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

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Christmas is coming..........!

Hello everyone.

I can't believe it has been nearly a month since my last blog.
It has been quite a stressful time over the last few weeks one way or another, with a lot of things going on, but suffice to say things are looking better now.

So have I managed to fit in any crafting this last few weeks?

Well, as you saw in my last blog, I made a Christmas tree skirt, so I decided to spend some time cutting out the "Dresden plate" shapes, for when I had a few minutes to spare.
When I had time I assembled them. I did get a bit carried away though!
I also made a small version for my Mums tree. (Forgot to take a picture of it though.)

I have so far finished one more skirt:

This time I used more traditional colours of green & reds.

I have a couple more "work in progress" that need binding, but should be finished by Christmas.

The other sewing I have been doing is an embroidered tablecloth.

A few months ago I went to a car boot & saw some embroidery threads. When I bought them, the seller included a bag full of transferred linen as well.

One was a tablecloth that was obviously "vintage". I didn't really know what to do with it, then inspiration hit me. I would convert it to a Christmas tablecloth!

Searching through my vintage embroidery transfers, I found some holly & mistletoe designs, and ironed them on. I decided to use Christmas colours of red, green & gold to embroider it.
It is still being worked on, as I just pick it up when I have a few minutes.

So here is the progress so far:
                                                               The centre:

(Can't seem to turn it round the right way).

                                                 A view of one of the sides.............

                                                        Work in progress!

 Will it be finished by Christmas though?!

I love Christmas. Even though it is the busiest time of the year, there is something special about the atmosphere. I love homemade articles and it is lovely to get things out you have made in past years.

This year will be especially busy, as my daughters Dance School has got it's first show on December 14th & 15th and I am acting as compere! She started her dance & drama school earlier this year, and it is going from strength to strength, and already gaining a good reputation.
Then we are off on our mini cruise, leaving the menfolk to fend for themselves for a few days, returning on the 21st December.

So, I had better get on with my sewing, if I am to stand a chance of finishing the tablecloth for Christmas lunch!
Thanks for reading, and see you soon!

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Seaside pinwheel quilt & Christmas tree skirt.

Hello everyone!

Well I am feeling a little bit smug today, as I have finally finished my pinwheel seaside quilt!

As I mentioned in my last blog, it was one of those projects that got pushed in a drawer as I tackled other things.
I had made all the pinwheels, and sewed half of it together, but I never got round to finishing it. So I decided to set to and sewed the top together.

Then discovered that all my backing fabrics were just a bit too narrow, so off I went to the Fabric Guild and got a lovely pale blue fabric for only £2.00 per yard.

And this is the finished quilt! It was made to snuggle up in this winter, and has a lovely superwarm wadding in it.

Here is a bit of the detail:

And another section:

 It is certainly colourful! I call it my "Seaside Snuggly quilt," And I look to snuggling up in it when the cold winter nights are here.

So I am glad that at least another project is complete.

Also this weekend, I decided to have a go at making a Christmas tree skirt.

Anyone who knows me will know that Christmas is BIG in our household!
I always have two large trees, a real Nordman fir in my lounge, & one artificial in my dining room.
I bought a beautiful tree skirt from New York a few years ago that goes round the real tree, but the one I use for the other tree is looking a bit worse for wear.
So after looking at various templates on the internet, I made my own to the size I wanted.
And then I set to:

All ready to go!

My selection of fabrics cut out. (Pic is a bit yellow due to the artificial light. It poured with rain all weekend so was very dark & miserable).
Then when they were all cut out, I tried them in various combinations:

Eventually decided on a combination I liked (with help from Beckie) So I sewed them together before I could change my mind again!

 After they were sewn together (I left the back seam undone) I got backing fabric and wadding, and made a quilt sandwich, then I quilted "in the ditch" down each seam.
Finally, I hand stitched bias binding round the edges:
TaDa!!!!! The finished skirt. Again, it looks more colourful in reality. The light is not very good. Still, you get the idea.
So that's about all for now.

Not sure what I will be doing next. Maybe a bit of embroidery? Or I might finally get to finish my jigsaw that has been sitting under the sofa for ages!

Thanks for reading.

Will be back soon with more pics of the quilt room (especially for you Lisette!) when the days are a bit brighter.

Take care everyone, and to finish, a great quote from Dr Seuss:
              “If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good.” x

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Once upon a time in a quilt room....And a visit to Narborough Hall

Hello everyone.
I thought I would update you on what I have been up to these last couple of weeks.

As I have finished the Christmas Quilt, I was about to start a new project, when I found a half completed seaside themed quilt lurking in a drawer.

I had sewn about half the top together, but then never got round to finishing it. I decided that I really should finish it before starting any more projects, so I set to & have now finished the top.
It would have been finished today, except that I discovered I haven't any suitable backing fabric wide enough for it. (An excuse to go fabric shopping tomorrow then!)
You can see it being completed in the pic below:
It is a pinwheel design using a mixture of nautical & beach inspired fabrics. Will post a pic of it when I finish it.

So then I decided to give the quilt room a bit of a tidy.
I took some pics of my quilt room /study/ office etc to show you:
My cutting table & sewing machine workspace.

I love the enamel picture, bought for me by my sister last Christmas.
This is a close up of it:

The heart shaped plaque was bought by my friends at work when I retired last year.

