Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Santa’s pressies


Was Santa good to you?  I had a wonderful surprise on Christmas Day when I opened my presents from Dilly.  I was so delighted to find this excellent book by Kelli Perkins and two beautiful pieces of fabric.  Some time ago I received an envelope from Kelli when she was de-stashing so I was overwhelmed to receive this book from Dilly and Helena.   I have had a bit of a look through the book and Kelli has been very generous with her ideas.  It is a lovely book and will give me lots  ideas for mixed media projects.


Isn’t this batik stunning?


And this one!  I shall have to find a very special project for these beautiful fabrics.  Thank you so much Dilly :o) You are a very generous wagon and very thoughtful. xx

I am feeling a bit lacklustre at the moment and very disinclined to blog.  I’m sure it’s just the time of year and I’ll soon be back to normal.  Until then please forgive me for being rather brief.  Just in case I don’t get back to blog before the special day I wish you all a very Happy New Year with good health, wishes coming true, happy family days and lots of creativity.  If you have health worries that you are taking forward then I hope that you will find the strength and support to carry you through to renewed vigour.  Happy New Year and thank you for your friendly support this year.  I really appreciate everyone who takes the time to look in here. I am hurtling towards 600 posts so I will soon be offering a little gift (once I’ve finished it!). xx

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Merry Christmas


Well, all the shopping is now done, presents wrapped and under the tree, the turkey’s thawing, DH is in the bath (probably snoring by now) the trifle is half made (Mum’s secret recipe, it will be getting custard on top, hope it’s got plenty of alcohol in!) and a bottle or two will soon be open.  How’s it going with you all?  I seem to have shopped endlessly and I’m sure there will still be things I wished I’d bought but it’s too late now, thank goodness.

We are having a very quiet Christmas Day, just DH, my Mum and me.  We had trouble getting Mum here because of the bad weather but my brother managed to fetch her on Monday, phew!  It has been very icy here over the last couple of days so last minute shopping and visiting has been curtailed.  It even took us quarter of an hour to get off our drive this morning as the wheels kept skidding.  A bag of salt did the trick plus a couple of mail sacks under the wheels.  It didn’t help that I kept falling about laughing every time a sack flew out from under the wheel as we did a wheel spin! (It was probably hysteria as we were rolling ever closer to my DH’s car!)

Anyway, enough rambling, I’m sure you’ve all got better things to do.   I’m very grateful to everyone who looks in here and leaves a comment (or doesn’t),  and I really appreciate all the friends I have made over the last two years.  Thank you all for your lovely friendship and your encouraging comments and advice.  Thank you too to all the people whose blogs I visit throughout the year, you are an inspiration to me.

Whatever you are doing this holiday I hope you have a really lovely Christmas Day.

Merry Christmas and Blessings of the Season!

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Nellie's Needles

Go and have a look at this wonderful work that Nellie has produced for a hospital in Illinois. If you scroll down and click on the label for Prairie Flowers you can follow Nellie's journey and while you are visiting with Nellie have a look round, she has some inspiring work on her blog. I particularly like her Ort work and Crinkle Quilts. Maybe I will find time to try a little crinkle work myself over the holiday?

I’m back

This is one of those posts where you don’t know where to start because you’ve been quiet for so long! ;o)  I am still coughing, a bit, but not as much as I was, finally, thank goodness.  Ah, that’s better.  I’ve broken the ice. 

The project that I didn’t want to show just yet is now finished. Yay!!!  For a smallish piece it has taken me a long time to complete and I have been working on it over the last 2 weeks between all the coughing.  (Johnathan, if you should be reading this post could you bale out now, please, as I’m going to put a photo up. Good lad)

Has he gone yet?

Are you sure?

OK, so I’ll show you what I’ve been doing.

baby's quilt

My nephew and his wife are having their first child in February and, although I had said I would never make a quilt again I really wanted to make one for this new member of the family.  The fabric is not pieced as you can probably tell.  It is made by Andover fabrics.

baby's quilt detail

I wasn’t sure what design to use for quilting and eventually decided to use spirals and some wavy stitching (very technical terms!) with some little hearts.  When it came to the panel of flowers I followed the shapes of the flowers with the stitching.

Before I started on the quilt I practised on a sample first and was able to make this into a bucket bag.

baby's quilt2

Actually it doesn’t look quite like this now as I have lined it and turned the top over but you get the gist.  I am really pleased with the quilt and the bag and I couldn’t restrain myself from showing you all so I hope my nephew hasn’t looked in.  The quilt is just less than a metre square but I still found it quite strenuous quilting it on my little Janome.  Fortunately I found that I could use the extension table from my embellisher to support the quilt so that did make the job a bit easier.  Will I make another one?  Hmmm! Quite possibly as my friend’s daughter is expecting a baby in the summer next year and I would quite like to make her a quilt too.  Watch this space!

