Friday 26 October 2012

Sewing Santa's and antique inspiration

Well it certainly feels like winter is on it's way down in our little corner of Devon - it is bitterly cold and bleak, time to start lighting the fire earlier and settling down for a game of Scrabble before supper - especially after Sunday when the clocks have gone back as it will be dark so early.  Never mind, all the more time for my cross-stitch:  and talking of that, here are my first 5 completed Christmas stockings:
I am so pleased at how they have come together - I am now on number 6 so getting through them in good time for Santa's visits!  There is a lot of sewing in each of them but hopefully they will become heirlooms in the future.

I am off up to Cobham in Surrey next Thursday for 3 days with my dear friend Lise - we have lots planned so it will be big fun, and then Sunday I zoom up the M1 to spend 3 days with my dear old Mum - so I shall get plenty of sewing done whilst with her.  Lise and I are planning a trip up to London, and hopefully will see family and other friends too.
I will also be sewing on some bindings as I am collecting quilts from Butterfly Quilters that Carole has long-armed her magic on: I always love seeing them after quilting, it makes such a difference.

In the past I have collected many antique samplers, so I thought I would show you some of them:

This is my all time favourite, sewn by a 12 year old called Mary Roe in 1780: the work is so fine, considering they had none of our modern aids - spotlights, magnifiers etc. these young girls did truely inspirational sewing.

I have also collected much Royal Winton china in the "Queen Ann" design - it looks like cross-stich, and looks very pretty on the dresser in our living room:
I managed to get this lovely shot of our Goldie Ben with Reg our old Tabby:  they love each other so much, it is sweet to see!:  they were watching me in amazement as I pruned the roses -I was trying to gain some brownie points!:
When I was out at Cowslip on Monday adding parrots and turtles to my Noah's Ark quilt, I took these photos of some of Jo's beautiful clever quilts which were hanging in the workroom:
No wonder we are all inspred whenever we spend time with Jo in that magical place!

Well I am off now to "move out" of my conservatory studio and back into the house - once the clocks change and the days are cold, grey and shorter it will become too cold to work in my Studio so I move into the little sitting room where I can light the fire and sew whilst being cosy.  I shall just have to try and be tidier - no pins left on the floor that the animals - and Rod - can walk on else I shall get into Big Trouble!
I trust all my followers are keeping well and busy - I shall Blog again on my return from Surrey/Nottingham.  In the meantime have a good weekend and keep busy everyone.

Friday 12 October 2012

Fun at Cowslip with Mary Berry CBE

As I told you in my last post, I was off this week for two days helping the wonderful Mary Berry.  Every year she comes down to Cowslip Workshops for 2 mornings of Aga/cooking demonstrations - and I go along and help her with her sales table of her wonderful cookery books that so many of us love and rely on daily!  Once again she cooked some delicious delights, gave out endless tips and advice and had us laughing over various fun stories.  And today she is at Windsor Castle to receive her CBE - such an honour but well deserved.
Here I am with Mary and Jo:
and here is Mary with Andrew and Vicki - the cooks in the Cowslip Cafe - who helped her with the cooking:

And now we wait to see who won The Great British Bake Off - what a terrific series that has been.

Today I need to really have a big clean and tidy up - how do I manage to get in such a mess?  I am just so untidy - I guess I would always rather sew than do housework!  And the spiders - how they seem to love Ward Cottage! - it is the beams they seem to enjoy - spinning webs from one to another the minute my back in turned - most inconsiderate!  Even from the beam above my Aga to the hotplate lid handle overnight - how cheeky is that!! 
And I need to get some work done on my Noah's Ark before I am back at Cowslip next Monday for my on-going applique class which I so enjoy:
I have birds ready to be sewn onto the sky above the rainbow, plus some dolphins and snails for underneath the Ark - but  definitely NO SPIDERS!
I have just finished cross-stitching stocking number 4:  only another 6 to sew!
I hope everyone has had a good week, despite the dreadful continuing rain here in the UK - it just seems never ending.
As always thank you for visiting my Blog, and for all the comments you leave.

Sunday 7 October 2012

Autumn sewings

Where the last three weeks have gone is a mystery - I seem to have been constantly on the move with not a huge amount of time for patchwork sadly, but have managed lots of cross-stitch.  The days are getting shorter and colder, Autumn is definitely here.  Time for log fires and home-made soups!  Plus I do need to get out into the garden for a winter shutdown - but the weather has been so wet - again.  Excuses, excuses.........!  I would much rather sew!
I am currently busily cross-stitching Christmas stockings:
Here are the first 2 of the 10 that I need to sew - then there is the fiddly part of making them into an actual stocking with a cuff etc. - all good fun, and I hope an heirloom of the future.
I have been back at Cowslip Workshops for my Monday Applique class, and Jo loved her sewing:  here it is hung in the work shop by the door so everyone admires it as they go in and out!
The workshop is just full of delights - including on the right the Bronze Medal quilt from the FOQ:
There are quilts hanging off the beams and inspirational patchwork books everywhere, it is such a wonderful room to work in:
I shall be out at Cowslip for an extra two day treat this coming week as the wonderful Mary Berry will be there demonstrating her cooking ideas on the Aga.  I first met Mary about 20 years ago when I used to go to her home for Aga cooking demonstrations.  She taught me to cook and she is a Hero is my kitchen.  When Jo installed an Aga into the Cowslip Cafe she contacted Mary, and over the past few years Mary has come down annually for a cooking delight.  I go along each time and help her with her Sales Table - her books and some wonderful pans etc. - we have big fun, a big catch up and I just look forward to this time so much.  I shall be able to tell you all about it next weekend.  Of course we will all be wanting to know who won the Great British Bake off this year, but I am sure Mary's lips will be tightly sealed!!  Only 2 more programs to go - such a great show.

I collected from Carole at Butterfly Quilters my two baby quilts which she long-arm quilted for me with stars and swirls - one has now arrived in Holland for Tom, and the family I heard this morning are just thrilled - it is very bright and full of fun:
I chose the most gorgeous Noah's Ark fabric for the backing:
and here is little Tom waving on his quilt - he looks so gorgeous!

 The other quilt is still winging it's way to Australia for Sofia:
Last weekend we drove up to London to help son Robbie move out of one flat and into another, and we took some bits up for youngest daughter Dot.  It was a gloriously sunny Saturday, this is Stonehenge which we passed looking as impressive as ever:
And this was Buckingham Palace early Saturday evening:
We stayed with our New Zealand friends who have a flat in London, and here is Nina's quilt which I made for a Special Birthday:  so lovely to see it being used, I worry that sometimes all my hard work ends up stuffed in a cupboard! - but not this one!!:
On Sunday morning before we drove back to Devon we went and visited Nina's daughter Emma and we met the beautiful Ida: so at last I was able to give Ida her Noah's Ark picture -here is Emma with Nina and Ida admiring the cross-stitch:

And here is Ida playing on her quilt:
Well I shall finish as I started with a Xmas Stocking - I am just having a go at making this one into a stocking for William:  three sewn - seven to go!:
I hope everyone has a good productive week - thanks for popping by my Blog, and thanks to all those who leave encouraging comments!