Monday, 26 September 2011


It was a lovely sunny autumn day yesterday so I went to Tetsworth with a friend and set about seeing what I could find for myself or other people. I love carboots and have been going to them to buy anything interesting or of use for many years. For some time years ago I used to be a seller but it's an awful lot of work on your own and I can't do it any more. This 6" tile above I bought for Gillian. She's made something very similar in tile mosaic on a large flat stone so it may interest her. 50p, how could I leave it behind?

I'm always looking for recycled material to use in quilts, the more the merrier, provided I have room to keep it! This single valance cream sheet from Next was £1. I use this kind of material for the dividing strips between patches and for borders as there's a nice long piece of material to use. You do have to check that the centre of the sheet isn't worn but plenty of material in the valance - and straight, too.

This pair of pillowcases says to me that they'll make interesting borders! Swirly greens, pinks and blues and, when the seams are cut away, there's a long piece of straight material here, too. 25p for the two.I think this is the prize from today's shopping expedition. Three long, straight dresses with interesting patterns, and colourful - and cheap!! 50p each. Can't sneeze at that price.

This is a detail from the dress on the left and it's the reason why I picked it up. Heffalumps!
The pattern on the central dress is medallions and roses. I took these photos as the dresses were waving in the breeze so this is a little blurry.

The dress on the right has a fine silver thread running the length of the material and again, this caught my eye as a good design for borders. I can't wait to get started on cutting them apart, with the rotary cutter, to slice off the seams and non-usable bits before I fold them into flat narrow 'packets' and file in the pile of that colour...
Couldn't resist this for 50p. I like using a teapot...

The pattern on this pretty 30's pattern plate caught my eye again - 50p. It's a little smaller than a 'normal' dinner plate so I'm wondering if it will cut my food consumption (though not the biscuits, pastries, cakes etc which I love)...
The seller was selling small carpet samples at 5 for £1 but as I just wanted 2, that's another 40p. Because my sewing room carpet is dark red I can't see where the sewing machine pedal is against the carpet so I've put one of these underneath it and hope I shall be able to locate it as the weather gets greyer. Don't know what I'm going to use the other piece for yet but it'll come in useful, somewhere.Ah. Two 10m rolls of Christmas paper at £1 each which will save me struggling into the roof to fetch down last year's remnants. I've got a few presents to wrap already.
I couldn't resist this, it's full of amusing 'catty' things and was, I think, 25p or 50p. Teresa will find it a laugh, too, when she gets over having to have the moggy she took from England to Holland put to sleep at the end of last week. He had severe eczema when she got him from RSPCA's Blackberry Farm near Quainton, which she cured over the years but now he had got old, with a thyroid problem, too, so she had to say Goodbye to Mo.
Four apples for 25p for another of those crunchy-topped apple charlotte puds on Marigold Jam's blogsite...

A full tin of starch for spraying poly cotton material to stabilize it for cutting, 25p, I think.

This is for Ashley. He loves tuna and this large 'in-date' tin was 50p. The seller explained they'd bought it in error thinking it was tuna in brine. That'll last a few days as I use tuna as a treat on top of his real cat food.
The only other thing I bought and forget to photo was a Lakeland fruit and veg cushion. The seller had been given it by a family member but didn't know what it was - I have one already. They're for putting in the drawer in your frig to help keep the contents fresher for longer. You cut to size as required. It cost, I think, 50p.
I found three things that the different sellers hadn't come across before but I had so recognised them. There was the 'cushion' item, then a lady at another stall had a small green chunky glass item which had a scoop in the top of its, say, 3" length. It's a razor blade sharpener from the 'old days'... and I can't remember what the third one was, but it's unusual for three things to turn up on the same day. Wish I'd taken a photo of it but the camera was at the bottom of my trolley.

I had a good haul yesterday and for not a of lot of money. Took it out of me a bit but luckily I didn't have to drive home, just stop at Waitrose and get cat food - and lovely scrummy Chocolate (and Caramel) Surprises.

Then home to watch F1, well, sort of.

Now to start cutting up all that material.

