Friday 31 March 2023

March Goals

March has been another hectic month but I've managed to work on my goals and complete them. I set myself three small goals instead of just one as I had already started work on them all. My first goal was to complete my  piece for the Green Apples blog hop.  For this I had made a play mat for my grandson. 

Last time he visited we read the story of the three little pigs and played with the wooden pieces.

My second goal was to complete the bag for my cutting mats. I finished this goal earlier today and I'm really pleased with the result.

Finally I wanted to finish stitching the little bird houses from last years international month of embroidery. I like these little stitcheries. Now I need to decide how I am going to use them.

The only bit I haven't done from this set of embroideries are the words. I'm not sure if I want to use them or not. I need to give it a bit of thought. I may turn them into a little wall hanging or just a picture. I'll let you know as soon as I make my final decision.

I'm linking this post with Patty from Elm Street Quilts for the March Goals link up

I'm now on annual leave for two weeks and I have a dream of completing a lot of sewing. Today was a sewing day but I took time out to tidy my storage cupboard. I have several items that I could work on in April but I still have a bit more sorting to do before I need to make a decision. I did spend some time today doing a  repair on Richard's star trek quilt. Missy had bitten a small piece out of one side when she was younger. Richard asked me to trim the bitten piece back and then put the binding to follow the contour of the bite. It took a little time to do but he is happy with it. Fortunately Missy has stopped trying to eat things other than her food so there shouldn't be any further mishaps.

Take care



Tuesday 21 March 2023

Welcome to Spring

Spring has officially started as the calendar has passed the Spring equinox.  Out walking with John at the weekend we found a lot of evidence. Snowdrops that have been blooming in more sheltered areas were out in profusion across the hills where we walked. There were clumps of primroses, 

and many trees were in blossom.

Last week John celebrated his birthday and we headed for our favourite hotel for the weekend. On the drive down the motorway we noticed the green hue of new leaves starting to unfurl on the trees. At our destination we watched the birds busy making or repairing their nests. There were even one or two sleepy bees buzzing around enjoying the warmer weather. The rain obligingly held off for the weekend but it was still very muddy in places.

On the Sunday of our weekends away we always plan a visit or a walk on our way home. This time we had opted for a walk and the weather was perfect. Our route was 5 and a half miles but as always we walked further. Our walk started and ended in Ramsbury, Wiltshire and mostly followed tracks, with just short sections on the road. The walk was also graded 'easy' as there was very little ascents and descents to deal with. On the way out of the village we passed this house having the thatch renewed.

I should have taken a photo of the building next door as their thatch was in an awful state of repair. A new thatched roof is costly and the number of people with the skills to do it well has dropped dramatically. We turned off the road to cross the river Kennet and then walk along a path that followed the course of the river but at a distance.

The walk took us towards Littlecote House, which is now a Warner leisure hotel. Just before the hotel we made a detour to visit Littlecote Roman Villa. The villa is extensive. It was excavated in 1727 - 8 by William George who discovered the Orpheus mosaic. A drawing and engraving was made and the mosaic and villa reburied. It was rediscovered in 1976 and the mosaic was restored by 1980. The mosaic is beautiful. I took several photos to get a view from all sides

There is also quite a lot of the villa  footprint to see how it was set up. Having viewed the villa we continued down the hotel drive and then turned back to walk slightly up hill to meet a path that took us back to Ramsbury. On the walk back we saw several muntjac deer, lots of grey squirrels and we could hear the yaffle of a green woodpecker but we didn't see it. The temperature was starting to drop as we got back to the car and then headed for home.

Our weekend away was fun and restful. I have some quilting eye candy to show you from our visit to Bath Abbey on the Friday afternoon.. I know most people write about their adventures in chronological order but the pictures taken on Friday and Saturday are on my camera and I need to recharge it to access the photos, but I've misplaced the recharger. Hopefully I'll be able to show you the quilting eye candy tomorrow. Until then

Take Care,



Monday 20 March 2023

Little Green Apples


Today is the start of the Little Green Apples blog hop. I haven't taken part in a blog hop for a while but when I saw the the title I knew exactly what I was going to make. Blog hops are a lot of fun and I love seeing what everyone has made. They are also hard work for the organisers so thank you Carol from Just Let Me Quilt for putting this hop together and acting as cheer leader.

