Friday 24 September 2010

Pie Supper

There has been a bit of activity in the Pie Department this week and 4 more have been added making a total of 10. I have lots cut out ready for prepping for when I get that urge to stitch a few more. They were a nice, easy way to relax this week as I sat with my mum. I know there are quite a few who have indulged in Pies and Tarts and Gisele from Art Escapes and myself are about to launch a new club so keep a lookout for an announcement and anyone wishing to join us can show their produce.

On my return home yesterday there was a package waiting for me. Inside was this lovely pack of pink fabrics from Gisele. They are her leftovers from another project and very kindly donated to yours truly. They are just so pretty. Gisele also made for me the beautiful pink pincushion and can you see that it is a little pie? The accompanying card is a snapshot of a sunset in Jersey. Now, what shall I make with those gorgeous fabrics?!!!! Thank you Gisele for your kindness and generosity. It is much appreciated.

Also waiting for me courtesy of Manor House Publications was the latest edition of Homespun Magazine. Guess what this issue is all about. Yes, it is called The Pink Issue. It must have known that Gisele had sent that parcel as they arrived at the same time. Is there a conspiracy? Lots of lovely projects in this issue to get me thinking. Mind you, thinking gets me into trouble as I plan yet another project. I love the quilt on the left.

As I just mentioned I have been looking after my mum this week as she had to go to the hospital for some tests and to pass the time we played a game of I Spy. Now, we were scraping the barrel a bit as this room was devoid of anything interesting to look at and so we were having clues like screws, nails and even a hook on the back of the bed!!! desparate I know. Well, try playing I spy with someone who has Alzheimers. We were crying with laughing as mum kept forgetting what clues we had already had, although most of the time she did very well with it. It is a wonder they didn't come and tell us to be quiet. Luckily Mum's test was all clear and one less thing to worry about.

Happy Stitching.

Love Shirley.

Friday 17 September 2010

Counting My Blessings

Today I received my prize from Rae Ann at Cutie Pinwheel. You may remember I won it as a prize giveaway. The pattern is by Lori Holt and is called Count Your Blessings. It is lovely, I know I shall enjoy stitching it. Hopefully I will be able to do both Rae Ann and Lori proud. Rae Ann also sent me a beautiful pattern that I had admired on her blog. The real prize of course and the real reason for feeling so blessed is making the acquaintance of Rae Ann. I do hope we get to meet one day.

I also had a phone call this week telling me that I had won a bag in a raffle at a quilt show. Last weekend My husband took me to Weston Super Mare to see Weston Quilter's Exhibition. Now this is a great show and well worth a visit, once you have negotiated the traffic along the sea front and followed the diversion which brings you out at exactly the same spot you started!!!! There is a lot of regeneration going on along the sea front which hopefully will be a good thing. It needs smartening up. The raffle was a good idea. Buy a ticket for £1 and put the ticket in the bag that you want to win. Ta da! It is made of wool felt, has a lovely novelty lining of sewing items and is beautifully made. A fabulous prize I think you will agree. Can a girl ever have too many bags? Guess who forgot her camera?

Union flags are everywhere at the minute and this is my version of a pattern downloaded from JustHands on TV. The pattern is by Anne Baxter. I have adapted it slightly as Anne has made her cushion square and I want mine oblong. It is for my niece Meg. The brief was to use her colours for her new bedroom. Now I haven't seen the new bedroom yet but I have got a wallpaper sample. Hope you will like it Meg. I am informed that you can only call our flag the Union Jack if it is hoisted on a ship, otherwise it is the Union Flag. Didn't know that before till after. I found a few threads from my stash that will do for some big stitch quilting.

Now, please feel free to have a good laugh. I did. I have permission to show you this. Wednesday was my youngest daughter's birthday, she was 25. Olly, her beloved decided that he would make her a cake. I offered to buy one!!! Time was really short and off we went to the supermarket to get the ingredients as he was also cooking tea for 6 of us. Sarah was picking me up on her way from work and Olly phoned to say could I delay her for 20 minutes. When we arrived at their house. Rachel and Olly were in hysterics. He made the cake but forgot that it needed time to cool down and hastily slapped all this lemon icing on that promptly melted. If you click on it you will see that he also put cocktail sticks in it to stop the layers from sliding off. It was funny. The icing actually was quite nice. Tea was delicious and we had a great time. Thanks Ol. I also bought balloons which were put up. I did take photo's but I think Blogger may take me off air if I show them as they looked a little rude. They are in actual fact animals but in the semi darkness - well, what can I say. Take my word for it.

Roses most definitely are my favourite and these were cheap and cheerful from Tesco. They really brightened up the room this week and cheered me no end. I even hope to have a quilting design drawn up from them.

Happy stitching

Love Shirley.x

Tuesday 7 September 2010

Dotty Dolly

Dotty Dolly is a newly opened patchwork shop in the next town of Wellington in Somerset. It is owned by Debbie and Joan who both have great stitching credentials and both being trained teachers. Local stitchers will know them for their lovely hand dyed threads and fabrics which they used to sell at local shows and craft fairs.

When we went to Cowslip a few weeks back Debbie came with us and I jokingly said that If I could come and cut the ribbon I would give them some free publicity. Word came back to me that there was some ribbon waiting to be cut. Today I fulfilled that obligation and let me tell you that I could get used to this celebrity lifestyle and I am available for other such functions. Sorry to have missed you today Joan if you are reading this.

