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 20 December 2021

FNSI December

 Friday was a busy day so it wasn't until the evening that I was able to sit and sew - and by that time I was too tired to do much! Anyway, I was working on this Wings and Pretty Things block which has progressed well since Friday.

Not much left to do now. These fabrics are not photographing well!

The first block is finished as far as I can go.

That bird looks a bit manic! He will look better when he gets a beak and an embroidered eye. As you can see, as well as the embroidery there are also some twigs missing. We are in the middle of moving house and I managed to pack the little bias pressing gadget which I knew I would need! Also all my embroidery threads have gone too. Well, I shall be able to add those little bits later.

That's it from me for now - many thanks to Wendy for organsising our Friday Night Sew In's all year. Please click on the link to see what everyone was working on.

Saturday 4 December 2021

FNwFs December

 And our last Friday Night With Friends for 2021. Thank you Cheryll for organising our Fridays over the last year. Pop over to Cheryll's blog here to see who else took part and what they were up to.

A busy day here with the market and hairdressers in the morning. Then the afternoon was wet and cold and so I sat by the fire writing Christmas cards. I have made a good inroad into my list but it takes time as many of them need updates on our year. Always lovely to hear from old friends at Christmas though.

 However, I did manage to cut some hexies and start basting them during the evening.

These are for the outer border of Wings and Pretty Things - not that I am anywhere near adding the outer border but I wanted to make sure I had a good selection of fabrics for these before moving on to the applique blocks.

Sunshine and showers here today so after writing a few more cards I think I shall make a start on the first applique block. First though I am off to see what everyone else got up to yesterday evening.

Saturday 20 November 2021

RSC 2021 up to date

 I have now got all the little 2021 Dresdens sewn down onto the RSC Dresden quilt top.

I can now see which colours I will need to concentrate on next year and will have to think about those corners!

Linking up with Angela for ScrapHappy Saturday and thank you very much Angela.

Saturday 6 November 2021

Friday Night with Friends

 And my first for several months. Just made it in time too as we were without internet until mid day on Friday. Thank you Cheryll - pop over to Cheryll's blog here to see what everyone was working on.

I have started adding my mini hexie dresdens to my RSC Dresden quilt, so that is what I was working on yesterday. I have them dancing around the border - here are a few that are in place.

Earlier this week I completed three more Field Journal hexagons.

The hollyhock and pimpernel blocks are my favourites!

Well that's all for now - I shall be catching up whith what everyone was working on later. Meanwhile, the sun is shining so I am going to sit outside and continue sewing dresdens.

Have a good week.

Saturday 23 October 2021

A couple of finishes!

 Yes, I have been beavering away here, clearing up a few ongoing projects. First of all I am proud to show my completed tablecloth!

So pleased with this and apart from the hassle of trying to get those flower baskets square (which they are not!) I loved every stitch of this project.
The flower baskets use scraps from my collection, the applique is all using batiks and I have made a scrappy batik binding.

A couple of shots in the garden (it's the bench that is not level - not my photography)

and finally on the table where it will live.

Now for my second finish I have this scrappy cover for my Kenwood Chef which I started in the summer.

This replaces the old blue and yellow cover that I made many years ago and which has been well used and washed. It is now looking very tired, unlike this picture where it was brand new!

Also to report I have progress on Wings and Pretty Things. Whilst in UK recently I caught up with the fabric I had ordered for the first border so I have been able to add that and the second border of hexies and butterflies.

Now I can make a start on the next applique border of pretty things.

And finally a couple of Field Journal blocks which I finished back in August but had not got around to photographing.

Well that is all for now. I need to get on with some secret stitching this week and I may get out another Field Journal block to work on.

Have a good week.

Saturday 16 October 2021

FNSI and RSC October

 First of all many thanks to  Wendy for organising our Friday evening again - do pop over to Wendy's blog to see who else joined in and what they were working on.

After an excellent Fish and Chip lunch in a local restaurant I sat down to complete my RSC crumb blocks for the month. Actually, I was working on crumbs from September as well as we were away all last month and my orange blocks did not get made. I made the little Dresden flowers earlier in the week. So here we are - Septembers orange Dresdens and crumb blocks.

The colour for October is light and bright greens. Well, I used all my green scraps earlier in the year so instead I pulled out all my black and grey scraps. Here you can see my Dresdens, seven crumb blocks and a few little squares for the Scraptherapy box. I have also cut enough petals for two more Dresdens as looking at my quilt I can see that I will need four altogether.

