Thursday, 31 December 2009

Thursday, 24 December 2009

All chores done!

Just one last one remains, and that is to wish you all peace and prosperity in 2010 and for your Christmas Holiday to be the best ever.

Good health and good luck in the New Year.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Christmas Cake


2 cups flour
1 stick butter
1 cup of water
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup of brown sugar
Lemon juice
4 large eggs
1 cup of nuts
1 bottle of wine
2 cups of dried fruit

Sample the wine to check the quality. Take a large bowl, check the wine again.

To be sure it is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink. Repeat.

Turn on the electric mixer. Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl.

Add one teaspoon of sugar. Beat again. At this point it's best to make sure the wine is still ok. Try another
cup.... Just in case. Turn of the mixerer thingy.

Break 2 eggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit.

Pick the frigging fruit up off floor. Mix on the turner.. If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers just pry it loose with a drewscriver. Sample the wine to check for tonsisticity. Next, sift two cups of salt. Or something.
Check the wine. Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add one table.

Add a spoon of sugar, or some fink. Whatever you can find. Greash the oven. Turn the cake tine 360 degrees and try not to fall over. Don't forget to beat off the turner. Finally, throw the bowl through the window. Finish the wine and

wipe counter with the cat.

Bingle Jells!

Thanks to Sally for the above recipe, I have to say that I have not tried and tested this one.....But I will be pleased to read comments from any of you who try it with any success! Good luck.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Chair number 2 finished

Well I had hoped to finish the rocking chair last night, but the covers fought back, sigh... But at times like that I put down what I am doing and take a rest from it. So today I avoided all contact with real sewing and only posed with my tent in the snow for the 'extreme sewing' photograph for here. I did enjoy this competition and I have been a fan of Lisa Lam for a few years now. It was her blog which first inspired me to start one myself. She is very clever at making up competitions for her free give aways and this time the number one prize was a Janome sewing machine. So I thought, nothing ventured....

But I expect you are hoping to see a shot of my other chair now that it is finished and I would hate to disappoint you, so without further delay may I present my Ercol rocking chair which has been in my husband's family for about forty years. I have been its owner for the last 25 years or more and I have recovered it once before. It is a little more worn now but I love it so much that I will just hang onto it.

You can see the newly sanded floorboards too, which look good after all the crawling around on my hands and knees.  So I just need to put the pictures back on the walls and then it is done.  The Christmas tree is already up, perhaps I will post a photo of it next time, until then I need to do a spot of dusting around the house....

Monday, 14 December 2009

Finished the chair covers

I finally finished the covers today and the result is not bad.  I have not used such bright fabric before and stripes are always a challenge so it went better than I expected. The only down side is that I am not sure the fabric goes with the new rug...Well I will just have to make some more covers I suppose when I have time.  Meanwhile I have been finishing off the lounge by touching up the skirting board with primer paint where the sanding mouse knocked some of the paint off. Tomorrow I should be able to undercoat and then top coat maybe later if it dries in time, if not it will be Wednesday.

I helped to put the Christmas tree into its container after we cut an inch off the bottom so it would take up water. So the tree is outside keeping cool. The next job is to make Christmas cards and we usually do this one between us (DH and I). His broadcast on Radio Cumbria was played today and he will be featured all week on the Ian Timms show, so I have put a link at the top right for those of you who want to listen to his side of the diary for the same week I kept mine.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Hard work but worth it..

Well I won't go into the saga of how my new sanding mouse blew up within 25 minutes of using it and what happened next, but it was quite a week and now I can stand back and admire. Well not quite because there are still things to finish off, but I have even started to imagine a Christmas Tree in the corner....

Yes the floor you see has now been sanded and sealed with 3 coats of special floor silk finish varnish. It looks lovely to me and was worth it. I especially want to thank the wonderful, friendly staff here for letting me take home 3 oriental rugs to try before deciding which one to purchase. If you want really good service go and see them, they are a local well known Keswick firm and I always know I will find something I love there. For those of you who are interested, it is an Afghanistan rug; hand made and is a Kazak. I will cherish it! The colours sing. The man in the shop told me to write the date on the label when I bought it as it will still be unworn in 20 years time.