So, how many of you are snowed in this weekend?  We have been fairly lucky and just have about an inch of snow but it is freezing hard.  Hopefully we won’t get too much more.  It’s surprising how localised the snow has been in this part of the country.  If you pop across to my DH’s blog he has been posting a few photos of our town in the snow.  ( I stayed home and got my sewing room ready for my Mum who will be coming up for Christmas).   There will be more over the next couple of days, I’m sure.

Today brought me some exciting Christmassy post.


The very lovely Dilly sent me two parcels and they both arrived today.  The larger parcel has some very green bows on it.  Green is one of Dilly’s favourite colours. Well, she is a baby dwagon!  I am going to be very good and not open these till Christmas Day. Is that all right Dilly?

I’ve had 2 special cards today too


This very pretty card from Dilly and Helena, not forgetting Bob T Bear and his daddy.


And this lovely card from Carolyn, my very dear friend in St Ives Cornwall who is not too well at the moment.  Hurry up and get well Carolyn xx

I have a confession to make.  I have been so busy with trying to get my baby quilt finished in time for my brother to take it to my nephew this week that I haven’t found the time to make any Christmas cards for my many blogging friends.  I hope you will forgive me and know that I wish you all a very Happy Christmas.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to rush off and watch the final of Strictly Come Dancing.  I still can’t decide who I want to win.  See you soon!!


Wednesday, 9 December 2009

A Mixed Bag

I’m still coughing and sniffling and battling this wretched cold!  The most frustrating part is the rotten cough that starts up when I start talking.  Imagine!  The peace that my DH is enjoying because any extended conversation starts me off ;-)  I’ve had to cancel several visits to friends because I can’t stop coughing long enough to chat and the phone has been unusually quiet too.  Anybody want a cold? Going cheap?

Anyway, enough of moaning!  I have had two lovely treats through the post to cheer me up this week.

gift from Jacqueline

Recently Jacqueline was celebrating because she had passed 777 blogposts and then passed two exams so she had a giveaway and I was a lucky recipient.  This beautiful page above is layered and burnt through to echo the stitch marks and I love its golden colour. I am hoping to incorporate it into my flower book that I have yet to finish.  If you follow the link to Jacqueline’s blog take some time to have a look round.  She is a prolific artist and enjoys experimenting and exploring different surface textures.



My second gift in the post was from Lisa who blogs as Ivory Blush Roses.  This beautiful pincushion, which is far too delicate to use for pins, was a giveaway too and it is exquisite. 



If you follow the link to Lisa’s blog stay a while and have a look around.  Lisa does the most beautiful crazy patchwork which is delicate and very pretty and she has the most beautiful touch in the way she arranges her favourite things in her home.  She creates a very calm atmosphere both in her home and her blog. 

I’ve been making one or two more cuffs but they are quite different from the ones I made on holiday.


For all three cuffs I first wove silk ribbon which I then bondawebbed and machine stitched roughly onto black felt.  I think I should actually have just machined it onto a stabiliser as the felt combined with the ribbon made it quite thick to stitch.  For the cuff above I couched down sari wool (which was already wound into a yarn and which I bought in St Ives) and then added beads and finished with a felt lining and blanket stitch edging.


The cuff above has a fancy embellished ribbon stitched on with buttons and beads added.


I think this one is a bit ‘punk’ with heavier beads and shell beads added.  I also made another of the turquoise sea themed cuffs but I have sent it winging its way to a friend in Cornwall who wanted it for her Mum and I forgot to photograph it! Duh!

These cuffs will end up as little gifts for friends but I may just have one of those things………what are they called?  Oh yes! A Giveaway, but not till after Christmas.  Watch this space!

In between coughing fits I have been working on my project and have got on quite well, although the air has been very blue at times.  I told you I had said I was never going to do this ‘thing’ again didn’t I?  I’ve been doing an hour or two most days to spread the job out and it’s involved plenty of practice with free motion quilting.  I’m on another learning curve and thank god for quilting gloves, they are a great help.

Well, I hope you’re managing to stay cold free but if not keep warm and drink plenty, like me.  I should be going to the local Embroiderers’ Guild meeting on Saturday but I will wait and see how this cough goes.

Thursday, 3 December 2009


Just to let you know I have changed my settings for comments and they should now come up in full page view. I was reading on someone's blog that there have been difficulties for some people where the comments box is embedded. I don't think mine was embedded but I thought I'd change it anyway as I know one or two people have had problems leaving comments here in the past. Let me know if you have any problems with the new set up. DH and I are both 'buggy' this week, coughs and colds, yuck! Work is continuing on the secret project in between the spluttering and sniffing and hopefully normal service will be restored in a few days.

Christmas must be nearly here, I've just heard Cliff Richard in the background on the radio in Coronation Street (Mistletoe and Wine)! Go Cliff!

This photo has been unashamedly borrowed from the internet but unfortunately I forget where from.