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 …


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


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.”


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.

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
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!


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 …


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!

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!


Linking up with Finish it up Friday

This week …

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


Fibre Art Collage

12/01/2018 § 12 Comments

I thought I was going to show you a finished quilt today, but instead …


Wisteria Cottage

I wish you could touch it – it’s all wibbly wobbly from the freehand embroidery.  It’s taken me most of the day to finish and now I have to work out how to mount it onto a canvas.

I especially love how the blossom on the trees and in the hedgerows has turned out,


It makes a change from patchwork!


New year – etc etc

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 …

red sofa

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 …

Jan -1A

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!


End of year …

30/12/2017 § 6 Comments

quick catch up.

Since November, time seems to have absolutely flown by and whilst I’ve been clicking away on my camera and phone, nothing has made it to my blog, so here’s a lightning whizz – Open Studio, students, Kaffe Fassett, my old home, new quilts – here goes …

The Kaffe Fassett exhibition which has been at Mottisfont Abbey since September and ends in January, has been the destination for many of my excursions over recent months.  I can’t get enough of his fabrics, colours and designs.  I went to see him give a lecture back at the end of November and it was interesting to hear what inspired him – by coincidence, many of the same things that inspire me.

I have other photos on my phone of the Salisbury Christmas market where I spent a bone-chilling 4 days at the beginning of December – admittedly my chalet was better insulated than most as there were quilts hanging up all around the inside.  There was a lovely atmosphere though I could cheerfully have throttled a lifesize model Santa Claus who waded through the same few songs whenever anybody walked past and his sensor set him off!  I was seriously in dispute with him about it being ‘the most wonderful time of the year’!!

Since Christmas Day when J2 and I spent a very peaceful time together, I’ve seen a few friends from near and far, which is always special at this time of year.  I do enjoy the company of friends.

Winchester has yet again missed all the snow for which I’m disappointed and relieved in equal measure.

I’m looking forward to some quiet quilting and gentle planning of projects for the new year and wish you all Blwyddyn Newydd Dda (Happy New Year).



15/12/2017 § 4 Comments






It’s been a busy time with markets and social gatherings, workshops and visits.  Time now to hunker down by the fire, for those long candlelit evenings – collies at my feet and crochet on my lap.  I do so love wintertime – wishing you all a cosy Christmas.

Adaliza x

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