I did make something else this week but it was posted off to Palm Springs to my DD so I must not show a photo as she follows this blog. (Hello sausage! :-) 

Anyway, I am now going to settle down and think about some Christmas shopping and even go and look for a fir tree. I usually buy a Douglas Fir from Whinlatter.  It became a tradition with my last two terriers to go there and take a shortish walk up onto Whinlatter Summit and then go back and pop them into the car whilst we chose a suitable tree. Sadly Jock and Bramble are no longer with us but I continue the tradition with my dear Border Terrier Bella. She loves sniffing around trees and especially Christmas ones! It will make such a change from the last few days on my hands and knees.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Dalemain Christmas Lunch

Last Thursday was the Keswick Embroiderers' Christmas Lunch in a Medieval Hall.  Here are just a few of our happy diners. May I introduce you to our new Chairman too. The central lady in the photo is our new Chairman Val Osborn and she is a keen hand and crewel embroiderer.

I did not hear any complaints about the food, so if you want an unusual setting for your lunch next year contact Dalemain. We had a three course lunch for £16.50 per head and we were there for just over two hours, so no one hurried us. You do need to on the ball with your bookings though because they fill up quickly. Below you have a view of the hall and its huge log fire!

The next meeting of the EG will not be a meal but a workshop in Threlkeld Village Hall as the Friends Meeting House is still being assessed for flood damage and will not be ready for a few months. So all future meetings until further notice will be in Threlkeld. But you can find out all the latest news elsewhere as Keswick now has another editor of their blog and it has also changed to the following:- Keswick Stitchers. So if you have any contributions or photographs to share please email them to the new blogger Lesley. I have included her email address and a link to the blog in the right hand column about Keswick EG. I am still an active committee member but I have relinquished some jobs for the time being in order to pursue other interests I have.

Tomorrow, is the first of the 5 Radio Cumbria broadcasts I recorded for the Ian Timms show so if you tune in at approx 5.45 you will hear yours truly. They tracked me down because I blog so who knows maybe it will be Lesley's turn next!

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Christmas sewing and broadcasting on Radio Cumbria

Well I had to start sometime and this is my first effort. I made some of these last year and they looked so pretty that I thought I would make some more.  This one uses green velvet for the top and very pretty upholstery fabric for the body, whereas last years were the reverse with green velvet bodies.

I have not had time to do more on my upholstery chair because I was head hunted by Radio Cumbria last week. The upshot can be heard next week starting on Monday on the Ian Timms show.  I will be broadcast at approximately 5.45pm on a number they call 'Little Cumbria'. They asked me to keep a blog type diary for 5 days and then to read it out at their recording studio. I will be played each day until Friday. So I hope you can tune in and listen to my radio blog.....

My 'management' was also roped in and you can hear him and his exploits the following week. Oh the things we do for fame...I will post links on the site after the broadcasts so if you want to hear me you can find the items more easily. I have to say I actually enjoyed doing it once the initial nerves settled down but the funniest bit was in the middle of the recording he started to cough and Bella was in the studio too so any minute I thought she would start to bark.....Anyway, we stopped the recording and he left with Bella and then I carried on.

I have to go and do some more work on my lounge floor now, so until next time, take care.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Good News for HEN's

Wow this is such good news, a new free online magazine has just been launched, go check it out girls......

I have also added their website to my list of useful sites and their blog to the blog list, have fun.

Monday, 30 November 2009

Feast for the eyes

I have been so busy with the decorating of the lounge that I have not had much free time. Nor does it look like it is likely in the next few days as we are nearing ordering the floor sander..... So I thought you might like to feast your eyes on some more Kebaya which I mentioned in my blog on 22nd October.

First up we have a lovely blue number. This features oversize rose blooms with leaves and primroses, the embroidery being in raised satin stitch for the roses and normal satin stitch for the primroses with simple running stitch leaves. I think this effect is stunning.

So number two is a pretty pink one.

The motifs are Japanese inspired scenes.The fabric is fine voile and the embroidery is raised non satin stitch (main motifs) and normal satin stitch for the border leaf motifs. A very pretty effect I think.