Here are some of my other pictures:
My daughter Beckie bought this one (above), and my quilting teacher Jill, bought me the one below for my birthday:

You sense the theme then!

Yesterday I was lucky enough to acquire this wonderful Singer hand sewing machine. It has not been used for years, but I was able to sew a few rows with it, as if it had been used yesterday. I have taken it out of the case & got it on display on the window sill.
It is a lovely thing to look at.
I have posted a picture of my machine below it. Mine has 100 stitch combinations, all sorts of wizzy gadgets, and yet the Singer sews a beautiful straight line.

I don't think I can manage to wind handle & feed fabric at the same time though!
My quilting machine.

I find that storage is always a problem, so when my sister was throwing her old spice wheel out, I decided to use it to put buttons etc in.
It is so useful, and you can see what is in the jars:
And last pic for today is my collection of old cotton reels. I think they look attractive in the jar. I only put in those made of wood, and try to find ones with interesting makers paper on the end.
I never actually use them though!

 Well that's the story of my quilt room, and the things in it.
(I haven't shown you the loads & loads of drawers filled with fabric, or my bookshelves of quilt books, but I will spare you that!)

The weather here is a lot colder today. At the weekend we spent a few days in Suffolk, and the weather was glorious. We walked along the beach in tee shirts, but certainly wouldn't do that now! I suppose we have been spoilt by the lovely summer we have had, but now it is on with the fleeces and jeans again.

Last night I spent a lovely evening with my Mum & Sister at a place called Narborough Hall (Which is surprisingly in Narborough, Leicestershire!)
They have been holding preview evenings of their new Christmas shop all this week.

It is an amazing place & we bought some gorgeous Christmas decorations, & I got a necklace for my sisters birthday in December. She chose it, and I was more than happy to get it, as it is always difficult to find unChristmassy things in December.

As it was a preview evening it was VERY busy, but the bubbly & amazing chocolate truffles made up for the queues to pay! (They were very efficient, and wrapped everything up beautifully).

They gave us a "spend & save" voucher, so we will definitely be back to spend our gift voucher soon.

I have enclosed a link, so if you are ever in Leicestershire, this place is well worth a visit.

So that's all for now.
As usual, feel free to leave comments. I love reading them & they mean a lot. x

Monday, 30 September 2013

Christmas Quilt.

Hello everyone!
Well the nights are drawing in now, so less time out of doors & more time in the quilt room!
You may remember that in my last blog I decided to make a Farmers Wife Quilt with a Christmas theme.
(I talk about the history of Farmers Wives Quilts, in my earlier posts).
Well I am pleased to say that it is now finished!
I took these photos before it was pressed, but you can see what I have done anyway.
So, this is the finished quilt!

I am quite pleased with the end result. Not perfect....(is it ever?!) But I think the colours go well together.
I decided to quilt round the main part of each block, to give a nice texture.
Can't see it really, but you get the idea.....
Toby doesn't seem very impressed though!
So that is finished ready for hanging up at Christmas time.
Next on the list are some Christmas buntings.
I bought some lovely fabric from Daisy Crafts in Bridlington when I was visiting, and she had some lovely buntings on display.
She very kindly allowed me to photograph them so I will be making them shortly. This lovely shop is well worth a visit if you ever are in the area.
A wide variety of gorgeous & funky fabrics, including my favourite Michael Miller designs.
Here are a couple of my favourite Michael Miller designs which I couldn't resist:
And this one.......

They are SO cute, I almost don't want to cut into them! A cushion would be nice perhaps.
So that's about it for now. I shall post some pics of the buntings when I have finished them.
Before I go, I thought you might like to see some Autumnal pictures from our garden.


And these stunning acorns from our walk on the local golf course:
Certainly looks like it is a bumper year for berries and nuts.
I was going to make some Rose Hip Syrup, but decided the berries were better left for the birds.
Thanks for reading. As usual, feel free to leave a comment!

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Seascapes & Christmas!

Hello everyone. So sorry for not blogging for AGES!

Well what have I been up to these last few weeks? Well, I have been making a couple of 'top secret' Christmas pressies, which I can't tell you about yet, and my latest quilt, a wall hanging for my bathroom.
 It was inspired by a wall hanging by a friend of mine.It is made of strips of fabric and is given a 3D texture by adding embellishments and use of couching and hand embroidery.I also used free motion machine embroidery for the beach & sky.
The shells are about 60 years old, and were part of a necklace my mum had. When the elastic broke, she kept the shells in a box. As they had little holes drilled in them, they were ideal to sew on the "beach".You can also see the wool & sequins above the beach huts,
I also chain stitched below the boats with metallic thread.
Can't see it on the above piccie, but I have sewed silver waves on the top strip. Also sewed a thick ribbon/tape to give a bit of movement.

Well, what else have I been up to?

It is a tradition for me to make a Christmas quilt. I was really stuck for ideas this year, but then I hit on the idea of a Farmers Wife Quilt, using Christmas fabrics.
Up in the quilt room I went, & did a bit of rummaging through my Christmas fabric drawer:-

OOPS! I do get a bit messy!

So far I have made these:


Well that's all for now. Off to tidy my quilt room now!
Call back soon, and see what else I have been up to. x