post to link up with Angela's husband at soscrappy as Angela is out of town! The RSC colour for June is blue so here is my blue Dresden block.

I have bought some new fuchsias this year and these two are particularly gorgeous!

I love the pink and orange skirt in the bottom picture.

Hope you are having a great weekend.

dimanche 9 juin 2019

Friday Night with Friends

So here I am in UK braving blogger on my kindle and hoping I will be able to add a picture or two!

Friday was a busy day and so it was good to relax in the evening with my crochet and an old episode of Foyles War knowing that I had friends keeping me company. I keep my Persian Tiles project here and the pattern soon came back to me. I managed about half of one of the octagonal blocks - two more to do after this one! Right, here goes - hopefully picture coming up!

I travelled to UK on Thursday to visit Mum in hospital and Dad in a care home. Sadly Dad died before I arrived. He will be very much missed. Here he is on his 90th a couple of years ago.

Mum had a big hip operation on Friday afternoon which she came through well. She was much brighter when I visited yesterday although she will be in hospital for some weeks yet.

Thank you all for your company in Friday night and thank you Cheryll for hosting us.

mardi 4 juin 2019

Partying with The Chookshed and a milestone!

It was fun to join in with Chookyblue for her annual Chookshed birthday party over the weekend. You can catch up with what was happening in the Chookshed here. Many thanks Donna for your invitation and I hope everyone else had fun too.

Unfortunately, a last minute Sunday BBQ lunch plan due to surprisingly good weather, meant that I did not have as much sewing time as I had hoped. It was our first opportunity to entertain outside this year so apart from all the food prep the terrasse needed a good clean as did all the furniture. However, I did manage to get a big job done and dusted over Friday and Saturday evening so that was great.

Having finished last week adding the facing hexies to my swap hexie tablecloth, I was able on Friday afternoon to get it layered up with some backing fabric and pinned in place. For some reason I do not have a photograph of this but never mind. After two evenings hemming, the facing hexies were all stitched in place and now the tablecloth is ready to quilt.

On the subject of quilting, I have been pondering how to go about this all the time that I have been putting this top together and have not been able to come up with a plan. I don't want an allover pattern as I don't want to lose the definition of the flowers. My big hexagon quilt is quilted around the outside of each flower but I have never really been happy with that and of course it is not suitable to ditch quilt because of the opened out seams.
So, I have decided to tie it, or knotting as Averil Colby called it in her Patchwork book. I am going to use a yellow perle thread and knot the centre of each flower first of all and then see if I feel it needs anymore. As I have not used any batting it is not a matter of keeping the batting in place.

The BBQ by the way was a great success!

Yesterday the patchwork ladies came for the afternoon and great progress is being made on their sampler quilts.

All the blocks are completed on the yellow quilt to the right - it just needs the rest of its sashing and a border. One of our group lives in UK and her version is coming along very nicely too.

Hopefully we will get all five finished quilts together for a photoshoot later in the summer.

The wind is building up here and it is very sultry - storms coming our way overnight!

Oh yes, the milestone. This is my 400th post!

Hope you are having a good week.

samedi 25 mai 2019

Log Cabin update!

When I posted here about the Log Cabin block I was using for the Mystery Quilt for my friends I had lost the link to the original designer of the block. Here is my block.

Fortunately, via Instagram, I have finally found the designer of the original block - JanineMarie of Quilts from the Little House. Many thanks JanineMarie. Click on the link to find her original design.

FNSI for May

Many thanks Wendy for hosting our sew in this month despite being so busy. Lovely to be sewing along with everyone again - you can catch up with what went on here

We were out to lunch on Friday - and very nice it was too! When I got home I spent a happy hour with my sketchbook and paints before settling down to finish basting 90 something yellow hexagons which are going to edge my swap hexies tablecloth.

Managed to get them all done before bedtime so now I am looking forward to start sewing them in place as soon as I finish this post. There is exciting cricket on TV - no, not England v Australia but Somerset v Hampshire in the final of the Royal London one day cup! Come on Somerset!

