Sunday, 16 June 2013


At last I've finished a quilt I began last year and left over the winter. There are 480 2" squares all together with as many different materials as I could find. Inevitably some are used more than once.
I didn't want to use any pale colours in it so I've called it 'Darks and Brights' because that's what they are. I framed the multi-coloured patch with cream and then added a border of the material I used to back the last (handmade) quilt I finished. There are still scraps left over so they'll turn up in other quilts from time to time.
There are materials which have already been used in other quilts such as this flying lion but there are others which I haven't used before.There's still a pin in some photos holding the layers together before I Tacked it.
Other pieces are'fussy cut' like this shell,( and joined so well, as you can see!) or I've used up the last scraps so couldn't be too picky about the appearance.
 Teddy in a beret...
A Christmas cat...
A penny farthing cyclist piece which came from a long-time friend...the paisley piece above it I used in a Trip Round the World quillow in 1995.
 And these dalmatians are the last piece left over from a dress I made my almost 40 year old granddaughter when she was very much younger.
The backing is a new sheet bought a few weeks ago at a car boot; very expensive at 50p! The camera hasn't really captured the colour because it's  purple. I didn't quilt it so did Mennonite Tacking instead, which holds the layers together just as well, only differently. There are tiny pink stitches which show in the square below the red, the dark green starry and in the  pink square below that. (These photos all get taken as the quilt's on the line and moving in the breeze... )

 This is how the reverse looks with just these small stitches visible.

 I used cotton perle No.8 for the Mennonite Tacking and a sashiko needle because of the thickness of the cotton. Good old Hobbycraft!
I didn't put on a separate binding but turned the sheet to the front and stitched it with multi-coloured cotton in colours which related to the border.

And last of all, the all important label.

Another quilt to pack away...

I've got some handsewing on the go, too, just a little bit at a time, something else which I began while Kath was still in Stoke, I think, so several years 'old'. These Grandmother's Garden pieces aren't meant to go together, it's just that I make handsewn quilts in small sections so that I don't have to cope with the weight for a long time. The exciting part will be when I play at laying out other sections, when they're made, and work out how wide the finished quilt will be, then I can really get going on it.

I've also got some machined patches stuck on the grandly named Design Wall, which is an absolute must as far as I'm concerned and since it's my house I can do what I like. When I first came here this was another of the First Things I did - sticking sheets of polystyrene on the spare bedroom wall and stapling a winceyette sheet to them. Then drawing felt tip lines horizontally and vertically to give me a line to which I can butt up patches and keep them level. The snag now is, I can't reach the top line as I've shrunk in the last several years. Ho hum...

I saw a strippy quilt heading to Briony's blog and liked it so decided to use some scraps which seem to keep piling up and make one for myself. Picking my way through my UFO box I found some patches which I'd make so long ago I can't remember when, though they are larger than Briony's. So I decided to carry on with those. The larger squares mean longer strips which then means cutting more strips and so we go on... I try to do a couple of squares a day after breakfast and before I do anything else. Well, that's the idea. I made the last two on this row this morning before coming downstairs and carrying on with this blog, begun yesterday.

Just as a tail-ender - I threw out some old bread for the badgers last night (that's extras), opened the Top Shed door to get the three usual handfuls of peanuts and found the field mouse sitting on top of the plastic bin containing the peanuts. So I left four or five nuts for it... Years ago I had left the lid off an empty bin and in the morning there was a dead mouse in the bottom. It must have fallen in and then couldn't get out so I make sure lids are on tempting 'smelly' bins.

Monday, 10 June 2013


When I was going to bed last night I saw a glowing light in the sky not too far away. I turned off all the lights and tried to make out what was going on. The flickering light gradually faded until all was dark.
This morning, these remains are hooked onto the cropped walnut tree. Looks to me as if it's one of those Chinese hot air lanterns and, caught in the tree, it burned itself out.

What do you think?

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

FLOWERS IN THE GARDEN, early June 2013

 A couple of days ago I took some photos of the garden but, looking through my saved photos, I found I'd posted them in other years so have only picked a few. It was a sunny day, at the time, now quite cloudy... The flowers above are camassia. They've been flowering well this year but going over now.
 The first two poppies this year. Such a lovely colour in the garden  and by accident more than design planted them near to wolfsbane (Aconitum) and alliums. Orange and purple. Plenty of poppy buds, if the rain doesn't spoil them.
 Welsh poppies, ajuga (aka bugle) which is good ground cover, some of the aquilegia which has sprung up all round the garden in plenty of unexpected colours.
 Forgetmenots are always welcome when they first appear but then, they seed everywhere, ready for next year. It'll be one of my jobs today when Gillian comes to garden - shortly.
 At the end of the garden, behind the bottom shed there's this hawthorn tree which I included in my garden as I didn't want it to be destroyed when the developer cleared the scrub several years ago.  So much top soil was dumped that the level of the ground rose considerably. There's a robin nesting box in there which was used the first year but not since.

 Photinias always give a good show of colour, too, with new leaves showing this bright red. Well, it is a variety called Red Robin.
Plenty of flowers on the rowan.

Alliums and wolfsbane by the poppies and (below) a little group of alliums. The badgers ate one group of bulbs...
Gillian's here so I'm off to work. If my new specs are OK (collecting Friday) I'll probably change the font size back to this but at the moment I can hardly see it!!! There's no size in between...

Sunday, 2 June 2013


I intended to post this photo on VE Day, 8th May, but could I find it? Of course not.
But I've just discovered it while I was looking through my Family Photos file so here it is, a bit late...
 You couldn't do this nowadays, you'd have to get Police permission to close the road, a Council OK and probably lots of other 'Permissions' as well. I expect we'd had the bonfire in the road by then...
This is obviously a commercial photo and would have been 'all' the children who lived in the road, the photo taken from an upstairs window. I'm sitting at the table next to my ginger-haired friend who's wearing a paper hat and we're facing the camera; looking from the left there are two ladies standing then two seated children in front of them - that's us! I have my skimpy plaits which probably pleased me no end...
I thought that, now the war had ended, I could go on the bus into Croydon and buy some red, white and blue ribbon...some hopes. The first time I heard a works siren for dinnertime break shook me a bit, why was the siren sounding???  Isn't it odd, the things that remain with you?