The last one features daisies with tulip borders and white daisy buds. It is again worked in normal satin stitch and satin stitch is used for the edging of the cutwork. This is described in the book as minimally stunning, and I think it is all the better for its simplicity. I adore the way the daisies have been worked and may have a go at something like this myself when I have more time.

So there you have a snippet from the book on 'the nyonya kebaya' by Datin Seri Endon Mahmood.  There are many more beautiful kebaya inside it and I will post some now and then for those of you who visit this blog from Malaysia and those of you who are just interested like me.

This next photo is just an update on the lounge so that you can see it is progressing slowly. Don't worry about the dark line you see in the corner, it was just me cutting the wallpaper back where it had dried a little way away from the wall. I have filled the hole with decorators caulking and will paint over it so that you would never know it was there. On the whole the wallpapering went like a dream considering it must be about four years since I did any, I can't think why I don't do more as I enjoyed myself immensely.

Anyway, I have also been working on some of the sewing projects which I have stacked up and this photo is supposed to show you some piping I made ready for my new upholstery project, (not a Chesterfield sofa which I did once taking me a week) but a simpler Ercol chair. I wanted some piping to go with the material I have chosen and I found some silk taffeta I had left over from a replica of a dress of 1827 I made for a student assessment when I was at Teacher's Training College doing my post grad course.  One day I may show you the dress too, if I can find the photos to scan in, I still have the original dress mind.

So this taffeta is a wonderful combination of pale pink and grey and it shines in the light. I hope to be working on the cushion pad tonight if Bella will stay quiet. She was disturbed this morning at 4.30am......Yapped and went mad at the back door to the garden so that eventually both of us were out of  bed. I won't bore you with more, but I will need my sleep tonight.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Lounge yesterday

Bella is inconsolable, her favourite has just wizzed off down into Keswick to 'Lakeland Decor' once again on a mission of great importance which does not involve terriers! She has decided to keep watch and will not turn round for the camera despite all my entreaties... You can see the state of play, I spent the rest of the day wallpapering with grade 1200 lining paper from the left of the window, (yes I found an old book which told me the order of wallpapering to avoid seeing the seams). You start at the window and work round to the largest wall then stop: restart from the window going the other way and join up again, simple.

I did the first half to the longest wall yesterday and stopped myself about 5 pm tired but winning. The mission he was on turned out ok as he was buying a 'test' sample of emulsion for the walls and when I applied it to a piece of A4 paper and went round the room checking it in various places we both decided it was an ok colour; phew that was a relief, no disagreements there then. So I must now do the other two walls, no time to waste for blogging.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Steady progress

But not on the log cabin quilt; no it's the lounge decorating frenzy this week. I must finish it. I undercoated all day yesterday and today I am papering, I know the purists amongst you will probably say I am doing this the wrong way round, but I have gone beyond the point of caring, done is better than perfect. It is plain paper so I can paint it with emulsion so it should not matter if the gloss painting is not done first I think. What I can't remember is where you are supposed to start decorating from so the light does not show up the seams. I had a book here on this a couple of weeks ago that I negotiated as part of a job lot to start a new library for Keswick Embroiderers' Guild, but of course when I wanted to look this up the book had gone. Luckily it is on the top floor of the Friends Meeting House or it would have been ruined in the floods and all my efforts to secure these special books from Dulcie Beasley's daughter in law would have been wasted. I would like us to call it the Beasley Library but I am no longer Chairman so I don't have much clout anymore. Just as well though as I am enjoying my freedom.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Trying to get back to normal

If you are following my comments on the recent floods do you mind looking at my other blog as I am only posting on that one about the situation now.

Meanwhile, I have been playing with log cabin mostly to take my mind off the current situation and because I find it easy to do so it suits my present mood when concentration is somewhat lacking.  I don't suppose this will ever be a fabulous quilt, but that does not matter, what does is that it will be warm and serviceable on a bed.  So this is a photograph of the initial stages and I hope to be able to display some better ones when I have something more interesting established.

I have no idea how I am going to put the blocks together yet or how I intend to quilt it but any ideas would be welcome. Perhaps I will use it to improve my machine quilting.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Flooded Keswick

This is the scene outside the Friends Meeting House at 1pm today where we should have been attending our Embroiderers' Guild workshop making bags. As you can see from the following photo it would have been more appropriate if I had been teaching them sailing.....