My sampler quilt is finished - I added the last quilting stitches a couple of nights ago. So here are a few pictures.

And to finish, a few pictures from the garden

Hope you are having a great weekend - happy stitching

dimanche 19 mai 2019

Another week...

...has raced by and Sunday has come round again already. The blue tits are still busy feeding their young and the squeaking from the box is getting louder!

With four days of rain forecast this weekend I rushed round the garden on Thursday afternoon cutting sprays of elderflower to make cordial with.

I love these flowers so much - not only do they smell divine but they look so delicate and beautiful, like antique lace. However, they were soon trimmed and popped into a basin with sugar and other good things and left to marinate for two days.

Yesterday I was able to strain it all off and ended up with this bottle of gorgeousness. All we need now is some sunny weather to be able to sit out and enjoy a glass!
However, it is cold and damp - hence the slow cooker is out and a couple of duck legs are slowly simmering away with some lentils for a nice, warming dinner this evening.

I have been busily quilting away on the border of my mystery quilt and have now completed three sides - not far to go now. I have also been making up the Liberty Zip Pouch that I was given as a gift at Christmas. Whilst I like the design and am happy with my finished pouch I did have a few issues with the instructions!

Amongst other things a lace zip was supplied but only instructions for inserting a hidden zip. I have not used a lace zip before so went straight to Google for instructions and although my zip looks much better than I had first thought it would, I am sure it could have been better. Does anyone out there know of a good tutorial please?

It is a while since I did any raw edge applique and free machine embroidery so I very much enjoyed working on this part of the pouch - for which there were very good instructions. But didn't it take an age to cut out the flowers!

Meanwhile I am spring cleaning our sitting room and I still have about a third to do. With coffee guests coming tomorrow and more rain forecast I think I had better get a move on and finish!
Have a great week.

dimanche 12 mai 2019

Its been a busy week...

….not least for the pair of blue tits nesting in our bird box, who are constantly in and out all day with food for their chicks!

The box is on the pillar holding up our terrasse roof and is somewhere that we are constantly passing or working near by - they get very agitated if we hang around too long!

We had what should be the last frosts of season last weekend so we spent a couple of days putting out summer vegetable plants and potting up pots and window boxes. We then had a few showery days which was good as it means all those new young plants have had a good watering. Meanwhile we have an enormous crop of broad beans this year and I have been busy podding and blanching beans for the freezer. Our tax returns have to be in next week and we have had a couple of visits to the tax office trying to decipher the forms Thankfully all done now for another year.

I have managed to fit in some sewing too and some play in one of my sketchbooks.

My Rainbow Scrap Challenge block is complete for the month - orange.

And my swap hexies are winging their way down under!

The quilting of the blocks in the Mystery Quilt is now complete and I have made a start on the borders.
This is nice, easy quilting to do so I shall enjoy finishing this quilt off.

Well I think that is me up to date for now - have a good week.

samedi 4 mai 2019

May's Friday Night with Friends

It's a month since my last post and that month has whizzed by so quickly! We spent two weeks in UK over Easter which was lovely especially as there was exceptionally good weather over the Easter weekend.

Many thanks to Cheryll for hosting our FNwF's especially as she is only just back from a trip herself. We were a select group - you can see what everyone got up to here.

My first job was to cut out my Dresden pieces for this months RSC block. There is very little orange in my stash so I had to supplement what I had with some golden yellows.

I got the borders attached to this QAYG sampler this week. Looking at it now maybe it would have been better balanced with the spools and the log cabin swapped around! Too late now.

My patchwork group have all been working on the same project and so it will be good to see their projects with borders on next week. As soon as they are all finished I will post pictures because it is so interesting to see how different they all are with different fabric choices.
Anyway, I now need to complete the quilting on the blocks and I am adding ditch quilting around the outside edge of each block to make the sashing stand out. Then I will have to quilt the border.
Last night I was working on the ship block - just the cloud to quilt now.

I am looking forward to seeing what everyone else was working on.

Also this week I have completed another round of my 1797 revisited quilt.

Two more complete rounds to do, then I can start squaring it off.

Hope you are having a great weekend.