Monday 31 January 2011

As I was going to St.Ives......

No, I didn't meet a man with seven wives or indeed any cats but we did have a lovely weekend at our favourite place. The best place to view St.Ives is from Tregenna Castle Hotel. It just takes my breath away every time.

Down on the Harbour slipway was a man making these beautiful, traditional Cornish willow crab pots.

Much photographed and painted corner of the beach. The sand here is so soft and the light is just special. I may be repeating myself here but it is true.

The Sloop Inn is a very old building and in the warmer weather is crowded inside and out. Quite often there are men singing and I don't mean the drunken variety but more of the kind singing sea shanty type songs.

On the walk down and still in the hotel grounds is this lovely little spot with a waterfall. I love the sound of the water rushing down. It isn't really a grand waterfall but such a peaceful spot.

At the top of the waterfall all the way aroung the wall were pretty little snowdrops. In a few weeks the daffodils will be out too.

Now, I apologise for this next photo and as you can see I have started to notice hexagons in all manner of places. Eyes down, trying to get my breath back after the long haul back up the hill and I realised what I was standing on. A hexagonal manhole cover. It even has the word challenger on it and grade A. Here is a little challenge for you. Where and what is the most unusual hexagon you have found. I did notice another one today and will show that later when I have taken a photo of it. I did say that I was a little obsessed with them. Even my husband has started to use the word and take notice of hexagons!!!

A little detour on our way back took us to Fistral Beach at Newquay where we spent a pleasant hour in our Toyota Celica mobile conservatory. It was way too cold to be walking on the beach and in the car behind glass it felt very warm and snug. Mick fell asleep while I read my magazine and watched the surfers. Yes. These mad people were actually in the water pretending that it was the height of summer. Let me tell you, it was freezing cold out there.

We also saw lots of these down there and as you can see these two 6" fabric beach birds are much quieter. I was asked way back if I had considered making one of the beach birds face the other direction. I did it. Just have 10 more to do.

This month I have worked steadily on the list and even managed not to succumb to item 13. Report to follow shortly. Have I managed to finish it?........

Happy Stitching

Love Shirley.x

Saturday 22 January 2011

January's Klosjes

So far, so good. The re-introduction of The List is proving to be a good idea. I have been a little crafty with it and while it looks pretty comprehensive some items are ongoing and if I have done just a little bit of it then I can tick it off as done. Ha!

One of the items was 1 dozen Klosjes and as it is Saturday here they are. I had forgotten just what a pleasure it is to make these dear little blocks and now I wonder why I abandoned them. Life, hexagons and just plain starting too many other things I guess. Well, I am back in business and I love them.

This little beaded thimble holder has gone to a good home and I know that it is going to be well loved. They are lovely to make if not a little fiddly but well worth the effort, decorative and with a practical use. That background should be a pale pink so don't know why it is orange. The beads are a dark blue and pale grey.

I still cannot stop making these and now the total stands at 60 flowers. That is halfway of the 120 that I need. I am still thinking of the background and at Kate's last week we had a little play with Wendy's hand dyed fabrics trying out different colours and shades. It is amazing just what happens to these flowers when you use certain shades. Some colours just made them look really dull, while some made them pop out of the background. Still love the teal though.

Half a dozen diamonds now brings the total to 54. I am not buying anything for this quilt other than the background. Every diamond has to come from my vast stash.

This week I have been busy trying to tidy and sort out my sewing space. I have shelves now and the cupboards are semi organised. Cannot show you yet as it is still work in progress.

Happy Stitching.

Love Shirley.x

Wednesday 12 January 2011

When Friends Meet...

Today was the first meeting of our Wednesday Quilt Group and a new venue. This was my gift to Kate for her new sewing studio and retreat. It sums up how we feel in this group. I hope all of Kate's guests leave with the same warm feeling.

In my career as Ribbon Cutter Extraordinaire it was my great pleasure to perform the honours in the grand opening at and as you can see it was decked out in suitable pink ribbon. Do check it out. I will even come and visit and make you a cup of tea.

I declare this venue well and truly open - now can we have that champagne? I can appear at a venue near you now that I am fully fledged in ribbon cutting. The eagle eyed amongst you will notice that I am showing you both sides of me.

How many quilters does it take to operate a camera?

We had a great day and I can assure anyone thinking of booking a place at Kate's Retreat you will have a truly lovely relaxing time. It is also a very comfortable and pretty home and I am proud of what Kate and David have achieved with all their hard work.

Whilst we sat there enjoying our champagne a pheasant wandered into the garden and throughout the day we sat and watched a wide variety of birds on the lawn and feeders.

Just inside the hallway is this little beauty. Those hexagons are about 3/4" and with the little splash of pink it looked so pretty. What can I say? I well and truly love those hexagons.