This photo is taken slightly to the right of the first one in Booths Supermarket carpark, which although impossible to cross to without wellies was still open and trading. Actually this was a couple of reporters I think judging by the huge cameras they had with them hitching a lift with the Firemen who had borrowed a Canadian canoe from the local marina.Some people just sploshed through regardless.

So a very wet Keswick it is today and the Police advise all people who have booked B & B's here to not come at all, because there is only one road open and it is essential that it is kept clear for emergency vehicles.
So if you know of anyone who was coming to Keswick please pass on the message.

Luckily, I am not in an area which has been evacuated but some of my friends are and my heart goes out to them because one friend was 10 months out of her home a couple of years back and now will be flooded again. The rain is not due to stop until sometime early tomorrow morning so it is going to get worse not better tonight as the fells (mountains) are soaked and the water is pouring off them down the valleys and into the rivers. I believe it is going to be a better day on Friday but the rain is due back for the weekend. I will stay inside and carry on with a log cabin quilt I have started, it's the best thing to do........

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Having fun

Well yes I have been enjoying myself this week because I have been experimenting with new ideas for bags. You see Keswick Embroiderers Guild meeting this Thursday is all about making bags and so I felt I had to at least try and design something new. I had been toying with an idea for the perfect quick professional looking bag for a while and then one morning I had an inspiration. So here is the result, may I show you my Linton Tweed effort first. (I made this a couple of weeks back actually.)

Most of my bags over the years have been shoulder bags as I don't like to carry a bag in my hands. I do sometimes carry one (usually at weddings) but not often. So this one was designed with one large roomy interior and a secure D fastening which you can buy here off the wonderful Lisa Lam who also gives loads of free patterns and advise for bag making. It also has a secure inner compartment with a zip and again go to Lisa's site for how to do this as her instructions are simplicity itself.  I made the shoulder strap with webbing which you can buy at any good climbing shop (loads of them in Keswick) but if you look around I am sure you will find some in your area. The webbing was incased in the tweed and then for an added luxury I put a strip of lovely red leather down the outer edge...I also used red leather to make two triangles for the shoulder fastenings at the sides.

This bag was on test on my recent Yorkshire trip and it passed with flying colours. I even took it out on the Dales for a 3 hour walk and stuffed an Ordanance Survey map inside with no problems. However, I wanted to also try some other fabric which is made at this place in Turkey. You can buy this fabric in Keswick from here  and I often go in just to buy small pieces or offcuts as we call them. But this time I had been given some small pieces by my friend who lives in Borrowdale and I had already made one bag with some of this fabric. (If some of you more experienced bloggers can tell me how to link back to my previous posting other than this effort, I will be eternally grateful)

Anyway, so I now present the 2nd bag made with the Turkish fabric...

This bag is slightly shorter than the previous one and the strap is a little bit thicker whilst the fastening is a magnetic one so that the full beauty of the fabric on the front is not obliterated. It turns out to be a stiffer bag too. Anyway, I am now toying with the idea of floral embellishments, but if any of you have any ideas or hints and tips please let me know. I am here to learn......I have bought a couple of brooch backs which I thought I might use for this purpose. I did discover recently a site with 'zip' corsages which looked interesting.

Meanwhile, I also made some new cushion covers with some more Guleser fabric. These are meant to brighten up my sofa and I am so pleased with the result that I am hankering to make more and even considering re-upholstering a chair or two...(I once spent a whole week doing up an old Chesterfield Sofa I bought for £54 and sold it 2 years later for £240.) That was when I was a student studying History at Lancaster University and I was hard up for cash. So here are the cushions

I hope you like them as much as I do...

Tuesday, 10 November 2009


I was in Yorkshire last week for a few days celebrating my DH's birthday and I found this very olde worldy Butcher's shop, I hope you are not offended by the contents, I found it all reminded me of my childhood when more butchers had decorations and streamers in the windows.  I for one loved the array of chickens along the front and they were quite delightful.  Of course this is Yorkshire Moors country and this town was Pickering, well known for its picturesque beauty, I only had time for one shot as he whisked me up to the church so he could see the local effigy of a knight inside.

