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.

Sunday 31 December 2023

A Happy and Not So Happy Christmas!

 First up the Happy bit - I found the Christmas decorations that I thought had been lost in our move from France! Happy dance from me. It was lovely to unwrap all the lovely things I have collected over the years and get them out on display. I am not one for clearing stuff away to make special Christmas displays - I just like to feed Christmassy things in amongst our normal collections. But here are a few little collections of Christmas dotted around the house.

The green Christmas Tree in the first picture lights up and sings, you may - or may not! be able to click on the picture for a video.

The little toboggan girl in the last picture is new for this year, otherwise everything else has been in my collection for a while.

Bought a new Christmas tree online with fingers crossed and am very happy with it's shape - not too wide as we do not have the space for a large tree! but plenty of branches to hang all my decorations from.

Very pleased to have found my tree decorations as most of them have been collected on my travels and some are over 40 years old.

Now for the not so happy - Philip visited our local hospital for a scan to look for gall stones on the Wednesday before Christmas. While there he was rushed to A&E with a very high temperature and kept in until Boxing Day due to an infected bile duct caused by the gall stones. Sepsis was diagnosed and we are thankful that we were at the hospital and dealt with so quickly. So hospital visiting was how I spent my Christmas! However, happy to report he is now recovering slowly although very tired. 
It has all been very quiet around here although family have popped in for visits - but I am still enjoying my decorations!

I like to get out my decorations a week before Christmas and leave them, by tradition, out until 12th night so six more days enjoyment to come. We need all the joy and light we can get at this time of year!

This year I made a proper Christmas cake and had it all ready to ice but in the end that didn't happen. However I have taste tested and it is pretty good!

Fortunately the Christmas presents I had been making were finished in time. Jennifer at https://www.elefantz.com/ posted this a week or so before Christmas which set me off on making these.

There were another two but they missed out on the photo shoot as I used them as soon as they were finished!

All the embroideries are different, to suit the recipients.

I also manged to finish the Starling socks that I had been working on.

They have been worn and washed now and very snuggly they are too!

Hopefully that is me all caught up.

Wishing you all a very Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year.

Monday 11 December 2023

It was a beautiful sunny day today and so we went to the coast - Watchet Quay looking beautiful in the sunshine.

In the top picture the large building top right is The East Quay. There are two large exhibition galleries and lots of small artisan workshops and shops.

I wanted to see the Grayson Perry Exhibition of two large wall hangings which is currently in the ground floor gallery. And I was not disappointed as they are stunning.

I lifted these pictures from the internet but am sure the colours were much richer! Below is the blurb from the East Quay website.

 Gallery One at East Quay will feature two tapestries by Grayson Perry, on loan from the Crafts Council collection designed and created for Perry's House for Essex project. The tapestries depict key events from the life of a fictional character named Julie Cope, an ordinary Essex woman living in the latter half of the twentieth century. Through the tapestries, Grayson conveys the beauty, vibrancy, and contradictions of a regular individual - telling the stories, in his words, of “the trials, tribulations, celebrations and mistakes of an average life".

The first of the tapestries displayed, titled A Perfect Match, shows Julie’s early years from birth to marriage. Julie’s later years, second marriage, and death are depicted in the second tapestry, In it's Familiarity, Golden. The Ballad of Julie Cope, a written narrative, will be displayed alongside the tapestries for viewers to read. The tapestries were acquired by the Crafts Council with support from the Art Fund (with a contribution from The Wolfson Foundation) and a donation from Maylis and James Grand.

The first picture shows her birth during floods on Canvey Island and her first marriage. The second shows her later life, second marriage and death in a motor bike accident, bottom right.

Hope you enjoy looking at them.

Saturday 2 December 2023

FNWF's for December

 And our last FNWF's for the year. Many thanks to Cheryll for organising us again over the year and I for one look forward to our Fridays next year.

It was a cold grim day here but we had arranged to go out so out we went! Nothing of interest to report except that at lunchtime the trees on the hills were still sporting frost and looking very pretty!

There was not much of the afternoon left by the time we got home so after doodling a few snowflakes in my sketchbook - we missed out on the snow that fell earlier in the week - and cooking dinner I settled down with my knitting for an evening of snooker.

Another pair of socks are under way - this time for me - and the yarn is called starling. I love the colours.

Having had to take back three or four inches due to a dropped stitch, I have now made that up and am at the toe decrease stage. Something for later today I think.

Earlier in the week I had the sewing machine out to finish my Churndashalong quilt - which I did and it is now waiting for some warmer weather so I can wash it. Photo shoot to come!

But I also whipped up one of these Hemmingway pouches and it was very quick and easy to put together!

The link will take you to the pattern on Etsy. It comes in four sizes - mine is the smallest and is perfect for pencils. The larger sizes make book or tablet sized cases. The only thing I would do differently is the binding on the inner seams which is far too bulky on the corner and impossible to poke out properly. I think a neat over sewing with a zigzag would be sufficient. Otherwise I am really pleased with it.

That is all for now, have a happy stitchy weekend and I leave you with a picture of the garden I took about half an hour ago, just after lunch. No sign of it lifting today!

Saturday 18 November 2023

FNSI November

 Lovely to join in with my Friday stitching friends again this week.

