Wednesday, 29 April 2009

And the winner is .... (203)

From April 2009
Angela, from Scraphappy! That's terrific news Angela, your extra entry for writing about my give-away on your blog must have swung things your way.

If you can let me have your address Angela, I'll get your goodies on their way to you as soon as possible.

This'll be the day (202)

I'm going to draw the winner for my give-away at about 7.00pm (GMT) today - so there's still just a little time to comment on the appropriate post (Treasures), and to let your blogging friends know about it.

I've been gathering a few bits and bobs together - some made by me, some bought - and will show a picture of the prize once I have drawn the winner.

Aren't give-aways fun?

Monday, 27 April 2009

A wonderful weekend and a BOM (201)

Number 2 son and his partner came to visit this weekend. They hired a car and drove up from Brighton, arriving at about 8.00 in the evening - having got lost a few times on the way! Luckily, they were in time to have a good look around the house and garden before it got dark, as it was the first time they'd visited. They loved everything.

On Saturday we went into Wells and just pottered about, looking around the city and the market and doing a bit of shopping, then stopped for lunch at our favourite vegetarian restaurant, the Good Earth. The weather forecast had been a bit 'iffy' but it actually turned out pretty well. After lunch we set off for Cheddar Gorge, stopping at a garden centre on the way. Christopher bought some flowering plants and I bought some fruit bushes - a gooseberry, a red currant and a black currant. Cheddar Gorge is stunning, and such a surprise after the rolling landscape of Somerset. We had a short walk, but didn't stay for long as I was getting a bit weary and my ankle was aching. Next time we visit I'll take some more photographs to show you.

After supper - which everyone helped to prepare, oh the joys of a bigger kitchen - we played some board games. Alexander has always loved to cook and it's wonderful to hear him talking about the cooking that he now does in his own home. He's also always loved to play board games and no visit is complete without playing something. This time we played Scattergories and Rage.

On Sunday morning we took some herb cuttings for him from my herb garden - they don't have a garden, but two large balconies and a roof terrace, so there's plenty of space for pots. After a late breakfast they set off for a visit to Ikea and then on to London where they had tickets for a Girls Aloud concert that evening.

It was lovely to see them, and it was such an easygoing, relaxed weekend. Mind you, I always hate waving goodbye to either of my sons, I just want to hang on to them for longer.

Jenny, at Elefantz, is about to start a lovely new BOM, Shabby Roses, which will be a mixture of applique and embroidery. If you haven't seen it do pop over and have a look. She's starting it off with a give-away, so if you leave her a comment do say that I sent you. And if anyone can tell me how to get her button on my blog I'll be forever grateful - other people seem to have managed it but I'm having no luck. 

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Treasure (200)

One of the good things about moving is that you discover all sorts of possessions you'd forgotten all about. These little treasures have been packed away since the first World War. My grandfather served in France in the 1914-1918 Great War, and sent my grandmother all sorts of lovely things. We have a superb collection of postcards and also this little collection of goodies. I think the silk  handkerchief sachet must have been made for pre-war tourists, as it's in English. The little apron is made from the lightest of silk and the cushion covers, also made of silk, are hand painted.

I would love to display these treasures, although the fact that they have been hidden away from the light is probably the reason they are so well preserved. Does anyone have any ideas on how I could display them?

I see that this is my 200th post - wowee, I never thought that I'd get that far. I remember how impressed I was when I first started by people who had reached this milestone. So, combining this with my first full blogging year (back on 10th March) must mean that it's time for a give-away.

I've got a couple of ideas for gifts, but I'll finalise them over the next week. So, if you'd like to be in with a chance, just leave me one of your wonderful comments over the next few days. I'll probably draw a winner next Monday or Tuesday. If you'd like to mention it on your blog that would be great too, it's always nice to meet new people.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Quilts, balloons and tights (199)

On Saturday we went to Bath, which is about a half hour's drive away. I dropped Christopher off in the centre of the city, and then navigated my way to a church hall about five minute's drive away. Bath Quilters were having their annual exhibition. It was only a small show, with about 100 quilts and just two stalls, which was just as well as I was in a one-hour parking spot. There were a mixture of quilts, some elaborate, some traditional, some modern. It was good to look with a more experienced eye than at the previous exhibition I had visited, and it was quite encouraging to know that I could have exhibited there without shame. Perhaps another time. Here are just a few of the photographs that I took - there wasn't a lot of room to stand back, so some of them are bit wonky.

Sunday was a glorious spring day, really warm, and we managed to get quite a lot done in the garden. In the early evening, just as I was getting supper ready and Christopher was enjoying a glass of wine on the bench I bought him for his birthday, he called me out to see a wonderful sight. About six hot air balloons were flying past the house. It was probably their first chance to get out this year, and what a perfect evening for it. They're so quiet, apart from the occasional burn.

Today, I finally gave in and bought some tights! We've been here four and half weeks now, and my bag of tights still haven't turned up - they're probably buried somewhere in the garage. Much as I prefer to wear trousers, I like to have the option of wearing a skirt. I wonder how long it will be before they finally turn up?

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Some real sewing, Bath and beds (198)

At last, I've done some 'real' sewing - stitching different bits of fabric together! Not quite a quilt, I'm hoping to start on my Irish Chain quilt very soon, but satisfying none-the-less. Using Jenny at Elefantz's lovely pattern for a shabby chic heart I've made a simple cushion for my bedroom. The border fabrics are some scraps from other projects, which go really well with the shabby chic, cottagey feel I love. I'm planning to use her shabby chic roses pattern to make another cushion with similar borders.

