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Saturday, 30 April 2016

looking for bluebells

Spring is late this year, at least by 2 - 3 weeks, may be more. We are still having night frosts and hailstone showers during the day, but they are telling us that warmer weather will be coming our way later next week. 

At last - I am itching to plant up pots outside, and generally spend more time in the garden.

Bluebells should be out everywhere, but although they are out on the sunny banks, they are only starting to open in more shady areas.

DH and I took a long walk this morning, to the woods above Stourhead, to find some bluebells to take pictures of.

Besides the garden, the Stourhead Estate covers a large, mainly wooded area.

The point marked "you are here" is at the start of the Park Hill Camp, believed to had been an iron age settlement.
 It is now an open grassy area, in the past years by now covered by a blue carpet of bluebells.
Today the picture is very different, with bluebells only just starting to show themselves.

We had more luck in the surrounding woods.

We should be well used to it, but every year we look forward to this sight - carpets of blue flowers, gently nodding their heads.

© 2016

calculator retirement

"Hanging up my calculator" - that's how I will remember this week. 
Although officially retired some years ago, I continued working part time. 
But this week was my last working week; even part time work means a routine, deadlines, set hours, having to be somewhere on time.
My brain is willing, but the rest of me has been saying for sometime - no more, it is time....

As my little friend said: more time for sewing, grandma :-)

Monday, 25 April 2016

bluebell time

Despite the continuing cold weather, the bluebells are opening out in more sheltered places.
I haven't yet taken any good pictures myself this year; this is one was taken by my son yesterday, just a couple of miles from here.

You can see how slow this year's spring is;
my picture in the header was taken exactly at the same time in April few years ago and you can see how much greener it was then.

© 2016

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Craft4Crafters - Stef Francis

As I mentioned yesterday, I made another visit to the show, this time with my little friend, who spent her pocket money in no time at all.
Where does she get that from, I wonder? ;-)
But she is happy :-)

A nice man at Stef Francis stand let me take pictures of some of the exhibits.

So here is some inspiration for you:

© 2016

Friday, 22 April 2016

Craft4Crafters Show

- this weekend at Bath and West Showground - a regular April show.
This is not a large show, but big enough to attract many people over the 4 days.
I have been coming here for many years; some were better than others. There were many complaints in the past that the show was top heavy with card making stalls, but I think this year the mix is quite right, there is something to interest most visitors.

First time at Bath & West -  Stef Francis - if for nothing else, I would come here for this.
Many of you know what I am talking about, but for the rest - this is just the most wonderful selection of hand dyed threads & fabrics (from cotton, silk, rayon, organza, felts ....), Angelina fibres, silk carrier rods, silk cocoons, various embellishments & kits.
Just a sneaky view of the stand, as most of the exhibitors don't like pictures taken of their original designs, which is of course understandable.
But do have a look at their website.

 Needless to say, this is where I left most of my cash.

I am always on a lookout for something new (new to me, that is), and this little "toy" got my attention, especially after seeing the various beautiful ropes/necklaces it can produce (yes, it is just an improvement on the old "french knitting" tool, only easier to use).
You can have a look here to see what I am talking about.

I promised myself - no fabric - until I saw this sweet piece - OK, just a fat qtr.

Back at home, backing and wadding arrived for the Cool Flying Geese quilt.
The wadding is more expensive than I would pay normally, but I think this quilt deserves a special treatment. It does feel gorgeous, I look forward to stitching it. 

And the good news? I get to go to the show again this weekend, I am taking my little friend, my granddaughter!

©  2016

Monday, 18 April 2016

feathered geese

It is time to put it all together - and hope it will all fit as it should.
Well, it did not; despite my very careful cutting and sewing, one of the side strips of small flying geese somehow ended up slightly longer; not much, but just enough to annoy. 

When I was learning patchwork and quilting, our tutor used to tell us - when it doesn't fit and it is not possible to go back - MAKE IT FIT!

So that's is exactly what I did - I made it fit; you wouldn't know.

I like the two feather borders, I think they compliment the geese :-)

Backing and wadding should arrive this week; binding - I have lots of time to think about that!

We had beautiful weather over the weekend in our part of the world, sunny, temperatures in double figures, but cold in the shade. In fact, it went down to around -2C on Saturday night; the bird bath in the garden had a thick sheet of ice over it.

© 2016

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Saturday baking


You know how now and then you end up with too much of something in your fridge;
well, this week I seemed to had too many carrots - time to make a carrot cake!

This book is a supply of very good cake recipes,
I have now tried several different ones;

this time it is "Scandalicious Carrot Cake",

using a vegetable oil instead of butter and yes, with lots of carrots in it!

Beautifully moist, with cream cheese and lemon topping.

© 2016

Thursday, 14 April 2016

another Quiltmania block

This is block no 5 of BOM "Les Fleurs du Mardi" by Quiltmania magazine

This one started as 4 x 5in blocks,

to be joined to make one 10in block.

Blocks no 5 & 6 .

And these are blocks 1 - 4, which you have seen in my previous posts:

You can find all the blocks on Quiltmania website;
two blocks are published on the last Tuesday each month;
they are taken from the book "2001 Blocs".

© 2016

Saturday, 9 April 2016

I am all done with flying geese

Well, at least for this project - the Cool Flying Geese quilt.
These small ones are for 2 borders; in total I made 200 flying geese for this quilt. 
I need a small break from this one, before I'll put it together.

It feels like we are back in the winter; as I am writing this, it is sleeting outside
(yes, this is snow settling on our window).

Quiltmania BOM makes a welcome distraction
Last week they published 2 new blocks, no's 5 & 6.

I started with no 6 (it seems little easier), which is again an applique block.

This was the first time I used a fusible web when making a bias tape
( I bought the fusible web at the show - see my last week's post).
You feed the fabric and fusible web into the tape maker at the same time,

 to get a slightly sticky bias tape, with just enough bonding to hold the tape temporarily in place, while sewing it on.

Add few leaves and a couple of hearts - 

and another block is done.

© 2016
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