Sunday, 31 May 2009

June 1st

Monday is the day my friend bluebell and I go shopping . the bank statement has to be checked . the purse scrutinised ,coins counted . When I,ve checked to see I,m solvent, then I can go off with a smile on my face and a spring in my step . Plenty of time to get ready.

Alec Bell rose

This rose has been in the garden about 6 weeks at the most, a beautiful intense yellow . the Dauphine are still in tight bud . this is part of the re,vamping of the garden , I,m sure when the roses start climbing they will be stunning.
Yesterday I found a perpetual sweet pea--Silver wedding-- It was a plant bluebell had grown , she moved it for me, Itwas being taken over by mint ,I put a support on the fence, I,m willing it to be strong,It looks sad but hasn,t flopped.
I thought a Pieris that I have in a large pot was dying but when I looked this morning it has a red shoot on one of it,s branches. I,d really like to get it into the garden but I,m running out of space.I shall be paying special attention to it now. I must keep space for when something special comes along .
My pear tree is loaded with fruit, when --Silver Sewer-- came to visit on Sat,.she said I must water it, I don,t usually.
I also found aVialli plant that was being taken over in my herb piece of garden ,that has also been moved . When the fencing was being done, plants were uprooted and put in wherever there was room , now I,m finding them again .Survivers all .
The sun was strong and high this morning at 5 am, here in England , it shines in my bedroom first thing and in my sitting room from about 3 pm onwards .I,m nicely situated .
Checked for lily beetles this morning , only one, they mak holes in the leaves ,and the buds , I shudder when I get them off ,I like ladybirds , but not lily beetles .

More scraps

This sqare is 12 inches , untrimmed as yet, I might save it and do several blocks to make a bigger piece of patchwork. I certainly have plenty of small scraps
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Little purses using up the scraps, they still have to be trimmed in the fashion of crazy patchwork
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A full day and more besides

Another beautiful day,when the sun decides to visit England we are all so grateful . It,s like seeing one of the wonders of the world without traveling anywhere.The pure freshness of daybreak and the rising of the sun are like being re,born.

I seem to be turning into an addictive blogger . There are so many clever and inspiring people , it,s just wonderful

I really must sew today . I don,t have to cook days like this . I just love salad . Green leaves,apple with celery and walnuts and plump sultanas ( I like the word sultanas it reminds me of Arabian nights .) cucumber and avacado pears . It,s a great time of the year for fresh uncooked food, greek yoghurt with chopped fresh mint , or sometimes caraway seeds .

My Streptacarpus is flowering, It,s purple, if it flowers like last year I shall be very pleased . I would like to split it but I don,t know if it is one of those plants that like to be pot bound being as it flowers so well. Perhaps anyone reading my blog who know about streptacarpus could advise me .

I,m reading the 19th wife by David Ebershoff. It is very enlightning . I picked it up from the blog of Hard up Hester .

Every morning , first job, pick the lily beetles off the lilies . Ugh!!!

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Fabric guild

These are some of the puchases from the fabric guild.I say some because I also bought buttons and some cord,and a couple of other bits but you know what it,s like if your a p/quilter . It looks not much when you get home and look in the bag. When you look in your purse ! zilch. Ow!.

The blue floral is backing for a blue and white quilt, top almost finished. 6 yds , £2 per yd. the stripe, nothing planned ,but perhaps bags ,3 yds, £3.75, the deep red, sashing for a baltimore, 1 more block to quilt , a pack of 15 pieces , 11 inches square ( I,ve got a blocked brain now . I forgot what you call it ) but it was £3.75 . I shall cut it into 2 1/2 inch strips and use it like jelly roll.

Our fabric guild is wonderful, some people travel a very long way to shop here. I,m about 20 mins,. I live in the east midlands of England. We are able to have free coffee or chocolate and biscuits .As we sit and gather strength with our coffee we chat and ask have people come far. Friday , one girl had come from Suffolk, 2hrs drive. I said "long way" , she replied "but it,s worth it".One day a group of 4 ladies had come from Ireland on the ferry, they were shopping for their group . The guild open just Friday and Sunday morning . We were told they are starting a web site. the site is up and running, BUT, Micheal said he hasn,t had time to put the fabric on yet . check it out ,
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where have all the flowers gone

At the sewing group where I go Thursday, I took my new camera,( I dropped my last one, it still works but it broke at the corner where the batteries go, better to be safe so I bought another) anyway, the new one is really slim and lightweight,it fits easily into my bag . There were quite a few ladies around discussing the merits of cameras but as soon as they saw me focus they scooted. perhaps they are all fugitives. I,ll get them next time .

Thursday, 28 May 2009


These photographs are of bushes and plants that came through the upheavel of revamping my garden at the back of my home.

