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Sunday, 27 September 2015

soaking up vitamin D and cake for tea

Another glorious sunny day in our part of the world!

Making most of it - soon it is will be too cold to do this - so little more stitching in the garden today - finishing the border around the central panel of the Pansy Tile 
in long-legged cross stitch. 

Last night's baking - Blueberry and lemon cake;
 it is the first time I made this low fat and low sugar cake. And it still tastes great, I will make it again.
It is from this book by Lorraine Pascale.

© 2015

Saturday, 26 September 2015

it is official, and I don't mean the weather

Start of autumn - time of misty mornings and cobwebs. We are having some glorious sunny days right now, although the nights are very cold; the heating has been on in the evenings.

There is still some colour in the garden.

The Editorial in the latest issue of the Quiltmania magazine talks about a study conducted by the
University of Glasgow with a group of thirty quilters.
The conclusion?
That this activity is is extremely beneficial to our health. The article is quite long, but I will just quote this part:

"Mathematics, geometry, accuracy, working with matching colours, particularly bright colours, which stimulate the brain, planning a task, developing a project and sewing with precision are among the tasks needed for Quilting and which make many million neurones work together to obtain magnificent quilts at the end of the process! Add to this the social network, the benefits of sharing a passion, 
the communication and solidarity found in a group, the challenges".... ..............."and you have one of the best mental exercise regimes to keep a clear, quick and razor sharp mind! 
No other activity can provide all these benefits!"
It goes on to say that from nursery age through to care homes - "don't lose a moment, put down the Sudoku and the crosswords. Not only is Quilting a more complete activity but you will also have the immense satisfaction and pride of having completed your project - as the sense of fulfilment is important as well!"

Of course, we already knew that, didn't we?

The weather has been too good to sew indoors, so I managed to stitch only 3 more sets of flying geese sets.

I have been doing some work on a couple of small projects, which are easily taken outside.

This is no 5 (out of 12) in Santa's Village set of cross stitch embroideries,

and the 4 finished to date.

I have also started stitching the Pansy Tile from the Pansy Collection by Sue Hawkins.

I already made the Pansy Needlebook from the same collection a while back. 
I love it, I use it all the time.

Thank you for visiting my blog and having the patience to read it!

© 2015

Tuesday, 22 September 2015


I would like to dedicate this post to my 10 year old granddaughter.
I am not posting her picture; sadly there are those who like to misuse pictures of children, but take it from me, she is very  pretty - and this is her grandmother's "objective" opinion :-)

I posted some of her work here before - going back some 4 years. 

Then we played with paper and pencils, 

and progressed to pieces of fabrics and threads,

collected autumn leaves and made pictures 

then we discovered felt

and needle and thread

Anna joined a sewing club at the school and there was no end of little creations; 
during school holidays we spend lots of time in my sewing room.

This is something she designed and made herself for the village show - 
a set of lavender bags to hang on the wall, hand stitched.

Earlier this year together we started a project - a present for Anna's mum's birthday, which is in the summer. 
A Baking Cloth - something you use when baking, to cover your bowl, instead of a tea towel. 
I made one for myself way back, adapting a Norwegian pattern. I use it all the time.
This was quite a challenge for Anna:
although she has already mastered several embroidery stitches, so much back stitch in one go was a lot to ask, but she stuck with it. I did the patchwork part for her; she chose the fabrics from mine and hers stash (yes, this little girl already has her own stash of fabrics!)

At the start of the summer Anna asked me to teach her to knit. We spent an afternoon playing with knitting needles - she went home knowing how to do it.
 No masterpiece yet, but "watch this space".

During the school holiday this summer she asked me to show her how the sewing machine works.
I knew this wasn't just about "showing". That was when I got nervous, 10 year old fingers ........
I changed the foot speed to low and crossed my fingers.
I did not need to worry; by the time she went home, she was sewing away, practising on a piece of fabric. She learnt  how to thread the machine, and keep her fingers away from the needle.
The following week she arrived - "grandma, I want to make something on the sewing machine.
I want to make a cushion."

Again - all the fabrics and arrangement was her idea; I cut out the squares for her. 
I just can't imagine a rotary cutter in those little hands, yet.
And she was away. She took the cushion home to embellish and stuff, even practising little quilting.

This is it.

  One more quick project, just to keep her hand in :-)

Did I tell you she is pretty? :-) And clever and funny?
She also does swimming, cross country running, gymnastics.
And she is my stitching friend.

© 2015

Sunday, 13 September 2015

first signs of autumn

There is not much stitching going on at the moment. DH has been putting a new kitchen in, and as I am quite often asked to "measure this, or hand me that or hold this", I have given up on creative time of my own, for now...

Autumn is here, children have gone back to school, but the last week of school holiday we took grandchildren for a morning out to Stourhead, the usual walk around the lake, not so exiting at the moment, still waiting for autumn colour,
although there are some hints here and there.

We took a longer route back to the car park, up past the house, through the wall gardens, where the NT staff grow, among other things, plants for the shop, including scented leaves pelargoniums.

There are some lovely hydrangeas around too.

Few other interesting pictures from our walk, which could be an inspiration for an embroidery perhaps. 

Few days later DH and I drove back to Stourhead Estate again , this time to have our usual walk through the forest surrounding the house and gardens.

Here are definite signs of autumn and mushroom season, some edible, some not.

And the king of them all, the Cep.
This is a good sign for the mushroom picking season.

In the garden we harvested our first plums,
from a young tree planted only a year ago.

Enjoy your week!

© 2015
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