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!

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

What we get up to in the Workshop!

A great crowd of us in the workshop this morning, and lots of different things going on - besides a lot of chat.

Last week the talk was all about ghosts and hauntings.  I am rather superstitious, but hadn't realised quite how much I had taken in until I went to shut in the geese and chickens.  It was very dark, and the wind was whistling around, and I got half way down the drive before I had to run back - there was no way I was going out there without a very strong torch!  It was a good half an hour before the back of my neck stopped prickling!!

Anyway, today we were mainly talking about marmalade making, local gos.....I mean news, the Northern Lights (three of us have recently been to see them) and, of course, what we were working on.

Lots of us start on one thing, and then move onto the next for a bit of a change!

Louise was knitting and then quilting

Karen finished off this pretty little dress,

and then got her knitting out

And having finished her Modular Knitted blanket,

Lynn got on with her Yoko Saito block

Three of us were working on tapestries.

Eileen has her handbags

                                      Dawn her lovely flowers

                                                                      and Sally her wily old fox!

Ros was going applique mad (which is something she never expected to happen)

and two of us were binding.  Jackie putting the binding on what seemed like hundreds of Morris hankies
and I was putting the binding on my Donegal Tweed quilt

My goodness, there's a lot of talk about our mother's crafts being forgotten, but I'd say they're still going on strong here in East Garston.  In fact, I know that people are crafting all over the country, but quietly, in sheds, studios, workshops, spare rooms, and in front of the telly!  Much more fun in company though! 

Our Caravan site opens this week, so we look forward to all our visitors from around the country who will pop up and join us on Tuesday mornings!

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

A Busy Half Term

Well - that half term just whizzed by and such a lot happened.

Calving got off to a very good start.  Jonathan spotted the cow readying to calve and went off to get some hay for her to munch.  When he got back, there was her calf laying on the ground!  I took this photo just now, so it's two days old now.

But I'm jumping ahead of myself. 

On Wednesday we had the Heart Hanging workshop, and Julie has sent me a picture of her finished article which she is going to use as a table mat:

It's so bright and cheerful it makes the one I made, and was planning to send to Victoria, look very dark and dreary:

Perhaps I'd better keep it!

Then, that evening, we had quite a surprise.  A helicopter had been circling around for quite a while, which isn't unusual, but then it got louder and louder.  I rushed to the window and couldn't believe it when it landed in our field at the bottom of the garden.  Apparently it was a Puma.  I round down and took photos (which weren't very good), watched the men jumping around inside, and then it took off again!

On Thursday I went on a little trip to visit my sister in Devon.  We had a lovely couple of days visiting the Pannier Market in Barnstaple,

where I bought some bits and bobs including a nice piece of linen.  The last time I was there was on my honeymoon and I remember it's where we bought the telephone we have the kitchen.

Then in the afternoon we had a lovely walk through the Valley of Rocks on Exmoor; it was amazing with all the rock formations and I loved seeing the wild goats and their little bleating kids (apparently the herd was started when three feral goats from Northumberland were introduced, in the fifties, and now there are over a hundred!, but there were goats grazing there as far back as 1086).  We then walked down to a little beach (I can't remember what it was called) with beautiful views across the calm sea.

What I couldn't believe, when I looked at my pictures, was the gold bar right under my nose!

I wanted to go back for it but......

The next day we went to Clovelly - such a pretty little place.  We walked all the way down the cobbled high street,

and in and out of little alleyways

We could go into a little cottage decorated as it would have been  when a fisherman lived there

and I loved the crocheted bedspread (I want to know how to make the long chained flowers)

and I thought this tiled floor is just begging to be made into a quilt!

and then we just sat in the lovely sunshine on the Quay looking back at the village.

On the way back we passed a man bringing home his weekly shop - hard work when you can't drive your car to the back door - they all use sleds.  He said I could take a picture but that he couldn't stop because he needed to gather momentum!

What a lovely day - in fact what a lovely stay I had.

The only problem with staying in a house that is absolutely pristine is coming home to your own, rather more lived-in house.  There was not one, tiny bit of straw anywhere in my sister's house - I couldn't believe it!  In fact, it was so clean that at one point Carolyn pointed to the floor and said "What's that?"  It was a piece of cotton I'd dropped!!

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Slow? Moi?

Not slow so much as unfocused....

I would like to say I've finished my Medallion quilt top - but I haven't quite.  I have, however, finished what I think is border number 6 - and it has taken me six years!  Six years!!

So what started as a project to use three old (very old, about 30 years I reckon, although they weren't that old when I started) Laura Ashley dresses, has gone on and on and on.

The end is in sight though and that is a very nice feeling!  It helped that this weekend has been so bitterly cold - all you felt like doing was battening down the hatches and since I'm not quite prepared yet to sit in front of the fire all day I decided to get my head down and finish that border!

We have a nice workshop coming up on Wednesday - this very traditional heart hanging: look in any old quilt book and you'll see some version of it, and of course very appropriate for Valentine's Day.

A nice way to learn applique because it has both convex and concave curves, and can be used as a hanging or a little cot quilt.  I've also seen versions used as friendship quilts, with little messages stitched into the hearts.  There are still a couple of places on the workshop if anyone fancies joining us.

Now, onto the next border..........

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Cold, Blustery February

So February has arrived and the cold, blustery weather continues.  The days are getting a bit longer, but it's still as black as night when I get up in the morning and dark again by 6.00pm.  I find it very hard to get motivated this time of year, and spend a lot of time picking things up and then putting them down again and moving onto something else.

I'm also very easily distracted, and because George was going into school to do a Careers Fair, he asked me to send some photos to get printed.  They are all photos he's taken and, actually, I thought some of them were beautiful, but at the same time show just how lonely life can be as a farmer.

Driving the harvest corn cart under a big sky threatening rain:

Ploughing the fields with only gulls for company

and a pair of Red Kites

and then a less melancholy picture of hay making:

It's hard to remember in these dark days how blue the sky can be and, when the grass is all brown and rusty in winter, how lush and green it is in summer.

Then, when they are working in company, they are working so hard that there isn't much companionship!

Just mouths to feed:

Being a farmer's wife is a funny old life too - either the men are under your feet most of the day moaning about the weather, or you only see them when they want food!

I suppose that's why I enjoy doing the workshops so much - it's so nice to spend time chatting and sharing stories at the same time as making beautiful things.  The Tuesday morning Pitch and Stitch sessions are just a get together where we sort out the world whilst getting on with our own little projects.  The next post I do, I think, will be all about the amazing projects everyone is working on.

Today I went and collected three lovely boxes of fabric from Jan.

We are so lucky - Jan works for Village Fabrics in Wallingford (a lovely quilt shop packed with all kinds of quilting fabrics) and they send over boxes so when people come for workshops they can buy any fabrics they may need.  They always choose a lovely selection and because Jane comes to the Lynne Johnson workshops here, she knows the sort of fabrics we'll be looking for.

I've just realised - there isn't much loneliness in quilting!