Since our return from this mini holiday, I have been busy making bits and bobs this week but have not finished them all so no more photographs at this stage, but I will be showing you all what I have made soon.

Meanwhile, I just want to remind all Keswick EG members who are coming to the meeting to make bags on the 19th to bring along sewing kits and some or all of the following depending on what you intend to do.

suitable material for the outside of the bag  (tweed, upholstery fabric, strong cotton etc)
lining material for the inside
zip for a pocket approx 7"    optional
Vilene for stiffening  different weights might be handy as bag bottoms need to be strong
Quilt wadding for softening the look of the bag
Glue (Copydex is good)
Bits and pieces for embellishment
Fastening systems
Strongish cord or webbing for handles
D rings for fastening to the sides  or curtain rings etc
Sewing machine
Extension cable or 4 gang socket
This is just to give you an idea and is by no means compulsory, it is your day to make a bag of your choosing and you may have a pattern which you want to share too.

Sally will bring along examples of the bags she has made and these will no doubt inspire you, Lesley is bringing something and Val will be bringing her 'carpet bag' made from the free material I gave out last year. I have a Linton Tweed bag to show you too so there should be plenty of variety.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Google Find

Here is inspiration for any budding crewel worker, I found this on a recent Google search.

I have been busy working on the bag for the workshop at the next Embroiderers' Guild meeting on 19th November. There should be plenty of ideas to choose from on that day and I will have my new bag to show you too.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Food indulgence

Wednesday evening and today were special because they were spent in good company with even better food. I decided to treat a friend (who cannot eat gluten) to my pavlova as she remarked that the recipe I described contained no ingredients which could upset her.  So I invited her round to see the new greenhouse and to have tea with pavlova, of course the clocks had gone back last weekend so the idea was to have a candlelit tea.  Well I was a bit apprehensive about it at the time but it all went very well. The first photo shows you the scene in the greenhouse prior to our guest arriving.

I had to keep adding more candles as the evening grew quite dark by 5 o'clock and she was expected around that time, as it was she was delayed half an hour so it was very dark by the time she arrived but it all worked out fine and we could all see to have our tea too. The reason it had to be had in the greenhouse was because I had asked her to 'officially open' the greenhouse sometime in the summer but we never managed to get round to it.....I did not bother with a ribbon cutting ceremony or anything like that but we did enjoy it and discovered that Bella really likes pavlova too, it was difficult to ignore her begging and she was most insistent. This next shot might explain why.

Is this a dog's eye view?

Today was even better food because we were invited to Sunday lunch with an old friend who used to be a chef here.  If you have never heard of this Country House Hotel then I am surprised because it was the first one in existence and is world famous.  So our lunch was wonderful. We started with salmon and lobster with an amazing sauce. Next we had a traditional roast with all the trimmings and some very special chutney. This was followed by the famous Sticky Toffee Pudding (invented by Francis Coulson when he had the hotel) and lastly by another pudding; a wonderful Syllabub.  (Our friend was the chef who specialised in the pastry and puddings hence the idea of giving us two to eat...) Fine french wine and fond memories completed the perfect lunch. I nearly forgot to mention that Bella was invited too and she had an enormous plate of roast meat (under the table) for a small terrier and then fell fast asleep by my feet. She is still sleeping now on the sofa at home and has not touched her dinner   hmm.

So what progress can I report about sewing activities? Well I have made a start on a simple log cabin quilt and I have also made a start on a 'Linton Tweed' project but I have to admit I have not completed the crewel work embroidery yet but I have made progress as you can see below. There is still a great deal to do though but I really do have to make more time for sewing and less for eating next week.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Chinese Costume

This is a piccie from a wonderful book I picked up at a 2nd hand bookshop in Ballater, whilst on my Scottish adventures.  I have not had time to read it yet but I will and hopefully I can give you some insights into the world of 'nyonya kebaya' when I have.  Basically it is the Chinese blouse? I suppose you would call it worn in Malaysia and all of them are beautifully embroidered. Usually they are sewn in a hoop exactly like the piccie shown.  The reason I wanted the book was for inspiration for my own machine embroidery and because it was so full of gorgeous illustrations of machine embroidery but I stress again that these are done in a hoop on old machines so they are very special. 

