20/01/2017 § 2 Comments
Let’s start with the gym …
I’m not a gym-bunny! I hate gyms!! I don’t go to the gym – did try it a couple of times, but hated it – all of it.
So when I spied through the winter trees an outdoor gym about half a mile from home, why did I suddenly feel excited? I did – truly – feel excited. I love being outdoors, it must come from my upbringing in the country in west Wales – I was outdoors from dawn till dusk – school really did get in the way! Could an outdoor gym be the answer to my need to ‘up the exercise’? Well I think maybe it could. This morning, rather tentatively, my friend and I walked up to the playing field and were delighted to find that the equipment was in the sunshine so last night’s hard frost had melted. We had huge fun for half an hour, trying out all the different pieces of equipment, chatting and laughing. Our plan is to pop along a few times a week and see what (if any) difference it makes. Even if the results aren’t noticeable, I’m sure it will be good for us. What a great idea this is – everything is free and working well.
Quilt finishes …
Summer in the Park is all finished. I quilted with generously spaced diagonal lines so the quilt drapes beautifully and added a pink rose border. This is such a fun method of patchworking and I’m teaching a workshop here at my new studio all about this style of patchwork. I’m aiming to make another couple of quilts too, as there are many variations when piecing the blocks that give very different effects.
The 2nd quilt finish is a commission and I’m calling this quilt Frosty Foxy although it will actually have the new baby’s name embroidered on it. He arrived during the early hours of an extremely cold and frosty morning, and as the family live in the countryside, the baby’s auntie who commissioned the quilt, thought it would be good to have some reference to the day of his birth. I chose cool colours with pops of orange to compliment the crisp blues.
I have a quilt kit present almost cut out to send to my blogging friend in the USA and another quilt that’s in the final stages of piecing. Patchwork is such a fun hobby – endless variations and designs to play with – and all the colours under the sun!
Have a great weekend. The weather here is glorious at the moment – hard, frosty nights but wonderfully sunny days – bright blue skies without a cloud to be seen.
13/01/2017 § 3 Comments
Gypsy Wife is proving to be a challenge …
I’ve been quite enjoying this type of patchwork that is so different from my usual style. I am loving the fun of putting different colours together and how they make these blocks work (or not). Some didn’t work out quite as planned so will be redone – I HATE redoing anything!
My favourites so far …
I’m hoping to have it pieced in a month – too much of a challenge? Well, maybe!
Breakfast each day for the last week has been colourful – starting with green, then various shades of orangey gold and yesterday pink. The blender-thing is doing its stuff and I have to admit to enjoying the orangey/pinky drinks more than the green – maybe it’s the sweeter flavour from mango, raspberries & blueberries as opposed to cucumber & kale!
In addition to colourful breakfasts, yesterday just as it was getting dark, the rain gave way to a brief spell of snow and for a very short time the brown winter garden took on that magical cloak of white. It was all too fleeting-a shower and then it froze so this morning was crisp, to say the least. The girls enjoyed a long walk in the woods yesterday, just before it started to rain …
and Flora was very cuddly in this morning’s chill – she’s such a sweet character.
I think that’s my first published ‘selfie’ – a bit of a challenge when cuddling a duck with one arm and trying to hold the camera and press the dot with the other!
I treated myself to a large jug to brighten up a corner of the lounge. I love handmade Mary Rose Young pottery and have quite a few pieces but it’s out of my budget these days, so I was pleased to find this ‘designed by MRY’ jug that is perfect – gorgeous colours …
Oh – I almost forgot – more orange – I made marmalade –
12 jars of Christmas Spiced Marmalade (which may not last than long)
and 12 jars of Dark Ginger Marmalade – my favourite!
Have a lovely weekend and stay warm.
06/01/2017 § 6 Comments
When I said that colours keep me happy, I didn’t think it would extend to breakfast!
Yesterday I treated myself to a ‘nutrition blender’ and this morning, my breakfast was green – and surprisingly quite delicious. As you may know if you’re a regular visitor here, I can’t do recipes, so I gathered together a heap of fruit and some curly kale, added some water and whizzed. The result was refreshing and as I’d added a spoonful of oatbran, satisfyingly filling too. Is it a fad? Well, maybe but I do use all of my kitchen appliances regularly and hope that this one will be a useful addition to the range.
Quilt finishes this week …
A vivacious half-square triangle quilt for my daughter. It’s certainly colourful and will keep her very warm when she returns from her travels in SE Asia. She loves bright colours too and she sent me this wonderful photo yesterday …
The 2nd finish of the week goes to a small quilt with hand-pieced hexi’s – Grandmother’s Flower Garden …
I loved spending the quiet evenings throughout the festive season, watching favourite films and hand-piecing all those hexagons together, using lots of offcuts from C’s quilt. I haven’t done patchwork like that for a very long time indeed! The result is very pretty and will be a sample piece for one of my workshops.
On Christmas day, I opened two lovely patchwork book presents that are wonderful and inspiring so, whilst in the creative groove I promptly went online and treated myself to a quilt pattern …
Not sure when I’ll fit this in though it may be a whole year-long project. It’ll definitely be a keeper!!!
