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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!
Hello everyone, I hope that you are all well and happy and enjoying Autumn.
I very much enjoyed my time away but it is lovely to be home in my village enjoying the everyday stuff of my lovely new life here. The weather here has been really good this week and as I have been working at home a couple of days this week I have had the chance to have some lunchtime walks. It has been lovely crunching through the leaves and looking at the autumn colours.
I also had a lovely walk today on my way to the Standedge Tunnel Centre to book my table for the upcoming Christmas Craft Fair at The Loft Space. I came home and spent a very nice 4 hours in my new craft room designing some new Xmas ornies for the upcoming season, pics to follow.
Below are some pictures from my walks. I love being so near the moors, the river and canal and am planning to do some biking later in the week as well.
I have been playing with some of my new Xmas fabric that I bought last week in Worcester and here are some pictures of the new stash, the sweetie fabric is for a new ornie range I am planning for Spring and the elephant fabric will be a play quilt.
We have some very good charity shops in the village and I picked up these two embroidered pieces this week. I am very inspired by what people like Hen House do with vintage embroidery so have added these to my stash.
Am looking forward to a few nice quiet weeks of playing with fabric , hope that you are enjoying your creative time as well.
Thanks for visiting.
You may remember the Shakin’ Stevens song of the same name. Well I have a secret to share with you all – do you want to know what is behind this green door?
It is my very lovely new house!!! I have been planning this move for two years and been trying to actually make it happen for almost a year since I put my old house up for sale.
All seemed to be going well until June when I was expecting to move but a major delay with the chain set us back 2 months. I have been all packed up ready to go since then and have been sitting surrounded by boxes trying to keep myself cheerful but dreading it all going wrong.
But it hasn’t and we moved in two days ago. I didn’t want to post anything until it had actually happened as did not want to jinx things. I have moved to a lovely little house in the country, in the beautiful village of Marsden.This is where I am, the views up and down my street.
You may remember that I have posted about the village before. 2 years ago I started helping as a volunteer with the local Marsden Jazz Festival as a way of getting involved in the community. I have really enjoyed doing this and made lots of new friends here.
The village is fantastic, surrounded by wonderful moorland and reservoirs with lots of cute shops (including a new craft and wool shop – they knew I was coming!) and lots of very practical things like a train station and supermarket. Also a knitting group, book club, Zumba and belly dancing as well as theatre, live music etc so I will not be lonely once Jake leaves for Uni.
The old house was lovely but far too big for just little old me so I have decluttered and decluttered (not that the removal men believed me when they saw the amount of stuff) and thankfully it all fits in here.
And after two frantic days, with help from my wonderful friends Taru and Bob (who organised lunch and dinner on Fri and humped boxes and ran us around to estate agents) and Kerry (who took me shopping for house essentials and gave me her interior design advice on my lounge while unpacking my endless collection of embroidery books!) we are about 80 % unpacked and I am relaxing on the sofa with the candles lit.
All is very well with the world and I am beyond happy!
Would you like to see a few pics of the house? If you are anything like me you love seeing other people’s houses . If so carry on and I will show you the finished bits. When Jake goes I will move all of the boxed things in the guest room into my new craft room (aka his bedroom) and we will be sorted.
One of the reasons I love the village is the countryside and this is the view from my bedroom window. I am looking forward to lazy Sunday mornings with cups of tea and a good book looking at the hills.
Here is Jake all set up with his computer in his new room (the most important thing for him of course), making the most of home comforts as he leaves in 3 weeks.
This is my lovely kitchen, this really sold the house to me. I have the most beautiful door knobs on the units , I forgot to take a close up picture before it got dark but they are so pretty.
And my bathroom. Another great thing about the house is all my things fit so well with the existing colour scheme here, no redecorating and no need to buy new things!
This is my lounge with my lovely stitching sofa and an ‘in situ’ picture of the other sofa with the quilted throw that I am working on, not finished yet but it will be a lovely housewarming gift to myself!
Can’t wait to be able to show you the craft room when it is done – so excited!!!
Hope that you have a good week ahead, I am on leave for the next few days to finish sorting and then it is off to our last show of the season at Caldicot Castle in South Wales. Really looking forward to that as Ellie is coming as well. A beautiful venue and it is a very special show being the final one of such a wonderful year for me.
Take care and thanks for visiting.
