03/11/2017 § 2 Comments
It may be the last rose of the year and it’s a real beauty, if a rather lonely little bloom. Yesterday, in the garden, two tree surgeons came along to declutter the middle of the White Birch tree and take down the Walnut.
I planted the walnut over 25 years ago, having bought it as a tiny plant in a yoghurt pot! I’ve grown another one from one of the walnuts so will plant that up to replace the rambling, huge tree that had outgrown the space here. The garden seems so much bigger and lighter and when the morning mists clear, the sunshine is lovely and warm.
I’ve also been quilting …
Jewels is a vivid quilt that combines a pretty Liberty paisley with some stunning solid colours. I love it and will take it out to some talks that I’m giving next week.
Another Christmas Table Centre has been completed too …
Pinks and aqua blue with flashes of green and orange make this a very jolly affair. The colours are so fresh and it could be used for other festivals too.
One of my students has just finished her first sampler quilt …
I do so enjoy welcoming students to my Garden Studio and this student has a very good eye for colour choosing greens and blues and purples with a bright turquoise binding . The sampler blocks include a simple 9-patch then HST stars, on to log cabin blocks and finally stitch and flip squares. What fun!
It’s my birthday on Sunday so I’m going out for a Sunday roast with a friend and J2 who’s visiting for the weekend. I might even bake a cake – then eat it!!!
Enjoy the 5th November and all the fireworks.
Linking up with Finish it up Friday
31/10/2017 § 1 Comment
Rewind back to the Spring – see that old patio table that’s sprayed red in the bottom right corner?
It’s been sitting there all summer, with the odd pot stuck on top of it. It’s in the wrong place for a coffee cup and whilst sitting up on the top patio, over many cuppas, I’ve been making plans for it. Ta-Dah … an alpine garden …
I initially planned a stone edge but then on a visit to a builders’ merchant, I spied the bamboo edging and thought how easy it would be to wire it to the mesh table top. The soil is on top of a weed-proof membrane to allow easy drainage. It was easy – less than an hour’s work. But it needed something as a focal point …
aaaawwwwwww – I so miss Flora Puddleduck and she so loved water so when I found this little water feature I thought what a fitting memorial to Flora it would be, as well as providing my new alpine garden with a proper feature. The gentle sound of water is so relaxing and always reminds me of Flora’s splashing and bathing. She’s have loved to have ducklings, I’m sure!
I just love it – although I know it’s a bit ‘naff’!
I stained the bamboo edging with black wood preservative and I can’t wait for the alpines and sedums to cover the bare earth. Roll on next Spring! There are loads of miniature Spring bulbs already planted too.
The weather has been absolutely beautiful for the best part of a week – chilly, bright, golden Autumn days with the first overnight frost of the season just a couple of days ago. I haven’t been able to stay indoors and have undertaken a massive garden tidy up. The front gates have been stained smart black (well, the tub of wood preservative was open so I thought I’d better make use of it). And another paint pot was prized open this afternoon …
I recently acquired an unloved metal patio set and in today’s mellow sunshine, I donned gloves and an apron and set about removing all the peeling paint with a wire brush. I found half a tin of Hammerite in the shed and have finished one chair …
That’s better! All spruced up and ready for a sit down on a chilly morning with a steaming mug of hot chocolate. I just LOVE this time of year. Cosying up over long evenings, quilts and crochet blankets on the bed and layered up over the sofas, frosty breath in the mornings, golden leaves and red berries.
Do you love Autumn or are you craving hot summer sunshine already? Embrace cosy – go on, get quilting!
19/10/2017 § 1 Comment
from the Latin aureus, meaning Golden
Although I’ve been away from my blog for a while, I haven’t been idle. My studio has been humming to the sound of sewing machines (yes, another Janome Horizon has joined my teaching studio) and as well as teaching patchwork classes here at home, I’ve also been busy working on my own projects.
Aurelia is a recent finish. She’s been in my head for absolutely ages and it’s been a treat to create what was for so long an image that I longed to touch.
Oh, how I love this quilt. Almost 30 fabrics capturing the shades and delights of Autumn.
There have been days in October where the sky has been the clearest, deepest blue and I needed to hold on to those colours – leaves, berries, darkness and light and all sunset shades in between. This will be a show quilt – to take out to talks and presentations – definitely a keeper!
Here’s the White Birch that dominates our garden, on a crisp morning a few weeks ago.
and some of the sunflowers and Japanese anemones from down by the veg plot.
How I love Autumn. It’s always been my favourite season of the year. Before she arrived, I ventured for a late summer jaunt to Cornwall and was treated to a week when I could actually bask in warm sunshine. I missed the collies who stayed at home with J2, but enjoyed daily walks for miles and miles along the coastal path – a special place for us.
Back home and feeling the need to light an evening fire to keep my toes warm. I’m working on a Snowball quilt – hope that’s not tempting fate!!!
What are you working on at the moment? Is Autumn a source of inspiration for you?
I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and Finish it Up Friday.
11/09/2017 § 3 Comments
is here and I’m taking a short break from blogging – added on to the rather long one I’ve already taken.
