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
19/10/2017 § 1 Comment
from the Latin aureus, meaning Golden
Although I’ve been away from my blog for a while, I haven’t been idle. My studio has been humming to the sound of sewing machines (yes, another Janome Horizon has joined my teaching studio) and as well as teaching patchwork classes here at home, I’ve also been busy working on my own projects.
Aurelia is a recent finish. She’s been in my head for absolutely ages and it’s been a treat to create what was for so long an image that I longed to touch.
Oh, how I love this quilt. Almost 30 fabrics capturing the shades and delights of Autumn.
There have been days in October where the sky has been the clearest, deepest blue and I needed to hold on to those colours – leaves, berries, darkness and light and all sunset shades in between. This will be a show quilt – to take out to talks and presentations – definitely a keeper!
Here’s the White Birch that dominates our garden, on a crisp morning a few weeks ago.
and some of the sunflowers and Japanese anemones from down by the veg plot.
How I love Autumn. It’s always been my favourite season of the year. Before she arrived, I ventured for a late summer jaunt to Cornwall and was treated to a week when I could actually bask in warm sunshine. I missed the collies who stayed at home with J2, but enjoyed daily walks for miles and miles along the coastal path – a special place for us.
Back home and feeling the need to light an evening fire to keep my toes warm. I’m working on a Snowball quilt – hope that’s not tempting fate!!!
What are you working on at the moment? Is Autumn a source of inspiration for you?
I’m linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and Finish it Up Friday.
26/08/2016 § 1 Comment
enjoying the sunshine …
If I’m in the garden, Flora is never far away. She loves my pink slippers and given any opportunity, and if I’m still for long enough, will waddle over and comfortably settle herself next to them!
She is a rather plump duck who has, for a week or so, been spending a generous part of each day sitting on an egg. I left it in her ‘nest’ (a leafy bower by the pond) as it’s been a shady spot for her during these long hot, humid days that we’ve been having recently. However, I relieved her of her nesting duties last week and now she’s totally forgotten about it all and is back to being a busy presence around the garden, gobbling up slugs and snails.
I can’t quite believe that she’s over 5 years old. That tiny scrap of feather and beak that followed me back to the cottage we were staying in by the sea in Cornwall, with such an instinct to follow and make herself heard so that I would rescue her from the seagulls. To this day, I’ve never seen any domestic ducks in that village!
Here are a few posts that follow her progress over the years …
Edited to add “Flora’s little life ended on 27 March 2017 – she was very much loved and is hugely missed”. Rest Easy Flora
I’m busy quilting – I know, as my daughter says ‘Same old, same old’! But I LOVE it and am trying a new technique, so will take some photos when the quilt’s all done. I can’t put it down, so hopefully it won’t be long before there’s another quilt finished. I’ve posted some photos of recently finished quilts over on my Patchwork Quilts page (look left) and am trying very hard to keep up-to-date with all the photographs as I make them here. Such fun!
It’s a Bank Holiday weekend in the UK, this weekend and the weather’s set fair. I think the roads will be packed, so I’m going to put my feet up in the garden and enjoy watching Flora as she snuggles up to my slippers!
Enjoy the sunshine …
13/05/2016 § Leave a comment
This week has been a week of cushions …
I always love it when customers return to order from me. Flora has been added to a very pretty pink cushion cover, to match one with a little campervan that I made last year. She’ll be taking up residence on a beautiful window seat – lucky ducky!
The boats have gone to another very good home where they’ll meet up with a quilt called Sailing By …
and some little quilts will also be making their first appearance on my stand at the River Cottage Spring Fair over the Bank Holiday weekend at the end of this month …
(you can almost hear those little birdies chirruping away)
and Retro Baby …
It’s been a busy ol’ week up here in my studio!
Another quilt has also been finished but it’s a commission and I’ll have to keep it a secret until the beginning of June. A landmark birthday with an heirloom quilt to match!
Hope the sun continues to shine over the weekend. I will take a trip around the garden in photos very soon – there just aren’t enough hours in the day at the moment!
I’ll be linking up with Finish it up Friday too!
