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!

Wednesday, 25 February 2015


Had a brilliant day quilting today with some lovely finished Medallion quilts and I didn't take pictures of any of them - Goodness' knows why not.

Anyway, before the workshop I had a call from a friend who wanted to bring a little boy up to see some sheep.  His nursery teacher lets the children take home two toy sheep and they have to take photos of them and write a little story.

So, while we were busy stitching,  Jonathan took the little boy up to meet the sheep - and this is the photo they took:

I think it's brilliant!

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

A Good Morning for Finishing

We had a really good morning at Pitch and Stitch with loads of different crafty things going on.  It was so inspiring to see everyone working on their different projects. 

Barbara was down from Lancashire in her camper and we helped her baste her quilt

She has finished her Medallion and it is absolutely stunning - I know Lynne will love it when she sees it tomorrow.
Next to her was Denise who was busy putting the outside border on her lovely first quilt made in our Beginner's class last Summer (you're sewing a very neat line there Denise.....)

Sally was doing some piecing

Dorianna, after making everyone their drinks, settled down to making chickens for an Easter project

Sandra was crocheting this sweet little cardigan

Dawn was hooking her wool cushion

Barbara was working on her embroidery

and finally, Sandra C, who loves working in 3D, made this Polar Bear with felt

All very interesting.

And I'm very pleased to say I was finishing my hexagon wall-hanging (it's taken long enough).

I started it nearly two years ago at a weekend workshop we held with Helene B.  It was just supposed to be the centre square and I decided to use bondaweb because, I said, I wanted to finish it quickly.  Well, I would have, except that I decided I would do a hexagon border.  Hand stitching all those little hexagons took forever but, finally, it's finished.  Naturally Reuben made sure that even quilting it would be problematic, by cutting up my thread into 6 inch lengths

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Looking back

Recently a friend of mine put up on Facebook some old family photos which included a picture of their day out in their Hillman Huskie.  This rang bells with me and I had a look through our old family albums.  There it was - a picture of us all posing with our old Hillman Huskie

This wasn't for a day out though - it was for our annual three week holiday to the continent.  This time we were leaving for Spain, but other years we went to Italy and Switzerland.  How on earth did our little car make it - with seven of us on board, plus enough food to last us three weeks because at that point we didn't trust foreign food!

As we all grew a bit bigger, it was time to upgrade to a bigger car so we moved on to the Vauxhall Victor

This was great because it had a bench seat in the front so, three in the front, three in the backseat and one lying on top of all the food packed in the back.  Imagine doing that these days!

Eventually we got a caravan and discovered the delicious food we could buy abroad so we were less loaded up, but it does make me laugh to think of us all crammed in these little cars.  My biggest memories of the journeys, besides being sick the whole time and dreaming of flying, was when, on those narrow, tree-lined roads in France, my father would overtake.  We'd be trundling along behind a lorry when suddenly we'd here the tick, tick, tick of the indicator.  "No Daddy!" we'd all scream, but too late - he'd pull out and we'd see another car coming towards us.  "Nooooo!"  but then the tick, tick, tick and he'd pull back in front of the lorry.  "See, it was fine".

Meanwhile, back on the farm, calving has finally started and we had a little pale arrival on foggy Friday morning and a little brown calf on Saturday morning.

Sunday, 15 February 2015


Another damp, gloomy Sunday.  What a dark, dank winter we are having...today I haven't really known what to do with myself, which seems very wasteful.  I'm afraid I feel completely uninspired.  We are expecting calving to start any minute, and once that kicks in I should stop drifting about.  Reuben manages to keep himself busy guarding the chicken house.  The chickens are all out but he still takes his responsibility very seriously

The catkins and pussy willow are coming out which is a sign that spring will come again

but there isn't much colour anywhere.

Still, it's half term so I have a few days to get something accomplished.
Yesterday we had a really good workshop where the ladies made 'An Apple a Day' table mats
They all enjoyed putting their sewing machines to work and were very pleased with the results.

Next Saturday is the micro macramé workshops which I'm really looking forward to.
Now, before the day is over, I must go and DO something!!

Ps.  I had just finished writing this post when I got an email from Maureen.  She said, "Thank you for a great day yesterday, thoroughly enjoyed myself. Please also thanks Helene for me too.  As you can see from the photo the place mat is now finished and I am planning on making at least one more to match."

She included this photo:


Thursday, 5 February 2015

Last Day

Phew - the pressure was getting to me!

So, a few years ago I made this lovely knitting bag from a kit:

and Barbara L-S had seen it, liked it, and bought the little sewing bag kit of a similar design.  Well, she decided she would never get around to making it and passed it on to me.  I finished it today:
It's very nice with little pockets inside so I'm very pleased - thank you Barbara!

And for the last piece of work:

the bunting seating plan I made for Victoria's wedding which we pinned to an old gate.
So that's it - doing this every day has really been quite stressful!

Carolyn came today and has brought some examples of her micro macramé bracelets - I love them

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Fourth Day

This is getting exhausting but I shall persevere!

