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I went for a little visit to the town of Hebden Bridge the other day with my friend Sharon. It is a very pretty place, similar to Marsden with a river and a canal.
We hadn’t really planned what to do as were just going for a tootle but imagine our delight at finding this as one of the first shops we came across!
We had to go in of course (it would have been rude not to) and a while later left with all of this lovely stuff. They also do classes and online sales and this is their web site.
Most of this will become Xmas presents so it is guilt free fabric ;-) and I was very pleased to get some more of the Makower sewing print range for my gifts.
I was most impressed with this little mini cake – 40 pieces of fabric for only £3, they are about 2 inches square so will make lovely hexis for pincushions and aprons.
Then a little further on down the street we found this lovely wool and haberdashery shop. They must have known we were coming :-) Love the cross stitch opening hours sign.
I bought ribbon and self covering buttons for a project I will mention later in this post. And there were some very cute teddy buttons.
We went to the local WI this week as they were having a demonstration on how to make a brooch from Liberty fabric. The session was run by Julie from a local handmade company Teazle and we all made very cute little flowers.
I bought a kit to make another with some beautiful Liberty paisley and have adapted the design to make Xmas ornaments.The flower looked a little like a poinsettia so I thought it would be nice hanging from a tree.
I have made Suffolk Puffs (or Yo – Yos) for the first time for the centre of the flower. I made 2 of different sizes and layered them to cover up the centre hole.
I am still enjoying my hexagons, as well as using them for Xmas ornaments I am making some little pincushions for my friend Sue’s charity stall.
The one on the left is made from the hexi needlecase freebie fabric from my Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine and the one on the right is fabric from two charity shop blouses.
I love the little flowers on this fabric and think that the broderie anglaise flowers on the white fabric look really pretty against the dark pink which is Kona solids from my stash.
I am aiming to do some more brooches, pincushions and ornaments over this weekend as I would like to have all my hand-made ornaments finished before term starts in two weeks if possible.
Hope you have a nice relaxing and crafty weekend planned. Thanks for visiting.
You know when you promise yourself you are not going to buy any more fabric as you already have lots that you haven’t used (and haven’t touched for years) and you really, really mean to stick to that promise but then along comes a really special something so you have to buy it even though it is a bit naughty?
Well that happened to me last week, was just buying some tickets for the Knitting and Stitching Show in November and was checking the list of exhibitors and happened to see one of our local fabric suppliers, Simply Solids, listed so just had to have a little look at their website and they had the most fabulous themed fabric and it was on sale!
I think this first one is going to be my favourite – though the others are fab as well.
It arrived on Friday but did not have time to really appreciate it until I got back from the weekend.
The other exciting thing is that she is opening a shop in town soon with classes and everything! That is probably going to a major dent in my budget but at least the kids will know what to get me for Christmas as I am sure she will do gift vouchers.
The justification is that I am planning to make Christmas gifts so it can count as spends for that and not fabric spends, (I did have other stuff to make Christmas gifts with though – just have to use them up quick as well!)
We usually go and have a little look in the National Trust second-hand book stalls when we visit properties and came away with a brilliant haul this time. As well as a big pile of fiction books they had just had a lot of quilting books donated so I bought these four.
The pink bordered title was published in 1937 and is a detailed study of the history of 19th century quilting and the front book gives lots of hand quilting patterns.
My favourite one is this wonderfully titled publication from 1984 which is so detailed in the process of making a block quilt.
It has all sorts of useful things like a sizing chart for different bed sizes, a block design page where you are encouraged to colour in sample blocks to see which look best and most useful of all are sets of card templates for all of the blocks.
I have decided that I will concentrate on quilting and patchwork for a while (in between lots of kit making sessions). I will still be knitting socially but after 9 bunnies and 3 elephants am going to swap skills for a while and there is so much that I have been wanting to do quilt wise.
Quilting and patchwork will be the focus of the Christmas presents this year (so that I can feed my hexagon addiction!) and I will be making sewing notion gifts, two more aprons and hopefully a cushion based on this wonderful quilt using found textiles which have been embellished with embroidery and beads.
This is from a Bee Quilt Stitch along that I found on this blog – I think it is made by someone called Chantal, the site is in French so not too sure but there are some wonderful hexagon quilts on there done using the quilt as you go technique where each hexagon is made and bound before being stitched together.
Isn’t it gorgeous and will be a great was of using up some of the vintage things I have bought over the last two years.
So am going to be very busy and happy during the off-season!
Take care and thanks for visiting.
I hope you are enjoying your Friday – I have another weekend of sewing planned in my lovely newly tidied craft room.