10/05/2016 § 4 Comments
A while ago I met J & M who are celebrating their Silver Wedding anniversary later this year. J was interested in the quilts that I had on my stall and I agreed to pick out some fabrics for her, then sent a photo so that she could choose the fabrics for their quilt …
Definitely a countryside theme going on with woodland creatures, subtle Autumn tones and cheeky foxes
Measurements were taken and this quilt was going to be a monster – 2 metres square!!
Over the next few weeks I stitched and pieced the patchwork. A narrow border was added and then the quilt sandwich was pinned together (polar fleece for the backing, lightweight wadding in the middle then the beautiful patchwork top) before the quilting began. It took a while but soon the rhythmic diagonal lines began to transform 3 separate layers into a proper quilt.
Then, on a glorious sunny day last week, I settled down in my garden rocking chair and stitched – over 8 metres of tiny hand-stitches to complete the binding.
Everyone says ‘It must take you ages’, but hand-stitching is surprisingly fast and I LOVE it – I can’t begin to imagine finishing a quilt in any other way. It was several hours’ work though, with Belle and Flora at my feet!
I usually photograph quilts on the washing line, but this one was BIG – so I took it inside and up to my studio, flung open the doors and carefully pegged it over the balcony!
Then J2 obliged my request to take a few snaps of me with one of the largest quilts I’ve made – I absolutely LOVE this quilt …
A label with names and the date of their anniversary was embroidered and stitched in place with silver thread – Ta Dah!
The quilt was collected over the weekend and I was delighted to see how much obvious pleasure it gave them both. J kindly wrote me a note of thanks …
“What can I say…?! The quilt that you have worked so hard on for our silver wedding anniversary has exceeded all expectations! The selection of the fabrics for the quilt has encapsulated our personalities and lifestyle perfectly. The workmanship is of the highest quality. Thank you so much for helping us represent a landmark year with such a very beautiful quilt.” Mrs JF, Hampshire
If you’re thinking of a special gift to mark an anniversary, birthday, naming day or landmark of any kind – send me an email so we can discuss your ideas.
06/05/2016 § 2 Comments
This is a commissioned quilt – a 25th Anniversary Wedding present. I’m only posting a couple of photos as it’s being delivered tomorrow, when I’m hoping the weather will stay ‘set fair’ for the Alton Makers’ Market.
Here it is …
I spent a blissful day yesterday, in the sunshine hand-stitching all around the 8m binding! But I had company …
Flora was fascinated as I sat with this huge quilt over my lap. She’s not used to me sitting down for so long at once and kept pecking at my feet! Eventually she decided to sunbathe from the verandah and just watch!! (She was 5 years old last weekend).
I’ll post some other photos after it’s been delivered and maybe we’ll take a stroll around the garden too – everything’s beginning to grow like crazy out there!
Have a lovely weekend and do pop by and say Hello if you’re visiting Alton.
Linking up, one again to Finish it up Friday.
08/04/2016 § 3 Comments
it’s a quilt – for cowboys!
The colours remind me of prairie cowboys and the focus fabric has bucking broncos galloping across the western plains, lassos whirling! It’s a perfect single bed quilt for a little boy who dreams of becoming a cowboy when he’s grown up – and this is a ‘college’ style quilt that could easily be taken off to university, as a reminder of home comforts.
I’ll be taking this quilt with me to Alton Makers’ Market tomorrow and some cheeky little foxes will be coming too …
I’m really enjoying getting out and about at the weekends, though I didn’t have far to go last Sunday as the Antiques Vintage & Retro market made it’s monthly appearance on Winchester’s High Street. It was a beautiful day, with just a hint of warmth in the Spring sunshine.
In the garden, colour is beginning to appear in the Spring bulbs …
and a secretive visitor was ‘spotted’ in my curly willow tree …
down by the pond, the snowdrops have disappeared, the daffs are in full bloom alongside the later flowering and taller ‘Snowflake’ snowdrops – and the bluebells are almost out
Enjoy your weekend.
PS – linking up with Finish-it-up-Friday