26/02/2019 § Leave a comment
Popping by to share some sunshine!
I don’t think it’s ever been warm enough in February, for me to sit outside in the sunshine, whilst stitching around the binding of a quilt, but yesterday …
It looks so strange to have bare branches overhead rather than the full canopy of greenery, but it was seriously warm. Shortly after one of the boys snapped this photo, I discarded my slippers and socks and even rolled up my leggins to take full advantage of the warmth – absolute bliss. It’s one of my all time favourite things to do – sit in the sunshine and stitch around a quilt – simple pleasures!!!
The quilt I’m stitching around is my 4th finish this year with a few other patchwork tops in progress. This one is for a little girl with a wonderful Welsh name – Cadi Fflur – meaning Pure Flower and she’s arrived in this world just as the flowers burst forth from their winter’s sleep.
Her quilt is from the new Makower range – Ellie – with lots of Spring flowers, little hearts and Ellie the Elephant with her trunk uplifted for good luck!
Another new little chap also received a quilt and matching cushion back in January …
This is a real Down on the Farm quilt with red barns, horses grazing in the pasture, big trucks and tractors.
Today has dawned bright and clear, without a cloud in the sky. There’ll be no outdoor stitching for me today though as I have a workshop to teach and zipped purses will be on the menu – hot off the sewing machines!
Happy days …
25/01/2019 § Leave a comment
from my blog.
It’s been busy here – for many months. Workshops and fairs, the pop up shop, a dose of flu then Christmas, a bit of a break and a new year filled with family, wonderful friends and amazing fabrics!
Blogging has taken a back seat for a while and I think that it may well do so for a bit longer. It’s all good – today I’m teaching Indian Block Printing & Freehand Embroidery, there’s marmalade oranges doing their thing on the hob, a collie at my feet as I write this (with another one snoring loudly in front of the fire), and a studio filled with fabrics just waiting for me to have a spare hour to finish a new quilt.
New quilts – in various stages of completion: a Farmer’s Wife quilt with designs from the 1930’s; Just Lola – a quilt made from just one of the Farmer’s Wife blocks; and a number of exciting quilt commissions.
Wishing you all happy times and a life full of fabric …
See you in a couple of months, when Spring is in full swing!
20/12/2018 § Leave a comment
12/12/2018 § Leave a comment
The tree is up and adorned with all my favourite decorations – at least the ones that I could easily reach from the loft. In the evenings, when the fire is alight, it’s such a cosy room with quilts over the sofas and my ever growing collection of Winter-themed cushions. I just love vintage style Winter cushions – reindeer, red tractors and snowscenes – can’t get enough of them and they’re all lined up on the sofa! TKMaxx always has a good stock of them and it’s one of my favourite early-December trips – to choose a new Winter cushion.
The little Russian pottery horse decorations remind me of happy times in Bath many years ago when there was an exquisite Russian Shop – I’m so glad I collected the little horses. The felted fairy is by Yasmin who is a regular trader at the Alton Craft Market. I can’t find her Etsy shop at the moment, but will add a link when I do.
My little Snow People have a new handmade coastal village to live in and it reminds me of Porthleven last Spring when the snow came – a very unusual event! How I wish I’d been there to see that. I can’t believe it’ll be almost 6 months until I stay there again but I am able to keep up with the state of the tide by daily visits to the Porthleven Webcam.
You can visit lots of local webcams on the same site and this weekend will be switch on of the Christmas Lights at Mousehole – a famous tradition and then they will be dimmed on 19 December between 8 – 9 pm.
Photo on BBC website – by Charlotte Threadgold
I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and good luck in the New Year.
12/11/2018 § 2 Comments
I’ve always wanted a little shop …
and now I’m going to have one – just for 2 days – do come along!
The little shop is in The Brooks (between Primark & TKMaxx – opposite Poundland) and it will be FULL of fabrics, bundles, fat quarters and quilt kits – it’s going to be SO much fun!
The famous Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market will also be in full swing so there’ll be SO much to do in the City and so many sights to see – can’t wait!
02/11/2018 § 4 Comments
I’m behind with blogging, but just about keeping up with the pace of life – it’s good to be busy – right? I’ve always hated those ’round robin’ year end, long rambling notes that people put in with their Christmas cards so I’m not going to bore you with what happened when, but here are a few wonderful moments from our amazing summer and autumn …
in no particular order (as the Strictly saying goes) …
Summer Tea Party for my students – bring a quilt.