First I should say that our latest beginners quilting course started today and it was lovely to work with such an enthusiastic group - I can't wait to see their homework at the end of next month!

Coming up next week is the little heart hanging workshop.  I made this about 5 years ago and still love it.  I have seen many versions and my favourite is one made about a hundred years ago as a friendship quilt - each heart was signed by a friend.  It's really easy to make, and there are still places if anyone wants to sign up:

This is a Christmas wreath I made a few years ago - all in felt.  I just saw it hanging in the corner of the workshop - I'd forgotten all about it!

And my last one for today is a rag doll I made.  I made one for my mother on her 80th birthday and liked it so much I made one for myself - she sits in the hall by our log basket.
So that's that....just one more day to go!

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Day Three of the Challenge

Well, it's been such a wintery day here on the farm

that I thought I would select some wintery things for my three pieces.

This first one represents a couple of firsts.  I remember finding the pattern.  I don't think we had a computer here yet, or, if we did, I only used it for typing Parish Council meeting minutes.  I had gone over to my sister's for the day and I think she must have said "there's stuff on the internet about quilting - go and have a look on the computer".  I asked my nephew Sam how I should do it and he went into yahoo and put in "free patchwork patterns".  I was astounded at all the stuff there was to see, and printed off the pattern for this.  I came back home and over the next few days, made this hanging:

I really love it, and it hangs in the workshop every winter so everyone else is probably sick of it!

So by now I was using my mother's ancient singer to piece my quilts, and then hand quilting them.  After a few quilts for family, I decided I wanted to make one for our blue guest room.  Off to Sandra's shop to buy the fabric, and then I worked really hard to make this one - which was quite a challenge:

So many little triangles all put together very carefully.  And really tiny hand quilting which I was extremely proud of.  And then my mother said "all that work"  to which I agreed, "but why didn't you take more care to line up the blue strips?"  To which I also had to agree.  Why didn't I?  If Lynne Johnson had been around then I know there would have been a lot of unpicking resulting in a lovely quilt.  Oh well.

Lastly this small quilt hangs over a radiator at the top of the stairs.  It was for my quilt group Christmas Challenge (something about stars)  but I didn't read the measurements right so it was too big and didn't count.  I do love it though -  it always reminds me of when Jonathan wintered the cattle in the barn at the bottom of our drive and I used to look out the window in the middle of the night and see him going along with his torch checking everything is okay.  And then in the summer when harvest goes on after sundown and I can see the light on in the drier barn as Jonathan finishes up.

Of course - our farm isn't quite like this!

Monday, 2 February 2015

And the next three.....

So, second day of the challenge....

Before I got into quilting - before I even knew what quilting was really, I did a lot of embroidery.

I was really pleased with this table cloth, and really annoyed when it got tea stains on it:

And a lot of work went into this cushion but I wish I'd known to use better fabric and sew it into a more attractive cushion:

And this is one of my first efforts at embroidery.  I would have been 12 or 13 and decided to decorate my mother's pillow slips.  My cousin Jen was always doing loads of crafts and she really inspired me, and then my mother would tell me how her aunts used to do a lot of embroidery.  She always said the back should be as neat as the front.  Anyway, my mum taught me some stitches and then my granny sent me a book of embroidery stitches which I still have.  I think this is probably the last surviving pillow slip and the embroidery is pretty threadbare but, still, it must be about 40 years old!

I'll see what I can dig out tomorrow!

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Art Challenge

Although I'm not really into Facebook Challenges - especially if they hold any possibility of discomfort - I am rising to the Art Challenge presented to me by Lindsey Gibson - felter extraordinaire.  She ran a workshop for us a few years ago and everyone enjoyed it so much - it's just a shame she lives so far away.
Anyway, the challenge is to download 3 pictures of your work for 5 days (I probably won't do it for five days) so I thought I'd make a start.
Instead of going to my piles of quilts, I thought I'd look around the house for things I've made which I actually use or like.
The first thing I came across was a little hanging I have in the kitchen.  It was an 'Il e'tait une Fois' design, and I loved making it and still love it:
As you can see - I even use it as a pin cushion.

Second is the first quilt I ever made and finished.  It was from left over curtain fabric and I hand-stitched the whole thing (I hadn't yet nabbed my mother's sewing machine).  It was what put me on the road to quilting.  I pieced using papers, and after I'd made the quilt top wondered how to make it into a quilt.  My mother said she'd seen a quilting shop in town so suggested I go there and ask.  Off we went to Inches to Metres, and that's how I met Sandra.  She told me how to layer it and sold me backing and batting - and suggested I take a quilt class.  It's incredibly heavy but has accompanied us on every single picnic we've ever had - on beaches, in the garden, in the woods, on the deck of a ferry: if it could talk it would have a lot of stories to tell.

Thirdly is probably my favourite quilt and we have it in the best room:

So there you are - three bits from around the house.

By the way - our new beginners workshops start on Wednesday, so if anyone is tempted, now is the time to start.......