The title of this post comes from the board at the exit from the site... how true! Last one of the year next Sunday, weather permitting.)

Friday, 23 September 2011


I picked up this meagre brochure in the library the other day, just out of curiosity to see what was on offer that was 'different' this year. Classes are so expensive and often held in the evening which is not for me. Bucks CC used to offer discounts to pensioners and guess what - they stopped that scheme as I retired...
These two items were shown in the Gardening and Floristry section, tactfully put together, one above the other....
but this would be nice to have, someone working away in the garden all year. Gillian stops coming when the weather gets too cold, windy and dark, too, and I don't want to go out then, in any case. We always run out of time at the end of our season and things get left. She also has a job where she can be called in at the drop of a hat and it does rain from time to time, like this week...Would you fancy living next door to someone going to this class? I don't think I would, having lived next door to a teenager who had a set of drums in his bedroom in the terraced house next to where I lived in Prestwood. That was the cause of me moving home...
Now this would be ideal, except it costs £400 for 16 weeks! And each lesson is from 10 am until 3.30pm. I wouldn't be able to keep my concentration going that long! And it's during the winter.
I'll just have to keep trying to understand the manual which is on disk, of course, so practical for taking out with you.
Grumble, grumble, grumble.

Monday, 19 September 2011


Another quilt top finished - and put on one side until (much) later. It was put up on my design wall this way so I tend to think of it as the right-way-up

but it can also be viewed like this. Same photo, you'll realise from the shadow, just turned one turn to alter the orientation. As usual it's made from new/recycled material garnered from friends, charity shops and, recently, car boots. I've found a way of getting round without stressing myself too much. The cream material used for the sashing, that is, the frames of each 5 1/2" square, was a car boot buy, a single duvet cover. Plenty of material and long straight cuts possible.
There are all kinds of things to spot, especially if you're asking a young child to find some of these things: a bird,

or a fish (this material has been in several quilts and I still have l-o-a-d-s left...),
or a tiger who has a turquoise face and wings!
There are sunflowers, too, lots of them because yellow is a good colour to have in a quilt,
And oranges, too - it's the 'hot' colours which make a quilt ping!

In a charity shop I bought a new cotton skirt which has a black background with bright colours and bands of different designs, like this zigzag. Apart from this pattern there are also stripes, plaids,checks and spots. I have a thing about spotty material!
The piece of white flowered material came as part of my last year's Christmas present from Sarah. She gave me 6 fat quarters and they've been useful to put into quilts. A Fat Quarter is a quarter of a yard of 44" wide material but instead of being cut as a long, narrow strip across the whole width it's cut as a piece half way across the width and twice the depth to make a chunky piece measuring 18" x 22". More puzzled now?

There are dandelions, too, stars (of different sizes) as you can see with the oranges, plenty of flowers, some ears of corn, a few hearts and holly leaves and just two cherries... Here and there are some Christmas scraps.

I don't intend to quilt it just now, I'm saving that for the dark days when I can keep my hands warm underneath the magnifying lamp, but while the light is still good-ish I'm going to keep machining. I've gone back to what I was doing some months ago in conjunction with this strippy quilt's blocks, random log cabin-y squares, unless I go back to making more story book houses....

One of my great-granddaughters has just gone off to Uni to study (so my daughter told me) forensic science - don't ask where all that science ability came from, definitely not my side of the family! But the pleasing thing is she's taken her Spotty Nightime Cats quilt with her and that was made about 10 years ago together with another in the same pattern and materials when the two sisters moved into a new house. The quilts are used as snuggle comforters and in the summer when you need just a light covering. Another duvet cover made the backs for these so identical quilts, just the cats and the moon in different places. Ah! The days when I could manage 'long' quilts.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

15th SEPTEMBER 1940

It's Battle of Britain Day again. Time to remember what happened during the few weeks in the summer of 1940 and how Britain was saved from invasion.
For me, as I probably said last year, I can remember the contrails of the dog-fighting planes against the bright blue sky. I've taken this photo from Afterwards we children went out to pick up empty cartridge cases, none of us realising what was happening, just the excitement of what we could see going on over our heads.
There are plenty of websites and books if anyone is interested in following the progress of the battle.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011


Isn't it strange? Sometimes you can't find a topic to blog about and then three come along at once... I was in Princes Risborough this morning, fifteen minutes before the library opened, so once I had parked in a nearby road, my usual 'car park', I walked along looking at the display of flowers on the verges (rather than in the gardens).