Would have had a fab finish to show you but once completed realised that I had made a (deliberate of course!) mistake with one part so that will be unpicked, re-sewn and brought to you later in the weekend :-)
Meanwhile we will have a closer look at the quilts made by Helen from my knitting group. Helen does have a blog but can’t find it at the moment (my favourites are still all on my old laptop!)
These will all be going to Spain over the next few months to an orphanage that my Mum supports.
I love the fabric choices – Helen made all these from stash, isn’t she clever. I would love to be more confident at fabric combining, always seems to take me ages to decide what to use for a project.
Hoping for some good weather for a walk as well – as soon as Google announced the first day of Spring Yorkshire decided to get all wet and windy again :-(
Take care and will update on project soon, thanks for visiting.
The baking that is , the weather has been pretty bad, that lovely blend of freezing sideways rain that with wind Yorkshire does so well. So I used that as an excuse to do some baking and sewing (not that I really need an excuse but was considering a walk until the heavens opened).
I used a recipe from the BBC Food site for my gluten-free muffins, you can find it here and adapted it to a savoury mixture by adding leftover baked sweet potato and cheese.
I have found gluten-free needs more moisture and flavour as the flours (potato, rice and tapioca mainly) do not give much of these. I used the Doves Farm Gluten free self-raising blend.
Before they went into the oven they didn’t look very promising but came out nicely – a good crumb as Paul Hollywood (Great British Bake Off) would say and a nice colour. They could have done with a bit more flavour but ok with a bit of butter!
The loaf was an adaptation of the recipe on the back of the Doves Farm gluten-free bread flour, I added orange juice, cranberries and seeds , mainly sunflower and pumpkin my favourites :-).
Straight out of the oven it was very good, though the loaf weighs a lot and could prove a handy weapon if needed the warm slice was lovely. Later on when cold it was a bit dense and again could do with a bit more flavour but will be ok toasted.
I forgot to tell you yesterday about some very good books I have been reading, the Cobbled Court novels by Marie Bostwick.
They are a set of quilt themed novels (as in they are about a woman who owns a quilt shop) so quilting is mentioned and there are related free patterns on the author’s website. They are brilliant and I really enjoyed reading them and can’t wait to get the last couple I haven’t read, the one below will be released in April.
I have put myself on a strict monthly diet in terms of my Amazon books orders and have already had my quota for Jan. It doesn’t help being registered so all that lovely stuff is just a few clicks away :-)
I do try and buy secondhand and from the charity suppliers when I can so I don’t feel so guilty. And I do pass them on, Mum and her friends are really enjoying the Cobble Court ones I left in Spain.
Well back to making curtains now and I have a padded arming jack to start making this afternoon. Have a lovely rest of the weekend and thanks for visiting.
You would think that someone who makes Christmas ornaments nearly all year round and started knitting gifts months ago would be finished well in time for the last posting dates wouldn’t you?
You would not imagine a weekend of frantic finishing and a sudden realisation that one of the bunny gifts does not have any legs at the moment :-(
Only realised yesterday as well that the bag that was going to be given with one of the bunny gifts was still unfinished – oops.
However I am doing well despite the lateness and have the gifts that need to be posted ready to go and will be doing more finishing this week including the legs – was sure I had a whole bag of completed bits but one bunny has had too much Xmas cheer and is legless ha ha :-)
The finished bunny I have named Lucy though she is going to my cousin’s daughter who will name her, hope she likes her as much as the other cousin’s daughter did with the first bunny I made.
I made the bag in the summer – it is made from recycled jeans and a pillow case and it was the colour scheme of the pillow case that inspired Lucy’s 3 dresses.
I love the way she has wonky ears, all the bunnies turn out with such different faces. Lucy looks quite serious don’t you think?
Have also made up all the stitched ornaments into little hanging pillows.These are all JBW Designs from Sew and Sew.
I have little to excuse myself for this tardiness except the fact that I have been very busy at work and possibly have tried once again to make too much in too short a space of time ;-)
I think when I sort out the craft room in Jan I shall have a noticeboard and will write a list of projects and timescales so I can keep track, especially as I have so much medieval kit to stitch for next season.
Planning not helped by the fact that I have just subscribed to a new magazine called Love Patchwork and Quilting which has given me so many new ideas for things that I want to make.
What about this little bird ornament – can you imagine some of those in Christmas fabric?
They have a first 3 issues for £5 deal on their website at the moment and it is a very lovely magazine with links to lots of other lovely blogs.
I have been looking at the work of Amy Smart whose Diary of a Quilter blog is full of lovely, lovely things. So many ideas and so little time!
Anyway back to my finishing now – only 9 days to go till Christmas eek! Thankfully the food shopping is nearly all done so I can concentrate on crafting!
Hope you all have a good lead up to the festive season and thanks for visiting.
Have spent a lovely weekend catching up, on sleep, on time with old friends and today I will be catching up with the crafting I need to have finished for my Autumn Exchange.
