Monday, 20 December 2010


Britain is still gripped in this icy blast and unusually for us here in Taunton we have a lot of snow. We have lived here 21 years and this is the most we have seen. Everything grinds to a halt. Planes are grounded, food and supplies cannot get through and we are not done yet. It is so cold too with temperatures not getting above freezing. Outside there is at least 8-10 inches of snow and many roads are impassable. Lucky that Santa doesn't need to rely on the roads to get through. Olly's parents are due back at Heathrow today from Australia!!!!!

You would be forgiven for thinking this was a very poor attempt at icing the Christmas cake but no... underneath all that snow is my car. Going nowhere. Shanks's Pony is the transport of the day.

The frosty smoke tree from last week is covered in snow and my neighbours bird house looks very festive peeping out of the hedge.

Just to show that I have been doing something sewing wise I thought I would give you a glimpse of a cross stitch sampler that I am stitching. I used to be very passionate about cross stitching but when I discovered patchwork it took a back seat. This one has me wanting to stitch again though. It is from the Historical Sampler Company.

All hexagons prepared and ready for off. I am toying with the background colour and have tried a few colourways. I think I know what it will be. I also now know what I am doing with the diamonds and the total now stands at 48.

What will we do now that Strictly Come Dancing has finished and the Fantastic Kara and of course her dance partner Artem are no longer on our screen? It has been sheer pleasure to watch this series of Strictly and common sense prevailed and the right couple won. Apart from the dancing it has been touching to see this young couple fall in love over the weeks and I have to say I shed a tear or two. My daughter when she reads this will say " Oh Mother". I can't help being sentimental. It is who I am am.

Wherever you are, stay safe and warm.

Love Shirley.

Thursday, 9 December 2010


I am both sorry and glad to report that I am still gripped with making hexagons. I have titled it Hexamania because that is somehow what it feels like. Why is it that at 7.30pm you feel so tired that you feel as though you want to nod off in the chair and at bedtime the light bulb has switched on and you are wide awake? There is nothing for it but to carry on making these darn things. I now have plans though.

This is what a whole jelly roll of hexagons looks like. I am beginning to wonder if I am a little OCD ish. I am naturally a messy person but like order in my sewing. As you can see I have made a good start on the centres. The rosettes are going to be pieced randomly and as of yet I haven't decided on the background. The jelly roll makes 120 flowers and I think I may need 121 so will have to add a few extras.

I have been playing with settings and found this web site that offers free downloads for graph paper -

It prints a page full of tiny hexagons - 5 to the inch and is a great way to play with designing. I love to colour in with watercolour pencils. I have given you a tiny glimpse of what is going to be a big project for hexagons and one which will be for Christmas in the future. I am busy gathering reds. I cannot decide which setting to use for the present project but I am leaning more to the design in the bottom left corner. Maybe finding the background fabric will be the decider.

Hexagon Diamonds - total 42.

A few weeks ago I found this beautiful bedding whilst out shopping with Sarah. I couldn't get it out of my head so went and ordered it online. It is destined for the spare room and a new colour scheme of this pinky red. Very French looking. It is a project slightly on hold until the girls decide what they are doing with their funiture etc. but is something to plan for after Christmas.

The Big Freeze continues although it is mildly warmer - freezing instead of below freezing. This is the smoke tree in my garden. On the way to sewing Tuesday afternoon the landscape had been transformed into a winter wonderland and guess who had left her camera at home? In some areas of the Country the pavemants are so icy that you are unable to stand up on them. My Brother In Law had to drive the kids down to the school bus stop 300 yards away. Shame!!! Nice try kids.

Will try and post something other than hexagons next time just incase you are a little fed up of them.

Happy Stitching

Love Shirley.x

Thursday, 2 December 2010

The White Stuff

Parts of the UK are knee deep in snow but here in Taunton this was what it threw at us overnight. Just a scattering. Looks like someone has sprinkled icing sugar but boy is it cold out there. More is forecast and set to stay cold and we have only just begun winter. Looks like it could be a long one.

I am still busy with those hexagons. The diamond/lozenge stack has now grown to 42 and I love making them. I came up with a very interesting setting for these diamonds but I am keeping it to myself for a while as I have another idea to make the most of it. I could be prepping hexagons for eternity.

Almost at the end of prepping the hexagons cut from a jelly roll. I make that 720 hexagons. I have decided to make each rosette/flower using different fabrics. With the addition of the pretty green fabric purchased at Dotty Dolly's the other day I think it works a treat. They remind me of those little daisylike flowers that grow in abundance in the walls of the Cornish countryside. I am sure someone will tell me what they are called.

This little bird sleeping on my chair flew in from my friend Kate and was made by her daughter Charlie who has a shop on Etsy called Pipkyn. Isn't it lovely? It looks so at home. Thank you Kate, I love it.

Yesterday we had our Wednedsay meeting at the garden centre and had a christmas lunch and exchanged our gifts to each other. Fortified by a glass of wine and lots of food we didn't want to move from our seats. As you can see there are some lovely gifts there and I love them all. I love my friends too, they are a great group of ladies and such good fun.

The little blue suede purse came from Kate and she called it a hexagon purse. Inside it was a travel kit of paper hexagons, fabric, thread, needles and a pair of scissors. What a great idea. All ready to go. Just need somewhere to go!!(preferably somewhere that is warm and not full of snow).

Kate has her website up and running now for her new business venture
Should you wish to come and have a sewing holiday then Kate will make you very welcome and you will have a great time. I might even come and say hello too.

I hope that wherever you are reading this you are keeping warm/cool/dry. Our silly celebrities are doing revolting things deep in the Australian Rainforest and the hosts of the show Ant and Dec came out with this wise crack - Australia have had so much rain recently that they were renaming the country - Britain!!! I can't begin to think why they need to put themselves through such horrible things just to save a flagging career. Take up quilting Guys. It is much more fun and no one will make you eat various body parts of kangaroo.

Happy Stitching.

Love Shirley.x