Although I started making quilts to improve my skills at machine sewing I find I do a lot of hand quilting on them which I find very relaxing, especially after a hard day at the chalkface.
The current sofa throw WIP is being hand quilted with metallic thread which is always a bit of a challenge to stitch with as it tends to unravel and break a lot but the results are beautiful.
I am hoping that the wonderful fabric and detail given by the hand quilting on this piece will detract the eye from the very inaccurate piecing.
You can’t really see it in pic above but the rows do not align well either side of the central panel. At least some of the very out of sync pieces will be hidden on the back of the sofa when it is in place!
Here are some of the squares in detail, the quilting shows up particularly well on the lighter coloured squares. I am planning to add gold seed beads to the centre of the flowers as well.
I think most of the fabric is by Robert Kaufman and I know some is called Holiday Flourish which is from their Christmas Collection. As always I wish I had bought lots more of it , I do have a few half metres of some of the patterns but not much.
They have some gorgeous fabric in the new collection which is Holiday Flourish 5 – very medieval looking so will be treating myself to some of that at this November’s Knitting and Stitching show.
This is a lovely start of autumn project as it keeps my legs warm while I am doing it. I am planning to make a bigger one in plain fabrics for my other patterned and that will be lovely and toasty to quilt over winter!
I have a busy weekend planned with house stuff and then the planning for the next term starts. It only seems two minutes since the last group left but I am looking forward to welcoming a new group of lovely trainee teachers.
Take care and thanks for visiting.
Oh the joy of having nothing to do apart from sit and watch movies and stitch!
I was contemplating doing some gardening (which I did not want to do as it was boring lawns) but it being a Bank Holiday weekend it has been pouring down along with thunder and lightning so I have the whole afternoon to do as I please!
I am still working on the hand quilting of the throw, this will be a long job but a very pleasurable one. I decided to hand quilt some of the flower motifs from each of the patterned squares with metallic thread rather than just outlining the squares and it is looking really good.
I am still not very confident with my machine skills for doing any other type of quilting – I look at Crazy Mom Quilts with envy. One of my targets for this winter (in my new craft room!) will be to get better at this.I think I will make some little art quilts for the walls to practise.
My Summer Exchange piece has arrived at last in the USA so I can reveal it to you. This was organised once again through the Seasonal Exchange blog and was sent to Sarah who does not yet have a blog herself.
Strawberries always remind me of summer so I stitched part of an Elizabethan knot garden design from a book I have had for a while, ‘Elizabethan Cross Stitch’ by Barbara Hammett. It is a beautiful book with loads of lovely designs.
Once again it is stitched with Silk Mill threads. I made it into a pincushion with plain green evenweave for the backing and I have put a little strawberry charm from my stash on the back and a couple of beads from my Xmas ornie making stash on the front in the middle.The strawberries also have seed beads on them.
Am off to see Ellie tomorrow so lots more stitching time on the train – what a lovely life!
Thanks for visiting and see you soon.
Hello everyone, hope you are enjoying the last few bits of summer where you are. Weather here has been variable but I am having a lovely time, have had a quiet week at home this week, marking work, reading lots of lovely books and generally mellowing out.
And I have been stitching from my new Blackbird Designs patterns which arrived last week from Thread Bear!
I really love these designs and have been admiring them on lots of other blogs and in exchanges so I have treated myself to one of their books, ‘A Stitcher’s Journey’, and two other patterns. I have started stitching from the book but cannot reveal anything as it will be an exchange but am loving the way the pattern is stitching up.
I need to get started on my Xmas stitching as I will be away in China so much this Autumn which will mean little time to stitch. I ordered the Christmas set of stockings, ‘Merry December’, and will make all three for me.
The final design is this little Wild Lilies pin keep which will look so good stitched in these lovely Silk Mill lilac threads.
I bought a little bit of new fabric when I was away last weekend – ned to get more stash for my lovely new craft room and these Cath Kidston lookalike fat quarters will come in handy for something.
I have also been doing some quilting on a WIP. A long time ago I started this throw for the lounge.
I have now pieced and backed it, stitched the borders and am hand quilting it, am very pleased with the progress so will take some nice pics to show you soon.
Am off this weekend to visit Ellie at Powis Castle which I am very much looking forward to. It will involve two very long train journeys as well so lots of lovely stitching time! Hopefully the weather will be beautiful and I can take some arty shots of the castle for you.
Thanks again for visiting and see you all soon!