I’ll be back soon with lots of autumn colours no doubt, as they always inspire me to stitch up quilts, make chutneys and generally engage in pre-winter activities. I promise some photos along the way.
My Autumn/Winter Workshop timetable is published so do email if you’d like to come along.
09/08/2017 § 2 Comments
I didn’t think we’d need an ark!
I can’t believe it’s almost 2 months’ since I treated myself to a jaunt to North Devon – and my beloved Lynmouth. A few treasures came home with me including the little weather house and clock. They remind me of my childhood and so many happy times spent in this picturesque village by the sea.
My grandfather used to come on holiday with us when we lived in Cardiff and he always bought me little presents like the weather house. The little lady was out in her garden all the time when I was away, and right up till the beginning of the school holidays. The little man has been out ever since!
I haven’t wound the clock since I bought it – and it ticked for 3 days – all the way home in the boot of the car. It was like driving a time-bomb!! Oh, I do love a bit of nostalgia and now that they’re hanging on the wall in my studio, I feel as though I’m about 8 years old – every day.
Wall-to-wall sunshine and a heatwave lasted throughout my mini holiday. So here are some blue skies to remind us all that it is still summer …
View from my room at The Bath Hotel – what a treat to wake up to this every morning
Glen Lyn boats in their blue livery
Lorna Doone Farm, Malmsmead – where I first sat on a horse, when I was about 18 months old
Oare Church where, in RD Blackmore’s famous romantic novel, Lorna Doone was shot on her wedding day.
I encountered a small herd of Exmoor ponies during an evening drive around the moor. Mares and foals enjoying the warmth of the summer sun on their backs on the longest day of the year.
Then a brief visit to the National Trust village of Selworthy as I wound my way home.
The waves of nostalgia that I encountered on that trip rather took me by surprise. As a family, we share a history with Lynmouth. My mother stayed in the village as a child, with her parents. When they were ‘courting’ Mum & Dad used to catch the steamer from Wales and cross the channel for day excursions then when they married, holidayed there regularly with their friends and my uncle. When I was born, we visited every year until I was almost a teenager. I took my husband to Lynmouth, before we were married and then again when our children were young. More recently, we visited in our motorhome.
This was my first ever trip on my own and the memories swept me – almost off my feet. But not in a bad way – Lynmouth will always be dear to me and I felt peaceful and happy as I wandered around the village and caught the familiar cliff railway up to Lynton. I always thought that I’d live there, but increasingly over recent years, I feel rooted in Winchester and my home is here. Coming home was good – though the weather took a turn and hasn’t turned back – yet!
Tomorrow promises sunshine – let’s keep everything crossed, shall we? I have a quilt to finish and I rather fancy sitting out in the sunshine and doing some gentle stitching.
Enjoy the summer – and your holidays
26/07/2017 § 2 Comments
This is proper ‘Forward Planning’!
I’ve been designing kits and creating samples for my Autumn/Winter Workshops and there’s a decidedly festive theme here in the Garden Studio …
There are Christmas Stocking & Placemat kits with wonderful Lewis and Irene fabrics, each kit supported by an online tutorial here.
The Christmas Star table runner and Table Centre are samples for workshops that will be held in my studio. I’ll be publishing the Autumn/Winter Workshop timetable in late August so do keep a watch on my website. I may also be teaching at other venues in Hampshire as well as my own Studio. Exciting times!
If you’re in Hampshire then do try to come along to Trout’n About in Stockbridge on Sunday 6 August. It’s the annual festival that takes place all along Stockbridge’s wide High Street and it’s always an absolute feast for all things foodie as well as arty.
If you’d like to put your name down for an early listing of workshops then please email me: email@example.com
Enjoy the school holidays …
11/07/2017 § 5 Comments
It’s time to gather in the winter wheat.
Early last Sunday, the most perfect summer’s morning you might imagine, I set off while the air was still cool with faithful Belle at my heels. We took our usual route down around the corner then up the hill, across the road and onto farmland where the farmer has been taking advantage of the heatwave to gather in the first of his wheat harvest.
It was so still and already, as the sun rose higher by the minute into the clear blue sky, it was hot. Belle and I had a good walk, met some other dogs including a whippet who Belle chased at high speed, but couldn’t catch! Then home again, already puffing slightly in the heat, on the final stretch up the steep hill to home.
I couldn’t stay inside. Such a perfect day wasn’t to be missed so I gathered an armful of quilts and my camera but this time drove back up to the farm. Five large quilts are quite heavy so I had 2 bags, one over my shoulder and the other with handles to carry – I must have looked rather eccentric. But it was so worth it. Those straw bales were crying out for some quilt therapy …
Quilts named Gypsy, Happy Weekend, If Wishes were Horses, Down by the River and Summer in the Park all had an outing on what was definitely a morning to remember!
Hope you had a great weekend. I can’t believe how fast this year is speeding by. Sunday’s full moon was the Buck Moon and I have a little deer or two to show you next time – and I haven’t forgotten I promised you boats too – there’s some catching up to do over here!
Linking up with Finish it up Friday