And then I've finally finished a laptop cover for Alexander's partner; this has been ongoing for about six weeks, but life has intervened, but it's done now. I just have to hope it's not too late - if it is then I'll keep it for my laptop! I used this pattern.

This morning we're off to Bath, to visit the Bath Quilters exhibition - well I'll be visiting the exhibition, Christopher will probably be sitting having a coffee somewhere, reading the newspapers! I must remember to take my camera - and to leave my wallet at home.

And then this afternoon, we've got two single beds being delivered for our larger guest bedroom. We only ordered them yesterday, from a little independent bed shop in Wells. Hooray for independent shops - they might be a little more expensive than the big chains, but I'd rather use them any day.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Cupboard Love (197)

When we moved into our new house we bought the wardrobes from the previous people, as we did not have any of our own. Two of the wardrobes are a rather bland grey, and so I have spent this morning covering one of them in Fablon - a sticky backed plastic. I chose a design with tiny flowers and I'm pretty pleased with the result. The photographs aren't brilliant, but they give you an idea.

These are the curtains that I made for the same bedroom, a pretty creamy yellow fabric with pink roses. I have put some of my teddy bear collection on to the lovely deep window sills - the one you can see here was my 2nd birthday present.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Aren't I the lucky one! (197)

A couple of weeks ago I won a giveaway at Lynette Anderson's site, and today a pile of her patterns turned up! I love Lynette's designs and am delighted with my prize. There's a pattern for some quilt labels to embroider - already printed on calico. There are two quilt patterns - Gordon Bear and Fox and Friends, which are both such fun. Then there's a Christmas design for a little cushion and her Quilt Shoppe pattern. I'm absolutely thrilled - so where to start? Thank you Lynette for this lovely prize.

Monday, 13 April 2009

Easter goodies (194)

We don't usually do much to celebrate Easter, apart from exchanging Easter eggs. I was able to give Oliver his last week, but Alexander's will have to wait for his visit next weekend. Because of my various food intolerances I can't eat ordinary chocolate, but Christopher surprised me with this pretty egg, covered in beads and sequins. He'd managed to find some gluten and dairy free chocolates to put inside too, so I haven't been left out. I wonder how long they'll last me?

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Happy shopper (194)

Yesterday, armed this time with a list, I returned to Midsomer Quilting. And this time, I didn't come away empty-handed!

I bought some of their £5 a metre fabric to back my spring quilt, which clearly isn't going to be finished for this spring but will go up once it's finished none the less. Don't you love the ric-rac - some of it has already gone onto the first PIF gift that I've nearly finished.

Here's just a little peek at the PIF gift showing off the ric-rac.

I've decided to make a new quilt for the single bed in the small spare bedroom, and fancy doing an Irish Chain. I'm going to use the pattern in Carolyn Forster's Quilt-As-You-Go book, and have chosen these navy fabrics for the chain, and a cream with a small navy pattern on it for the background. Using the quilt as you go method should make it fairly manageable.

Yesterday was a lovely sunny day and we were able to get outside to do some gardening. Christopher has made a start on cutting out some dead conifers and I planted some seeds in the vegetable patch. We also managed to squeeze in a shopping trip and I even had time to prep some of the stitchery BOMs that I'm doing. All in all a very productive day.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Hopeless Quilter!! (193)

Yesterday we finally managed a visit to my new local quilting shop, Midsomer Quilters, which is about 4 miles away. It's set in an old barn in the grounds of a garden centre, with a craft shop right next door. What more could a stitcher and crafter want? Inside, it's been divided into several rooms - probably using the original walls that were there for the animals. You can't see all of it in this photograph as some is hidden away to the right behind the building (the craft shop is in the long low building on the right). There's a long arm quilting machine at one end and a large workroom. They seem to hold classes every weekend, often two, so there's plenty to choose from.
From April 2009
There's a tiny lounge area, with just four armchairs and a table, with free coffee and newspapers available, so husbands can sit and wait happily while you browse. And loads of lovely fabric, some imported from America and as little as £5 a metre; they had lots of beautiful African fabrics too.

So, with Christopher settled with a coffee and the newspapers I had time to browse. Which I did very happily.

And now I can hear you asking impatiently - what did I buy? Well ..... one reel of cream thread!! That's all! My only excuse is that without a specific project in mind I just can't seem to buy fabric.

Like I said - I'm a hopeless quilter!!

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Drawing breath! (192)

I've been having a lovely time starting to catch up on all your blog postings that I've missed over the last ten days or so. It's great to see what you've all been up to - though I haven't managed to get through the lot yet. Many apologies though, I haven't been able to make many comments, just not enough hours in the day!

I'm currently sitting in my new study typing this, looking through the window at part of the courtyard garden, with daffodils, primroses, primula and purple and white helibores. The leaves are just beginning to show on the shrubs and trees and there's birdsong all around. There's one cute little chap hopping about picking up bits and pieces. I've got my bird book to hand, but the photographs in books never look the same as the bird you're looking at do they, so I haven't identified him yet. I've seen lots of different birds, some that I can identify and some that I can't - so much to learn.

I've uploaded the first photographs of our new house on my other blog, so do have a look.