The shop is painted plain white and is light, bright and airy. Lots of pretty fabrics to entice you with more coming in soon. I was pleased to see Mettler threads on display as they are my favourites for quilting with Gutermann coming in shortly. It has only been opened less than a week and so is just getting off the ground. One thing is guaranteed, Debbie and Joan have great flair and have great plans for both beginners and the more experienced stitchers. I am excited about this venture and can see that I shall be a frequent stalker, sorry, visitor!! If you are in the vicinity then you will get a lovely warm welcome. Parking is good and if you are coming this way for a holiday then come off the M5 at junction 26 and follow the signs to Wellington. There are some lovely little shops to have a browse at and also a new Waitrose.

Telephone 01823 660879/ for more information.

Of course I couldn't leave without a few purchases.

On Saturday we went to St Ives in Cornwall. It is my favourite place. It always makes me feel just so relaxed. The light here is special and a haven for the artists that flock here to paint. It started off dreary and damp but then the sun came out and we sat on the beach later. This is looking at the harbour area.

This is Porthminster beach and is a beautiful place. We stayed once out of season and I was the only one on the beach leaving just one set of footprints on the soft white sand.

There are lots of little back streets to wander around with lots of art galleries and cafe's to savour and the views are to die for. This street sign made me smile. There was another small sign on a wall that said that the area was a alcohol free zone. I wonder if you have to sneak alcohol in through the door in a brown bag!!!?

Just in case you have got this far and wondered if there is any actual sewing progress then this is 10 blocks of the Farmer's Wife Project. It hasn't made much of a dent yet in the box of fabrics and charm pack. I was putting off making the Bird's In The Air block as the pieces were tiny and pressing them proved a bit of a tricky one. I think pressing is so important as it can make or break a piece of work.

Frankie loves to look out of the window and watch the birds in the garden. Just look how he climbs onto the frame. He looks like a feathered version of Kilroy was here.

Happy Stitching

Love Shirley.

Friday 3 September 2010

Hearts and Flowers

I first discovered Kim McLean quite by accident whilst browsing for something else. Kim has the most amazing talent for colour and design and I immediately sent off for several patterns. It is this pattern though that had me itching to stitch and over the months I have amassed quite a collection of bright Kaffe Fassett fabrics along with a few other Westminster fabric designers. This is Hearts and Flowers from Kaffe Fassetts Quilt Romance book. You may remember way back that I had been prepping hearts - well they were for this quilt. Unable to decide on a background colour or even what to choose for the centre hearts I eventually took the plunge. This lovely shade of lavender appealed to me and I bought a bolt from a show. I am hoping that the whole finished article will resemble the gaily painted bargeware or gypsy clothing. Well here goes at least. Kim's patterns can be bought from

The border consists of lots of fussy cutting to get a flower motif in the centre of each shape. If it worries you about wasting fabric doing this then let me tell you that not much goes to waste. There are lots of opportunities to use those smaller odd pieces for some of the other shapes. There are a lot of small circles and leaves to add to this quilt. I have drawn the design on the back and I am tacking over the lines (slowly I may add), then I am tacking the applique pieces over the shape. I am needleturning the edges down and removing the tacking stitches as I go. I don't know if this is how Kim does hers but this is the one for me. I do try lots of other ways and it depends on the type of project to which method I use. I just like needleturn the best. There are lots more Kim McLean quilts being made over at and you can follow the progress over there.

Earlier in the year I was sent some sunflower seeds as a small gift as I participate in a block of the month with Buttonberry.(Down in the Garden). I say participate loosely as I a haven't actually stitched a block yet!!!! Well the sunflower seeds were planted and this giant is still growing. It now must be nearly 9ft tall.The leaves are ginormous and with a tiny flowerhead. The other flowers are much smaller.

We were also sent another little gift in the shape of Nev the garden gnome. The lovely Lisa and Emma have asked for photo's of Nev doing exciting things so he may pop up from time to time while he embarks on this adventure. As you can see here he is scaling the sunflower. No mean feat for someone who is only 2 inches tall.

This rather odd shaped hot air balloon was overhead yesterday teatime and it appeared to be struggling with the height and literally was just skimming the roof tops. The previous night we had one that resembled an ice cream cone. August sees the hot air ballon fiesta at Ashton Court, Bristol and we often get a few drifting our way. The warm good weather has brought them out again. August was officially a very wet month.

Here is an interesting little snippet for you. You will have to do a little research and google Princess Anne at Ascot/Ladies Day. It seems my sister in law Gail had the same outfit as our Princess Royal. Gail, if I may say so you looked terrific in your outfit and the hat was a knockout. Gail was sent the clipping from a newspaper after the wedding with a note attached saying, "if it is good enough for Princess Anne then it is good enough for our Gail".

Leek in Staffordshire is full of lovely buildings and this black and white timbered one is in St. Edwards Street. Leek is also full of antique shops and quite often pops up on tv programmes. It also has quite a stitching heritage. The Leek Embroiderers at one time were quite famous for their reproduction of the Bayeux Tapestry. William Morris was also a frequent visitor to the town as he was friends with the Silk dyer/manufacturer Sir Thomas Wardle.It is his wife Elizabeth Wardle who was a member of The Leek Embroiderer's Society. There is a lot of information out there if you want to learn more. Leek is known as The Queen of the Moorlands being on the edge of The Peak District.

I managed to do most things on my little list and completed 3 blocks for Farmers Wife, 12 klosjes, added quite a few hexagons to Kaleidoscope and managed to sew a few pies to their backgrounds. I have also acquired a serious condition for which there is no known cure and I am suffering greatly. I also suspect that there are quite a few of you out there with it too. It is called Quiltus Interruptus and has been identified by Janet at Quiltsalot. It's characteristics are having restless symptoms of the fingers and mind and only eased when they are occupied in a new project having abandoned a previous project. It is an affliction with which I shall have to live with for the rest of my life. It is hard, I know, please don't feel sorry for me. I am enjoying myself.

Happy stitching.

Love Shirley.