For this hop I've made a small play quilt. My grandson Aubrey is now 10 months old and he loves his books, especially the ones with flaps that he can lift up. He squeals with laughter as he reveals whatever is hiding under the flap.  His aunt, my younger daughter, bought him a story tin of the 3 little pigs and he really likes the wooden pieces. The problem was the background mat. 

The mat was rather small and with constantly being opened and refolded it got rather tired and started to fall apart. I wanted to make a mat that was a little bigger and could also be used for other stories or to play with his cars when he gets slightly older. 

I drafted out a rough pattern and set to work. The prompt for the hop was using green so I pulled my collection of green fat quarters and scraps. I knew I would have to add in other colours but I wanted it to be mainly green. I needed a field of straw so that the pig who built his house of straw had materials available. I used yellow fabric and quilted some circles to represent the ends of the bales.

I made a mini wood by adding rough edge applique trees.

I felt it needed a pond and I had some left over green fabric with frogs on it.

I quilted stones around the pond.

It also had an area of lawn for the brick house to which I will add some embroidered flowers and a meadow for animals. When adding the applique I forgot to add the wolf's house so I must do that before we use the mat. The grey makes a good road and the batik gives an interesting binding for the whole piece. I thought the green and brown batik gave a great background for the bad wolf's house.

Aubrey hasn't seen the new mat yet so I hope he likes it. 

I hope you've enjoyed visiting and now you need to check out the other blogs posting today. I've added the schedule for the whole of the hop. I can't wait to see what everyone has made.

                                                                  MARCH 20

Just Let Me Quilt

Quilt Schmilt

Quilting Gail

Elizabeth Coughlin Designs

DesertSky Quilting

Days Filled With Joy

Kathy's Kwilts and More

Sew Many Yarns



Creatin’ in the Sticks

Quilted Delights

Karrin’s Crazy World

For The Love Of Geese

Vroomans Quilts

Quilted Snail

Homespun Hannah's Blog

The Joyful Quilter




Ms P Designs USA

Words & Stitches

The Crafty Grammie


Texas Quilt Gal

Pinker n' Punkin Quilting & Stitching



Moosestash Quilting

Patchwork Breeze


Selina Quilts

Samelia's Mum

Just Because Quilts


That Fabric Feeling

Take care


Monday 6 March 2023

One Monthly Goal.


Having successfully completed my February goal it's time to make some plans for March. I have several projects I'd like to complete. I want to complete the bag for my cutting boards. Things keep being put on top of them and I don't want them to get damaged. I'd already sewed the panels for the sides and on Saturday I set up the quilt sandwich and started the quilting. I need to finish the quilting, add the handles and add the binding. I haven't taken a photo but here is the one I took of the panels I'd made for the bag. I love the fabric designs which are William Morris.

I also want to complete the birdhouses from last years design by Meg Hawkey from Crabapple Hill Studios for International month of embroidery. I have 9 left to do and these shouldn't take long.

Finally I need to complete the project I'm making for the Green Apples blog hop later this month. My day is 20th March. I have the project all planned out, fabrics picked and just need to get the sewing done. 

I know this link up is about one monthly goal but these three projects are only small and so I'm going to try and complete all three. My main goal for the month will be to complete the cutting mat bag

I'm linking this post with Patty from Elm Street Quilts for her One Monthly Goal link up

Take care


Sunday 5 March 2023

Slow stitching projects.