It has been lovely to see my friend Anita, she showed me some of her amazing machine quilting pictures while she was here and I was very excited to learn that she has met Ricky Tims (from the Quilt Show) and knows Melly (from the Melly and me blog) and has quilted an item for her latest book!
We all met up on Friday and spent lots of time looking at old pictures of the kids when they were babies, we have 21 kids between us so lots and lots of memories of good times :-)
I have also been busy with the latest bunny, in between stitching and here are a couple of cute little dresses that I have made.
I also thought I would show you the latest in my Xmas stitching, these are still to be buttoned and backed but here are some of my fave designs from JBW that I am stitching for relatives this year.
And I have been experimenting with my bread book, had Anita and friends round for dinner so this was an adaptation of the Stilton and Bacon Rolls recipe with seeds, apologies for the quality of the photo, light not good in the kitchen!
I will be off to Spain next Saturday (where my mother tells me the temperature has dropped to only 28 degrees) so am planning lots more catching up on sleeping, crafting and reading – the terrace is calling!
Have a nice time whatever you are doing and thanks for visiting.
Well another Marsden Jazz Festival has come and gone and I think a good time was had by all.
There were lots of people dancing late into the night at our sell out Saturday night event featuring the very talented Airya Astrobeat Arkestra.I even got off duty for a bit to go and join in and I was also amazed by the guitar playing of Antonio Forcione at our other sell out event on Sunday.
As usual I had a lovely time in the company of my excellent band of fellow volunteers and really enjoyed meeting so many nice people who were very kind about the festival and how much they enjoy it.
I was also interviewed by the local radio and if you want to hear more about the festival my 15 minutes of fame are here
on the Two Valleys Radio web site.
It was a bit wet :-( so we had some re-arranging of outdoor events to do (how optimistic were we?) but the venues in the village were fantastic at accommodating bands at very short notice so big thanks to them all.
I know I have said this before and apologies if you are bored by it but I love living here, there is a real sense of community and I so enjoy being part of this.
I managed to take a few pictures of the parade on the Saturday which involves the local dance school and local children who decorate brollies to carry (good job given the inclemency!).
There were even some very little children dressed as sheep which is the symbol of the jazz festival – so cute!
I am really looking forward to this weekend as an old friend of mine is coming to stay, Anita, who moved to Australia some years ago and has since become a very talented long armed and machine quilter is going to be here.
Have not seen her for about 3 years so lots of catching up to do. I have just been drooling over some of the new things on her quilting blog at Hillside Quilting.
Am still busy knitting bunnies :-) will I ever stop! And am half way through my Autumn stitch for the Seasonal Exchange.
Here’s hoping for better weather than last weekend so that we can go walking and show Anita our beautiful surroundings. However if it rains we may just have to hole up in the craft room – shame :-) Maybe she can teach me a thing or two while she is here!
Take care and thanks for visiting
Hope you have had a lovely week, I have had a really nice half term holiday as I have been on leave all week.
So there have been lots of lovely walks, crafting and socialising culminating in a trip to the next village in the valley for the Moonraker celebration yesterday.
I have spent the week making a small quilt for one of Ellen’s friends who has just had a baby.
I designed the pattern myself based on the motifs from the Sweet Treats fabric that I bought in Worcester at Ellen’s graduation.
I added fabric from my Simply Solids monthly delivery and some of the fabric that my Mum bought me for Christmas.
I made the quilt reversible and it is Moses basket or pram sized.
Here are a few pictures from the walk my sister-in-law Amanda and I did earlier this week up to a local reservoir.
It was beautiful weather really warm with such blue skies, very rare in Yorkshire in Feb!
Yesterday I went with my friends Taru and Bob and their daughter Leah along to the next village in the valley, Slaithwaite, where they hold the Moonraker festival.
We used to go to this every year when the kids were young but I have not been for about 8 years as I am usually in Spain at this time of year.
The festival celebrates a local legend about some smugglers who were trying to get some contraband that had fallen from a boat into the river.
When the Excise men caught them they denied any wrongdoing saying they were trying to ‘rake the moon’.
The festival is a parade of willow lanterns that are made throughout the week at workshops. The parade also involves lots of bands and culminates in brilliant fire sculptures and fireworks.
Each year the festival has a theme – this year it was time so Bob and Leah made a giant pocket watch.
There was also a Tardis and a White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland along with lots of Big Ben clocks, egg timers and watches of all shapes and sizes.
Today I walked along the canal to the village again, it was a beautiful sunny day and I saw geese and the first signs of Spring, these lovely daffodils outside one of the canalside cottages.
My village is notorious for having sheep roam the streets (and eating the contents of people’s gardens!) When I got back from my walk today there were this little group at the bottom of my road.