I got my sewing machine out for a couple of hours in the afternoon and cracked on with quilting my Churndashalong quilt/tablecloth. It has been waiting a while - there always seem to be other priorities for my machine when I get it out!

Not finished yet but another session should see the quilting finished and binding on so a finish is not far away. 

I am keeping the quilting simple, as you can see, havn't taken out my marker lines yet either.

Very nice to have a finish to report for the evening though. I have been busy crocheting away in the evenings and my scarf was almost finished. All I had to do was finish the border - simple dc - and then join the ends together.

If you remember I picked up two balls of this

at my favourite charity shop and really had no idea how far it would go. In the end it was just enough for a double wrap cowl.

And nice and cosy too!

Many thanks to Wendy and all my fellow stitchers for your company.

Saturday 11 November 2023

Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2023

Nice to have something interesting to share with Angela this month.

Yes, my flimsy is finished!

All my hearts are in for the year. I may add a narrow border - possibly turning the backing to the front after quilting. I have enjoyed making these hearts and can see more in the future, in the meantime though I am starting to think 2024! 

Many thanks Angela for all your prompts and links over the year.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Saturday 4 November 2023

FNWFs November

 I had plans to write a post last week but it just didn't happen, so lots to catch up on here. First of all though many thanks to Cheryll for hosting us - see who else took part here 

We had visitors and planned to take them to Wellington Monument however when we got there the rain was just arriving along with mist and so no chance of a view of Somerset for them sadly. Had a lovely lunch with them before they went on their way and we headed home.

Earlier in the week I bought this lovely book, all about making your own fabric and paper books.

I have her first book and many years ago I made a little book all about leaves which I love and loved making. Some new techniques to try in this book so I thought I would have a play.

I backed some linen scraps with a vilene stabiliser, also a piece of old white cotton pillowcase. I painted a piece of each with gesso and put them aside to dry. Then took a piece of the cotton and drew a basic flower. Coloured it in with Inktense pencils. For some reason I have not tried these on fabric before, anyway very pleased with how this turned out although I obviously need to use less water as I have a bit of a halo.

Dry pencil

After wetting

I then played with Koh i noor ink paints on the two fabrics and on the gessoed cotton.

Very happy with my samples so far.

A few weeks ago I picked up two balls of this pretty three ply yarn from my favourite charity shop in Wellington.

As soon as I had finished the Woodpecker socks I got out my crochet hook and starting working with this yarn. It is lovely - so soft and silky. So my evening was spent adding a few rows to this scarf.


After Thursdays stormy weather, a lot of which we were on the edge of, and yesterdays rain, we have had a sunshine and showers day today. We went off to Blue Anchor to meet up with family and were treated to a number of rainbows. This was the best.

If you could see it, Wales is under the rainbow.

Now to catch up, here are the finished Green Woodpecker socks. Lovely sock yarn from West Yorkshire Spinners.

And this week I have been busy with some Crazy Quilting which has been fun to do after so long away. Enjoyed making this little purse for a friend.

Looking a bit lopsided in above pic but it isn't!

Hand dyed recycled fabrics and thread, purchased silk ribbons.

Well I think that is all for now, have a great weekend.

Saturday 21 October 2023

FNSI October

 Had the house to myself for the afternoon so was able to get my machine out and crack on with a couple of projects. First up, this

became this

Just need to look out a button. Having everything cut out and ready to go made this a quick project. Would have been even quicker but I decided to quilt my bag to give it more stability. This is going to be a little gift bag.

Next up my RSC project. I crossed my fingers and ordered some fabric online to make setting squares for my hearts. Very happy with the fabric that arrived and I started sewing the blocks together after I had finished the bag.

Much happier with how this is looking now. All the bits are cut so next time I get the machine out I should get this all together very quickly.

Thought I would crack on with my knitting while the rugby was on in the evening - sock no 2 is on the home run

but I soon got bored with the rugby and my book was calling so that was it for me.

Many thanks Wendy for hosting us all again.

Saturday 7 October 2023

October FNWFs

 Many thanks to Cheryll for getting us together again despite being off on her travels.

Not much time here to sew as we were out most of the day and there were a couple of things on tv in the evening that needed my full attention. However, I did manage to get one of my RSC hearts sewn down and the other one is ready to go.

I decided to go with mauve as my colour for October, not wanting a neutral heart. Very happy with these pretty mauves from my stash. I now need to get some fabric for setting blocks before I decide if I need more these.

Posting this from my kindle as I am in the process of changing computers so if it comes out weird you will know why!

Sunday 1 October 2023

September catch up

 I thought I would keep back all my sewing and crochet progress to make a separate post from our Cornish travels.

First up some completed Field Journal hexagons and the latest embroidered one.

My RSC hearts for September

I am going to have to lay them all out again to see what colour I need for October because light neutrals does not excite me!

The crochet blanket has come on a lot quicker than I thought it would - that's because I couldn't face all that satin stitch on the FJ panel in the evenings!

However, it has now been put away for a bit as some balls of sock wool arrived this week from West Yorkshire Spinners so now I am knitting socks. The first pair I am knitting uses this lovely Green Woodpecker colourway.

Very appropriate for a birder I thought.

So that is it for now and I am all caught up. See you soon.