This is a close up of one of the designs so you can see what I am describing above.

Sorry that the camera has created a small flash point on the leaf on the right, I will take more care next time.
If you click on the piccie you will see in close up what I mean by done in the hoop, no way do these designs look as if they were produced  on a commercial embroidery machine. I don't think my machine embroidery is good enough to compete with this quality but I want to learn new techniques and gain ideas so this book maybe good for me. However, I do not want to copy anything as I will not plagiarise any other work at all, I merely wish to admire and learn.

I also wanted to say that I am temporarily removing a few items from the layout of the blog whilst I work on some improvements, I especially want to sort out the labels which are annoying me as I had not organised them well enough at the beginning of my blogging experience. So please use the blog archive if you want to look anything up until I sort things out. Thanks for your comments by the way, I read them all and am always astonished to find such a lovely group of friendly ladies and of course I even receive comments from men on my other blog; keswick rambles.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

I found my recent trip to Scotland not only exhilerating in terms of the scenery and the hills we climbed, but I also discovered a wonderful shop in Pitlochry. Now I know that when I am supposed to be concentrating on climbing hills that distractions of this nature don't usually occur, but this time I just had to make time for trying on these shoes. I have not seen a more enticing pair for a while... they were in the window too which meant that I had to go back for a second look, you know what I mean..... Once in the shop I tried on all 3 colours, purple, orange and the green above. Well the green won. They are sublimly comfy and I adore the little bows on the top. Of course the shop was delightful....lovely Scottish woollens and very stylish too. I have not been to visit their website yet but you can see the url clearly in the piccie on the bag. A good old fashioned shop and very different from the normal run of the mill high street offerings. I will be back......

Next up we have my feeble contribution to the 'bake' part of the blog this week; sorry I only managed to make some lemon curd. If you want the recipe I can post it but really its so simple just find lemons, sugar, eggs and butter in your store cupboard and off you go. I make mine in a lovely hand made pottery bowl over a saucepan of water. It is always on the breakfast table and also Bella likes it, have you ever heard of a terrier which likes lemon curd? Bella does and she loves scrambled eggs too......I wonder if I should start to include recipes for our canine friends? Perhaps not: you never know where it might lead....

This next piccie shows a couple of the eg ladies at the crewel workshop last Thursday, and I have to say we did enjoy ourselves, we always do like to welcome Phillipa Turnbull. She is very good to us in Keswick and has now visited us 3 times. Maybe we can entice her to become an affiliate member.......

Phillipa also gave us a sneak preview of some of her new projects which should turn into kits in due time. She kindly allowed me to show you a snippet for your enjoyment. I adore the tulip

So if you like this cushion I suggest you contact her for availability on this site. The kits all come with very clear instructions and the correct needles and Appletons wool are included with the screen printed linen which shows the direction of the stitches. A typical example is shown below with some work in progress.

They are so easy for beginners and I came 2nd in a recent competition I entered with a cushion I made from one of these kits and I usually only endorse the kits (Border Miniatures) my husband and I sell. But remember, go for a kit if you want some fun without the hassle; you can't better it for saving your time. Speaking of which I hope to show you my completed kit next time.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Comfort zones

Well you could call it zones I am familiar with and not too clever at.  The first piccie is taken in very wintry conditions last week when I was just coming down from a Munro in the Cairngorms, which shall remain nameless to you as you probably won't know how to pronounce it anymore than I can.  It was Ben something or other. I am getting on with the job of leaving the top as fast as I could because it was freezing fog up there....You can just see me in my dayglo blue jacket in the middle bottom of the piccie.

So the thought of doing some crewelwork embroidery this morning was like light relief in some ways but I always have to think hard before I do any hand stitching (my sewing machine is my best friend) so it was good to be inside in the warm and hard to be doing laid and couched work.  However, I have to say that Phillipa Turnbull is such a good teacher because she really works hard and her enthusiasm is boundless....that even I could not mess this up.

