18/07/2014 § 3 Comments
New Quay, Ceredigion
There are 2 beaches in New Quay. This is Dolau Beach, the smaller of the two where we could walk the dogs. In fact, every morning I strolled along before 5.30 am – just me and the girls! One morning we were joined by a lone swimmer who left his towel on the wall and went out for a splash – rather him than me – I dipped my toe in and it was seriously cold!
We jaunted to Wales to spend a few days with Dad. We stayed by the sea in New Quay this time, so that we had our own bit of space and could enjoy walks on the beach with the collies. I’ve visited this village SO many time over the past 40 years but had never appreciated it as much as when we actually stayed there. It was intriguing, quaint, steep and interesting. I absolutely loved it. Walking the girls along the beach every morning, insanely early, was a highlight. We were blessed with some wonderful weather and high tides so our footsteps in the sand were always the first of the day – I love that!
Every evening crowds seemed to descend on the village to walk along the breakwater and watch the antics of the dolphins just yards offshore as they curled above the calm sea, back and forth across the bay. It was magical. One evening we were on the beach with the girls and one surfaced just 20 yards from us off the beach. It was light until way past 10 pm and on a couple of evenings we could see the sun set, casting its rays on the coast of North Wales, miles away across Cardigan Bay.
If you’ve never visited Wales, then Cardigan Bay has some of the greatest beaches in the UK (in my opinion). Welsh is still the first language of many of the locals and you’ll hear it spoken every day. My Welsh language skills are a bit rusty, but I can still follow snippets of conversations overheard in the shops and on the shoreline and I always remember to say Thank You in Welsh “Diolch yn fawr”.
I had a couple of treats – apart from the bronze dolphins that I bought for Himself to remind us of our holiday – there are a couple of brilliant quilting shops locally. Calico Kate in Lampeter has thousands of bolts of fabric – I had lots of treats in there! Crosspatch patchwork barn is more difficult to locate but worth a visit although opening times revolve around farm activities, quilt shows and the animals.
We’re staying home for a bit now. So much jaunting in recent weeks – I’m worn out! It’s hot and humid with terrific lightning storms last night. I’ve a load of quilts to show you too – it’s difficult to keep them all photographed!
Enjoy the weekend.
16/07/2014 § 4 Comments
I’ve grown up always knowing that ‘The Lily’ is special. As soon as I could walk around our garden in Cardiff, grasping my grandfather’s patient hand, every spring we’d wait to see the first shoots appear above ground and then count the blooms in early summer. My mother vividly remembered the day it arrived. Mum also grew up in Cardiff and in the late 1920′s, when she was only about 4 or 5 years old, a neighbour asked my grandfather, who was pottering in the garden, if he’d like to have a lily plant. A tiny plant, that Mum says looked a bit like a seedling leek, was handed over. Mum even remembered the gardening tip that accompanied the baby lily - a bucketful of water every day – it’s always thirsty!
The Lily was always happy in Cardiff. Some summers there’d be as many as 50 blooms and every year since the late 20′s, it’s flowered – moving house on several occasions with my grandparents. It moved to Bristol during WWII and would have been in the garden on the night my mother remembered watching the bombs drop, from their vantage point home overlooking the city, when Bristol was lit up and devastated by the Luftwaffe. When we left Cardiff for west Wales in the mid 1970′s The Lily came too.
The year we lost my grandfather, at the grand age of 90, there were no blooms. Isn’t that remarkable? I was 18 and it almost became a superstition that The Lily must survive. Some bugs had devastated the roots but Mum and I grubbed around, found and saved a few shoots – just like tiny leeks – potted them up and then replanted them. It’s bloomed every year since. When I settled in Winchester over 30 years ago now, Mum gave us our own tiny offshoot to plant on.
I love The Lily. It seems happy planted by our pond, where it grows up each summer to catch the full sun whilst it’s roots are damp and shady. This year the soaking spring has really suited it – the leaves and blooms are huge.
Every spring, I search for those green spears and every summer I count the blooms (not as prolific as double figures, but stunning nonetheless). I remember my mother and grandfather and find it amazing that a single plant can survive world wars, moving homes, births and deaths, traumas and delights. I really do love My Grandfather’s Lily.
13/07/2014 § Leave a comment
If you happened to enquire about a sports-themed quilt in Alton on Saturday, and left your email address, I’ve been unable to contact you via email so thought I’d leave a note here so you can make contact with me.
My email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are a few of the fabrics that I’ve found that might be suitable for your grandson:
Alton was wonderful, as ever yesterday. For those of you who may not be local, Alton is a bright, vibrant market town in Hampshire with many independent stores. Weekly markets are held on Tuesdays but once a month, on the 2nd Saturday to be precise, the top of the High Street is closed to allow the Farmers’ Market to come to town. So many amazing stalls with cakes and preserves, pies and quiches, butchers and bakers and plantsmen (and women) lining the streets under their colourful stripy canopies.