I am off to China on Thursday to teach for 3 weeks – going to Beijing this time so will not be blogging for a few weeks but expect some pictures of famous things when I get back – might even get to see the Great Wall!
Take care and thanks for visiting.
Well hello everyone, I hope that you are all well and happy and enjoying the last few days before the festive season begins.
I am now on leave for two weeks (hurrah!) and tomorrow we go to Wales to stay with Ellie at Powis Castle where I shall be pretending that I am at a grand house party as in Downtown Abbey and we shall be eating lots of lovely food and going for walks in the grounds.
I had a little housewarming party last night with some of my lovely Marsden friends which was very nice and am off out this evening to another party with some old friends so am feeling very sociable and relaxed.
Am planning lots of lovely stitching over the next 2 weeks, I have one last Xmas ornie to finish then am going to start on my Winter exchange piece. I am going to Spain for a week over New Year so will be sitting on my terrace stitching in the sunshine hopefully!
I was very excited on Friday as I took my ornaments up to The Loft Creative Hub at Standedge. I have a little display for sale there this weekend and have the dates for their craft fairs next year so am going to be working on a new range of things.
As I am joining as a designer/ maker I can have my own table to display goods for sale permanently so I am going to make some stock for that in Jan with all my lovely vintage finds.
It is my 300th post as well so I thought I would show you some of my latest fabric purchases just to celebrate my five years of blogging and fabric love!
These are beautiful fabrics that come from Justine at Simply Solids, Justine is local to me, I did meet her a couple of years ago at knitting group and have followed her blog, Sew Justine Sew , ever since and on a recent post I noticed that she has started a fabric retail business .
The first set I ordered were all these beautiful tea and tea-cup themed fabrics, I actually have 9 fabrics in total, 3 pale print, 3 darker print and 3 with tea cups on them. Not sure what I will make with them yet – tea cosies is the obvious thing but shall try to think up some other ideas as well.
I have also joined her monthly fabric club – the Sew Solids Crew as I have now started getting quite a stash of prints but often lack coordinating fabrics to go with them.
For £11 a month I get a set of 6 ft quarters delivered all in different shades of one colour, December’s delivery is purple – look at all this loveliness!
I will be back to the blog early Jan so I do hope you all have a lovely time over Xmas and New Year – a very happy festive season to you all and thanks as always for visiting.
I hope you are all well and happy. I have had a really lovely day, it has been perfect winter weather, frosty with blue skies and sunshine.
I made my beetroot soup with some of the contents of this week’s veg box then went for a wonderful frosty walk along the valley up from the Tunnel End Canal Centre following the stream.
These are some pictures of the frozen canal and the frosty stream, lots of lovely patterns of frost on the leaves at my feet, it was all very crunchy!
This afternoon I made some more Christmas ornaments for my upcoming debut at The Loft Craft Centre at Standedge. What a perfect day!
It is also my blogaversary. I have now had this little old blog for 5 years.It has been an interesting 5 years (for blogging and my real life) and I now am using blogs more and more at work (and running sessions on blogs for my students) and still really enjoying reading the blogs of those people who I first met.
I have also added many new blogs to my list to reflect my changing craft interests, looking more and more at textile and pattern designers and those who use vintage fabric, which has had a huge influence of my latest collection of vintage embroidery.
One of the main themes of craft work at The Loft is to reuse and recycle so I am planning lots of wonderful things with all the new vintage stash I have.
I think it is particularly significant that my vintage stuff comes from local charity shops as I would like to think I will be repurposing the handiwork of local women.Here are my latest finds bought yesterday before the Christmas lights switch on – four embroidered tray cloths and a linen tablecloth with lace inserts.
It also gives me a chance to track the progress of work, I started this a long time ago on a Quilt Group workshop and have finally finished the Christmas sofa throw using the Stained Glass Quilt design. When I get some more backing fabric the matching cushions will appear! I have added little brass charms to each panel.
The blog has also been a lovely record for me of all the wonderful things me and my family have done, it was very poignant just recently to post about Ellie’s graduation and to look back at that first post of her arriving at halls for her very first year of University.
I have just posted about Jake leaving home and will look forward to four years time when he graduates. So blogging is a lovely way of me saving my memories.I have been able to share more detail with family and friends of all the lovely holidays we have had. So blogging is fab!
To celebrate I am going to do my traditional giveaway for a selection of my Christmas ornaments. This year I have made a range of simpler more Scandinavian style ones as well as my usual traditional ones so when you post please tell me which sort you would like.
To enter the giveaway please put a comment on this post. I will leave the giveaway open until Friday 14th Dec to give me time to post things out to the winner.
As usual thank you all for visiting – without you it would just be my random musings into the ether and I really appreciate all of the likes, comments and subscriptions from my readers.
Have a happy week ahead!