This clematis is at the front of the house, it is pink but looks rather mauve on the photo .

This peony always lays its flowers on the patio, yet another one a few feet away keeps it,s flower up proud of the leaves.
Regular readers of my blog will be familiar with the saga of the vintage tea cups that is likely to go on for maybe another 12 months. This teapot, milk jug, and sugar basin was surplus to requirements so was given to me by bluebell .
On the way home from our sewing circle yesterday, we popped into the age concern charity shop , two more cups and saucers wer added to the collection, there are now boxes and boxes of them. It is somthing like the Mad Hatters tea party, from Alice in Wonderland . A childrens book by Lewis Carroll .

Cematis Josephine

This is a new addition to the revamped garden. Of course it was planted last year. It was a present from blogger bluebell . she bought it at the Malvern 3 counties showground 2008 . It,s name is Josephine. The centre just keeps opening more and more, it is very beautiful .
I was up and about before 6 a,m this morning, I would have loved to have sat in my garden but all my garden seats were covered in dew . must remember to lift one into the conservatory so it will be dry to sit on . nothing more wonderful to sit outside on a morning like today. Dawn broke with the sun already shining . Here in England summer is so unpredictable , today is glorious we have been promised a hot day, but tomorrow ,who knows .

Today bluebell and myself are off to the Fabric Guild , our newsletter says new fabric in extra wide christmas fabric £2. There is always a good selection of £2 bargains.
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Monday, 25 May 2009

I made my coffee, different sort to my usual, Ugh!! worst I have ever tasted. I couldn,t even say it will be an aquired taste .
Sunday I made a quiche, now I,m no good at making quiche, something always goes wrong . I made cheese straws for a visiting friend, pastry left over, I know I,ll make a quiche , pricked the pastry, slightly pre, cooked it. final outcome , egg mixture seeped under the pastry,made the pastry swell , It looked, well ! interesting, but not like a quiche .
I think I will make it my quest in life to make quiche until I,ve got it right, or perhaps not , I will carry on buying them , less stress .

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Be Brave

I read a blog this morning,it was -cinnamon whirls blog- she said she wanted to change, lighten up and start wearing rainbow socks ,
Thats o,k, I,m one of those people that do my own thing ,. I told her my friend says I,m off the wall, another friend usually remarks with a shake of her head "she doesn,t change does she " I want to be an eccentric old lady,dotty in my own sweet way . I very often look at my neighbours ,and think their days seem so predictable, never controversable in a jokey way. If they chat to each other I never see them fold over laughing . Sad really .
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Wake up,smell the coffee

Beautiful day ,sunny, happy music on the radio, always guaranteed to get me moving .
Yes I know we rattle on about the weather in England but we get so little of the good stuff . I,m not knocking rainy days , we are truly a green and pleasant land. Yep , I can smell the coffee, I,m off.

Even the birds areon overtime

I I have been working so hard this last two days ,gardening . I,m very pleased how my garden has come along. It has been expensive . I bought a lot of new plants and bushes. When people pass my front garden they stop and look that pleases me to think I,m giving pleasure to others , and friends have been kind and give me plants . I,m now waiting to see the lavender hedge in flower .
Today the starlings have been showing off their babies and making such a lot of noise. They certainly meant to be noticed .

Extra to requirement

If you remember ,bluebell and myself went hunting for teacups last Tuesday. For anyone who isn,t in the know ,the teacups are for bluebells daughter,s wedding next year, vintage t,cups will be for each lady guest , the teapot , milk jug and sugar bowl are not needed so bluebell gave them to me . I was thrilled, I think the pattern is called Plant, it says Tuscan china, made in England . I think it is worth collecting English bone china. Many, many of our specialist china manufacturers are going under due to the recession and also because so many of our specialist industrys are being shipped abroad. I cannot stand porcelain cups and saucers . My gripe is , they make toilets of that stuff .
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These pretty Iris,s were put on the charity table at our sewing group . They were from one of our ladies allotment. just £1 in the charity box . I can never resist flowers. Ladies put all kinds of veg on as the season gets under way . Marrows are not popular but I like marrow , good in soup, fine for chutney,and nice as a dinner veg roasted . or cooked in tomatoes. I don,t mind if the are picked young and soft or left until they are huge .

