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!

Monday, 28 August 2017

It's Finished!

No - not a quilt, but harvest is over for another year!

Here's the last trailer being pulled in (with George in his new Kubota tractor, which caused great excitement on it's arrival the other week)

and reversed into the barn

and then the last load of oats being tipped in

to a now very full barn

What a relief - and I don't have to do anymore tea and cake runs at 5pm - at least not for 10 months

So that's that - well, not quite because a lot of the grain still has to go through the cleaner so someone will still be busy

but at least the feeling of panic has subsided, and all has gone well. 

Thursday, 24 August 2017


If you haven't been out yet - you'd better get a move on!  There are so many blackberries this year

Of course the best ones are always in the hardest to reach places

but there are so many about that it's easy-pickings this year.  Every time I go for a walk, I take a little bag with me and fill it up - I now have a freezer full of lovely blackberries which should take us through to next year.

Of course, it would be nice to have more helpful blackberrying companions -  It's a real struggle to keep hold of Millie and pick, but then I've never had much luck with that.  My mother used to hate it and would pick about four and then give up.  Jonathan would pull a strop about having to go, and then insist on taking the truck and stop at each bramble so I could get out and pick.  My children would moan and come along very reluctantly, and I'm sure that when I used to go with my little sister she'd just eat them all.  So it's never been a pleasant stroll in the sunshine,  picking berries and putting them in my basket!

Anyway, we have been enjoying our long walks, deciding which direction to take,


and then just loving the wide, open spaces.

And of course, I can usually see the men harvesting in the distance

and sometimes a bit closer!

Saturday, 19 August 2017

A Boat Full of Wool

Harvest is still on - and it's such a stressful time.  Most of the time I'm pottering around on my own, but in the background there is a constant feeling of tension.  Everyday there are discussions about the weather, and there is a lot of staring up at the sky and wondering will it rain or not?  If they aren't harvesting, they are ploughing and cultivating for the new planting. 

And the animals still have to be dealt with - last week the ewe lambs went off to Winchcombe, and the week before our spring lambs, so at least there are plenty of empty fields for dog-walking.

Anyway, amidst all this madness I saw a post;  "Mandala's and Mocktails: a Cro-social on a Boat Full of Wool".  Two hours on a barge crocheting Mandalas and drinking Mocktails.  I decided to sign up....

So yesterday evening I set off with my two crochet hooks to a Narrow boat which was moored on the Kennet and Avon canal.  I wasn't sure what to expect but knew it would be fun and different.

Sophie met me and Jo, Jo and Nancy at the little car park and walked us to her boat.  Inside it was an Aladdin's cave of creativity - every surface was covered with beautiful crocheted throws, rugs and blankets and it was like walking into a cosy crafting den.

The mandala we were going to make was hanging from the ceiling - and I had a sinking feeling that in the two hours I would get no further than making a chain!  However, Sophie's pattern started with "make a magic circle"  which I'd never even heard of but is instead of making a chain so I did do more than I expected. 

Mocktails and snacks were put out on little tables so we could eat and drink whilst crocheting and chatting.

Sophie's Cro-socials are such a good idea and she is so young and enthusiastic that it was great to spend the evening with her.  I know lots of young people who love crafts and would love to visit her Boat Full of Wool, so I hope word gets around.

And my Mandala?  Well, I was much slower than the others, and mine was much loopier than theirs, but at least I had something to show for my evening messing about on the river!

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Strolling through Summer

We are about two thirds of the way through the harvest and even George stated yesterday that he'd had the busiest day ever!  Before breakfast he had filled the combine with diesel, cleaned and power-hosed his tractor and then unloaded a lorry of fertilizer.  He then cultivated until lunch time and then was on corn cart till 8.00pm!

I, too have been keeping busy.....I have knitted a fish bath mit for starters - so grateful to Sandra for the yarn and pattern - don't know how I've lived without one till now.

I have also, as I planned, been taking the dogs for long walks every day.  I have always wondered just how far I walk with them, so have been using my phone to measure my usual routes.  It always seems to be about three miles.  It's fun to do but every time the lady shrieks out that I have walked another mile I nearly have a heart attack and spin round to see who's crept up on me! 

Last weekend I went on our annual pilgrimage to the Festival of Quilts.  My visit was  cut a bit short by the arrival of Victoria for a surprise visit, but I still managed to see a lot. 

The supper on the Friday night was followed by a talk by Textile Artist Cherilyn Martin - her work was very interesting and I loved her descriptions of where she works in the Netherlands.  I met her in the breakfast queue the next day and what a surprise to learn that she lived in Bologna first - the Italian city next to Modena, where I used to live.  And, stranger still, out of the blue that very morning a friend had sent me a picture from all those years ago!

Anyway, to the quilts....there were so many, and as usual I wasn't necessarily in agreement with Judges, but here are some that caught my eye:

This clearly should have won

Because it was by

It's probably as close to perfection as you can get.

I also recognised this Medallion by Jenny Otto

And loved this Okehampton Quilt also by Jenny and quilted by Francis Meredith

I liked the way Floral Dance by Stephanie Short was quilted

and of course was drawn to Carmen Maria Cambronero's little hexagons in Veton

I also liked this one by Helen Burnham, and called Four Seasons in Roman Britain.


 Marianne Mohandes' quilt looked lovely

  and I loved Dancing with Daisies by Cowslip Workshops which came second in the Group Quilts

But I have to say that what I enjoyed most at the exhibition was looking at Martine Apaolaza's beautiful stiched pictures - I even bought the book (well, actually I walked off with it without paying and had to be called back) - Flaneries dans Paris et alilleurs (meaning Strolls through Paris and Elsewhere).  Will I ever make any?

Just beautiful!