03/11/2020 § 5 Comments
Cartref is Welsh for home – and I’ve come home!
So much has happened and I’ve dealt with the stuff life throws at me in my usual way – head down, make a list, tick stuff off, organise everything – and everyone. I can’t share everything that’s happened – that would mean I’d be writing a book, but in a nutshell my old Dad is approaching his 95th birthday and now lives in a nursing home following a fall in May 2019. It’s been a long haul. Our home in Wales, had been neglected over the years – it was a huge decision but it took me only a matter of minutes to make it – to refurbish the cottage from top to bottom!
It’s taken 15 months and so much work by a fantastic local team of craftsmen – they’ve been absolutely brilliant even though I was over 200 miles away for most of the time. Now it’s warm and cosy, brimming with memories and the chance to make new ones … !
You may have noticed that I have company – there’s a new addition to our family …
So, I feel as though Country Roads have brought me home, after a long, long time away. It’s been unsettling and I can’t explain it, but sometimes we just have to follow our instinct and see what happens!
08/04/2020 § Leave a comment
I’m so pleased to have completed my Cloud Farm Quilt. It’s a serene and calming colour scheme and although the first photo makes it look very creamy in amongst those soft blues, you can see in the above photo that the focus fabric is a beautiful Lewis & Irene print, from their Chieveley range. I chose a grey & gold backing fabric with bluebirds that echo the blues of the patchwork. Job done – finito!!!
There’s a tutorial here, showing the method.
A while ago, in fact it was probably last spring, a bolt of fabric featuring Grove panels from Makower, was delivered here to the studio and I was SO excited. My students were fairly ravenous in their devouring of the panels, but not before I saved a couple of sets for myself. I decided to make a Countryside Quilt that will eventually end up in a country cottage in Wales – hopefully – when I can once again make the long trek west!
I took the patchwork top out to a WI talk last Autumn, then bought the backing fabric whilst on a jaunt to Cornwall – both these precious pieces were safely stashed away – in different places! I kept finding the backing fabric and putting it somewhere even safer, then finding the patchwork top but forgetting where I’d put the backing – life is a bit of a muddle here in Adalizaland sometimes. Anyway, at the beginning of 2020, everything came together and the Countryside Quilt was eventually completed.
The panels are absolutely charming and remind me somewhat of Angie Lewin prints, that I so love. I’ve just realised that the main sashing fabric is the same L&I Chieveley print from the Cloud Farm Quilt – it’s obviously one of my favourites although I hadn’t made the connection until uploading these photos! I also have a border fabric from the same range, but am not sure quite how to put it to best use – let me know if you’ve any good ideas.
One more quilt to show you today – Happy Days – it’s just been pinned into a quilt sandwich and is all ready to be quilted. There’s a short tutorial for my method here.
Happy Days …
This quilt is 6 x 6 blocks so there are a few squares over (which I cut out incorrectly), from the 42 x 10″ squares. It’s a wallop of colour and maybe just what’s needed to brighten up these strange and worrying times.
Right … back to my quilting!
30/03/2020 § 1 Comment
Today I started a new quilt.
Cloud Farm is all pieced together, with borders added and is just waiting for me to make a quilt sandwich and decide upon a quilting pattern but today I felt like doing something new and I was drawn to my stock of Layer Cakes (10″ squares).
Lewis & Irene used to do beautiful Scrumptious Squares packs (same as a Layer Cake 42 x 10″ squares). Unfortunately they’re not doing them any more but I have quite a lot of them waiting to be made into quilt kits and today – a quilt …
I love these retro designs and the colours are awesome – this one is called Hanns House.
Cutting 2.25″ from each edge and then swapping them around between 2 squares was pretty but I got a bit bored (after 2 blocks), and decided to add in different corners. I can’t wait to see the effect of this when I start piecing the blocks together.
I’ve made 12 blocks, at a very leisurely pace today and aim to make a 6 x 7 block quilt although I’ll have to mix in a few other fabrics as I cut a couple of blocks out incorrectly – silly me! Never mind, though I did grumble under my breath a bit.
A parcel arrived on my doorstep this morning – a brown paper-wrapped parcel containing 3 American jigsaw puzzles and WOW are they pretty. I’ve long collected calendars and the odd print from Jane Wooster Scott – her folk art country scenes are just delightful. I simply couldn’t resist Patchwork Sampler Jigsaw when I found it on ebay from a British seller (US postage is prohibitively expensive) …
Now I have to make a HUGE decision – patchwork, this jigsaw or one of the other 2 jigsaws (equally charming, but this is my favourite). Maybe I’ll save this one up for a while and enjoy just gazing at the picture on the box – a bit like that last spoonful of crumble and custard that you keep until the final mouthful!!!
