Tuesday morning Pitch and Stitch - 10.00am to 1.00pm

Tuesday morning Pitch and Stitch - 10.00am to 1.00pm
This hanging from Annie Downs' Hatched and Patched book should be in every caravan as a cushion or decoration!

Friday, 12 October 2018

What a Malarkey

I'm really not sure this not going out to work malarkey is right for me.....I seem to be spending an awful lot of time doing not very much at all.

Yesterday I spent most of the morning considering the various things I really have to get on with, such as cleaning up the greenhouse, sorting out the garden, going through my clothes, doing a bit of mending, perhaps even finish decorating the bedroom or start decorating the office, and clean out the chickens.

So I went out to admire my lovely new Buff Orpingtons,

















and then I came in and made some candles.


Today I went through the same list of jobs, and then found myself making blackberry jam.

















I think I'm drifting a bit.....

Earlier in the week though, when I was a bit more motivated, I went to 'Martin & the Magpie' - my favourite florist in Hungerford.


I love this shop because as well as beautiful flowers, they have quirky plants and little bits of  'this and that' to look at.  Well, I went in to buy flowers for a friend, but, just like at Christmas, something caught my eye which would make a lovely gift for me:


An indoor plant called String of Hearts.  I don't really like indoor plants that much, but I thought these trailing hearts looked so pretty - and, of course, they were hanging in macramé potholders which I happen to have a few of.......so, it's found it's way out into the workshop!



The only thing I have been good at is taking the dogs out for at least 3 miles everyday.  The weather over the last week has been extraordinary - hot enough for shorts some days, then into waterproofs, then into sweaters - and me and the dogs have seen a few things that made us look twice:

A fairy ring


 
Old Man's Beard covering everything
 

The men out drilling and rolling














Bits of fungus


And then yesterday evening a beautiful double rainbow


Off to the Ally Pally tomorrow, so I can get lots of ideas for more things to not do......

Friday, 5 October 2018

The Joy of Crochet!

I can't believe the Knitting and Stitching Show at the Alexandra Palace has come around again!  Last year when I went I bought the Janie Crowe kit for the Magic Lanterns blanket....and I'm still working on it.

I took it over to Jersey with plans to crochet in the evenings - and it came back exactly the same!


I put it in the corner of the lovely room we had at the Omarroo Hotel


and I didn't pick it up again until I packed to come home!  Obviously I spent far too much time cooing over my little grandson


and swimming in the sea


and even though we got stuck over there an extra day, still didn't have time to sit and crochet.

I really need to get a move on though , because it will be beautiful when it's finished...


Crochet is so easy, and quick, so I really have no excuse.  This Wednesday we have the Mandala workshop which is a great way to learn some basic workshop stitches, so if anyone wants a go there are still places available.

There were some lovely pieces of work on Tuesday - Louise's Penny rug looks lovely, and having real old pennies from Eileen to sew into it makes it so authentic.


Anthea's Trip Around the World quilt that she started at our Spring workshop is now ready for quilting:


She was so pleased with it, and the speed of the method, that she's going to make full size quilt for her bed using the same technique!

I haven't been completely lazy - after being somewhat bullied by Sandra and Lynne regarding the 'homeliness' of the workshop, I went out there and blitzed the place so there's lots of space again:


I am pleased with it but had to smile when some of the Tuesday ladies said they preferred it when there were piles of unfinished projects lying about! - I didn't bin them, they're just piled discreetly under my table!

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Autumn Schedule

After what was not an inconsiderable amount of pain, I am happy to be able to let you know our Autumn Schedule!

Having spent the best part of the last 2 weeks writing, and re-writing it (teachers are soooo hard to pin down), I can't bear to write it out in full again......but I will give you the bare bones!

Wednesday 26th September - Lynne Johnson day

Wednesday 3rd October - Rag Rug Day:  I am really enjoying making mine, especially now it has started to grow and look more like a rug than a table mat - but I am astounded by how much fabric it takes!

