23/06/2018 § Leave a comment
It’s been a while and I’ve been busy – not too busy, just busy. The collies and I went to Cornwall for a week at the beginning of June and had fun. Misty is an old lady these days so we had very gentle walks around the harbour – not bad for a collie who, in human terms is almost 100 years old.
I had to invest in a towel (pink of course), for The Princess – Belle. She looked quite sorry for herself after swimming out to fetch her ball from the harbour slipway. She actually attracted a round of applause from holidaymakers on the quayside as she took several attempts!
On my long journey to the Lizard, I couldn’t resist following the signs for a Quilt Show. After finding a suitable shady spot for the collies, I went in to see the amazing show put on my Kernow Quilters. There were SO many beautiful quilts – it was inspirational.
Apart from my wonderful week away, enjoying the harbourside and the company of my friend who lives in Porthleven and is a fellow quilter, life has been trickling along and that’s just the way I like it! My garden has exploded with colour and my grandfather’s lily that I wrote about some years ago, is having a magnificent summer.
I’ll be back soon – enjoy the summer sunshine and do pop over to see my students’ work in the Adaliza’s Students’ Hall of Fame board on Pinterest.
18/03/2018 § 3 Comments
I awoke early this morning and before I left the warmth of my blanketed, quilted nest, I pondered, from the outside light through the curtains, whether it had snowed during the night. You know that sort of white light that glows when it’s snowed and the silence – yes, it had snowed!
Oh my goodness – what a surprise to see so many inches of the white stuff and amazing to see the cherry tree, where the blossom had burst from buds just a day ago, covered with a liberal sprinkling of snow. That’s a first.
The view out over the garden, from my upstairs studio – and talking of studios …
how cosy does that look?
The studio where I teach my workshops looks like the prettiest place to sew, this morning!
and my favourite view of my home – from the bottom of the garden,
beyond the apple trees.
I remember on the day we moved in, when I was 7 months into expecting our 3rd baby, my darling and I stood here looking up at the house and couldn’t believe it was ours. The house is much larger now, he’s not here in body though I like to think he’s never far away, the children are adults and our home has been shared by 3 dogs and a duck over the years. And mornings like today’s are special and to be remembered, with the mistletoe growing in the apple tree and spring blossom and bulbs beneath a blanket of magical snow.
Stay warm – blankety, quilty nests are to be recommended for days like today!
09/03/2018 § 3 Comments
“Quilted clocks – now there’s an idea!”
I had this idea a while ago and then, a couple of weeks ago I decided to have a go at making them. It was time to try something new.
So, here are Spring Time (blue and white versions), and High Tide!
They’re tissue wrapped and boxed up all ready for tomorrow’s Makers’ Market in Alton – the first of the year and I’m hoping that it won’t rain all day, as it has done here today.
Just think – a week ago, it was like this …
and tomorrow they’re saying it might reach 14 degrees – what a change in the weather. Whilst last week’s snow was still with us, I did finish one other pretty little quilt – Squirrel Nutkin …
Now, it’s time to finish a few more cushions ready for tomorrow and make herby dumplings to go with the chicken casserole for supper this evening.
Have a wonderful weekend.
linking up with Finish it up Friday
16/02/2018 § 5 Comments
Sunshine heralded a day for jaunting yesterday, so I took myself off and headed north. My destination was Welford Park, famous for snowdrops and most recently the venue for The Great British Bake Off . The lower lawn clearly showed the outline of the marquee in the grass and I just had to saunter down those steps!
The car park was already into its 2nd field when I arrived but despite the huge number of visitors, it didn’t feel at all crowded. It had rained all the previous day so I changed into my wellies, which were the perfect footwear, before trudging off where I was gently eased into the wonders of snowdrops …
I headed towards the woods, walking alongside the river and over a bridge then following a rustic path leading around the most magnificent carpet of snowdrops I’ve ever seen …
Unbelievable, awesome, stunning – words just don’t capture the magic of these tiny blooms when they grow in their millions …
I loved the sculptures too …
I’m not sure why the giraffe sculptures are significant – a family group of 4 marks the entrance to the house but they seem very happy and appear to be munching on the overhanging branches and looking over the garden wall. I just loved the snowdrop sculptures by the garden gate – there were 2 and they were so beautiful …
I looked up as I entered the walled garden entrance to see a booted let with a spur and it made me smile to remember how it came to be significant …
“The booted spur is the crest of the Eyre family. The origin of the crest is that an ancestor whilst fighting in battle lost his sword. Needing something to defend himself he grabbed the nearest weapon that he could find that turned out to be the severed and booted leg of a dead colleague. With this he successfully defended himself and lived to tell the tale.”
Ha ha – that’s a good story and I expect he dined out on it for the rest of his days!
What would your crest be?
The Rose Garden and Church were also beautiful set against that stunning winter sky.
Back at home, my own little snowdrops continue to delight …
the collies, appear to be reluctant to awake from their winter hibernation …
I tucked Misty up with her baby badger earlier in the week as she’d strained her shoulder whilst acting like a silly pup and forgetting she’s in her 14th year. I’m pleased to say that she’s almost fully recovered after a couple of days ‘basket rest’, tucked up by my feet as I’ve crocheted a small lap blanket to keep me warm in the evenings!
V-stitch crochet is the perfect way to use up scraps and hook up a useful little blanket. I used the left-overs from Vintage Rose which is still having its border hooked – photos next week hopefully!
I sent a larger Corner to Corner crochet blanket off to Dad, to keep his legs warm when he has a snooze by the fire, but forgot to take photos before I headed off to the Post Office, in a rush as always!
