Blue Sky Sunday

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!

Adaliza

Foxy Quilt & a day trip …

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.

Adaliza

linking up with Finish it up Friday

Winter gardens …

18/02/2018 § 1 Comment

Spurred on by my visit to Welford House earlier in the week, today I sauntered off to visit two local gardens, opened under the National Garden Scheme.

I had no idea this movement began in 1927 inviting garden owners to open their exceptional gardens to the public for good causes, giving people unique access to some of Britain’s most beautiful, memorable gardens.  They’ve raised over £50 million to help charities.  The bright yellow notices have sprung up this weekend, rather like early daffodils and today’s gardens were a treat.

First, it was Brandy Mount House in Alresford …

bmh4

Described as ‘an informal plantsman’s garden’ I loved the beautiful Spring bulbs and lovingly planted borders and alpine gardens.  Whilst enjoying a sit down with a cuppa and a slice of excellent homemade cake (as you do), the scent of daphnes wafted through the air.

 

aaahhhhh – a hint of sunshine, pretty bulbs, stepping stone paths, alpine sink gardens and cake – a perfect start to a Sunday afternoon!  I came away with a Magnolia Donna – I’ve never had a magnolia but I felt like a treat and back at home, having found some internet photos, I’m really looking forward to some beautiful flowers in a couple of months’ time.

Next it was off to Bramdean House.  I’ve visited before, for the summer fete and it’s been fun to look back to that post and compare the photos, especially the borders that today were brown, with just a few valliant perennials sprouting up.

The 18th century Bramdean House and its 5 acre garden are beautiful.  It has a somewhat faded glory and I can only imagine carriages drawing up to the front entrance, through the grand gateways that are now closed as the busy traffic rushes past.  The house is protected from the road by billowing yew hedges, many yards wide.

 

Walking up from the old stable yard, the lawns with their mirror image borders, lead you through the immaculate walled vegetable garden to the orchard where there are beehives and an intriguing clock tower where nowadays time stands still!

 

Then I wandered along the grassy orchard paths and around every turn there were gateways, shelters, meandering paths, ancient brick walls and crocuses, growing, almost by accident beneath trees and shrubs, they looked as though they’ve bloomed here for hundreds of years.

 

I came away with 2 hellebore plants, as my afternoon visits have definitely inspired me to get going in the garden! Here’s hoping for some gentle sunshine and ssshhhhhh … do I hear a whisper that Spring might be just around the corner?

Enjoy your week

Adaliza

Welford Park Snowdrop Woods …

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!

boff 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 …

snowdrop clump

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 …

snowdrop sculpture

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.”

spur

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.

1

Back at home, my own little snowdrops continue to delight …

feb-1

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.

Adaliza x

Linking up with Finish it up Friday

 

February Workshops …

05/02/2018 § Leave a comment

Modern Patchwork for Beginners
6 week course to make a sampler quilt – all materials included  £130
Wednesdays 10.30 – 12.30 starting 21 February
ONE place available

Stitch and Flip Patchwork 
Make a cushion using this fun technique.  
Wednesday 7 February 10.30 – 3 pm – all materials included (except cushion pad)
Bring a packed lunch  £55      ONE place available

Summer in the Park Patchwork
Create a variety of patches ready for you to use in a small project – cushion or bag, or to put towards a quilt top.
Monday 12 February 10.30 – 3 pm – all materials included.   Bring a packed lunch £55
2 spaces available – why not treat yourself and a friend!

Dresden Plate Patchwork
One day workshop to learn this wonderful style of patchwork and make patches suitable for a small project or put towards a quilt top.
Saturday 17 February 10.30 – 3 pm – all materials included.  Bring a packed lunch £55
ONE place available

Fibre Art Collage
Have fun with fabrics and free hand embroidery and applique to create a collage panel.
Saturday 24 February 10.30 – 3 pm – all materials included.  Bring a packed lunch £55
2 spaces available

Modern Patchwork for Beginners
6 week course to make a sampler quilt – all materials included  £130
Wednesdays 10.30 – 12.30 starting 21 February
ONE place available

More details with links to project pictures,  click here

To book email  workshops@adaliza.co.uk
Sewing machines available, or bring your own.
Toilets are located in a separate building, and include a short walk with 4 steps.

Quilts, cushions & blankets …

02/02/2018 § 2 Comments

oh – and snowdrops!

Let’s start with finishes – a matching pair of vintage French fabric cushions, lovingly quilted and stuffed with fat feather pads, all ready for Sunday’s Antiques Market in Winchester ….red retro

 

Photos really don’t do this fabric justice, it’s so soft with a slight texture – almost a barkcloth but not quite.  The colours are delicious!

Vintage Rose, my latest crochet blanket has doubled in size since last week and I’m now debating whether to keep it as a rectangle, and add a border or square it off.  I’m enjoying the crochet so much I don’t want to stop, but sometimes that’s the secret – knowing when to stop!  What do you think?  Ooohhh – I love this blanket SOooooo much.

 

I’m still dithering around with the grey hst quilt – it’s taking forever, for no reason other than that there’s always something more urgent to do.  Just a few more stitched rows of quilting then the border to add.  I’m hopeful it will make it to Sunday’s market!

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and now for the stars of the show – snowdrops with a smattering of crocus, from the grounds of the Longstock Farmshop where I jaunted to yesterday afternoon, to meet a friend for a cuppa and a wander around the garden nursery

 

The long archway will soon be full of espalier apples and wonderful lavender as it was last Spring …

6

The year is absolutely flying by with the turn of January into February marked by an awesome full moon, cold, clear weather and surprisingly warm sunshine.  But the snowdrops are the stars of the show …

longstock feb-5 - Copy

Have a lovely weekend and stay warm!

Adaliza
linking up with Finish it up Friday

Keeping a tidy desk …

26/01/2018 § 2 Comments

In my ‘upstairs’ studio, I have a little nook which is my office.  There’s a window with a view out over the roof of my garden studio and I love to sit at my desk, beavering away with emails and officey-type duties whilst watching the birds and trains, dog-walkers up at the farm and ever-changing sky …

jan office view

Tidy isn’t my middle name!  I’m well organised but projects and bits of paper do tend to accumulate on my desk.  I’m a great notebook fan and have so many, it’s the same with pens and sticky notes …

office 2

I forgot to say, pairs of glasses too – so many – everywhere!

For Christmas, my quilting and long-time friend from the States came to visit and brought me a personalised thread-catcher.  I just love it and decided to keep it on my desk and use it as a desk tidy.  Now all my glasses, pens and desk scissors have a home and the transformation of my desk is wonderful (along with some neat stacking of notebooks)!

office 1

Ah, yes – that’s much better.  As you can see, I love to have a few favourite ornaments and jugs around – always horses and sometimes others, full of nostalgia and sentiments.

I thought the thread-catcher was such a good idea, I made some …

I think they’re perfect for any desk or in the hall for keys, on a dresser or just about anywhere as well as in a sewing room.  I’ve enjoyed playing with some of my Janome’s embroidery stitches too!  So these, (and a few more besides) are my finishes for the week.

As you can see, this morning’s sunshine has disappeared but before I head off with the collies for a walk around those fields, my crochet blanket screen saver reminds me that I should post a few catch up photos of my Vintage Rose blanket …

I’m just loving my crochet journey with this blanket.  It has a really quaint vibe and it’s really soft, being pure wools.  I’m still not sure what size it will end up but that’s part of the fun!

Have a lovely weekend – there’s a Corner to Corner Crochet workshop happening here, so there will be lots of yarny chat – and cake!

Adaliza

Linking up with Finish it up Friday

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