This year I have been trying to clear out my crumb box - at the beginning of the year I had to put another box on top of it to keep it closed - now it is just half full.

There are still plenty of cream and brown scraps in there which I know I will use next year. Otherwise I am very happy with how this year has gone.

Linking up with Angela at Soscrappy for ScrapHappy Saturday. Thank you Angela.

Thursday 7 October 2021

As requested.....

 ...by a few ladies down under for whom it is elderflower time, here is my recipe for Elderflower Cordial.

25 heads of fresh elderflowers

1 litre of boiled water

2lbs sugar

3 large lemons

 Snip the flowers from the thicker stalks into a large bowl. Add the grated rind from all three lemons. Squeeze the lemons, then roughly chop the shells and add them too plus any collected juice.

Add the sugar to the water and stir until dissolved and then add to the bowl. Give it all a good stir, cover and leave for two days stirring occasionally and enjoying the delicious smell!

 Strain and bottle. Store in the fridge. 

Dilute to taste with still or, my favorite, fizzy water. A splash in fizzy white wine is also delicious.

If you have access to gooseberries then use some of the cordial to sweeten them for a pie or crumble


This recipe makes quite a lot - the quantity's are easily adjusted if you want to make a smaller amount or don't have the required number of elderflowers.

On our travels!

 Yes, after 20 months we managed a trip to the UK where we were able to catch up with friends and family. It was a lovely time and the sun shone for most of it which was great although the last few days were distinctly damp.

Lovely to be out and about in the Somerset countryside too - the narrow roads and high hedges were a welcome sight after the wide open fields of the northern Dordogne. And the sea! So good to see the sea again.

So I will launch straight in to some photographs.

This weather worn boat was in Watchet Harbour - I love that splash of turquoise on top of the right hand pole.

We managed to arrive in Watchet on market day - it was busy! So we took our picnics to Blue Anchor bay and sat on the beach looking across to the Welsh coast. From there we drove inland to Staple Plain where we walked up to the top of Beacon Hill. The heather was in full bloom and glorious.

In the second picture you can see the stunning view down to the coast.

At the top - you can just see the beacon on the right.

On another occasion we visited St Martins church at Kingsbury Episcopi for an interesting exhibition documenting cider making in the parish and the local families and businesses involved. I spotted this lovely door in a corner of the church.

and these 'drunken' graves outside.

I am surprised that Health and Safety haven't been round and condemned that gravestone! Some years ago we visited another graveyard in North Somerset where council workers were pulling over tilted gravestones 'because they are dangerous'!

Anyway from there we of course had to visit a local cider farm, Burrow Hill Cider Farm where they also distill the cider to make cider brandy. 

It is cider making time and there was a large heap of apples in the yard being washed prior to being pulped.

Then a visit to Muchelney Pottery 

Sadly John Leach, grandson of Bernard Leach, died recently but for the time being the pottery and shop will be carrying on. I bought one of the lovely jugs from the kitchenware range to add to my small collection and enjoyed admiring the beautiful one off collection pieces.

Finally a lovely day out with friends at Killerton House It was our first visit and we enjoyed walking round the gardens dodging showers under huge old trees. This lovely hinge was on the door to the Church and will be added to my spiral collection.

 The Bears Hut also sheltered us - in the main room the ceiling is decorated with pine cones

and this is part of the beautiful floor.

Killerton is home to a large collection of 18th - 20th century dress and accessories. On display while we were there an interesting exhibition of sports wear including a very elaborate - and I would have thought very hot - tennis dress! No 7 in the picture.

Thank you for reading through to the end - I hope you enjoyed the pictures.

Saturday 21 August 2021

Friday Night Sew In for August

 Good to be sewing again with virtual friends - thank you Wendy for getting us organised. Pop over to Wendy's blog here to see what everyone was working on.

I spent a little while on the computer first of all. I mentioned in my last post that I am researching all things spiral for a new sketchbook. So I am starting with the very earliest known man made spiral which is this Triskelion or Triskele from Newgrange in The Republic of Ireland.

This symbol was carved over 5000 years ago into the wall of the burial chamber, at the end of a long passage. It was positioned so that during the winter solstice the suns rays would stretch along the passage and illuminate the symbol. The symbol has been used elsewhere including on this Mycenaean vessel

and carved into rock in Galicia in Spain.

These spirals are related to the three legged Tiskelion or Triskeles which can be found in Ancient Greek art, coinage, on the flag of Sicily and as the symbol of The Isle of Man.

