27/08/2015 § 1 Comment
Adaliza’s Quilt Kits
The kits contain all the fabrics needed to complete the patchwork quilt top, border and bindings. You choose the wadding and backing fabric. An 8-page booklet with full instructions for piecing your patchwork and suggested techniques for layering up your quilt sandwich, quilting and binding your quilt is included. Lots of helpful tips appear throughout. They are now available in my Quilt Store.
Quilts for sale
Listed until the end of September in my Quilt Store
Sailboats & Seagulls Quilt
Summer is drifting quietly away with the warm sunshine all too frequently giving way to clouds and rain. Evenings are decidedly chilly and it’s time to snuggle up!
19/08/2015 § 5 Comments
There’s been quite a lot of quilting – the mixed weather has suited me just fine. I’m always happy to plan and cut out indoors if it’s drizzly, and then bask in whatever sunshine there’s been either with my sewing machine out on the patio or with my feet up in my outdoor rocking chair stitching around a binding. Lazy but productive days.
The children have been here, taking it in turns to stay inbetween house-moves (for them, not me), and holidays. It’s been a good summer. Whilst I’ve been away at shows, dogs and duck have been cared for by visitors, family and friends. Shows have been a new venture for me which I’ve enjoyed enormously – even though it’s a real challenge to organise absolutely everything – stock, livestock, orders and ME!
I’ve had trips out and about with J2 and his lovely Italian girlfriend, yesterday we jaunted to the west country and Gold Hill in Shaftesbury was bathed in golden late afternoon sunshine – simply lovely.
I’ve returned home on so many days, pleased to be back, tired and peacefully happy. My daughter C is a great motivator – “Just do it, Mum, you’ll be fine”. She’s right, of course! I’ve been fine and really enjoyed the challenges and buzz and meeting so many new people at summer shows. Both the boys organised an epic travel adventure to south-east Asia which took the whole of July. I was so pleased they went together, got on well and had a wonderful time. I was even more pleased to have them back. Where next????
There are projects happening here at home. The builder arrives on Monday and I’ll keep you posted, without too many of the gory details. I’m sure there’ll be so much happening every day which I’m quietly dreading, but the end result WILL be so worth it! I have plans … and an aiming for the end result – hiccups along the way will be dealt with!
Hope you’re enjoying the good old British summer if you’re here, and a heatwave if you’re elsewhere.
15/07/2015 § 2 Comments
No photos – no time!
Hope to be back when life has settled down a bit, in a few weeks’ time.
28/06/2015 § 8 Comments
Many, many years ago growing up in rural west Wales, my first boyfriend was the farmer’s youngest son from over the field. His mother was a real matriarch – 4 strong boys she raised – she was ambitious and scary and loved me like a daughter.
She ran the farmhouse like clockwork – and knew all that was happening on every inch of the farm. Pet lambs followed her into the huge cool kitchen, with its dark flagstone floor and black coal-fired range that blasted out heat even on the hottest summer day. Dogs were chased out of the kitchen with the broom – as were the hens. The boys devoured everything she cooked – and she was an awesome cook. Mostly it was good, straightforward food – nothing fancy, but lots of it. Beef, eggs, potatoes, veg from the garden and fruit from the hedgerows and kitchen garden. But when there were visitors or a fete at the village hall, she always produced the most amazing sponge cakes. I remember her telling me her secret – WEIGH THE EGGS!
Well, she left her kitchen and her sons some years ago when she was well into her 80’s. I think there was a little part of her that still loved me, at least that what she said when I last spoke to her, but I never got over the feeling that she never forgave me for marrying someone else and producing his amazing children instead of her own grandchildren. She was in tears one night, when we were visiting the village on holiday and my little brood had won some prizes in the local village fete – she sniffed into her hankie whilst sitting next to my mother and said “your grand-children should have been ours to share”! Oh dear. That’s life, I suppose and some things aren’t meant to be.
I remembered her today when I saw the little collection of eggs that Flora’s been laying over the past few days. I’ve had a dreadful lurgy/flu-like bug and haven’t been up to doing or cooking anything much. Truth to say – I’ve spent a few days in bed with a temperature and feeling very wobbly. Feeling a bit chirpier this morning, I decided to make a sponge and I followed Mrs P’s advice from all those years ago – I weighed the eggs!
Three eggs came in at 5 oz (I have imperial weights on my old scales still, which is fine because everything had to weigh the same) – butter, flour and sugar. A spoonful of freshly boiled water after mixing, to relax the mixture and WOW – a perfect sponge …
Oh, it was lovely – still is (I haven’t eaten all of it)! I know it won’t last long once my sons J1 and J2 descend tomorrow. Thank you Mrs P – I’ll always love you a little bit too, and that youngest son of yours, and your secret for the perfect sponge. Thanks too, to Flora for producing the most amazing eggs!
15/06/2015 § 3 Comments
In the raised bed by the patio, many years ago, I planted a climber – for colour and perfume. Last winter I really cut it back very hard, fed it regularly and I’m being rewarded with the most glorious display ever. On these still, warm June evenings the perfume is quite delicious. Every day intensely deep burnt orange buds open into full glorious blooms then fade to pale parchment before the petals fall.
