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Saturday, 29 December 2012

block 5 finished

Another statistic for us in UK, we have just had the wettest year recorded. We are in no doubt about that, as we continue to drive on at least partially flooded roads, if not worse.

I hope you had Christmas you wished for, wherever you are, and are now enjoying few days of calm.
I like this period, after all the hustle and bustle of Christmas, when I can just relax and possibly return to some stitching. Today I finished block no5 of the Yoko Saito's Mystery Quilt.

Just one more block....

Enjoy the last weekend of the year!

© 2012

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Happy Christmas!

When you look at my header picture you would be forgiven to think that we have a white Christmas; no such luck, but a girl can dream.....It is a picture from our Christmas 2 years ago.
In fact, there were only 3 white Christmases during the 20.century in the south of England!
Actually, the rain is back and flood warnings are in force. It doesn't need much to get a flood, the ground is still saturated from the last lot of rain and the water has nowhere to go.

But Santa will come whatever!

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!!
Thank you for all your comments, your support and friendship during the past year!
Have a wonderful time!

© 2012

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Santa's house

I started this project to take a break from "building houses", Yoko Saito's Mystery quilt. 
So what did I do? 
I have built another house!

But of course, this is no ordinary house, this is "Santa's House",

the first picture from the "Santa's Village" project for Christmas 2013!

I am enjoying this return to cross stitch (on 32 count linen) more then I thought I would. 
I wonder what the next month's picture will be..........

Not long to go now,
"how many sleeps to Christmas?" as my grandchildren keep asking!

© 2012

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

                                       all you need is a huge bag of icing sugar   

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

this and that

Just a quick update on my week, which probably was as busy as yours.
Wanting to be little easy on myself this year, I am not doing any more Christmas stitching, not for this year's Christmas anyway.

Instead, I have started stitching the first picture of "Santa's Village", my new cross stitch project, to be finished by Christmas 2013.
After a frosty, foggy day and with the temperature outside -6ºC tonight, what a better place to be then by the fire stitching,

or do some Christmas baking.

As last year, my granddaughter's school let the children design their own Christmas cards and then had them professionally printed. But this year we are lucky to have 2 special designs, because our grandson started at the same school in September and made this lovely picture of a snowman and reindeer.

The next two weeks will be very busy, but do try to take some time out and relax a little,
Christmas will come anyway!

© 2012

Friday, 30 November 2012

Santa's Village and a new show

I have signed up for a new 12 month club called "Santa's Village", a cross stitch version of BOM. Yes, I know, I already have more then enough projects on a go, and I am not really a cross stitcher, but when I saw this picture of the first month of a beautiful design by "Country Cottage Needlework" on Patchwork Rabbit site, I just could not resist. In my mind I can see a beautiful wall hanging ready for Christmas 2013.
You can find more details on their blog here .

Last week I saw this copy of Quiltmania Special on "I Sew Quilts" blog (thank you Sue for reminding me) and like Sue, I would like every one of the quilts in this issue! Well, actually, I already have one! One of the projects is "Scandinavian Christmas Hearts" by Northern Quilts and I made it last year, when they were running it as  BOM.

And what is this about a new show? Well, we have a new quilt show at the Bath & West showground! It is the first one, on at the moment, for 3 days, starting yesterday and finishing tomorrow.

It was very quiet when I visited today, with only half of the hall filled by trade stands, but with a good quilt exhibition.
I expect it will be busier tomorrow, when Kaffe Fassett visits the show.
I hope the word will get around and the show will be back next year, as we badly need a good quilt show in this part of the world.

quilts from Tula Pink's designs

and some of my favorites from the exhibition

I wish you all a wonderful weekend !

© 2012

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

summer people

We have been having the worst floods in 50 years in out part of the world, and there is more to come in other parts of the country. I feel sorry for the people whose home have been flooded, some of them 2nd or 3rd time in last few years. There is an advantage to living on the top of the hill, although we pay for it in the times of high winds.
We live close to one of the areas which has a long history of floods,  Somerset Levels, or the Summer Lands, as it sometimes used to be called. It is believed that this is where our county of Somerset got its name  from. The people living here were called the Summer People, because they could live on the Levels only during the summer; for the winter they took themselves and their livestock to the surrounding hills, when the whole area of the Levels was flooded. It is one of the flattest and lowest places in the country, just a few meters above the sea level. There had been attempts to drain it as far back as the Roman times, with various success. It is now managed by a combination of many draining channels and a sea defense. Although none of that helped this week, the area is totally under water.
Just to remind you that here on "" you can click on any of the highlighted  words and it will take to another window with lots more information.

