Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Bird on a Branch

This pattern was published on The Quilt Show site and greatly took my fancy. I've made it very much as specified in the pattern, but didn't add an extra border - I like it as it is. It's hand applique and hand quilted. I love these colours, turquoise and purple are my favourite colour combination at the moment. I hope it's not as wonky as it looks in the photograph!

Monday, 26 July 2010

Cosmos in Bloom

Cosmos in Bloom is finished. I actually finished it several days ago, but waited until I'd washed it to remove the chalk marks before taking a photograph. I'm really pleased with the way it's turned out, especially the quilting. I LOVE my BSR foot, it makes quilting at any speed a doddle, so I was able to draw the pattern on to the quilt and follow it quite easily.

I didn't use my new Mindful Meanderings for this quilt, as the small blocks lent themselves beautifully to individual designs. Instead I used my other new book Free Motion Quilting Made Easy by Eva A Larkin.

There are a few glitches, but on the whole I'm really pleased with the quilting on this little quilt, and enjoyed doing it (Yay!). So let's hope I manage as well on my next quilt which I'll be quilting this week and is a bit larger.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Lucky me!

Look at what was waiting for me when I got back from holiday! A little while back I won Angela at So Scrappy's 500th blog give-away. And what a wonderful selection of goodies I won. There's an oh-so-useful seam ripper; a little roll of strips and some dinky little squares, lovely bright colours that will go together perfectly once I've decided on a pattern. A windmill template (I love that pattern) and some perfectly cut strips to use with it, exactly the right width. A complete kit to make a quilt called Cosmos in Bloom (I should be able to show you that pretty soon as I got started on it straightaway after our friends left on Sunday and have just got started on the quilting). And a terrific book called Mindful Meandering, which has umpteen patterns for continuous line quilting which I know is going to get an enormous amount of use.

Quilting has been a bit of a bugbear for me but the Mindful Meandering book, together with another book that I bought recently showing simple ways to build up single motifs, is going to absolutely transform my quilting I'm absolutely certain. Well, together with lots of practice I suppose. I don't imagine I can just wave the books over my quilts like a magic wand!

So, many, many thanks Angela for a wonderful package.

Monday, 19 July 2010


During our stay in North Wales we went up Snowdon.  When I was younger I walked up Snowdon on several occasions with my parents and once with DH. These days sadly I'm not up to that amount of walking, or I'd have loved to do it again. The friends we went on holiday with and DH are also not that keen on walking that distance, so we took the train. I felt a bit of a cheat, but it was the only way for us to get there. Mind you, having been to the top so many times I wasn't that bothered, but the others wanted to go.

It's jolly expensive, but I imagine the overheads of running the train and the cafe at the top, and all the maintenance etc doesn't come cheaply. The views on the way up were stunning, as you climb higher into the mountain range that makes up Snowdon. The mountain peak that we call Snowdon is actually called Yr Waddfa.

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As you can see, the nearer the top we got the mistier it became, and by the time we got there you couldn't see a thing!

We only had half an hour at the top, before our train returned, just long enough to eat our sandwiches.

In the afternoon we went to Betws-y-Coed, and looked at the river before having a cup of tea in a cafe and returning to our cottage.
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Tuesday, 13 July 2010


Have you ever seen 'The Prisoner'? According to Wikipedia "The Prisoner is a 17-episode British television series first broadcast in the UK from 29 September 1967 to 1 February 1968.[1][2] Starring and co-created by Patrick McGoohan, it combined spy fiction with elements of science fictionallegory, and psychological drama.
The series follows a British former secret agent who is held prisoner in a mysterious seaside village where his captors try to find out why he abruptly resigned from his job. " 

The series was filmed in a village in North Wales called Portmeirion. Again, according to Wikipedia, "Portmeirion is a popular tourist village in GwyneddNorth Wales. It was designed and built by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975 in the style of an Italian village and is now owned by a charitable trust.
Portmeirion has served as the location for numerous films and television shows, most famously serving as The Village in The Prisoner starring Patrick McGoohan as Number Six."

Well, we've come to stay here in Portmeirion for a few days holiday, with some friends. We had lovely weather on Sunday, so I was able to get around and take loads of photographs of the village. Yesterday we took a trip up Snowdon (using the train I fear, not walking) and I took loads of photographs then too. I'll show you those next time I get online.

Anyway, here is the slideshow. If you're a devotee of the series you will recognise several of the locations used. But I've realised I haven't yet taken a photograph of the cottage allotted to Number Six, so I'll have to remedy that.
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Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Something slightly different

Over the last couple of years I've bought several pieces of fabric to make into clothes, and they've just been sitting there, waiting for me to get round to making them up, but somehow that day never came. Suddenly, last week, the urge came upon me to make them up and I've made a skirt and blouse (no photographs because although they're quite pretty in real life they just looked awful in the photograph); a jacket and another blouse. So now I've just got one piece of fabric left to make into another jacket.

I just fell in love with this corduroy fabric when I saw it and had to buy some, though I had no idea what to make with it. I've ended up with a rather large jacket, intentionally so, as I will wear it over several layers of jumpers in the winter. I've had something similar for about ten years that DH brought back from Peru and it's looking rather worn out, so this will be a great replacement.

This is a lovely lightweight and floaty voile which will be great if the summer weather continues. I've made it with three quarter length sleeves, which I think look more flattering for my 'older' arms! Not that they look too bad, I just prefer to cover them up.

The fabric arrived this morning for the latest block for the Euro Bee swap that I'm in, so I just got on and sewed it straight away. Quick and easy to sew and lovely fabrics too.

Thursday, 1 July 2010


Yesterday we went to Tyntesfield, owned by the National Trust. Tyntesfield is a Victorian house which went onto the market in 2002. The NT had just 50 days to raise £20 million in order to buy it; with a huge public appeal and generous donations they managed it. Then they had to match the £20 million from their own coffers. They have since received a National Lottery grant to help with the renovation costs. Although there is a huge amount of work needed they decided to keep it open whilst the work is going on, which must have made for fascinating visits to see the changes. We hope to go regularly now that we live so close to see how the refurbishments are going.

It's impossible to tell from the outside what the house actually looks like as the whole thing is covered in scaffolding to enable the complete roof to be renovated; they're putting new tiles on, replacing the lead and cleaning the outside walls as well.

I can't show you any pictures of the inside as you're not allowed to take photographs, but it's well worth a visit if you ever happen to be in the area.

We were also able to climb steps inside the scaffolding up to a viewing area at roof level. It was fascinating to get such an unusual view of a house and to see the work in progress.

We're planning a return visit later in the year, before the house closes for the winter, to see what progress has been made.