My weekend magazine has an article about Medlers . A very ancient fruit . not one that has been messed about with (for the want of a better word) by fruit growers .They are a strange fruit, in Cyprus they call them Mespilus. My sister in law ,Androulla is very fond of them . you see the trees in the gardens of old houses . They are at their best when going over, soft brown , and squashy . I eat most things but I don,t like mespilus .
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Wednesday, 20 May 2009

So much to do , so little tie

All who read my blog will know I,m a patchwork /quilter. I read many blogs of like minded people but I must say the girls who design , and make little felt creations give me a lot of pleasure. Looking through some patterns ths morning I have come across a download for a toadstall cottage and a mushroom house. They are in felt, I shall be hoping to do one of these today. The patterns are credited to-----http://the little house by the I want to play with felt and buttons,and lace and little beads etc,.---That is after I have done some washing , Ironing,,dusting , planted 2 clematis ( I have to put the trellis up first). Oh, isn,t life a ball? I won,t mention what the windows look like when the sun shines on them . The milkman dropped a bottle of milk at my front door. I,ve already swilled that away. Job done. I put the washing in , AND put liquid soap in the final rinse instead of softener . I will be back later ,it,s going to be an interesting day

Monday, 18 May 2009

Never a dull moment

A few blogs ago, 5, 4, 09, I wrote how I had drank 2 cans of coca cola left behind by my son when he had visited, they had the most extraordinary effect on me! I had more energy than for a long time. I was telling of my hyper day. I had forgotten the effect this had on me.

Doing my shopping last week I thought , the weather is warming up I better get soft drinks for when anyone visits , I got cherry coca cola , and ordinary coca cola.. while watching t,v Sunday evening I was terribly thirsty, I had eaten a roast dinner, perhaps that is why. I had water, still thirsty, so out came a can of cherry coca cola. Mm, that did the trick ! What a result !! 1.30 a,m , shifting around in bed wondering why I kept sleeping for 10 mins and waking up again . this continued through the night until 5 a,m in the morning, I then fell asleep . What amazing stuff . three cans and I,d be raided by the drug squad .

In England we have a programme at 7,o/clock in the evening called the one show.They often investigate way out things, Monday night it was traffic islands . It seems there is a club who,s hobby is traffic islands . The people who support this club are advocating days out looking at traffic islands!! according to the man telling of this, some are landscaped , some just grass, some others , well ! who knows ! I haven,t been on the day trip yet but I,m saving up to go . Yep , we are well known for eccentricity in England .

They also had poetry readings related to the current issue of parliament MP,s expenses or to put it more bluntly fiddles . Some are calling for the speaker to resign. I say leave him there , It,s his mess, he was investigated recently and found to be as devious as the others , let him sort it out ,and then out him. Let him squirm .Hear,hear to the Telegraph newspaper.

It,s the Chelsea flower show this week , so we have something good going on .

We have had a lotta, lotta rain here in England . The plants I have put in my revamped garden are flourishing and getting well established . My friend who visited on Saturday bought me Foxgloves and a decorative grass. they are standing well . I have planted a rose called Sweet memories and Dahlias called My love. These are in memory of my late husband .

I dropped my digital camera and the casing broke where the batteries go in . I have replaced it. It is one of lifes neccesary tems these days .

Well today bluebell is picking me up, remember bluebell ? the one who is scouring all the charity shops to buy vintage looking teacups . She is on the hunt again . apparently there are more out there, so she is after them. should be an interesting day !! I did mention eccentricity didn,t I .

Saturday, 16 May 2009

When Day is done

It really has been a lovely day. Three different visitors, Now I shall retire to my sitting room and sew and watch T,V . There is a programme--Lionheart , The crusade, -- that will do me fine

The Heckler

Yes!!! I seem to have found my soapbox this morning, and I,m standing on it with both feet

Another Sharp Practice

Out and about 7.30 a.m this morning for my newspaper (yes I know my choice is called a rag ) I thought , I,ll buy a chicken , that looks a good offer, £2,89 introductory offer , mm, mm. salivating at the thought, roast chicken and salad . Got to be in keeping with trying for a more sensible diet . But you see, I didn,t see, if you get the drift , underneath the £2,89 in micro print was kg , it is printed so small I didn,t notice . It,s difficult enough shpping , lugging budgeting wihout scanning everything minutely .
I have three different eye problems at present and cannot focus properly sometimes unless I pick things up and peer intently . It doesn,t look consumer friendly to do this so I got caught again . I shall still enjoy the chicken but I thought I was saving.
The eye problems will be sorted no doubt when I,m walking with my arms out feeling along the wall.
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British Politics

This photo has nothing in common with the theme but sewing is my first love, after laughing and having quality time with my friends.
I hope I,m not being controversial but I,m thoroughly enjoying all this stuff that is going on in our parliament . I,m not a vindictive person but I,m laughing at the audacity of these so called well educated, holier than thou , we know better than the ordinary man in the street , characters.
These people take us to war , mar our country with archaic laws , pass laws and motions without even consulting the general public .
I hope all these pompous , self righteous ,know alls meet with public humiliation.
I say a big broom and a clean sweep.
I would like anyone who agees with me about this issue to join me as a follower to my blog, then I will feel I have like minded friends