Have a lovely weekend and hope you find some snowdrops and sunshine.
Linking up with Finish it up Friday
19/01/2018 § 2 Comments
Upping the tempo as the New Year progresses has been a joy, with workshops underway and markets too. I had a stall in Winchester’s historic High Street, a couple of weeks ago and I’ll be there again on Sunday – despite a dreadful weather forecast!
Here’s a round up of my week …
a dusting of pollen on the mantlepiece, from the first hazel catkins, gathered whilst walking the collies up at the farm, and bunch of daffodils from the fantastic independent greengrocer in Romsey. I’m trying to shop more in smaller, specialist shops and local makers & bakers market stalls.
I’ve finished a quilt top in grey/white/pink shades and also added pockets to a few quilts, to convert them into ‘quillows’ which seem to be very popular …
and in other news …
Oooohhhhh – yes! A new crochet blanket is underway. I couldn’t wait to start it but made myself finish Strawberry Moon II and put an edging on my original Strawberry Moon blankets before beginning another project. I have no idea what size this one will end up. I bought the mellow, mushroom-coloured yarn from an internet auction and decided that it would be the basis for this blanket. Every square has a double border in this colour, and there will be a wide edging too. The inner circles are Debbie Bliss cashmerino aran and I only bought 7 of them – I’ll see how far they go. It’s going to be called Vintage Rose, as the colours are all gentle and soft and I want it to look as though it was made years ago.
I’m a bit obsessed with crochet circles ending up as squares. Same idea as for Gypsy Rose, who’s fame has spread worldwide though this time there are fewer colours in each block. I’m using the ‘join-as-you-go’ method as I hate sewing all the squares together at the end, but I’m being very strict about darning in all the ends every evening.
My method, is to hook up a few circles of 4 rounds each evening then, the following evening before I pick up my hook, I darn in those ends. I’m eager to hook up more circles so that’s my motivation and I end the evening by joining the finished circles to the blanket before I go to bed. I end up being able to see my progress as the blanket grows, and know that I only have about 12 ends to darn in the following day before I start to crochet again. Sweet yarny dreams follow, as I snuggle beneath my beloved Strawberry Moon and Carnival blankets, both of which have made it onto the bed during these cold months! We don’t ‘do’ duvets in this house – quilts and crochet blankets, layered up are amazingly warm and weighty.
I have been out into the garden, to find the earliest blooms – some so shy that only the scent guides me to their hiding places …
Sweetly scented wallflowers, snowdrops and primroses by the pond and there’s a wonderful white winter honeysuckle too that smells divine – soon the first bumble bees will be searching out those blooms.
Have a lovely weekend – whatever the weather!
Linking up with Finish it up Friday
08/01/2018 § 2 Comments
I did manage to stay up to see in the New Year – mainly to keep the collies company when the neighbours’ fireworks lit up the night sky. It was quite a display! Misty, these days is an old lady of 13 and was blissfully unaware of any of the bangers as she’s quite deaf. She used to have a bit of a bark at fireworks but in her quiet world it’s always peaceful, and she actually seems much happier and less anxious as a result.
Belle is now the main lookout and thinks she’s taken over as Chief of Defence, but she’s not as defensive as Misty used to be and instead of barking at the doorbell, comes running to tell me that I need to do something. It’s very amusing – she’s an intelligent and sensitive companion who reads me like a book though I have caught her napping on duty a couple of times recently …
Belle’s favourite ‘perch’ is on the back of the old sofa by the front window – it’s covered in throws and cushions and she just loves it up there.
Misty, meanwhile, gazes at me asking “What’s going on?”
The rug is new – a sale buy in Laura Ashley as was this …
an ex-display bargain and Belle WILL NOT be allowed on it. I have to collect it next month when they rearrange their showroom and I can’t wait. Maybe I should do some dog-training in the meantime!
My motto this year was an easy one to decide upon. Last Autumn I stopped off at the Tavistock Pannier Market on my way to Cornwall. As always, the talented Emma West’s stall drew me and I bought a porcelain tile – it really did sum up how I feel about life these days and I’ve decided to adopt it as my motto for this year …
I love the combination of textured linen, the stitched sentiment and the cool crisp porcelain – I keep it on my kitchen dresser.
In an attempt to be kinder to my insides as well, I often start the day with a smoothie. This morning’s consisted of a banana, a pear, persimmon, a good inch of ginger root, beetroot and orange juice and a generous handful of oatmeal for extra fibre …
One of these fills me up as a breakfast for much longer than toast or boxed cereals. If I’m going out then I usually have porridge with fruit on top which keeps me fuelled for even longer,
I saw in the New Year having (with minutes to go) finished a 2nd corner to corner blanket – it’s Strawberry Moon II made with the same Sirdar Aura that my original Strawberry Moon was made with in Cornwall last year. I’ve since added a simple border to each blanket. The 2nd one is a present but I won’t say for whom just yet, though I suspect she can guess!
For SMII I used just the pink and dark red colourway whereas in mine I added a blue colourway too – to remind me of the Cornish sea. I’ve had a daily fix of my beloved Porthleven thanks to a webcam that’s been installed at a local holiday cottage company. It’s here if you fancy seeing what the tide’s doing. I was pleased to see that the snowman with paddle arms survived our recent Storm Eleanor.
I’m off out for a jaunt now. Next week I hope to bring you photos of the garden and some snowdrops and catkins – I can’t believe how nature springs back into action after a winter’s snooze – maybe we should all follow her lead, whilst being kind to ourselves!
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!
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.