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!

Sunday, 30 August 2015

A Bit of Colour

Well, that last post was very dark and grey - so time to inject a bit of colour!

Although we have had so little sun this summer, some of the flowers are putting on quite a show.

It's been such a good year for the roses, which are still going strong

and my hanging baskets are big and blousy

and the Dahlias are lovely but rather an Autumnal colour
The greenhouse has been really productive, with loads of tomatoes and a constant supply of cucumbers.

My sister came round yesterday (with a welcome bunch of garlic from her allotment) and we went down to the drier to see how things are coming along...it's the first day they've been harvesting for a week but the barn is filling up nicely

We took the boys down their tea and cake - Belinda couldn't get her head around driving with mugs of tea at her feet but it would be cold by the time I got there if we walked!

The swallows are still flying around - my nephew told me the adults fly south first leaving the fledglings to follow on later.  They perch on the workshop roof and then chase each other around the house.

and at night they roost in the nest they were born in, ignoring me going in and out the back door

The upside of all these cloudy days are the spectacular sunsets we have every evening - although they don't keep to their promise of sunshine the next day!

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Dog Days of Summer

The last few days really have felt like the Dog Days of Summer.  The weather is muggy, or raining, so the combine has been sitting around doing nothing.  The weather forecast has been really unreliable, so there's no planning anything in advance.  The grain is too wet to harvest, but then the sun comes out so it may be dry enough later in the day...but then it isn't.  On and on.

George was pleased because the pause in work meant we could go and get his Jimny - his first truck!

I have been mainly fascinated by the activity of the birds.  On Wednesday night I had noticed the swallows tidying up their nests in the porch, which I thought was odd.  Now I think they were tidying up before flying south.  Then on Thursday it was like being in an Alfred Hitchcock film - there were birds everywhere. All the starlings were lined up on our roof

and then flying around the house

and the swallows were everywhere.  Lined up on fences

and I could get within 3 feet of them.  These were two young ones - their parents kept swooping down with food for them
on the greenhouse roof

on our roof

and ducking and diving all around

too fast for me to take any decent pictures.

Anyway, when I wasn't running around taking pictures, I was making the Autumn primitive stitchery ready for our workshops next term


Monday, 17 August 2015

Cracking on...

One more bit about the NEC:  I always love the Lea Lu stand and adore their beautiful French Chambray fabrics.  I bought a few fat quarters and when I got home remembered I'd bought some bits from them the other year.  Well, when I dug them out there was rather more than I thought (I was less frugal the last time I went) so filled with enthusiasm I've thrown together a shabby chic quilt - with the emphasis on the shabby.

I've used their chambray with Osnaburg so it's very light and summery.

Meanwhile, down on the farm things are a little less light and summery.  I Just took the boys down a cup of tea and a slice of strawberry shortcake each - they've been complaining that this harvest there has been a shortage of afternoon tea - and had a look to see how they're getting on.

The winter Barley and Rape is in, and now they're working on the wheat - so they are just over half way through.  Some of the wheat has been sold straight out of the field, but as usual we are filling up the barns.

George drives the corn cart from the field

and then tips the wheat out in the barn

Here the wheat is being taken through to the cleaner.

After it's been sieved all the chaff is blown out the side.

It goes along the conveyer to be piled up in the barn.

Dusty, dirty work.

Still, got to be done -and they do get tea and cake.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Rainy Day

Well, it's pouring with rain outside so with harvest on hold Jonathan and George are off truck-buying.

The little Nissan Micro that saw Victoria through school, university, and Secretarial college and which George has driven up and down every track in West Berkshire has finally  worn itself out.  I know Victoria will be very sad to read that.

Anyway, this time last week instead of sitting here looking out at the rain, I, along with Sandra and Helene, was being driven up to Birmingham by Barbara.  We had such a lot of laughs, ate a lot of food,  met friends from all over the country, and admired all the quilts.

Best Two Person Quilt was won by a lady who attended classes with our favourite teacher, Lynne Johnson - so we were thrilled about that.

Here are some more quilts that I really liked:

This is Restless Heart by Laura Kemshall

Closer inspection of the border revealed lots of nails

Rather sad.

Another two pieces were a bit sad; Jenni Dutton cared for her mother who suffered from Dementia.  Jenni did a series of portraits of her mother to represent the aging process.  I thought this one was beautiful

and when you looked closely, it was even more astounding

- what vision to be able to make a portrait from that!

This was great

and we all loved this

and of course these little hexagons drew me

- Angelines Artero's "That Scent"
I had a chat with Luke Haynes, who had an exhibition of portrait quilts  made from the clothes the models were wearing they sat for him.  I really liked the fact that the quilts were well made, and not just 'arty'.  He said he thought if you were using a certain medium, it was right to learn how to do it properly too.

And, finally, here's a picture of Zandra Rhodes, who was the speaker at the Gala Dinner - very entertaining (and tiny, tiny tiny)!

So, there you are, that's the 2015 Festival of Quilts done and dusted!


Thursday, 13 August 2015

The Festival of Quilts

We had a brilliant time at the Festival of Quilts at the NEC.  We were there for 2 days and one night, and when I got back I felt like I'd been gone a week... it was so good to take a breather from the harvest.  And my hotel room was not overlooking the air conditioning machinery so I couldn't grumble!

I'll show some pics of my favourite quilts, and try to label them right....

This one won the Bernina award -it's by Joy Savage and was made of tiny log cabins - it contains over 40,000 pieces.  Oh, and before you say she had too much time on her hands, she did it whilst doing her PGCE!

I liked the colours in this one by Kirsti Hovland in Norway - it's called 'The Milky Way - Stars Wondering

I think this one is by Sue Bibby, it was in the Miniature Quilt section.
This was by Kyoko Yamauchi
Her applique was stunning

Here are some I loved but can't say who made them

That's all for now.....but I'll put some more up tomorrow....

Thursday, 6 August 2015


Quite a few things are making me grumpy at the moment.

Harvest started last Friday, which was late, but we've had a steady few days.  It makes me grumpy because of all the tension in the air from the farmers - it goes from one extreme to the other, the men are either under your feet all day moaning about the weather, or you spend the whole day on your own making sure they have food and drink when they need it.

George won't let anyone else drive the new Claas tractor.

All these windy days are making me grumpy - and the garden hates it.  My beans are hopeless; as soon as they get more than a foot tall the wind blows them down and rips off the leaves.  I have to keep watering everything all the time because the wind dries it out.  I came home last week and Jonathan asked why I'd hung a sheet over the apple tree - again, the wind blew it there.

I went round to water my pots at the front of the house yesterday and found this:

Two of my Cosmos, snapped at the roots.

And the worse thing is, the wind is cold!  I was reduced to sitting in the greenhouse the other day:

At least the toms and cucumbers are coming along nicely.

And the little gosling is coming along nicely too - he's no longer yellow and his tail and wing feathers are starting to grow.

Because I can't get out as much as I'd like, I've finished my Donegal Tweed and cotton quilt:
I'm quite pleased with it.

(Feels like I'm not quite so grumpy now).

And we have two little house guests for a couple of weeks - Pepsi and Sprite - who are so sweet

It's been years since I've had a hamster.

And tomorrow we are off to the NEC for the quilt show....

So perhaps I shouldn't be grumpy after all!