Saturday, 31 May 2014


Welcome to my blog for May.

Recently a good friend of mine (an amazing quilter!), treated me to this useful gadget called a “Board Buddy”. There is no need to remove the spray head when filling & pouring, and you can use it as a spray, or for filling your steam iron. Another one of those gadgets you shouldn’t be without in the quilt room or just ironing in general.

Well, not a lot has happened since my last blog. I have been doing quite a bit of patchwork and also rehearsing my dancing.
Earlier this year, I joined my daughters dance school adult dance classes. Her website is:  
I have never danced in my life (so where my daughter gets her talent from, goodness knows!)
We do tap & ballet. I find the tap dancing hard, as I can't seem to co ordinate my feet & arms with the music. Ballet is slightly better, and we are doing a short routine in her mid year showcase on June 8th.
I am very nervous, but will do my best not to let the side down. The other ladies in the class are great, and we have a real laugh. Wish me luck!

On then to my quilting blog for May:

“The wind at North and East
Was never good for man nor beast
So never think to cast a clout
Until the month of May be out”


This month was named after Majores, the senior (or major) branch of the government assembly or senate in Rome.

The first day of the month of May is known as May Day. It is the time of year when warmer weather begins and flowers and trees start to blossom. It is when people celebrate the coming of summer.

May Day

Cold dewy, misty mornings. Warm days. Now having 16 hours of daylight.

May Day (May 1st), used to be celebrated by people dancing around a flower bedecked maypole.

A May Queen would be elected.

Well Dressing (mainly Derbyshire).

RHS Chelsea flower Show.

Taurus the bull, (21st April – 21st May) Gemini (22nd May – 21st June).


May basket


Around the world (maypole dancing)

May blossom.

Cowslips, (a later flowering cousin of the primrose).

Early in the month, the bluebells appear.

The first baby birds are hatching.

Kentucky Derby.

Oak leaves.(Oak Apple Day or Royal Oak Day was a formal public holiday celebrated in England on 29th  May to commemorate the restoration of the English monarchy in May 1660. The public holiday, Oak Apple Day was formally abolished in 1859. In some parts of the country though, the day is still celebrated).

The yellow flowers of oil seed rape is a feature of the countryside.

My block:


There seems to be several poems about May. This is by Robert Browning, Home: Thoughts from abroad:


“And after April, when May follows,

And the white throat builds, and all the swallows

Hark! Where my blossomed pear tree in the hedge

Leans to the field and scatters on the clover”
                                        Well that's all for now. See you soon!


Monday, 26 May 2014


Hello everyone. Welcome to my somewhat belated April blog!

Things have been a bit crazy recently, and although I had sewn the blocks, I hadn’t got round to actually photographing them or typing it up.

As the blog was due to be written, we decided to go on a very last minute cruise.

Life has been somewhat stressful this year, and we decided we definitely needed a break.

I saw a “Strictly Come Dancing” themed cruise on P&O Oriana advertised, and booked it on the Saturday morning. We sailed 24 hours later!

We hadn’t been on this ship before, but we thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We were lucky to have a spacious balcony cabin, which was lovely. (Even better, it had a bath!)

There were four professional dancers from the show, as well as Craig Revel Horwood, and Lisa Riley. There were lots of events and show dances which I really enjoyed as I am a fan of the show.

There were also several costumes displayed from the last series.

The cruise went to Spain, Portugal, Madeira & the Canary Islands, and the weather was glorious.

We came back feeling much more relaxed!

Here are a few pictures you might like to have a look at.

                                               Some of the beautiful costumes:

Worn by Sophie Ellis Bextor
 This was worn by Abbey Clancy.

Worn by Fiona Fullerton
Another one of Sophie Ellis Bextor's
Worn by Ola Jordan.

This was taken at the back of a shop!
Timanfaya National Park, Lanzarote 

Hubby & me.

The Oriana by Lisbon  Bridge. Our balcony is the last on the right..

                               Well on now to my belated block of the month:

It is possible that April’s name comes from the Latin ‘aperio’ meaning I open, referring to the opening of buds and flowers.

April Fools Day 1st April

Easter, Good Friday & Easter Sunday, (Dates vary each year).

St Georges Day 23rd April

April showers.

Easter: Remembering the death of Christ on Good Friday, and him rising from the dead on Easter Sunday.

Easter is also the Spring festival when new life begins.

Easter Easter egg rolling (depending on region).

SIGN OF THE ZODIAC: Aries (The ram) 21st March to 20th April, & Taurus (the bull) 21st April – 21st May.

Easter eggs, April showers, wellington boots, umbrellas, rabbits (Easter bunnies), chicks, tulips & bluebells.

I made two blocks for this month. I wasn’t sure if I was happy with the first, and now I still can’t decide which one I will use!