For Father’s Day a good while back, the children bought my husband a Dublin Bay rose. He loved Dublin very much and every year returned to his grandfather’s home nation to take his students on a trip – so many who came to his memorial remember those trips as the highlight of their entire degree course! Dublin Bay rose is sublime, the colour indescribable – such an impossibly red, red! It clambers over the workshop verandah and I love, love, love it.
Back in the grey days of winter, I had a vision of the front of my house, covered in a pretty rambling rose and I treated myself to Albertine. I wrote about in my 400th post, and all the other landscaping works that were done, here. Today I gasped as the first bloom appeared …
I think it needs a bit of a drink and the rose had probably opened yesterday, but still it’s in bloom and I can’t wait for it to grow and grow all up and over the front of the house.
Pure Abundance is a white patio rose that delivers beautiful blooms every year and today I treated myself to yet another pretty patio rose that just needs a suitable pot to plant it in (more treats)!
I love using industrial/utilitarian pieces in the garden and at the local recycling place the other day, I spied a rusty old oil funnel and swapped it for 2 irreparable garden seats. The lawnmower bucket came home with me over 20 years ago, with a lawnmower attached! Last Spring it went onto a skip and then, when the boys weren’t looking, I got it out again. It’s been hanging around for years and I’ve never known quite what to do with it but the other afternoon, after bringing my trophy oil can home, I took a pickaxe to the side of it to create a hole (and a very large dent) and created something that makes me smile – and I’m certain in the knowledge that there’s not another one of these planters in the world!
There are sweet peas clambering up a trellis by the greenhouse, irises in the front garden and foxgloves everywhere …
Did you spot the happy duck in the photo above?
Flora sends you all her love (from the pond) …
Enjoy your garden and the sunshine
04/06/2015 § 6 Comments
I can’t believe I haven’t joined the National Trust before. I guess there are many and varied reasons given the difficulties we’ve faced over the past few years but I’m savouring the delights of wandering through beautiful grounds and grand country homes – it’s real therapy. Here are a few of my snaps from last weekend’s visit to Hinton Ampner, here in Hampshire …
I popped in to visit, as I was passing that way en route home from yet another village fete …
I’d enjoyed a scone with cream & jam and a lovely cup of tea, did some people watching – always fascinating, scoured the bric-a-brac stall with some success and came away with so many plants and a heavy manger to plant them in! Have I already said “I love summer fetes” … well, I truly do. This weekend I have something of a dilemma – there are 2 fetes at the same time, in different villages, some miles apart but quite close to Winchester. I think I’ll have to toss a coin to decide which one to visit. AND … there’s another one on Sunday – it must be THE weekend for summer fetes!
Yesterday, with my NT pass still burning a hole in my pocket, I met up with a friend and we visited Mottisfont. This is a grand house with a long and detailed history that is documented in many displays from the 12th Century as a Priory, through private ownership and family home, to country weekend retreat during the 1930’s. We toured the rooms, including the Whistler room then tiptoed upstairs to the maids’ quarters where to my delight, I found a patchwork quilt!
The roses in the walled gardens have taken a bit of a battering in recent high winds, but they’re still breathtaking – quite literally …
Such a lovely place to visit. We walked right around the grounds, up to the fisherman’s hut and back around the meadow by the shepherd’s hut. Next time I’ll take some photos in the stable block, which is one of my favourite parts of the whole estate.
It’s been a beautiful day here and I’ve just returned from a long walk around the farm, with the collies. There’s a pink sky, promising sunshine tomorrow so I’d best finish doing a bit of quilting so that I can enjoy the afternoon sunshine tomorrow, whilst stitching around the binding edges. Simple pleasures!
Have fun …
30/05/2015 § 2 Comments
Where are we now?
Late Spring? Early Summer?
I’ll let you decide, as we take a wander around the garden …
The foxgloves’ trumpet petals are speckled and loud with the hum of bees, in the afternoon sunshine. There’s a new alpine garden planted, next to the baker’s tray table and zinc planter where the succulents are happily spreading their cobwebby cups. I’ve discovered solar lanterns and the whole patio glows with soft lights once dusk descents at about 9 pm each evening.
My grandfather’s lily is in full bloom, with lots more shooting buds ready to unfurl. I wrote about it here, last year. The landscape gardener who came way back in January said it would bloom early as it’s not drowned out by overgrown shrubs – he was right! What a difference in the garden, from those bleak winter days.
I treated myself, at the village fete a couple of weeks ago, to a crystal rose bowl – it’s heavy and beautifully cut. Today I snipped the first Dublin Bay blooms and the first orange rose from the climber by the patio and added a few more bits from the garden to make a posy. I enjoyed the heavenly scent whilst I ate my dinner on the patio in the cool, still evening then brought it indoors to enjoy some more!
I took this photo by accident, as I was switching on my little camera, this afternoon. I rather like it! I joined the National Trust yesterday, and have already visited 2 local properties. Yesterday, a friend and I dodged the showers in the Rose Garden at Mottisfont and today … well, I had a solitary and rather wonderful wander which I’ll share with you next time. It’s Saturday and there was a summer fete involved too!
What has your weekend brought? Some sunshine, I hope …
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