So here is the first stage of the work and I hope to be adding to it over the next few days or even weeks if I don't manage to find some spare time... I did add some Rope stitch after this photo was taken so the work has progressed a bit more. I wish I could sit and sew some more on it tomorrow but I can't because I am taking a guided walk up Haystacks. Also DH has just informed me that there is no bread in the house, and as I make all of our bread (most of the time anyway) I now need to rush into the kitchen so I have to say bye for now.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Off to Braemar

I am going away for a few days but hope to see some of you at the Phillipa Turnbull workshop when I return.  I must say I am looking forward to doing some crewelwork again.  It must be over a year since I did any, hope I can remember long and short stitch!

Meanwhile, the piccie is a special one for Jayne who is coming to the workshop and I am looking forward to meeting you. The Morso piccie was taken one or two years ago at a special season of the year which shall remain unmentioned as 'it's too early yet!' Anyway, Jayne has had her wood burning stove going at Bag End I hear, so this is a piccie of mine in all it's glory.

Next up is my lovely little Bella looking so cute, and this piccie is more for me and Jayne as I know she misses Ollie (hope I spelt that right) and I will miss Bella whilst away so I need a piccie on my pc I can look at fondly....

Well take care all of you until I return from my adventures, the attempt is to go up some remote mountains in Scotland and we can't take Bella coz we need mountain bikes and she has not learnt how to ride one yet.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Friday Treat

My postman was fast today, and slipped this through the letter box without my noticing.  Bella has gone for a long walkies so no barking alerted me to the 'silent post'.  But I seem to have an instinctive knowledge when goodies are imminent...

So I won't tease you anymore, but will open it for you....

Its from contemporarystitches and is a pretty pincushion made from silk and hand embroidered by Karen Ruane.

This is the back....

Altogether far too pretty to stick pins in?  Much better than my old battered pincushion tomato which I have had since I was 9 years old.. This is a closer look at the front

It kind of reminds me that I still have not finished the Mountmellick work I started at the workshop we had last October with Rubina Porter.. I still have it in the frame for heaven's sake. I will have to finish it because I need the frame for the Crewelwork next month. Meanwhile, I am going to place this very pretty piece next door to my beloved Bernina and see what happens....

I have not had a good response to the Irish Chain Quilt competition because no one has answered, so I will shelve the idea of competitions for now, although I must admit I probably should have dangled a suitable carrot before your noses...Never mind, I will try again one day. Meanwhile, have a good weekend.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Virtual Quilt Patch in memory of my Mum Florence Edwards

Today is World Alzheimer's Day and I just wanted to remember my Mum today who suffered from this. I only have a few items of embroidery which were hers and one knitted shawl she made for my daughter when she was a baby. I will never part with it.  I keep it in a plastic bag in the bottom of my chest of drawers. Also I have a linen table cloth which she kept but I don't think she made, so I look after that in the same way.

If you want to know more about Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative then click on the purple patch I created for my Mum. They are trying to raise awareness of this disease, it seems to me that it needs this as many people suffer from it, many husbands, wives, partners and children suffer too because they become carers and all too often they are left to cope on their own. I just want to thank Diane Gaudynski for raising my own awareness of this day through her blog.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

IMPORTANT - Email address change

I have just found out that my old email address for this blog has been stopped and all my emails since about 2 weeks ago have not come through to me. Sorry about this but they want me to pay for what was a free service, so at the moment I am using another one I had as a spare. Let's hope they don't put the bite on me for that one too. If I have any more problems I will notify you. If you have emailed me and not received a reply please accept my apologies. This is nothing to do with Blogger by the way which I can highly recommend or Google, no its an old 'freeby' I have had for a few years now.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Outstanding non Women's Institute Entry - Wren Cup

An article designed and made by the exhibitor was the category I entered my Wainwright Wallhanging into and it came up trumps... So I was presented with this sweet little cup at our AGM on Thursday by Melanie who is Secretary of the Thornthwaite, Braithwaite, and Newlands Home and Garden Show. My name is also in the local papers.... I also gained a First for my Irish Chain Quilt, a Second for my filled Crewelwork cushion and a Second for my 4 Fruit Marmalade. Wow.. But that is not all that won as Melanie came First with her embroidery and Sally came First with her filled cushion. So the ladies of Keswick EG did very well and my congratulations go to all of them who took away a prize. Also we must thank Melanie for encouraging us to put something into the show.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Last of the Summer flowers

I found this piccie which sums up the last of the summer for you. My neighbour gave me these when he went on holiday last month as a thanks for my DH putting out his dustbin. They smelt divine and the kitchen was a scented heaven for about 3 days until they faded.

