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
02/03/2018 § 7 Comments
It’s been absolutely freezing here this past week. Siberian chill and lots of snow! Fortunately the house is warm but workshops have been cancelled due to the weather and even though there wasn’t too much snow on Wednesday morning, we had a power cut so the studio was freezing inside and out.
It’s been pretty though – proper Christmas card snowy scenes and I’ve loved the magic of the light, snowflakes, scrunching snow under wellies, snow-crusted collies and the activities of the garden birds who I’ve been feeding 3 times a day!
And, it’s been perfect weather for quilting – I’ve been busy …
I can’t tell you for how many years I’ve longed to be able to photograph quilts in the snow. I pore, with envy, through photographs of my US and Canadian quilting friends’ quilts, laid out on a magical snowy blanket. So, I’ve been quilting like a fiend this week and have waited all day for it to stop snowing, then donned hat, gloves, coat, boots and clickety clicked away – I’m so in love with quilts in the snow.
The Sunday market in Winchester is apparently still going ahead though I’ll update my website events page, if it’s cancelled.
Stay warm and toasty
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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
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 …
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
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