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.

Thursday 24 December 2020

Happy Christmas!


Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and above all a very Happy and Healthy 2021!

Thank you for all your lovely comments over the last year.

Saturday 19 December 2020

FNSI December


Our last Friday Night get together for 2020, many thanks to Wendy for organising us and I understand there are changes afoot for 2021! Pop over to Wendy's blog here to see who else took part and links to their blogs.

So, what should I work on? Which of my WIP's shall I pull out for the evening? Hmmm, I know! I'll start something new! Well, when in doubt......

As it happens a new Hatched and Patched newsletter dropped into my inbox this week including this delightful freebie by Anni Downs.

How appropriate. I soon had it traced out and after basting a few more leaves for my tablecloth (pennance! but they should be the last ones) I got out my thread boxes and started stitching.

Not a huge amount done but I am blaming that on distracting TV!

No idea what I shall do with it yet but I shall enjoy getting it stitched up.

In other news, quilting of the Irish Chain on my Red Manor House continues. The weather has been up and down - wet again today. We are allowed out again without completeing a form to say why we are out - but this has been replaced by an 8pm -6am curfew. Doesnt affect us as we rarely go out at night. Pubs and restaurants remain closed.

Well, on that gloomy note, I hope you all have a good week!

Saturday 5 December 2020

Friday Night with Friends

 Our last FNwF's for 2020 - many thanks Cheryll for organising us all of this year and hopefully we will all be back again in January. Pop over to Cheryll's blog here to catch up with what everyone was working on.

With a change in the weather here I am no longer able to sit my sketchbook outside for 5 minutes in the sun to dry paint or glue. So I have pulled out some older books and am now working in four books in the hope that at least one is dry enough to work in at a time! So my Friday afternoon was happily spent painintg, drawing and sticking.

I have moved on to the Irish Chain border of my Red Manor House and am quilting round each block. This is my least favourite part of the quilt and my least favourite quilting so it may take some time to get this border done!

As I mentioned, the weather here has changed and it is now cold and wet although at the moment the sun is just peeping through. We have been out for a few walks now that we are allowed to go upto 20K from home and for up to 3 hours so it has been nice to see some different scenery.

My Christmas decorations are out and mostly in place. My tree is decorated - sadly does not photograph at all well! - and we have demolished my first batch of mince pies! And I am enjoying again the Advent Calendar that I finished last year.

I am off to catch up with everyone from yesterday - have a good week all.

Saturday 28 November 2020

Friday Night Sew In

 Many thanks to Wendy for getting us together again.

Well, I am still playing in my sketchbook - the last video in the series comes out tomorrow but I am getting behind on some of the techniques, there just is not enough time!

I do have a completed page though - well, I think it is complete any way - that I finished up Friday afternoon.

These pages are just a few of the ones that are starting to take shape - waiting for paint and glue to dry is time consuming even if it has been warm and sunny so they are able to dry outside.

In that last one the tracing paper lifts up to reveal the original picture.

Earlier this week I completed the cross hatch quilting of the sheep/bird border of my Red Manor House quilt.

Next up is the Irish Chain border. So for the rest of my Friday I was basting leaves for the tablecloth - they dont make for an exciting photograph! - and I shall get them pinned in place ready for a little light relief from the quilting.

Back in October I showed this peek of some secret stitching.

Now that the recipient has received it I can show you pictures of the completed Travellers Journal.

I joined in with the Summer Stitchalong at DMTV for this project which involves applique, print and stitch to make a book wrap. It was a great project to follow along with and if you fancy trying something a little different then the instructions are still availble- free - here. This is not a pattern - you are shown how to choose a colour palette, play with simple shapes using different techniques and end up with a unique project. Go on, give it a try!

It's been a beautiful sunny mild week here and its been good to be able to sit outside, and crack on with some tidying in the garden. Our lockdown restrictions ease today with non essential shops re-opening and we are able to go further afield for excercise. Still have to complete a form to take with us though stating why we are out and about.

I am looking forward to getting out my Christmas decorations later this week - some of them I havn't seen for over 10 years!

Have a great week.

Saturday 14 November 2020

Playing in my sketchbook

 I have been a bit obsessed with working in my sketchbook this week! The video course is brilliant with lots of information and ideas. My book now looks like this.

I did some more ripping and sticking and then moved on to the next stage. This was to add paint - acrylics, watercolour, whatever we had to hand. Scraping acrylics onto the page with an old credit card was fun and quick.

Painting with thick paint and thin.

The next phase is to use stencils to add focal points and pattern - just had to go with hexies for my stencils!

I have also been working on the pieces of sketchbook that were ripped out and they may go back in at some point.

Another video tomorrow although I really need to get on with some sewing today! I have been quilting in the evenings and slowly working on my Red Manor House. I have also made my swap hexies for the month and they are now winging their way - this month to New Zealand.

Obviously photographing them on a black background was not a good idea! But they were in the envelope and on the way before I realised.

Well, I must away - it's a beautiful day here and there is, as always, lots to do. Have a good week everyone.