On the same day as the Farmers’ Markets, the Alton Lions organise the Craft and Makers Market, providing gazebos for those without their own, though many of us roll up with the whole cha bang – gazebo, bunting, tables and stands and of course, our stock. It’s a long day for me and hard work setting up and taking down but yesterday the sun was shining and the crowds were out. I met some wonderful people to chat to as well as friendly fellow stall-holders. It’s a great starter market for ‘proper’ makers (Carole is very strict about everything on the stall having been ‘made’ – absolutely no bought in goods allowed). If you’re a maker in Hampshire or thereabouts and would like to dip your toe into the pond of selling direct to your customers, then why not give it a go. There’s a website and application form here.
In the meantime, if you’re the lady who enquired about a sports-themed quilt for your grandson, then do get in touch as I can’t contact you. Or if you’re not ‘that’ lady but would like to commission a quilt, then pop an email into my inbox and I’ll be happy to discuss a bespoke quilt for you. I’ll be closing my book for commissions in mid-September this year, to allow myself time to build up my stock for the Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market. Yes – I’m planning it already and will need lots of stock as I have a stall in the prestigious British Crafts Village section of the market by the ice-rink. Can’t wait!
Enjoy your week – I’m off to cut out some more quilts!
11/07/2014 § Leave a comment
09/07/2014 § 5 Comments
Didn’t we have a loverley time …
Yes, we certainly did (apart from my badly sprained ankle on day 4, which is still grumbling) …
We had awesome weather – wall-to-wall sunshine most days and even when I was ‘iced-up’ and strapped I found I could do some sewing with one foot up on a garden chair! A sewing studio with sea views – that’s definitely on my wish list!
I stitched up 3 patchwork quilt tops last week and have finished 2 of the quilts this week. I’ll post some photos of the finished quilts in the next day or so. Now – back to the end of a boring game of football – so different from last night’s semi-final. Have you been watching? I’m no footie fan but find myself drawn into a tournament like the World Cup. I’m picking up the lingo and whenever I hear the whistle (‘cos I’m usually stitching around the binding of a quilt rather than watching), I just say ‘Offside’ with conviction. Amazingly, I’ve been right on many occasions – Himself is really quite impressed!!!!
02/07/2014 § 3 Comments
We’re having a week in Cornwall. No photos as I left the card reader thingy back at home with Flora and our son who’s moved in for the week. Lots to catch up on then but my ventures are unfortunately severely curtailed as I managed to ‘roll’ my ankle ridiculously early on Monday morning whilst walking the girls up on the coastal path.
I didn’t think I’d make it the mile or so back to our cottage, but limped sadly and slowly home and then removed my walking boot to survey the damage – whilst watching it swell up like a football. So, feet up it is.
I’m devastated to have just pulled out of the Antiques and Retro market in Winchester on Sunday. All that I’ve read online though suggests that if I don’t rest it now, I’ll prolong the injury and have great problems to deal with.
Happy Holidays from sunny Cornwall with my feet up!
22/06/2014 § Leave a comment
just look who’s curled up on one of my quilts!
Baby Annabelle came into this world just over a week ago. Her arrival was eagerly awaited by her lovely Mum and Dad and, strangely enough, by me! We’re not related, but Annabelle’s Dad took a shine to one of my quilts many months ago, when he spied them on my stall in Winchester, way back on a windswept day in March. We got chatting and then Annabelle’s Mum asked me to send her some photos of one very pretty quilt that had caught his eye. It was a quilt that I’d called ‘Cariad’ – Welsh for beloved.
I’d designed this quilt especially for a little girl – but I had no idea who she’d be. I kept Cariad to one side until Annabelle arrived – if she’d turned out to be a little boy then we’d have had to have a rethink! I added an embroidered name label with her birthday, on the day following her arrival, so she’ll always know it’s her special quilt. It was with great joy that I rocked her in my arms when she was handed to me for a cuddle last Thursday morning, as I handed over the quilt to her proud parents.
Isn’t she absolutely beautiful? I may have to borrow her for some quilt photoshoots as she grows up. She could become the ‘face of Adaliza Quilts – now there’s an idea!
Thank you so much A’s Mum and Dad for allowing me to show the photos here on my blog and for the lovely testimonial they wrote:
“We bought our quilt as a special keepsake for our newborn baby girl, and it really is something she will be able to treasure forever. The care and creativity that has gone into the quilt is astounding and it really brightens up the nursery. Adaliza also really cared about making sure the quilt was right for us and her communication throughout was brilliant.”
“It was my pleasure. Cuddle up, Annabelle. Keep warm and snug, little one!”