We visited the Levels some 10 days ago, just before the floods. It was a misty, foggy day, so no decent picture. We came mainly to visit John Leach Pottery. I love the simplicity of their pots, the one I own has become my favourite baking dish.
In the recent years the shop was extended to the back to create a gallery, a place for exhibitions of works by local artists.

This was where, a couple of years ago, I saw for the first time works by the photographer and film maker
John Waters, although I must had seen his wild life films on BBC without realizing they were made by him.
I love his haunting pictures of the Levels and I fell in love with one in particular. Our DS was with us at the time, and not long after he surprised us with the signed print of the same picture, which is now hanging on our wall. You can see more of John Waters work here

Another one of "my special places" is the Willows and Wetlands Centre, where I can't visit without buying another basket (which I need, of course) made from locally grown willow.

The whole area is very special; legends of King Arthur and his followers, fairies and magic of the Glastonbury Tor, which dominates the landscape; on the misty day this all becomes very real.
No wonder so many artists are drawn to the place and many of them never leave.
Recently, just by a chance, I saw a book "Medieval Needlepoint", by Candace Bahouth, an American, now living close to Glastonbury, not so many miles from me. Have a look at her very interesting and varied art.

Another interest is the rich wild life of the Levels, which you find out more about here.

One of the current projects is re-introduction of cranes to the area, which were wiped out, mainly by hunting, over 400 years ago, see The Great Crane Project. 

Our journey to the Levels and back always takes us through Somerton, which was the capital of Wessex in the 10th century. I like to stop here whenever passing and visit the permanent  home of the Somerset Guild of Craftsmen, to see any new exhibits.

I love living in Somerset. It is magical.

Sandi_Toksvig, Danish author, comedian, radio and TV presenter who lives in England, was asked recently why she had decided to settle here. She said that where ever you live in England you are not many miles from something interesting....

© 2012

Sunday, 25 November 2012


Well, it was a surprise for me. While sorting out through some fabrics in my old trunk, I found a very old UFO which I forgot about, a patchwork block. One of my first ever patchwork attempts, all hand pieced and already quilted (not very well) - and then forgotten for many years.
Luckily I found the same red check fabric as in the middle of the block still in my stash and used it for the border- and new cushion was born today!

© 2012

I wish you all a very good week!

Friday, 23 November 2012

just playing

I am taking a small break from "building houses" for the Yoko Saito's Mystery Quilt, but because of "other distraction" I did not get around to other stitching either during the past week. I needed a quick project to stop me being miserable and I remembered I always wanted to make a doll quilt, but never quite got around to it.

Inspired by books by Kathleen Tracy and Mary Jenkins I sorted out some small pieces of fabric from my stash. I remembered a pattern I saw in the Magic Patch magazine and eventually found it.

The great thing about doll quilts is that they are so quick to make and you use so little fabric and wadding, mostly found in your stash, so no extra cost there. And, of course, they are such fun to make. Two days later:

I think my doll likes it...

© 2012

Size: 25cm x 25cm
Pattern: Magic Patch magazine
Fabric: from stash
Quilting threads: Aurifil

the post you are reading is on
(sorry about this, but if I'll remember I will put this on every post in the future)

Which brings me to a quick note regarding my last two posts. Firstly, thank you for your comments on the subject and thank you Elizabeth (who had the similar experience a while ago) for holding my hand.
I have spent a lot of valuable computer time trying to find out about blogs being "scraped" (this is one of the terms being used, there are others, but I like this one). There is lots of info out there, this is just a couple of useful bits here and here, if you want find out more.
What I have found out is that if someone really wants to steal your stuff, there is nothing you can do about it, and unless you a computer whizkid, you will not know it is happening. Now and then it just might be worth your while to enter a title of one of your post into a search engine to see if it takes you anywhere else besides your own blog.
And while I was being miserable and spending my computer time in this unproductive way, I have not been stitching or visiting your blogs, I have been missing all those wonderful projects you are working on.
So, back to stitching and blogging, I am not giving up. I am having far too much fun and I love your company. I will pop in to see you soon!

Enjoy your weekend!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

sinister feeling?

Thank very much you for your comments on my last post and for your support. I expect like me, you have learnt something you possibly have not considered until now.
Of course I have reported it to Blogger. From the info on their site I had two choices. The Blogger says that they are not in a position to arbitrate issues regarding ownership of content, but they will let you file an infringement of a copyright claim, which is a legal document under the USA law. In my case I would have to list every post and picture which I claim ownership to. Considering that we are talking about 2 years of my blogging life, I just haven't got time to do that, or want to get involved in legal claims.
I agree very much with Deborah, there is something very strange about that blog: no contact details, no comments, no followers, no dates. I also don't think that the name is a the person's real name anyway or that this is just some sad person not able to create their own blog, after all they were clever enough to copy my entire archives for the 2 years period. I would not know how to do that. I suspect this is something more serious than that.
Therefore I reported it as a spam or possible malware, because I think it is possible that someone created that blog for more sinister purpose. Why they picked my blog I will never know.