My favourite April block.
Wrong way round, but you get the idea!
I think the colours are a bit muted.

I hope to be putting up the May blog in the next week or so. Hope you liked looking at the pictures from the cruise.
As always, feel free to leave comments. I always enjoy reading them.
Bye for now!



Friday, 14 March 2014

March Block of the month

Hello everyone, and welcome to my blog for March.

Before we look at the block this month, I would like to share with you some of the images spotted on my walks with my dog Toby.

Because of the bad weather, the fields have become waterlogged so we have had to change our normal routes to areas which are not quite as boggy.

It has been wonderful to watch Spring unfolding each day. I am always looking for ideas that I can use for my calendar quilt.

Here are some of my pictures.
Daisies in March!

Seen in the hedgerow.

In my garden.
These horses had left their field, They did find their way home though!

So onto the block for this month.


“March brings breezes loud and shrill,

Stirs the dancing daffodil”

The name of March comes from the Latin Martius, the first month of the earliest Roman calendar. It was named after the Roman God of war: Mars.

St Davids Day (1st March). The patron saint of Wales.
St Patricks Day (17th March). The patron saint of Ireland.
Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day).
Lent. The six week period from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday.
Mardi Gras, or "Fat Tuesday," is the last day of the Carnival season in New Orleans. It always falls the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.  

March is known for its winds.
Mothering Sunday
Spring Equinox (21st of March).
Worldwide Quilting Day 2014, March 15th
Start of British summer time.
Trees are starting to bud.
Frogs start to spawn.
Lambs are seen in the fields.
Pisces:- The fish, February 19th  - March 20th
Aries March 21st  - April 19th
BIRTHSTONE: Aquamarine.
Shamrock (greens), daffodils & narcissi, fish (pisces), crocus’.
Windmill (March winds), Irish Chain (St Patricks Day), King Davids Crown (St Davids Day), Mothers Fancy Star (Mothering Sunday), Spring Beauty (First day of Spring).
                                                          My block:

I tried to show the flowers of Spring. The light fabric has trees with a glittery sheen to show the damp mornings.
Maybe I shouldn't have used such a bright yellow daffodil fabric in the corners, but after all, that is a true March flower!
I love March, as it seems the world is "waking up" after the Winter. It is a joy to hear the bird song again.
So that is about it for now.  I hope you are all enjoying the longer days, and at last, some sunshine!
Take care, & as usual, please feel free to leave a comment!


Saturday, 22 February 2014


Hello everyone, and welcome to my February blog.
Do you ever get times when nothing seems to be going right? Well this has been the month for us!
One problem was with our central heating, which left us without hot water or heating for over a week. This meant we had to visit family and friends for a bath. (I hate showers!) 
You never realise how much you miss something until it is gone. Constantly boiling kettles, and washing hands in cold water, was not nice.
However, I am pleased to report that we now have a lovely new boiler & heating system, so can now have a lovely hot soak at last!

So now on to February's block.

I have now completed the February block, using the same method as the January block.
It is interesting what you can do with a nine patch block!

I spend a lot of time with my notebook in which I design suitable blocks for the quilt. It is all trial and error, but I find there is no “right or wrong” design. You do what you like best.
Here is a picture of my notebook. 
I often draw various permutations to get the effect I want.

                (For some reason I cannot get the picture to go the right way up!)

I also use a double mirror to show what the design will look like.

Sometimes I plan it all out, then when I have cut the fabric out and pinned it on the design board, I am not happy, so I rummage through the stash to see what else would go better!

So let’s look at the ideas for the February block.


The name February came from a period of religious purification, and probably the predecessor of Lent.
Februare is the Latin word ‘to purify’.

 Chinese New Year: This occurs between the end of January to middle of February, depending on year. (2014 is the Year of the Horse).

Candlemas: February 2nd is marked in the church calendar by Candlemas. This festival represents the return of light to the world after the long winter months. It is halfway between the longest day (21st December) and the spring equinox (21st March), when the hours of darkness and light are of equal lengths.

St Valentines Day. This is 14th February. This is when people express their love for each other by giving flowers, chocolates and gifts (often heart shaped), and send greetings cards known as valentines.

Shrove Tuesday.(Pancake Day). Shrove Tuesday (also known as Pancake Day) is the day preceding Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Shrove Tuesday is determined by the date when Easter falls.

Zodiac sign is Aquarius (Jan 21st – Feb 18th) & Pisces (Feb 19th – March 20th).
Birthstone: Amethyst.
 The weather here in Britain is usually wet and miserable, with frosts and sometimes snow.

“February brings the rain,
Thaws the frozen pond again”

There are still snowdrops, also violets and hellebores (“Lenten rose”).
I would suggest using fabrics showing red roses, hearts and flowers, and maybe cherubs?

Reds are definitely the colour for this otherwise drab month!