I think this bright mauve flower is osteospermum, such a brilliant colour. Just what's good in a quilt to give it a lift.
An odd angle for these fuchsias but that's my shadow on the right and I didn't want it to show too much. I remembered a poem about fuchsias by Thomas Hardy -

Mrs.Master's fuchsias hung

Higher and broader, and brightly swung,

Bell-like, more and more

Over the narrow garden-path

Giving the passer a sprinkle-bath

In the morning.

She put up with their pushful ways,

And made us tenderly lift their sprays,

Going to her door:

But when her funeral had to pass

They cut back all the flowery mass

In the morning.
There are lots of roses along here - the houses have long expanses of brick wall straight onto the pavement and that's where these flowers are growing. This pink rose is on a long stem, about the only one standing upright after yesterday's fierce winds.
What a lovely colour! This gorgeous apricot rose caught my eye - and I'm not a Roses person.
The bud is yellow - I have no idea of the name of this one. Wait until you see what's coming!
This is a rose, honestly! Isn't it unusual? Layers of soft petals; the plant in front shows of the colour, too.
And here's another unusual rose. Striped yellow and orange with the colour paler or stronger depending on the age of the rose.
Here's another flower on the same bush.
An edging of valerian, just for a change from roses.

Here they are again, another pretty colour. The houseowners don't see these flowers, they are under the windows, along the walls. The passersby get the pleasure of the owners' hard work.

These were some feet away and out of the sun, dahlias which have been battered by the recent stormy weather.
The other side of the road has semi-detached somewhat larger houses and this is part of one front garden - I don't like conventional planting but the bright blue made sure I saw these.

That side of the road wasn't anything like as interesting as this side - but what an unusual tree to see these days especially in a town front garden. It's an araucaria, aka as a monkey puzzle tree. It comes from the Andes, on the border of Argentina and Chile . It seems that in 1795 Captain Vancouver's ship the Discovery was visiting Valparaiso and the large seeds of the tree were served as a dessert. The ship's scientist took some back to England and so introduced them to Europe. It got its common name in 1834 after a lawyer, Charles Austin, said it would be 'a puzzle for a monkey to climb'.

That's all folks...

Sunday, 11 September 2011


Dinton held its first ever Scarecrow Competition yesterday with some entries being shown at the church and others round the village. This elderly lady was the first one I encountered, sitting beneath a lovely display of flowers and waiting for someone to bring her a cuppa and slice of cake.

The entries were done by children and adults and this young cyclist was waiting by the door for her companion. A jolly piratical gent, with dagger thrust in his belt, was guarding the porch door and
a young lady named Lavender waited nearby. I wonder if this is prompted by something on The Archers as there was a letter from one of the actors, plus photo, not far away.
Oh dear, a lady succumbing to the excitement of the day! However, help was arriving as I left, carefully making my way back up the cobbled path.
It was a grey day - again - and this gentleman's extremities were getting cold but help was at hand...Perhaps he nipped round to the Seven Stars before taking his place outside his home.
Another couple look a little bit under the weather....
A guard is obviously angry about the prospect of HS2 spoiling the locality. Dinton will hear the noise of these superfast trains.

Dad's been left to look after the children while Mum's taken some time off.
A couple of young ladies decided they wanted to make scarecrows - and why not a horse and a dog, complete with his bowl? Dad explained that a scarecrow was usually a person but they stuck to their guns and produced these.

Not far away a quiet gentleman was fishing, complete with his umbrella and fishing rod. You can see the fish he's just caught, there on the left hand side as it swings gently in the breeze.
A simpering Miss was the last scarecrow I saw in the village but I may have missed a few as Dinton is a place of little dead ends and many corners. Perhaps some were put out after I'd gone home with my snapshots but a varied and colourful display.