But there is a thought for you all, none of you really know if your blog has been copied in this way and how many times. I came across it by pure chance, when I wanted more info on something I wrote about last year and Googled it. Among other suggestions Google came up with 2 blogs, mine and the one in question. Had I not done that, I would have probably never found out.


 I wish you all a very good stitching week!

Saturday, 17 November 2012


    Last night, while looking for something I wrote about a couple of years ago,  Google took me to this blog:

                            I could not believe it, my posts, my pictures, copied to another blog!
We all know that the odd picture is being copied, but this is something else, my whole blog, from the start until earlier this year! 
Carole Johnston, who ever you are, I have found out.

Bloggers are a sharing lot, we like to help each other and that is what is so wonderful about blogging.
But this is not sharing, this is "helping yourself" without a permission and we have other words for that.

What is the girl to do? Delete my blog and possibly start again? Could I be bothered?

I would love to hear your opinion on this subject and if you have had a similar experience.

                                                    Fingerless gloves finished.

They are on my DD's hands and they went home with her. 
Oh well, I just have make another pair....

Saturday, 10 November 2012

then there was another

I am referring to a new quilt just completed by Kaaren from The Painted Quilt blog, a beautiful Christmas redwork quilt. Please go and have a look, just click on the name of her blog above.

By a coincidence the latest issue of Quiltmania  magazine arrived today, which I have been eagerly waiting for, to find out how to assemble all the Yoko Saito's Mystery Quilt blocks. I'll get to that in a minute, but there is also an article about Sharon Duffy's home, under the heading Quilts & Enchanting Homes.
And there is another wonderful Christmas redwork quilt hanging up.

And here is my dilemma. This happens every time. Just when I begin to think that I should have a break from quilts and go back to "serious" embroidery, of knitting, of crochet or...., I see a beautiful quilt and the fever starts again. And of course there is another reason - I have not made a redwork quilt, yet.
I can feel a project for next year's Christmas coming on....

But back to my current one. As I have said, I now have the instructions for the assembly of the Mystery quilt, but not only that, also the instructions for block number 6! I didn't know about block 6 (or I did not read something properly?). I my mind I was going to finish the quilt by this Christmas, which now I know will not happen. Block 5 is still very much "work in progress".

So, it is going to take a little longer. Never mind, it will be worth it. I really like the way Yoko finished her quilt, it is original and different, and it doesn't matter that no 2 blocks are the same size. Those of you, who read Quiltmania, know what I am talking about.
I can see myself spending a lot of time stitching after Christmas (you know, that quiet few days between the  Christmas rush ending and the new year starting), when at last you can relax and get some time to yourself. And I also know now what fabric to look for for the background.

There is just another small project in the making right now. The first frost reminded me how my hands feel when it gets really cold. Of course I have a selection of gloves in my draw, but usually I end up not wearing them, because I can't hold things well wearing gloves. Finger-less is the answer, and at last this year I will have a pair! I am using beautifuly soft and warm mix of alpaca and silk from Devon, from Ruth and Belinda, bough last year at one of the shows.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Sunday morning

thankfully it did not last

Have a good week!

Friday, 2 November 2012

spreading the word

Schwalm embroidery - named after a region along the Schwalm River in Germany - is one of my favourite embroideries. I only "discovered" this type of embroidery when I came across Christine Bishop's book a few years ago. Her book is full of beautiful designs and I just had to have it, wanting to "have a go".
However I found difficult to follow her instructions, mainly because the illustrations in this book are hand drawn and not always very clear, and as a novice to Schwalm I did not find this easy. Some of you might remember me writing about it at the time.

I thought I better start with a sampler, which is one of the projects in the book, but eventually I lost interest, I believe due to unclear instructions. It just seemed like too much hard work and I wasn't really enjoying it. Or may be the sampler was the wrong thing to start with. I gave up at this point.

Some time after that I learnt about Luzine Happel, a German lady living not far from the Schwalm region.

Luzine is passionate about Schwalm embroidery. To me she is the "Queen of Schwalm". She has written number of books on the subject. Her instructions are very clear with photographs of the actual stitches.

I am still building up a courage to start working on tablecloth, which is a project in Luzine's book I have.

So why am I writing about his again? Because a little while ago I received an email from Luzine telling me about her new website and I want to share this with you. You can learn there about the history of this beautiful type of whitework, see many examples of old and new, and also many beautiful pictures from the region - all you have to do is click here and enjoy.

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