Thursday, 14 May 2009


Myself and 2 friends went to the quilt show at Malvern today .Malvern is in Worstershire .England . It ,s a beautiful place . Two quilt shows a year are held there . I spent almost all the money I took with me .Thats why I,m showing you a picture of my plant . Some call it a Jade plant, it is also known as the money plant, so, I,m gong to be talking to it quite earnestly. Of course I bought patterns and some fabric and also came home with some great ideas .. I,m sure we spent more time looking at the trader stands than the quilts . Yes that is a dreadful sin , sorry

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Country Diary fabric pincushions

My country Diary pincushions have always been well received as gifts and I have never tired of making them .
The other picture shows scraps being laid on to a piece of fabric to keep it stable for machining to make crazy patchwork.

Scrappy bits

Another needlecase

Small scraps

These little mis-shapen scraps of fabric have been machined on to a remnant of curtain interlining .They will be cut to sizes for needle cases, spectacle cases, small make up purses, even into strips for book marks. My bookmarks are then machined on to pelmet vilene and satin stitched all round the sides for stability

Country quilt no,. 2

This is the second quilt using 4" squares. When I have made a quilt or whatever I cut the spare fabric into squares of various sizes to use as bags or anything else that takes my fancy , strips for french braid patchwork or log cabin ,odd shape pieces for crazy patchwork . Never anything wasted . Off to the Malvern quilt show tomorrow .

Shape up

One of my friends are saying I need to shape up. Is this the solution .I think I could possibly do it with three meals a day of chocolate . I will soon go off salad but never chocolate .I,ll have to slip drinking chocolate in between.
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Friday, 8 May 2009

Think Deeply

Christian Aid week is coming up, its time to dig a ittle deeper in our pockets for those less fortunat than ourselves
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Would you Beleive it

Isn,t it just the way things go, after I had done allthe hard work, the fellow who was going to do the garden turned up. When he passed and saw what I had done he said he thought I had got someone else in to do the job , but he finished it for me. Bluebell and I went off to the garden centre to buy the rest of the plants
The front and the back garden are now finished . When the plants are established it will be real eye candy . I feel I have made a real contribution to the cul-de-sac where I live . It has been costly having the back and front garden re-vamped ,more than I would have spent on a holiday , but it will be lovely watching the plants getting established .
I now want to quietly retire back into my shell with my patchwork / quilting, reading etc,. pottering about and Sunday being my Garden day.
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Sunday, 3 May 2009

Patchwork and quilting

Sometimes we quilters have an inspiration block just like writers and other people. Even day to day things . How many times do we think, no idea what to cook for dinner tonight,out comes the cookery book for ideas . With quilters it,s the same,we have mountains of fabric, shelves of books, and yet we look to what our friends are doing and think ,I will make one of those . I,m saying , look through your fabric and get your books off the shelf . they are work manuals as well as books to dream by . the people who wrote those books intended you to use them . Mix your fabrics, dip into your books and those costly magazines, add a square from one pattern and a block from another.

I use to teach patchwork/ quilting and fabric manipulation. I always use to tried to steer my ladies away from the safe option. To be brave and daring. It,s fabric not something you are going to eat that might give you a pain in the tummy .

Give free range to colour combination. You don,t have to be slaving over a quilt for months for it to be a stunner .

Lay your fabrics out like a paintbox.

Put strips together in rail fence or hourglass, both can be cut in multi layers with your rotary cutter. when you have finished your cutting, lock yourself in the sewing room with your drink and sandwich and make it your quilt in a day project .

You might think afterwards , I could never put this on a bed, but quilts are not just for beds . Put it on the back of the chair in the garden. Fold it over the radiator that isn,t switched on . Put it casually crumpled into a log basket to be picked out and put over your legs when it gets chilly in the evening .

My friend bluebell has a Kaffe Fasset book called country garden quilts. this book illustrates perfectly the joy of putting together bright colours. I have borrowed this book from her to use over the May bank holiday.

Two days ago I bought a range of orange coloured fabric, I shall mix in some of my own stash, and I feel a quilt coming on. I will most likely say " I could never put it on a bed " but then I don,t need another quilt to put on a bed .

Sometime in the near future I will show my orange quilt , so watch this space.

The quilt I,m showing today was a Judy Martin free pattern , last year . I liked it so much I made two . The first one I made to the pattern this one I put a bit of my own magic into it . It,s machine quilted on a Brother innovis 2oo. just a basic domestic sewing machine . Safe colours !yes, but I dipped into the blue mountain . I made two double bed quilts and the mountain is still there .

If you have been kind enugh to read my blog , please leave a comment .