I came back from Torridon yesterday where the weather was simply magnificent and sublime to a fairly cool Keswick.  I had expected the weather here to have been very warm too and left my new greenhouse door just a titch open to help the autovents in the roof keep the temperature down only to discover a cat had taken advantage of the gap and squeezed through and left hairs all over my couch.  I was not pleased. So today it was do the washing which was 4 loads in the machine (instead of 3 coz of the cat napping) and all the lines full so that I ran out of pegs. I need to buy some more because Bella likes to chew them.......I often find half chewed and spat out clothes pegs on the lawn, silly dog.

It may seem bizarre, but tomorrow at the EG meeting we are supposed to be making Appliqué Christmas Angels.  I am not sure if I will be able to drum up the necessary enthusiasm for the enterprise, but you never know. If I do manage it and the Angels are worthy, I will post some piccies for you.  Meanwhile, I am more intrigued by what happened to my entries to the show last Saturday because I had a phone message left from Sally which amongst other matters congratulated me on winning a cup... But what for? Was it my marmalade, lemon curd or jam? Or could it have been my quilt or my crewel cushion or even my crewel bird embroidery? Hopefully, I will hear exciting. Only one last problem, who polishes the silver cup? Can't you guess.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Irish Chain Quilt- Give it a name Competition

I made this quilt well over a year ago for the single bed in the small spare bedroom and I have not labelled it or taken a photo of it. I know I am naughty but I was keen to make the bedroom look good after decorating it and pretty exhausted by the time the quilt ended up on the bed and it sort of stayed put. So I need to make it a little label. But what should I call it? I don't know and I am not very good at naming quilts either. So I am asking for ideas, if anyone would like to name the quilt please leave all suggestions as comments or email me them if you prefer. When I work out how to do the voting thingy on Blogger I will let you decide on the name and the winner will receive a prize. It will probably be one of my embroideries, but I will need to decide which one and post a piccie of it. I think I will leave this little competition running for a while as I am going away on Wednesday for a week to Scotland, but I think names need to be in by 21st September. So have a go, it's my first attempt at a competition so I hope you participate.
Here is another shot of the quilt using a colour adjustment system in Corel Paint, I am not sure if the maroon squares which show up the Irish chain are quite the right colour.

This next shot is a close up of the quilt and it has a cute stuffed pig in matching fabric.  Bella had a quick play one day (five months old) and one of the ears needs a few stitches putting back....that's terriers for you.

I made this pillow out of an offcut I found in 'Textiles' St John's St, Keswick and it is very classy stuff, only cost me about £1.50. I wish I could have found more as later that month I saw a similar cushion made of the same blue fabric in Young's Furnishers for about £25. It is surprising what you can find for very little cost when you have a good rummage around in store offcuts boxes. Linton Tweed I mentioned the other day is another case in point where you can sometimes pick up enough tweed to make a pencil skirt for about £5.
I made this cushion cover a few years ago as part of my City and Guilds Stage One Embroidery course. It is my first attempt at 'shadow appliqué' and I was into doves at the time. But it has a quilted heart in the middle so it goes with the hearts on the Irish Chain Quilt.

Lastly, there are a couple of Crewelwork cushions I made from kits supplied here. Phillipa is coming to do some more teaching in October, (see the programme list on the right) but places are limited, so you had better hurry up and book if you want to join in.  I had never done this type of embroidery before and found it all very relaxing, just the type of thing to do in those long cold winter months which seem to drag on forever in February.

Well that is my little spare room and I hope you have inspiration to 'name that quilt'. I may not be able to post again until I come back from Scotland, although I must admit I will miss doing so, I am beginning to really enjoy blogging especially about sewing, quilting and embroidery and of course terrible terriers!