We had our very own mini Festival of Quilts!
Hampshire Open Studio – August 2018
J2, J1 and *C* – all 3 of them together – a very rare occurrence!!
Students with their workshops makes, new kits and holiday makes
It’s been busy, peaceful, amazing, sunny, satisfying, fulfilling, funny, flowery and now it’s getting cosy, snuggly, chilly and at times quite exciting. It’s my birthday on Bonfire Night and it’s one of those with a ‘0’ at the end – fortunately, in my head I’m still about 25 – long may that last!
Have a great firework night, if you’re here in the UK and I hope to be back before too long.
01/07/2018 § 6 Comments
Trefin is a village on the north coast of Pembrokeshire. My great-grandfather James Price, stonemason, lived there with his wife Rachel and raised his family there. My grandfather, William Price was his eldest son and at the time of James’ death, aged just 42, Will was working as his apprentice.
I’ve grown up always knowing that ‘my great-grandfather built the slate gateposts for Capel Trefin’. Whenever we visited Pembrokeshire we would stop and ‘touch the gateposts’. Over the years, the Chapel began to fall into disrepair but a few years ago, on a trip with my father, we saw a sign saying the Chapel was open to the public.
It is now a heritage centre for the village of Trefin and the doors are often open to allow everyone some peace and tranquility and to glimpse this imposing building’s glory. The outer shell has undergone extensive work and inside, the lime plaster and restoration has breathed new life into the once very tired building. As I walked around, I had an idea to make a quilt for the Chapel and approached the owner. As we chatted via email, he mentioned the frame behind the pulpit and my mind began whirring with ideas for a textile collage, instead of a quilt.
The plaster frame is long – over 1.5m and narrow – about 0.5m. That’s a difficult shape to work with but almost immediately I could imagine what I wanted to do. The owner and I agreed a target date by which the panel should be on display and this gave me many months, though in truth I like a deadline so I can focus over a shorter period. I always have a deadline, and then a few weeks before that, my own date for completion. I met both, with some serious stitching on my little Janome 525S. As regular readers will know I have 2 big Janome Horizon machines that I (and my students) absolutely love but they don’t like doing freehand, however, the little 525 took on the job and stitched along very merrily – literally millions of stitches.
Fibre art, or textile collage is my new favourite sewing pastime. For a panel of this size, it takes a lot of planning – and a lot of scraps. The process is complicated –
- To begin, I drew the shape and then simply ‘colour-blocked’ it with scrap fabric.
- The next stage took longer – every section was covered with minute scraps and then covered with a soluble film and stitched – tiny, tiny freehand stitching on machine (photo 1 above). It looked like a misty, washed-out mess. Then it was soaked in the bath to remove the soluble film and to tell the truth, it then looked even worse!
- As I started to add the details, the buildings and landscape took shape, building the gateposts in exactly the same pattern as my great-grandfather (I’d taken lots of photos), even adding in a few mossy bits where they grow. This part of the project was both satisfying and painstaking.
- I wanted the door of the Capel to be open, and the gate too. I needed to add colour and some words from the famous poem Melin Trefin, written about the old ruined mill, where the millstone still sits. Sharon Larkin Jones, who describes herself as ‘passionate about Wales, its language, literature and history’ has written a wonderful post about the Welsh poem, with translation and photographs.
There are some very personal details – the slate bench above the beach where Dad and I have enjoyed many a sit down and the stunning view out to sea, the village pump where Dad as a little boy would fetch water for his family who lived in the house by the pump. The family house in the top left of the collage, is speckled with tiny yellow crocus flowers. James and Rachel’s headstone in a nearby cemetery is an imposing red marble memorial, carved with crocus flowers. I wonder whether that’s because he passed away in February 1906 when the flowers are in bloom.
My father, who spent all his school holidays in Trefin with his family, tells the story that as a tiny baby his mother made up a cot from a large chest drawer, in which he slept in the upstairs room on the left. His aunt kept the village Post Office from the front room of the house, with her sister keeping a small-holding on the fields behind. There are lots more family stories and we hope to record Dad retelling them on our next visit.
I hope the locals and visitors like the panel. Although it now lives in Capel Trefin, I couldn’t quite bear to just hand it over, so it’s on permanent loan to the heritage centre. If you’re visiting Pembrokeshire, in west Wales, do pop in and see it.