Did I ever show you my Vintage Farm Girl quilt? I stitched this up in a storm last summer and now can’t quite believe that I made it …
Quite possibly my favourite make of all time and now bringing me much joy as it hangs on the wall in my
28/03/2020 § 3 Comments
since I ventured into my little blog.
A lot has happened but we’ve emerged the other side and into the abyss!
I’m not going to do a long catch up post because life goes on and we plough through. As my mother used to say “It’s a lot better than the alternative!” So, in the spirit of staying positive, I thought I’d put out some photos of quilts that I’ve been working on, starting with the most recent – soon to be quilted – Cloud Farm …
Why Cloud Farm?
Well, I’ve rediscovered my love of jigsaws … I sense your confusion,
but there is a connection …
Recently, when we used to go out and about and meet people, I gave a WI talk and was thrilled to find, on their Bring and Buy table, a jigsaw of Lynmouth. Now, I spent every summer holiday there as a child – it was like my 2nd home and I love the village to this day. I last visited in 2016 and hope to again stroll down Mars Hill and through the little High Street to the Post Office. The jigsaw captures the 1960’s perfectly – in fact, I can just imagine being there as a 5 year old, with my Dad helping out on the boats and being treated to an ice cream on the quay.
Jigsaws are pure therapy. They’re a mind-absorbing challenge where music can play in the background and the journey can’t be hurried. As I delighted in finding piece after piece to fit snugly together, my mind wandered back to childhood days and haunts around the Doone Valley, Brendon Farm and Oare Church. I recalled sitting in the back of our little blue VW Beetle, driven by Dad, and seeing the sign for Cloud Farm. Who wouldn’t love to live on a farm called Cloud Farm!
So, there’s the connection. I was planning a quiet, peaceful, tranquil quilt and yesterday, when I’d finished piecing the rows together, I stepped out into bright sunshine with just one distant cloud and the name came to me. This quilt, when it’s finished, will be one of the many reminders of this strange time that we’re living through and a perfect day, happy childhood memories and will be named Cloud Farm.
Hope you’re finding absorbing, creative pastimes to occupy you and reliving happy memories and making plans for future jaunts, when the time is right.
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.
25/02/2018 § Leave a comment
and another NGS garden visit, to Little Court in the village of Crawley.
The village is just a few miles from Winchester and has an abundance of immaculately kept, chocolate-box, thatched cottages and even has a duck pond with little duck houses for their nests. I remember we once viewed a very pretty cottage when *C* was a baby but I’m pleased we moved to our present home instead which, although not chocolate-box, nor thatched, is in such a convenient location and walking distance to Winchester.
Little Court itself is a beautiful red brick house set within its traditional 3 acre English country garden that features an orchard – today, carpeted with crocus. There are so many secret seats and gateways and the garden leads up to a meadow with stunning views – especially on a day like today! You can read about the house’s features and why it is Grade II listed here. Teas were served in the Village Hall and the Victoria Sponge was excellent!
Hellebores are my current obsession and there were many varieties in full bloom today. I have quite a few that I’ve acquired over recent weeks – I’m just waiting for the ground to thaw before planting them – it’s rock hard frozen at the moment.
Apparently, there’s heavy snow in the forecast for the coming week. Winchester, set almost due centre of the south of England, frequently misses bad weather. Storms blowing in from the south-west pass to our west and then head off up country; easterlies catch the middle of the UK and often miss us – am I tempting fate? Maybe!
Wherever you are, stay warm – it’s definitely weather for snuggly quilts and crochet blankets!
24/02/2018 § 2 Comments
Let’s start with some sleeping foxies. They’re all curled up on a chilly night (of which there have been many over the past week), with their noses tucked into their tails. Ears though are alert, listening for the sound of anyone approaching their secret den. Snuggle up foxies …
I picked up a sample of Tula Pink fabrics that formed the starting point for this quilt and then set about teaming them up with others to create this vibrant pink, purple & mustard quilt with just a touch of cool aqua. The colours are much prettier than in the photos. Winter quilt photos are such a challenge!
On a day trip to Bath yesterday, I actually discovered another fabric shop – yes, I know – how could I have missed Mark Pickles Sewing Studio? One of my students told me about the shop and it’s a treasure trove of beautiful fabrics, many from my favourite designers Lewis & Irene. As you might guess, I came away with a few metres of this and that – well, it would have been rude not to!
Bath was very beautiful in yesterday’s chilly sunshine. The easterly wind was bitter but the magic of this, one of my favourite, cities couldn’t subdue my delight at spending a few hours there …
Aaahhh – I must visit again soon.
This afternoon, I’m going to stitch around another quilt whilst watching Wales playing rugby in Dublin. There’s a beef casserole in the oven, to which herby dumplings will be added later on – just what’s needed to keep out the cold.
Wrap up warm and enjoy the weekend.
linking up with Finish it up Friday