How’s the first week of the New Year been for you? I’ve loved putting up my new calendars and generally having a bit of a tidy up around the place. A vase of tulips in the kitchen has paved the pathway to Spring, which I’m sure will be upon us in no time.
01/01/2017 § Leave a comment
my 2017 motto
COLOURS KEEP ME HAPPY
I like to have a thought for the year and they seem to flow from one year to the next in no particular order. Here’s why I chose this one for 2017 …
Last year was a colourful year in many ways. Apart from the joy of seeing the children find new challenges in their colourful lives and sharing their excitement, my own life at home has been gently taking shape with huge progress being made throughout the house.
At last, and with only a few weeks before the end of the year, the final room was decorated and I was able to introduce some colour …
And what a delightful addition this garden room is to our family home. It’s a studio and workroom, a warm outdoor space for escape from the house, a room for reflection and creativity…
It’s still a work in progress, but I wanted a calm space so have introduced some soft blue shades and there’s still more furniture painting to do! I spent a few days ‘camped out’ in here with the collies, whilst the lounge and bathroom were being decorated. It was fun and I was busy colouring up some painted furniture …
Did I mention the bathroom? It’s been pink, white, blue and a few other colours over the years, but never Urban Obsession…
How could I resist? Being bold in the bathroom!!!
So, colour makes me happy and I hope to introduce others to the fun they can have bringing colour into their patchwork quilts when my workshops start in the Spring.
Last year I completed 40 quilts – can hardly believe that! All of them colourful and hopefully bringing as much happiness to those who now own them, as they did to me whilst creating them.
Happy New Year
Blwyddyn Newydd Dda
30/12/2016 § 8 Comments
It’s always been a quiet week,
this week between Christmas and the dawning of a New Year.
This week has been slow and calm, gentle and relaxing. I’ve been doing lots of stitching …
rather forwardly-thinking this Summer in the Park patchwork has been on my design wall for a while – but other projects have overtaken it.
I’ve had a notion to do some soothing hand-stitching …
I’m hand-stitching all the hexi’s and then cheating a bit with a machine-stitched blanket edging to attach them to the white background squares. Why? Well, why not?!?
The evenings begin at tea-time so dog-walking, dog & duck mealtimes and my own supper time have all moved forward, allowing time for favourite-film-watching so, with feet up and a movie, these little hexi’s are flying together very nicely!
My darling daughter *C* is away travelling and last year (2015), she requested a large quilt. Well, it’s been a long time happening but I’ve finally set myself a deadline of her return in the New Year to have this colourful creation completed. Think BIG COLOURS!
The light is so dim and dreary today, but believe me, these are powerful colours and fabrics. Over 20 fabrics and here you see the strong, positive prints on the left and the quieter colours on the right.
Then they get all mixed up …
I began laying out the patches yesterday – I’m half way through making them. With this style of patchwork, you have to choose your fabrics and then trust your judgement as there’s very little you can do about what fabric lands next to another.
I LOVE IT!!
This is my kind of patchwork and I can’t wait to show you the finished quilt.
It’s almost a New Year. I’m reflecting and at the same time looking forward. My ‘motto’ for 2017 is yet to land in my space – any suggestions, I could do with some, please?
Wishing you all a Happy New Year
19/12/2016 § 2 Comments
I’ve not been over here for a while, as there’s been lots going on but I’ve just popped by to wish you all peace and goodwill over the festive season and send my best wishes for your New Year.
01/11/2016 § 1 Comment
Today is the first of November and feels SO different from yesterday. October left us in a blaze of golden sunshine, with carpets of crisp leaves underfoot and the warmth of the sun on our faces. Both yesterday and today I gently strolled around Farley Mount – the local country park – with the collies, but how different the atmosphere between those two days. Today was dank, gloomy and quite chilly in contrast to the glorious gold of yesterday.
Gentle strolls are all I can manage as I’ve had/still got a horrible ‘bug’ that is laying me quite low. I have no energy and a killer sore throat that just won’t go away. In truth, I think the past few weeks with the boys going off in opposite directions around the world and the exhausting trip to Wales has taken its toll and I probably need to rest and recuperate. I haven’t even done any sewing – for a whole week – oh dear!
So homemade chicken broth with homemade bread and stewed apples from the garden with comforting custard are on the menu with a constantly topped up mug of my mother’s special drink.
Whenever anyone felt under the weather when I was growing up, Mum would make one of her ‘special drinks’. They consisted of melted jam and honey in hot water, fresh lemon juice, cloves, matchsticks of fresh ginger and a teaspoon of cider vinegar all swirled around by a cinnamon stick. I made them for the boys (who both had this bug when they were home recently) and now I’m making them for myself. It has been known that for a dash of whisky to be added at bedtime!!
I’ve been having a bit of a jelly-fest over recent weeks, trying to use up all the apples from the garden and so I’ve been delving into jars of Rosehip Jelly, Hedgerow Jelly, Bramble Jelly and Rosemary Jelly for my drinks. Rosehip jelly is the gentlest pink colour – quite beautiful.
I’ll line up and label all my jars of preserves very soon, as hopefully it won’t long until I’m feeling more energetic again.