Blocks you could choose would be Woven hearts, Hearts desire, Lovers knot etc.


This is my February block. (I like to think the corners look like hearts).
Valentines day is said to be the day when birds chose their mate, so I incorporated pairs of birds in the centre.

I hope February has been a good month for you. Pop back & see me in March.

                       As usual, please feel free to leave any comments.



Monday, 27 January 2014


Hello everyone.

Now all the festivities of Christmas and the New Year are behind us, it is pretty much “back to normal” for us all.

I haven’t been sewing over Christmas, as it has been so busy, but now have dusted off the sewing machine, and my mind is buzzing with ideas for quilts!

After a lot of thought, I have decided to make another calendar quilt.

This was one of the earliest quilts I made, and looking back on it, I can see a number of things that I am not happy with. (You can see the quilt on my Calendar quilt page).
I decided to set myself the challenge of using basic nine patch blocks with each individual square  cut to 2 ½ inches (like in the Farmers Wife Quilts), but using 4 blocks to make a finished 12” block, giving each nine patch block a quarter rotation.
Therefore each "month" consists of 36 squares.
What I thought I would share with you is not only the block each month, but also ideas that you can use to make your own quilt. I know a lot of my readers live outside the UK, so apologies for basing it mainly on UK customs etc. You can always adapt any ideas with traditions in your countries.
So here is the block this month:
January is the start of the New Year, named after the Roman God Janus (the doorkeeper), who is often represented with two faces because he was acquainted with both the past and the future.
New Year’s Day.
Twelfth Night (The twelfth day after Christmas is the 6th of January: The Feast of Epiphany. This is the day the three kings went to Bethlehem to see the baby Jesus.)
Burns Night, traditionally celebrated in Scotland.
Zodiac sign is Capricorn (Dec 22 – Jan 20) & Aquarius (Jan 21 – Feb 18)
Birthstone: Garnet.
                                     Snowdrops and Winter Aconites start to appear.
Here in England the weather is always cold, frosty, with snow and rain as well. Not a cheery month at all!
With this in mind, the block uses cold frosty colours of blues & greys, with crackle or glittery fabric to symbolise the frost.
You could of course use different quilt blocks, instead of the 9 patch version.
Ideas include: Winter Star, Snowflake, Kings Crown, Star of Magi, to name a few.
I hope you enjoyed this blog. I am already working on Februarys block!
To finish, I had to include this poem by Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830-1894).
January cold desolate;
February all dripping wet;
March wind ranges;
April changes;
Birds sing in tune
To flowers of May,
And sunny June
Brings longest day;
In scorched July
The storm-clouds fly
Lightning torn;
August bears corn,
September fruit;
In rough October
Earth must disrobe her;
Stars fall and shoot
In keen November;
And night is long
And cold is strong
In bleak December.
Enjoy the rest of the month, and see you in February!


Sunday, 22 December 2013


Hello everyone! Once again I have been so busy, I haven't had time to write my blog.

I cannot believe it is almost Christmas. Not sure if time goes quicker the older you get, but this year certainly seems to have flown past!
So, what have I been up to since my last blog?

Well I made quite a few Christmas tree skirts, which I was very pleased with. These were given to my sons, & sister, as well as one for myself.

Here are a few pictures of what they looked like:
I also made a mat the same way, but without the hole in the middle:
I also was working frantically, trying to get my Christmas tablecloth finished. It took a bit longer than I had anticipated though!  Now I have finished it, I look forward to using it at Christmas. Took a few photos to show you:
                                          This is the finished cloth ready to go!

                                                     The centre of the cloth......

The corner of the cloth.

Not sure why there appears to be yellow splodges on the photo. It is actually white linen!

                                                       The side of the cloth.

I sewed it using different tones of red and green thread, with gold thread for the flower centre to give it a bit of a lift.

As soon as I had managed to get all the sewing projects finished, it was time for my Mini Cruise.

My lovely Mum, sister, daughter & I decided to go on a mini cruise to Bruges to visit the Christmas Market.
This time I sailed on P&O Aurora, which was a much smaller ship than I was used to.
However, I was very surprised to find out what a lovely ship she was.
The cabin was surprisingly spacious, considering all four of us shared the same cabin.

The ship was decorated for Christmas, so I took lots of pictures, to use the ideas....

                                                              The Atrium.

We all had a lovely time, with a lot of laughs and it was lovely to spend time together.
We were lucky that the weather in Bruges was nice and sunny, even though the journey back was quite rough. Luckily we were midships, so didn't feel it too much.

                                             Here is a picture of "The Girls"


                                                   The patchwork horse!

It was a lovely start to the Festive Season, so now our batteries are recharged ready for the "Big Day".

Thanks for reading my blogs and I would like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas,and a very Happy, peaceful & healthy 2014 x