Thursday, 28 February 2013

End of February

 I cannot believe we are now at the end of February - where does the time just fly to - I have to confess I am having a good year to date - but then I must admit I like to look at my cup and see it full to the brim - so much nicer than it being empty.

We had a wonderful, but cold afternoon with excellent friends at Anglesey Abbey on Sunday, the snowdrops as ever were wonderful.  The scones and the tea brilliant.  It was just such a shame it was soo cold - but hey ho it is still winter!   We went in the mill for the first time and it is very impressive.
Anglesey Abbey is a National Trust property and well worth a visit any time of the year the house is lovely and the grounds superb.
Well Monday - after popping to see young grandson Leo, Rob and I headed up to Stamford Lincs. to his favorite place!   Not quite as neat and tidy as Art and Stitch but as this was my first visit I was transfixed.  The selection of different woods was fantastic - I think I probably drove the owner mad asking where they all came from!   The different grains and colours - and oh the smell when you walked through the door it was gorgeous.  Rob wondered around and chose his pieces of wood - some of which are now starting to be worked in the workshop for his next set of boxes he plans to make.

 The owner was getting ready for a show and this pile of Lime was ready to be put on a van.  He sells wood all ready for turning, and working on in any way you wish.

Look at the pattern on this - drat I have forgotten the name of this particular wood
 You can ferret through this pile and find some really interesting planks - all the different types and grain.
Unfortunately I have blurred  this slightly but the grain is fabulous and this piece of wood is in the process of being worked on now for a box - show you later!!!

Right well I have been finishing off my UFO's and plan to try and continue so doing - for a little longer until the pile decreases slightly.  Let us hope that March brings us some sunshine and spring will be just around the corner.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Finishing UFO's

 I have spent the last couple of months trying to finish some of my unloved UFO's - I have started with such enthusiasm and then time has run out on me - Or I have gone on to other projects and just left them lanquishing in boxes in the sewing room.  So I made a resolution to get some finished.  The wallhanging above  is Wacky Stars, I made it under Anne Stacey's supervision and it is all leftover batiks from a bag I was making at the same time.  It is such a lovely technique I had great fun and am so pleased to have now wadded it quilted it - I made a star template and dotted stars all over it.  We have now persuaded Anne to teach this at Art and Stitch as everyone has been admiring my finished item
 Again this quilt started with such a spree of enthusiasm and I took it to me to Debden and got the top made then I backed and wadded it and inspiration failed me for quilting - anyway I have again taken myself to task and it is quilted and bound and it looks superb - just needs a nice bed to go on!  The colours of the batiks are lovely and I like the way it weaves.
 We had a workshop where I was teaching this table runner - so I made one in certain stages to show the ladies - so now it is finished wadded and quilted and I have to say the colours are great - again it requires a nice table or sideboard to reside on (oh do they have sideboard's nowadays)  - we always had sideboards and Mum kept her best treasurers in it and on it.
 This cushion top was made to demonstrate courthouse steps and again the fabrics were all left over from a bag I had made, it is so bright and lovely and cuddly.
We had some new ladies just starting on their quilting adventure and I showed them how to make crazy quilt cushions, this one again was left over fabrics from other projects and bits of lace in the stash.  They enjoyed their day and I did not put them off quilting - phew.
 Rob has been very busy in his workshop - we had a very old laundry basket which ever since we moved in together we had planned to change - but we could not find one that we liked - now that sounds very fussy of us, but we had a constraint on height and width where it is placed.  Anyway one day he disappeared into the workshop and came out with some plans neatly drawn the exact size and height we required and here it is - absolutely beautiful.  We had one hiccup the planner/thicknesser broke mid project - but now back duly serviced and working well and the new laundry basket was finished.  Of course the calico lining I have made enhances it beautifully!!!
Well I am a totally besotted Nanny - here is little Leo visiting Art and Stitch this week, he is so gorgeous he just loved the colours and the thread reels - he will be a little tike once he gets into gear and is walking or running everywhere!!
Well so far this year I have been mostly getting up to date on unfinished items, but we had Christmas Club looming up for this week and I had to get my head together and come up with a good idea for them to make - so I made the wall hanging above and have to say I thoroughly enjoyed making the scrappy Christmas trees.  Fortunately all our ladies agreed and the picture below are two of their efforts.  All of the ladies made great hangings - though one turned it into a table runner which was a good idea.
So now I am set on carrying on with the  pieces that need to be finished, though I have a sort of yearning to do something new - but I shall try and fit any new creativity in with completing all the other items that are reclining in crevices in my sewing room and at Art and Stitch waiting to be fully completed.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Leo came to visit us in the shop last week - he is becoming a real little charmer and for eight months - is such a joy - not at all biased am I.

 My Eldest son's future Mother in Law is a great cake decorator and she made this for Rob and I for Christmas, it doesn't look quite like this now as it has been tucked into quite seriously.  It is a beautiful cake  and she is so clever at decorating them.  Anne has a wedding cake to make now and Paul & Ericha are getting married in August this year - which was such great news and we are all looking forward to the big day.
 Caroline came to see me on Monday and bought little leo and here is with his friend - he loves the soft teddies - but then he just loves grabbing everything.  He is also a little poser as he knew I was taking his photo.  Cheeky monkey.

Well I am continuing with my bid to get some of my unfinished items completed - and on Sunday I shut myself in the sewing room and fished this out - I had gone wrong and put it away in disgust - so I was quite determined to get it right - here are the first two rows, I have now got the third row ready to stitch on - and just one more to go.  It is very very time consuming and well as far as I am concerned it is very easy to go wrong.  Although I hope fingers crossed that I have got the hang of it now.  I am looking forward to seeing it all put together.
So at this present time I am able to feel quite sanctimonius as I am continuing with my resolution - how long it will last I do not know  - I am getting itchy feet to start something new but - I am going to endeavour to carry on with the UFO's

Friday, 1 February 2013


 Mt Sister is a Volunteer at Kew Gardens and is currently up to her knees in moss and orchids.  Kew hold an annual Orchid Festival during February each year and they are currently endeavouring to get it all finished for the 9th February I think that is when it starts.  These two photos are of a previous year - the Festival is fabulous and the Orchids are so wonderful.  The Kew website has all the details 

I really love Kew Gardens there is something lovely about walking around in the warm glass houses looking at all the wonderful colours when it is cold and grey outside.  Yet Kew has something to offer for every season.

Well we have had this lovely printed panel come into the shop and I just had to sit and bead it - I could have carried on - but decided enough was enough - it looks great hanging in the shop.

I had planned to bring in my finished quilt today, but poppy had other ideas - I finished stitching the binding on last night and am really chuffed with myself - another UFO totally done.  The smaller one on top that poppy is sitting on is a wall hanging with fractured crazy stars and I am currently quilting that - so hopefully next week that will be finished too  yeh!!

I am really pleased with myself as at the end of last year I was struggling to see the woods for the trees and couldn't envisage getting items finished.  Julie I think you were so right in your words of wisdom and thank you for your support.

Oh Just another quick thing - daft really - I have just read The Secret Garden  (Francis Hodgson Burnett)- oh it was so magical - I had seen the film but cannot remember reading the book before and it transfixed me - I could not put it down.  Then I found there had been a sequel written by another author several years later - The Forgotten Room by Stacie Morrell - it was lovely - I sat and cried my way through it - a really good light read that had a superb feel good factor.

Well now I had better go and start the day and show willing.   I cannot promise to keep up regular blogs but I am going to try.