OK folks, culture lesson over for the day and yes I did get some sewing done! Quite a lot of quilting on my tablecloth actually as there was a fairly boring football match on TV. I just have one side of the tablecloth to quilt now.

Not easy to photograph but you should be able to make out that the top edge is unquilted.

Right, I am off to visit a few fellow FNSIers.

Have a good week.

Saturday 14 August 2021

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - Aqua

 Well I love aqua and it's close friends but for some reason my scrap box held very little! Forgot to take a photograph of my scraps but here are the little Dresdens and my crumb blocks for the month.

Well, they didn't take long! In fact I finished them early in the month but forgot to add them to last weeks post.

Following on from my Hundertwasser sprials sketchbook page I decided to do a bit more research into spirals and have started a new sketchbook! This is the inside cover.

Meanwhile I am trawling the internet and my old sketchbooks for anything spiral related to add to my new book.

The promised hot weather has arrived - so I am indoors with a fan running!

Linking up with Angela for ScrapHappy Saturday

Have a good week.

Saturday 7 August 2021

Friday Night with Friends August

 Scraped in by the skin of my teeth to Cheryll's sign up page, yesterday afternoon by my time - well into the Australian evening I am sure! Anyway, many thanks Cheryll for organising us once again.

Well, I dont have much to show for an afternoon and part evening's sewing!

I decided to work this Field Journal block in a frame as it has quite dense stitching but of course it takes a lot longer to work and by the time I got to those pesky satin stitch flowers I started going cross eyed! Will have another crack at them this afternoon.

Otherwise my week has been spent quilting the tablecloth and I finished the Hundertwasser spiral sketchbook page that I showed you last week. I wrote out Hundertwasser's statement on the spiral in gold pen - it isnt very readable but that is fine as the point was to give the page some pattern, more colour and to link the two sides of the spread.

If you would like to read what Hundertwasser had to say about the spiral - The symbol of life and death - you can find it here

Right, I am off to read what everyone else was working on yesterday - have a great week everyone, WE are promised some nice weather for a change!!!

Saturday 31 July 2021

Catching up

 First of all a reminder that the powers that be are removing the follow by email feature so if that is how you follow my posts then you will need to find another way. Hopefully this post will sneak in under the line!

After a brief hot spell we are back to cooler weather and showers here. One bonus of this is that I have been able to crack on with quilting my tablecloth. The quilting lines are all marked and fortunately I got back to the beginning without being way out! I'll save pictures until it's complete.

I have also worked on four more Field Journal embroideries - and here they are.

I am going to try and do one of these a week although the next one on my pile has got a lot of work in it! Maybe its something for FNWF which should be coming up next week.

Also for Ausust there is a new RSC colour to work on - aqua. Mmm lovely, I'm sure I have some of those to work with.

A few weeks back I saw a lovely post by Freezeframe Annie here where she recycled some junk mail return envelopes into lovely tag pockets. I thought this was a great idea and decided to have a go by adding some into my sketchbooks. First up though was a lovely envelope and stationery which arrived in the post from Australia. It was far too nice to throw away so I thought I would try out the pocket technique on it. I used the back of the letter paper to line the envelope which I glued into one of my sketchbooks and also used some of the paper to cover a tag that I had been saving.

I then enlarged some of the beautiful flower and leaf shapes from the paper, using them to fill the rest of the double page spread. I spent a couple of happy afternoons drawing and then paiting these.

I am sure I will be using some of those flower shapes to make print blocks from at some point.
I then turned to something completely different!

This return envelope was cut in half and glued onto a page in my sketchbook challenge sketchbook. I then covered the envelope and page with a layer of gesso.

You cant see it here but the laft hand page is mostly covered with a piece of green/black splodgy paper which I had added when I started the sketchbook. So I next rubbed a black oil pastel over parts of the spread before splashing on some greeny blue paints.

Rummaging through my tag basket for something to put in the pocket I found a couple of pieces of experimental newspaper/painted bondaweb/printing/sheerfabric/machine stitching in colours that go perfectly with my page.

The print on it is a Hundertwasser spiral from when I had a Hunderwasser phase a few years back. So I pulled out the print blocks that I had made then and used one of them to print onto my page and the pocket.

I stabilised the tag and added some gold around it's edges.

And that is as far as I have got. I can see some gold script on the page somewhere - maybe a Hundertwasser quote about spirals. We shall see.

Well if you have made it to the end of this post - thank you! and well done.

Have a good week and I shall see you at Cheryll's place next week.