Lavender Fields in Tuscany

29/07/2014 § Leave a comment

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A few weeks ago, whilst on holiday by the sea in Cornwall, I stitched up a quilt top.  Our cottage was colourful – blues and whites with touches of warm red.  The colours inspired me and I chose lavenders, fuschia pinks and blues, jade greens and hot reds for this patchwork – with lots and lots of bright white to set off those hot colours – just like on the sun terrace.  The result is a quilt I’ve called ‘Tuscany’ (even though it was patchworked in Porthleven) – those colours just make me think of French lavender fields and warm summer days.

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I chose a dark blue fleece for the backing and have followed the lines up and down to create a striking grid for quilting. Just the name label to add now, then into the bag ready for display at Sunday’s market in Winchester.

I had a lovely note from a client about her memory quilt, earlier in the week.  Her daughter was snuggled up on the sofa with the quilt I made from her (and her twin brother’s) baby clothes.  This is just how I hope my quilts will be used – to provide warmth and comfort and capture lots of happy memories!  As her mum said “Perfect”.

Enjoy the rest of the week – what are you up to?  Having fun in the school holidays?

Adaliza x

Summer Blossom Quilt

25/07/2014 § Leave a comment

Summer Blossom blocks

Summer Blossom blocks

king-size quilt

king-size quilt

on location, down on the farm in high summer

on location, down on the farm in high summer

evening light

evening light

This evening was so still and warm that we took some of my recently completed quilts ‘out on location’! We drove up to the local country park and I snapped away as the sun went down in the hazy sky.  Summer Blossom is a king-size quilt and every block has pink, red, green or blue paisley and floral prints surrounding, or surrounded, by purest white. The backing is pure white lightweight fleece and its bound in a jolly red floral print.  I’ve quilted horizontally and vertically, following the lines of the blocks, so from the back it has a rather Art Deco stylised feel.

My next market is on Sunday 3 August, in Winchester, and Summer Blossom will be for sale on my stall.

We thought we may have a thunderstorm this afternoon, but it passed us by with no more than a few spots (huge spots) of rain. It’s so hot and evenings are just the best time of day for a stroll whilst watching the sunset.

Are you enjoying high summer?

Adaliza

Postcard from Wales …

18/07/2014 § 3 Comments

New Quay, Ceredigion

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We sat on the rocks and watched dolphins just 20 yards off the beach one evening, as the tide lapped in.

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!

 

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Harbour Beach with the old lifeboat ramp. At low water you can walk right around the bay for miles on the sand.

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The breakwater where crowds gathered every evening to watch the dolphins just yards offshore

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One morning, I treated myself to breakfast at the beach cafe whilst Himself caught up with the papers back at the flat.

The gardens above the beach to sit and watch the boats and wildlife.

The gardens above the beach to sit and watch the boats and wildlife.

pretty seaside cottages on steep hills

pretty seaside cottages on steep hills

perfect blues

perfect blues

pretty little pubs and cottages

jolly little pubs and more pretty cottages

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New Quay is a busy village even outside the school holidays, with a thriving local community.

Seaside Brights

Seaside Brights

He's about the same size as the little porpoises

Dolphins, dolphins everywhere

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Some even came home with us, to remind us of our mini holiday.

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.

Adaliza x

My grandfather’s lily …

16/07/2014 § 4 Comments

My grandfather's Arum Lily

My grandfather’s Arum Lily

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.

by the pond, with its toes in the water

by the pond, with its toes in the water

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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.

My Grandfather's Lily

My Grandfather’s Lily

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.

Adaliza

Sports-themed quilt

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:  shop@adaliza.co.uk

Here are a few of the fabrics that I’ve found that might be suitable for your grandson:

balls

rugby balls

rugby

golf

 

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.

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Alton Town Council photo

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!

Winchester-ice-rink

Christmas is coming! Photo from bambinogoodies.co.uk

Enjoy your week – I’m off to cut out some more quilts!

Adaliza x

Alton Market Day …

11/07/2014 § Leave a comment

Saturday 12 July, Alton Town Centre
10 – 3 pm 
The Farmers’ Market is in town too!

Here are some of my goodies, going to market …

stacks of cushions

stacks of cushions

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Who's been sitting in my chair?

Mummy Bear’s chair

Make yourself at home

put your feet up and RELAX!

one for the kitchen chair or windowseat

one for the kitchen chair or windowseat

a perfect wedding gift

a perfect wedding gift

if only!!!

if only!!!

definitely the motto for every summer's day

definitely the motto for every summer’s day

There are lots of quilts and pictures going to market too.  Do try to pop along and say ‘Hello’.

Adaliza x

PS  Please cross everything and wish for some sunshine.

Belated postcard from Cornwall …

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) …

Smugglers Cottage

quirky and charming – Smugglers Cottage

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a pot of gold – maybe just golden sand

early morning walks

early morning walks

an inquisitive local

an inquisitive local

morning walk to the paper shop

morning walk to the paper shop

evening stroll around the harbour for dinner

evening stroll around the harbour for dinner

magical sunsets and a new moon

magical sunsets and a new moon – make a wish

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!

my little Elna came too

my little Elna came too

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Summertime – pretty florals in summer colours

I felt inspired by the colourful little cottage and created Hot Town patchwork

I felt inspired by the colourful little cottage and created Hot Town patchwork

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!!!!

Adaliza x

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