Sunday, 20 July 2014

Computers, sewing machines and catching up.

Wow I didn't realise it had been so long since I last wrote a post. Because my computer had to go away for repair I've had difficulties getting on line. I could sit and read through some blogs during my lunch hour at work but I couldn't realistically write a post. Never mind my computer arrived home last weekend so now I can get back to writing posts and catch up with what's been happening in blog land. My computer had a pleasant trip to Germany to be repaired and is now working well. It was also reset back to factory settings so I've got to reload some programmes and generally get it set up how I like it.

My sewing machine is also feeling fit and well after its health issue. The bobbin tension had been playing up and it just wasn't stitching correctly. It is also now fit and well again so I can get on and complete some of my projects.

The first job has been to make the Rainbow Scrap challenge blocks. The colour for June was yellow.

and July's colour is red.

I'm still working on the two hexi blocks.

It would have been lovely to spend lots of time sewing this week since I had my machine and computer back but I had the last bits of marking to finish and we had organised a mini break to celebrate the end of the academic year. Our main objective whilst away was to visit Chawton, the village where Jane Austen lived. Those of you who visit regularly will know she is one of my favourite writers and for a long time I have wanted to visit her home. The village and the house were charming and I can see why she was inspired to write whilst living here. I can also recommend lunch at The Greyfriar pub should you be visiting.

Jane Austen spent the last 8 years of her life in this cottage, which her brother Edward gave to his mother and two sisters for their use for the rest of their lives.

The house contained many Austen treasures including the table and chair where she used to write every morning. Both are protected by a screen to prevent visitors posing for photos. The quill pen is not original but does help remind people that all her books were written by hand using a quill pen. I learnt to write in pen using a dip pen and always made the most horrible mess that you could hardly read what I had written.

Upstairs the Admirals' room has memorabilia of Jane's two sailor brothers Francis and Charles. Francis became Admiral of the Fleet and was knighted by King William IV whilst Charles became a Rear Admiral and served in North American waters and later in the Far East. The cabin bed below would be packed up and taken aboard ship. I like the red and white coverlet.

A big reason for wanting to visit the house was to see the patchwork coverlet made by Jane, Cassandra (her sister) and their mother whilst they lived at Chawton. It doesn't have a wadding layer and hasn't been quilted but it is beautiful. I took quite a few photos. It is of the Old English Medallion pattern and the patches are all diamonds. the whole cover is hand stitched.

The cover has a border all round of small diamonds. Nine of the small diamonds fit into one of the larger diamond patches.

The sashing fabric is an ever popular polka dot.

The large medallion in the centre is a floral basket.

The overall effect is beautiful. The shadow on the cover is from the bed frame.

The garden was very tranquil. Jane wrote in the morning whilst her mother gave responsibility for the housekeeping to Cassandra so that she could enjoy her gardening and her embroidery.

Before we left Chawton we walked to St Nicholas Church.

Jane, Cassandra and their mother worshipped here regularly and Cassandra and their mother are buried here. Jane is buried in Winchester Cathedral.

The inside of the church was refreshingly cool on an exceeding hot day. The triptych behind the altar was delightful.

Finally walking back to the car we passed a field with these beautiful shire horses. I love the feathers on their hooves. They were intend on munching grass and wouldn't look up even to have their photo taken

I still have lots to write about in order to catch up all the posts I've missed but that will have to wait until tomorrow as I have a need to get the sewing machine purring once again.

Hope you are enjoying the weekend.



  1. Oh thank you Lyndsey for this post. I do believe it is my all time favorite of your posts and I have quite a few that I visit from time to time to view the photography. I am delighted to see the Jane Austen quilt in detail. It was also nice to see the home and church. I'll keep an eye out for your new posts. So glad your computer and machine are back to good health.

  2. What a great quilt. I'm glad to see it is kept behind glass doors. I wonder how long it took to make.

  3. Thank you Lyndsey for a great post. I felt like I was there at Jane Austen's home admiring that quilt...such a beautiful place and setting.

  4. It's nice that Jane's home and some of her things are still able to be viewed and appreciated. Isn't that area lovely? The quilt top is simple and beautiful. That looks like it was a nice trip to take.