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, 27 May 2016

Off to Cornwall

So just a quick little post before I go and pack for our holiday in Cornwall!  A week of doing absolutely nothing!!
No feeding No 10 out in the field:

No feeding my 8 little lambs:

I am a bit worried about the lambs - I hope George remembers to feed them.

No weeding
 or watering.  Although I am worried about my plants in the greenhouse - will George water them?

It's not the best time to go away, everything is starting to look so lush and there is so much to do.  The hedge is looking lovely with all the Cow Parsley - we used to feed it to the horses because they love it

But we so need a holiday.  I've practically finished my little blanket:

and even if it rains on holiday I won't mind because I plan to crochet my Harrap Tweed Granny Stripe blanket from Black Sheep Wools -  I bought the pattern and wool at the Knitting and Stitching show.

Carole sent me this picture of her fantastic Antique Sampler

Hard to believe it's only her second Quilt!

Finally, I hope the dogs behave.  I heard some funny noises from upstairs while I was typing this - Millie had snuck up and was having a play in Victoria's bedroom -

Naughty Girl!

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Malvern Quilt Exhibition

What a fab time we had at Malvern Quilt Show!  I love going to Malvern - the show is not too big, you can walk right out the door and look at the beautiful hills (unlike the NEC where you walk miles and end up looking at concrete) and I even love the journey up as you go from Berkshire Downland, up through the beautiful little fields and stone houses of the Cotswolds and into Worcestershire! 

The quilts were very inspiring, although as usual I didn't always agree with the judges! - but here are some that caught my eye:

Random Daisies by  Gillian Oakley - it is made from Vintage embroidered table cloths and is an idea I've had for some time, but of course haven't done anything about it.

I liked the one below, No Flowers without Raindrops, by  Angelika Monks and quilted by Lynda Edmunton, mainly because of the retro-looking fabric.

Granny Squares by Elizabeth Ingram had lovely soft colours and I thought it was pieced and machine quilted beautifully.

These two Cot quilts surprised me.  The one below, Serandite, by Andrea Stracke, came second

and this one, Darian, by Janet Jones, came first

I don't think I would necessarily have thought the same, but the hand quilting is beautiful.

I really liked Star in the Cabin by the Parkhouse Patchwork Group and designed by Judy Martin because I've never seen Log Cabins put together like this.

Unseasonal Weather, by Jill Exell, was one of my favourites!  Inspired by "Childhood holidays, when the weather wasn't always summery" she depicted a wet sea front.  My own childhood memories of holidays are always hot because my parents followed the sun, but my children's memories are almost certainly of wet holidays because Jonathan and I have never been very lucky with holiday weather!

Another favourite was Jenny Williams' Ty Mam (Mother's House), again, inspired by  childhood memories but this time of the village of Abereiddy where her family came from

and this little hanging by Eleanor Wright, called Early Autumn in the Countryside, was really pretty.
Another Picture quilt which caught my eye was Almost Home by Senga Bain - very poignant

Finally, some of the larger quilts I liked.  Piece of my Heart by Sharon Coates and quilted by Midsomer Quilting - lovely soft greys and the pieced hearts look like they are made out of tissue paper.

Home is Where the Heart is by Joy Savage - little tiny Log Cabins

and Starburst by Carole Galbraith and quilted by Emma Galbraith, which was overall Champion.

And I have to mention Andrea Stracke, from Germany, again.  Her hand-quilted Citrine was astounding - such tiny, tiny stitches!

So that was the quilt show, and some of my favourite quilts. 

I did do a little shopping, but I was quite restrained,

of course the Donegal Tweed was again irresistible, as was the linen, but otherwise I was quite practical.

And the bobbin pin cushion? - well, anything that makes you laugh has got to be worth buying!

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

A New Lease of Life

The past two weeks have totally transformed the countryside and it is truly a green and pleasant land!  All the trees (except for the Ashes - a very good sign) have greened up, the fruit trees are starting to blossom, little stalks are appearing in the greenhouse, I've dug over my rose bed so it looks a lot happier, and there is a general feeling of optimism in the air.

But, and there always has to be a but, doesn't there? - the rooks and magpies are driving me nuts.  I have been really enjoying the birds at my feeders, and was really excited to see the woodpecker again, but now the magpies have spotted it.  Literally 2 hours after I've put out the fat balls, they are gone!

And when I go out to feed the chickens and geese, I can see the rooks on the telegraph pole just waiting for dinner

and the magpies getting closer

so I have to stand there until the chickens have eaten it all.

The lambs are coming along very nicely - just today I have dropped them down to two feeds a day.  But then I go out with the creep feed and......

they're waiting.  And they're clever too - every time I pointed the camera at them, they all flew away.  So don't think there's only one or two - sometimes there are more than 10 out there.

On a happier note, the last of our lambs were born today so lambing is over.

And the workshops have been great:

Pam was putting together her Antique Sampler on the Lynne Johnson workshop

and at Pitch and stitch Louise brought the sweet little needle case she's made

and was knitting a brooch with fine wire

Anthea was working on her husband's cricket club waistcoat

and Sandra was making a quilt for one of her granddaughters
So Spring fever is in evidence.

And tomorrow we are off to Malvern Quilt Show - yippee!

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Not Sewing.....Sowing!

This weekend has been amazing - hot, sunny - I haven't known what to wear!  I've put away all my woollens and pulled out my summer clothes so no doubt tomorrow it will be freezing!

Luckily for Barney and Big Boy the shearers came on Friday so they've had a haircut just in time for all this sunshine. The shearers come from New Zealand and travel all over the country shearing Alpacas - after us they were going up to Stoke on Trent.  They only charge £20 an animal and I have more wool now.  We've got to do a spinning workshop!  I was at work so didn't see it done which is a shame. 

Big Boy has sulked ever since and is staying up the far side of the field.

Anyway, it was too fine to stay indoors, and I really had to tackle the garden.  I am very proud of my herb garden (although apparently my sister said the  Buddleia doesn't belong there) and have Parsley, Sage, Oregano - plain and peppery, Thyme, Lavender, Rosemary, Mint and Tarragon in it.  Unfortunately the Tarragon spreads like mad so I have to really cut it back, and the whole little garden is constantly under attack from Couch Grass (my absolute enemy) and Dandelions.

Anyway, I worked very hard and am pleased with how it is looking:

Actually, no-one ever sees it because it's not only behind the workshop but Jonathan parks his truck in front of it all the time....but I know it's there.
Then, following tea with my friend's mother the other day I came home loaded up with seeds.  I just haven't had the time or the inclination -with the horrid weather we've been having - to get out into the greenhouse, but today I knew I had to do it or it wouldn't happen.
So I planted up Runner and French Beans, Yellow and green courgettes, mystery tomatoes, some snapdragon seeds I'd collected, and Sweet Peas.  I know it's late but hopefully better late than never.

Back in the winter I read an article about then being the time to clean the greenhouse - should have done it!

Anyway, after all that work I decided to take out a cup of tea and sit back in my deckchair.  Well, it wasn't set up right so I fell right through and got covered in tea.  Very nice....not.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Here Come the Girls!

It's officially Spring now and time to let the cows out of their winter home - always an exciting time.

The noise as they sense what's going on is deafening

but there has to be a bit of preparation before we let them out.  Any gaps they can get through that don't lead to the meadow have to be blocked

then the first lot are let out into the yard.  First one out

then we open the gates and - run for it girls!

Oops - if the calves don't keep up with their mums

                                              they tend to run the wrong way


but then they get it

Along towards the house

and then down to the meadow

Finally - lots of lush grass, sunshine, and space to roam!