Kate gave me a present for doing the honours. This duck is a savings duck. Can you see the £ signs in the duck's eyes. I save my £2 coins for when we go to Malvern in May and now I have somewhere to put them. Following on from the Potteries Dialect lessons this came with a label saying "ay up duck". One of the conversations we had was how much we should put in the pot for stitching at Kate's. I suggested that she buy another duck instead of a pot and we should call it - "pay up duck"!!!!

Happy stitching.

Love Shirley.x

Tuesday 4 January 2011

New Year's List

I thought I would publish the New Year's List. No, not the one where they dish out medals for great achievements. This one is more the kind to help me get myself back on track and try and achieve something in the way of sewing. I certainly wouldn't be given a medal for services to patchwork and quilting as I fail miserably sometimes on that score. I wonder if they give them out for making hexagons!!!! I am sure that The Queen and I would have a nice little chat on how they are made.

Here goes...

1. Beaded Thimble necklace
2. Pink hexagons - continue
3. Diamond Hexagons- continue
4. Mini Quilt - When Friends Meet
5. Civil War Blocks 1-4
6. Rachel's sweater - continue
7. Charlotte's socks
8. Cross Stitch next word of Romance
9. A Dozen Klosjes
10. Harriet Tubman - Block 1
11. Hearts and Flowers - carry on with centre medallion
12. 2 Beach Bird blocks
13. Anything Else!!!!

That I think is called a Quilters Dozen and item 13 gets me into so much trouble because I get to that number before I do the others.

Well, I have made the first block of the new Barbara Brackman Civil War Quilt. I decided to hand piece. Why? I ask myself. It literally has taken me all day to finish it. Took it to sewing this afternoon and realised when I got home that I had sewn the middle pinwheels on the wrong way round. The first set of fabrics took some persuading that I liked them and I decided that I didn't. Just changing the medium shade fabric made it work better so I shall stick with the fabrics I have. They were a bundle I bought quite some time ago, saving them obviously for that special occasion.

I have to show you this new mug I had for Christmas off Sarah. It is by a company called Moorland Pottery. I was born and bred in Stoke on Trent where the worlds best crockery was made. I say was made, as not very much of it is made there these days. This present both pleased and amused me. It is called Stokie Ware and has a duck on it. We are famed in Stoke for saying "ay up duck" - meaning a greeting - hello. One that we all use is " up Anley Duck" - meaning - Hanley, the Town Centre, all roads lead up to it and Duck is added to everything. Aitches are dropped and added where they aren't supposed to be for example Arold, with is orse and is harrow in is and. It is quite an amusing dialect and from time to time I will give you a little insight to the Potteries Dialect. Barbara Chainey is a posh pot whereas I am more your seconds pot. Barbara and I hail from the same area and have had a few laughs over our heritage. One thing we have is a good sense of humour.

Yep, I definitely qualify for this one - a Stokie born and bred. What was so amazing is that it was bought here in Somerset nearly 200 miles away.

Thank you to everyone for your concern over Mick's fall on his back. He is quite mobile now and while not pain free yet it is improving daily. He is a big, tall bloke so I suppose he had a long way to fall and that ice was solid.

Happy Stitching.

Love Shirley.x

Saturday 1 January 2011

New Year - New Start

Forgive me. Today I am feeling a little peaky. I was determined to see in the New Year and be rid of the old one. Don't get me wrong, 2010 wasn't all bad, in fact some truly great things happened. Events somewhat overshadowed everything else and I almost melted down. I miss my Mum more than I could possibly have thought or known but life has to go on for everyone else and in this New Year I plan to sort myself out.

I missed my blogging anniversary. I started blogging in December 2009 and rambled on to myself for a while and then all of a sudden all these wonderful people entered my world. It has been truly amazing, even meeting a couple of you. I met Sue (I Sew Quilts) and Elyte (Tea,Fabric and Other Things) and it feels like you have all become such friends and I have valued all your comments, your words of wisdom and comfort for which I thank you all enormously. I am looking forward now to seeing what the next year brings. I have a few new projects planned but have not forgotten the old ones. There are many unfinished things lurking in cupboards which need some love and attention and I shall do my best.

The cold, snowy weather brought the Fieldfare back into the garden. My neighbours tree has the most delicious berries, at least from a birds point of view and within a day they had stripped it bare of it's fruit. They really shouldn't be in our garden but I guess they go where the food is in abundance. It was however a great relief to see such green grass when all the snow melted. My husband fell over on the ice on Christmas Day and badly hurt his back. A week later it is getting easier for him and the Doctor says it is just badly bruised.

A little bit of floral cheering up.

The pile of jelly roll hexagons is growing and now totals 34. I am playing with background colours and this pretty pale teal is calling me although not yet definitely decided.

I am sure that my finger will hover over the buy button way more than will be good for me because as you will all know by now that I have no willpower or self control and someone has to keep the Economy going. I fear that I will not be alone.

May 2011 be a very happy and productive one for each and everyone of you.

Happy Stitching.

Love Shirley.x