Wednesday 10th October - Crochet Mandalas.  These are so easy to crochet, in fact, Helen, who is taking the class, didn't have time (grandchild duties) to provide me with a photo so I quickly made one using just three different stitches.  This really is such an easy way to learn how to crochet.


Wednesday 17th October - Lynne Johnson Day.  I had to change the date because Lynne's quilt group is exhibiting at Malvern Quilt Show, so she couldn't be with us for the usual second Wednesday in the month

Wednesday 24th October - Sock Making with Ros - I have a feeling a lot of people will be getting socks for Christmas this year!


Wednesday 31st October - Lynne Johnson Day

Wednesday 7th November - Knitted Scarf with Ros - a beautiful lace edge pattern scarf.  Ros has assured us it is easy, and once we've learnt how to make up the pattern following a chart, the body of the scarf is just picked up from the edge and garter stitched.


Saturday 10th November - Foundation Pieced Sampler with Helene - foundation piecing is a great way to produce really accurate work


Wednesday 14th November - Quit Making with Lynne

Wednesday 21st November - Christmas Workshop with Lynne  (She's still playing around with ideas!)

Wednesday 28th November  - Quilt Making with Lynne

Wednesday 5th November - Place Mats with Lynne and Sandra - either seasonal or every day

Wednesday 12th December - Christmas Tree Skirt - I get mine out every year when all the presents have been opened; it's probably about 15 years old now and I made it at a workshop when Sandra had her shop!


And then last, but by no means least, the lovely wreath making mornings and afternoons with Linda on Saturday 15th December and Wednesday 19th December!



So there you are, quite a nice selection, I think.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Everyone Should Enjoy Making Stuff

We have had a cracking couple of weeks in the workshop, but first I have a little story to tell. 

My sister has been taking art classes for the last year, and she has been quite productive, so most of the family have been receiving paintings for birthday presents.  She gave me a still life of Peppers, which I love.

Last weekend was the East Garston Allotments flower and Produce  Show (I was runner up for my jam and pumpkin, which gave me immense pleasure) and I saw that they had a painting class.  Anyone could enter so I put Carolyn's picture in.  I then had a very tense morning, deciding that if she didn't come anywhere, I just wouldn't tell her I'd entered it.  The show opened at 1.00pm when the judging was finished, and I went down with great trepidation.

Well......
 
How exciting was that?  I sent her this photo and she asked if hers was the only entrant - it certainly wasn't!

Anyway, back to the workshop.

First of all we had a record 12 people turn up for Pitch and Stitch - everyone doing lots of different crafts, and lots to talk about.  Jane, who pointed out that the last time she came there were only 4 people, said,

"What a big group on Tuesday! & what a lovely mix of people doing different projects & crafts! I love it as it keeps me inspired to keeping crafting in whatever form that takes for me & it is also nice to know that we all share certain characteristics that are common amongst “crafty” people."

The next week we were down to four again, but I know lots of people were away on holiday.

Then Ros brought in the tunic she has knitted and we were all blown away


A stunning piece of work.

Ros is taking two knitting workshops for us this term - one for socks, and one for a beautiful scarf, so we are looking forward to that.

Then today Jenny brought in the quilt she started on a Lynne Johnson day in June - English Paper Pieced and hand stitched


Again, we were stunned - she only started it in June!

Lynne brought in her strippy quilt she has made, which is just one of the beautiful quilts which can be made on the Lynne Johnson days


So, all in all, very exciting.

I am in the throws of bringing out the new schedule, just waiting for a couple of photos from teachers.

I also always try and get in some new teachers, to try and get a bit of variety in the workshops.  I usually have to pay them a bit more than I pay our regular teachers,  but am prepared to make a loss because it is something new.  This time I have been really shocked by the amounts I've been quoted, and have been unable to book them.  I know our workshops are priced very low, but have always felt  that I would prefer people to feel they can come regularly, and not just as one offs.  I think  lovely crafty days out should be affordable to everyone, and most of the time we are only doing things our mothers, aunties or other members of our family have taught us, so it should be accessible to everyone too.

