26/07/2017 § Leave a comment
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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
18/06/2017 § 2 Comments
Broad Street, Alresford
Today, on the hottest day of the year so far in Alresford – a pretty market town just a few miles from Winchester – many residents of the aptly named Broad Street opened their garden gates and WOW was it a surprise just what hides behind those elegant facades.
It was extraordinary and a wonderful way to spend Sunday afternoon. Many gardens are incredibly long with different ‘rooms’ to meander through. Towards the lower end of the street, the gardens back onto the river and 12th century bridge. There are courtyards and terraces, summerhouses and thatched outhouses. So much to see and then of course, there are the plants and flowers – so beautiful and so many different styles of planting.
In one back garden, there was a covered walkway between the house and annexe with a chain downpipe linked up to a water feature. I definitely want one of those next time I build a summerhouse!
I have enjoyed the afternoon though it was mighty HOT. During the week I spent an evening at Mottisfont in the world famous walled rose gardens. More pictures next time. Hampshire is a wonderful county, with so much to see and enjoy. I’m jaunting west next week so expect some more photos with boats!
PS :: Thank you Clare for reminding me about the cake – how could I forget? Yes, there were lots of cake stalls and plant stalls as well as a duck race at a local very large house, though that wasn’t officially part of the Open Gardens. My friend and I had 2 slices of Victoria Sponge, both were outstanding. We fairly waddled around those gardens after that!
09/06/2017 § 1 Comment
June’s full moon is called the Strawberry Moon. I’ve been out, down to the headland overlooking Mounts Bay here in Cornwall tonight, but there’s thick cloud and a bit of drizzle in the air so it seems the full moon is shy tonight.
I’ve named my new crochet blanket Strawberry Moon as the colours are like crushed strawberries and cream (clotted of course), with blues and soft misty greys, warm reds and soft pinks.
Earlier on this evening before the drizzle set in, I took Strawberry Moon for a short walk from the seaside cottage where she’s been hooked up this week, to the harbour for some photos. She attracted quite a bit of attention! I used Sirdar Aura in shades 130, 131 and 132 where the soft colours blend and flow through the yarn like the ebb and flow of the waves under a summer sunset. A 6.5 hook and corner to corner crochet meant the first rows grew fast then as I reached just over 1.8m on the 2 sides, progress was slower but just as relaxing and enjoyable.
I’ve loved making this blanket that will forever remind me of my June holiday in Porthleven, when the Strawberry Moon hid behind the clouds but my memories kept me warm!
08/06/2017 § Leave a comment
beside the sea!
I’ve been in Cornwall this week and it’s been wonderfully relaxing. The weather has been through every scenario – hot sunshine, humid & thundery, driving rain, gales, flat calm – typical English seaside weather and I’ve loved every minute.
Whilst clicking away on my little pocket Canon camera, I’ve also discovered some new settings – as you can probably see! I love the 4th one with those warm heathery hues.
I’ve unusually left the collies back at home with J2 and am without a sewing machine! I haven’t even bought any fabric this time BUT – come on, you knew there’d be a BUT …
I bought some yarn in Truro on my way through last Saturday and I’ve been back 3 times to stock up as I’ve been crocheting a blanket – there’ll be photos of it by the sea tomorrow.
How’s your week been?
07/06/2017 § Leave a comment
15/05/2017 § 3 Comments
I’ve had a flurry of cushion-making! Two of my sewing machines have been threaded up and put to good use, as they have very different skills. My huge Janome Horizon has a beautiful blanket stitch (in fact it has about 6 blanket stitches), but my favourite is just plain old blanket stitch which I can adapt for stitch widths and spacing. I’ve used it for applique work on cushions, with great results. This is the machine that I use every day for stitching and quilting and it has a phenomenal range of stitches, most of which I’ve never used!
I recently purchased a retro Bernina 807 that I’ve long coveted for its ability to do freehand embroidery. I took advice from 2 sewing machine engineers and they both recommended the same machine. The mechanics of this machine mean that it stitches in every different direction and churns through freehand. I used a whole host of coloured threads to add embroidery to the stunning Japanese print with budgerigars and cockatoos. Love it!
I was looking for inspiration for patchwork cushions and did a Google search for images. The photo that caught my eye was one of my own! I made this trio of cushions way back – probably 5 years ago!
I just love working with reds and warm colours. Simple square shapes using checks and patterns bring a homespun simplicity to my most recent one …
This week I’m going to be busy putting the finishing touches to my stock so I’ll be ready for the annual Watercress Festival that takes place in the pretty little town of Alresford in Hampshire at the weekend. It’s a huge event that has grown in popularity and size over the years.
If you’re able to visit on Sunday 21st then do come and say Hello – I’ll be in Station Road. And if you could keep everything crossed for fine weather then I’d be really grateful!
Have a good week.