Saturday 7 November 2020

Friday Night with Friends November

 Before I get started on my Friday happenings, I found that after my last blog post most of the comments didnt make it to my email inbox annoyingly. I think I replied to everyone but if I did miss you then I am sorry. I am going to try again with this post but if it still doesnt work then I shall have to move to comment moderation sadly.

Anyway, many thanks to Cheryll for hosting our Friday night happenings  - it was good to get together again.

I signed up this week to the DMTV sketchbook challenge which is running for the next month. So on Friday afternoon I spent a happy hour or two looking at the first video and then gaily tearing pages out of a brand new sketchbook and replacing them with prints from my stash and different types of paper. Tricky to photograph but this how my sketchbook is looking.

Its a great way of getting past 'blank page syndrome'! This afternoon I am going to be machining those pages in place and looking forward to Sunday and the next video.

I had to park my Red Manor House quilting last weekend as I had a tiny cut on my thumb which was making it difficult to pull the needle through. Instead I got out my tablecloth and a couple of new fabrics that had arrived. This week I have been adding the double pointed leaves (as opposed to the ones that tuck under the vine) and have made good progress. So that is what I continued with last night.

I was raking walnut leaves earlier in the week and waxed lyrical! on my Instagram feed about the delicious smell of the leaves - my favourite autumn smell.

While I was raking I was thinking about all the uses that a walnut has and came up with quite a list. The whole nut, before the shell starts to form, can be pickled or used to make vin de noix - a walnut liquer. The husk of the nut can be used to make ink and was used by monks for writing their manuscripts. The shell when ground makes a sand that is used in reptile aquariums - I use it for stuffing pincushions - and is also used in body and facial scrubs, much better for the environment that all those little bits of plastic. The nut of course is delicious on its own, can be used in baking or added to salads. It also makes a delicious and healthy salad oil. I bet you didnt realise it was quite so useful!

Around the garden the trees are starting to look quite bare. Not this bay tree though - the tall tree behind the pomegranates.

It is full of big black berries at the moment and we are always finding tiny bay trees around the garden.

The leaves on the pomegranates are a beautiful golden colour at the moment although falling rapidly.

This yucca was a house plant I brought from England 25 years ago - it has flowered every year since we planted it in the garden.

And finally we found this early primrose flowering in the garden.

So thats me catching up - we are back in lockdown here, the second week now of four, but who knows when it will end.

Stay safe and well everyone.

Saturday 17 October 2020

FNSI October

 Many thanks to Wendy for organising our Friday get together again. I am looking forward to seeing what everyone else was working on.

I started in the afternoon working on some secret stitching - here is a little glimpse. Ready now to move onto the next stage.

Then in the evening I worked on the quilting of my Red Manor House. The first section of this border is finished and I have now moved the hoop on to the next section. Here is the first section with is markings removed.

In other news I have completed my swap hexies for the month and they are somewhere in the postal system. Otherwise, the secret stitching has taken up most of my time this week.

We are having a few nice sunny days at the moment and it is good to get outside to rake a few leaves or just enjoy wandering round. I picked up lots of walnuts last weekend but had to throw at least half away as they had been infested or were just dried out or mouldy inside. The pomegranates are looking good though.

Have a good week.

Saturday 10 October 2020

Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2019/20

 This years final RSC colour was yellow and I completed my yellow Dresden on Thursday. Then came the fun part of getting out my 20 Dresdens and playing around with them - fortunately we had dry grass yesterday so I was able to lay them out in the garden. And here they are all machined together.

It rained last night so it had to be the bed for todays photo. I am very happy with how these are all looking.

Fortunately I have enough of the grey fabric to make a decent size border so I plan to spend 2021/2 making little hexadens to dance around.

I will need to source some yellow spot fabric for the centres though as I have used up all that I had.

I am linking up with Angela at Soscrappy  - thank you Angela for your inspiration.

Treated myself to these gorgeous cyclamen at the market yesterday - perfect for brightening up the garden at this time of year.

Have a good weekend everyone.

Saturday 3 October 2020

FNwF's October

 Once again my thanks to Cheryll for getting us together again on Friday night - pop over to her blog here to see who else took part.

I had earmarked Friday afternoon for making a start on my RSC Dresden for October while catching up with the Archers. But - no news yet from Angela as to what the colour is for this month, so I had a much needed sort through some of my P&Q magazines while I listened.

This week I have been working on the quilting of my Red Manor House and that is what I carried on with on Friday evening. Having quilted around the manor house I have now moved on to cross hatching around the sheep, doves and flowerpots. Happy with my progress so far.

I seem to be a bit short of photos! Not nice weather today for taking pictures. I did spend an hour outside this morning in a brief spell of sunshine collecting walnuts. But it is raining again now with occasional gusts of strong wind. Knowing the wind and rain were coming I went out with my camera and took a few flower pictures earlier in the week. We have new borage plants popping up all over the place and I love the brilliant blue of their star shaped flowers.

Also thought I would get a few pictures of my fushias before they finish flowering for the season.

I am off to catch up with what everyone was working on last night. See you soon.