I will probably have to put our prices up a bit in the next year, but am determined that our workshops will not become pretentious and trendy - just fun, engaging and informative days where people will hopefully start on a new hobby.

Crafting started at home, and I'm determined to do my bit to ensure there is room in everyone's lives for a bit of homespun 'making stuff'!

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Last Days of Summer

So, the last days of summer are here and what a summer it's been!

As usual I've struggled with the garden, but it has looked pretty and I'm sorry to see things are starting to fade now.  Next year I must remember not to put Cosmos in pots because now I have the stand for the pots they're far too high!


I have also discovered how planting perennials makes things so much easier


although I don't think I can give up my snapdragons and marigolds. 

The apples this year have been amazing


and all the plums I've been given have resulted in 35 jars of jam!


In the greenhouse I've been growing enormous Beef Tomatoes which have been excellent for pasta sauces

but some of them really were truly enormous


The other success were the courgettes - I've cooked them every way possible and they are still appearing, although not for long judging by the look of the leaves


and I have no idea what those enormous squashes are!

And then, of course, there's the story of the apron.......First you make a very pretty apron

















but don't know where to hang it so you get a  Shepherd's Hut,


and that's fine but what are you going to use a shepherd's hut for?  Of course!  A changing room for the Hot Tub!

So Jonathan's been building the base but I wasn't too impressed when I saw where he was storing his cement mixer

 
and since we're in the workshop, here's Ros's Penny rug which she started at one of our workshops
 

and, yes, tomorrow Sandra and I are getting together to finalise our Autumn Schedule......

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

What a Difference a Month Makes

I feel like I haven't written a post for six months, so was surprised to see that it has just been over a month.

But what a month it's been!  Real life has very much taken over quilting. 

On the 3rd August I became a Granny to 8lb 6oz Isaac Thomas


and what a lovely little baby he is.  I dashed out to Jersey the next day to meet him and I have to say he is one of the sweetest babies I have ever seen!

Naturally my dash back the same evening was halted when 10 minutes into the flight the captain told us he was turning back due to a technical fault.  Again, a trip to Jersey turned into a lot of waiting around on my own - this time outside of a closed up airport in the dark.  Fortunately Ben rescued me at about 10.45 and I was able to sleep at their house for the night.

Jonathan and I are looking forward to visiting for a few days mid-September when harvest will be a distant memory, and we can spend some quality time with our new grandson!

Next big day on the calendar was Sandra's daughter Lizy's wedding

 
 
Sandra's wedding gift to them was the Antique Wedding Sampler she made here at Lorne Hill Farm
 


It was a wonderful wedding, held near Ramsbury, so bride and groom and Mother and Father of the bride booked into The Bell for the wedding night.  Sadly they had such fun at the wedding that they didn't get to the Bell until after 1.00am, and were locked out.  They found one outside room open so Lizy and Phil started their married life together sleeping on the floor of Lizy's parents' room!

And in everyday life lots of things have been happening.  This came up our drive at the beginning of the month


and is now parked by the house (I think it's to encourage visits from grandchildren).  I slept out in it one night, which was sort of fun, but I don't think I'm a camping out sort of person anymore.

And the final change was that I have now left Trinity School, and so my days of being a receptionist are over.  I have enjoyed working there for the last 11 years, and seeing it go from strength to strength to the amazing school it now is, but the winds of change were in the air........



We are now on our summer break from the workshops, and held the last workshop at the end of July.  Aileen, who comes to Pitch and Stitch (which still runs through August) had brought lots of cotton reels that belonged to a friend who was moving.  We were allowed to take any we wanted but no one really showed a lot of interest until Pippa spotted them.  Her enthusiasm drew everyone's attention as she lined them up and read out all the imaginative names they had been given


There are none left now!

The 'portable workstation' workshop was such a success that we will be running it again,

and there have been some great pieces of work at Pitch and Stitch including Glenys' needlepoint cushion for her Grandson,


and my play balls for my Grandson!