If you read my blog you will know that I always have a lot of projects on the go at once, some quilting, some dress making, some stitching, not forgetting knitting, crocheting and lacemaking. What I work on depends on what time I have available and the mood I'm in. Some projects can be rather fiddly or require great concentration whilst others I can work on whilst watching television. Some projects are large and therefore not easily transported whilst others are small and perfect for taking when we go away for the weekend or a holiday. This year I am in the mood to move some of my long term projects along. With that in mind I finished the Austen Family Album quilt , well nearly finished it as I still have one side of the binding to stitch down. That will be done this evening as my slow stitching. The lovely slow stitching project I was working on for the International month of embroidery has been completed and I really like this little piece. Just over a week ago I had an eye test and found I needed a change of lenses as my eyes had changed a little too much. When I put my new glasses on to stitch the final pieces of this embroidery I was shocked at how wonky some of my stitches were but also impressed I stitched it as well as I did. I'm now enjoying being able to clearly see the pattern I'm stitching and can now see to make the stitches neater. Here is the completed piece. I will frame this later this week as I have already bought the frame I want to use.

The question now is 'what to stitch next'. I have several thing in progress and some new projects I want to start. I started the above piece to see if I could complete it in the time frame and to make myself sit down relax and sew in the evening. Some evenings my brain was still buzzing from work but I've found sitting and stitching by hand is very soothing and stress reducing. When my brain is buzzing the stitching very quickly takes me to my happy place and I forget about the problems until I get to work the next day. 

I have several stitching projects on the go. I started stitching a set of regency figures based on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. I've completed 6 and so have 6 left to do. This is the one I've been working on.

I don't need these stitcheries completed yet as I have some quilts to finish. Therefore this will have to wait a little to be finished. Next up I have a cross stitch bookmark to finish. 

I lost this little stitchery back in 2021 and I was sure it had been put in a box that was put up into the loft, courtesy of Scamp. Scamp used to liked to put things in boxes. I think he thought he was being helpful! As you can see the threads look rather tangled so this has all the hallmarks of Scamp. I will spend a little time this evening sorting the threads but I don't want to do any cross stitch at the moment. 

I have some new embroidery threads and fabric all ready to make a carpet for the dolls house.

At the moment I'm not quite ready for the carpet so I put this back in the cupboard. So what was left? Last year the stitching for the international month of embroidery was birdhouses. I have finished a lot of these but I have 9 to finish to complete the piece.

These won't take long to finish and are fun to stitch. I want to finish these this week as I have a plan for them. The bird houses look so pretty when they are finished. Again I have been using up left over embroidery floss to complete these stitcheries.

I'm linking this post with Kathy from Kathy's Quilts for her Slow Sunday Stitching I'm also linking with Kate from Life in Pieces for her 15 minutes to stitch link up. I've been spending most evenings doing some hand stitching and if I'm lucky I have at least one day for sewing a week. Saturday was my day and I had fun playing with my machine.

Stitching this week 7/7 days

Stitching in February 25/28 days

Stitching in March 5/5 days

Stitching in 2023 57/64 days

I've just got time to stitch one of those bird houses before bedtime.

Take care


Friday 3 March 2023

I wonder what March will bring?

February was a topsy turvy month, with warm sunny days, days of endless rain, heavy frosts, strong winds and fog. It would be nice to have some settled weather but I don't think that will happen until later in the month. On the plus side the longer hours of daylight are a real help, more time to go walking with Missy and less driving to and from work in the dark. March has three family birthdays which is always fun and John and I have a weekend away booked which will involve a trip to my favourite quilt shop. We are also planning a couple of days out. I have several sewing projects that I want to finish and several more that I want to start. I think March could be a fun month.

Last night as I was reading some of the posts from the blogs I follow I realised I hadn't posted about visits we had made or progress on my projects. I thought I'd start the month by doing a catch up post. John and I had decided that we had to have at least one day a month where we went walking, did something we have wanted to do for a while or visited somewhere. Early in February we decided our visit would be a local visit so we hopped on the underground and went into central London. We have both lived in London since the early 1970's but there are still places we haven't visited. Neither of us had ever visited Apsley House at Hyde Park Corner. As we both have freedom passes ( a perk of being older) travel on the tube is free all weekend and our English Heritage membership meant entry to the house would be free. A win win situation, cheap day out, no driving and we had good but cool weather. I took a photo of Apsley House from the Wellington memorial.

When I turned 90 degrees to my left I was able to take a photo of The Lanesborough hotel. This used to be St Georges Hospital until it moved to its present site in Tooting, south London.  John used to work at the hospital when it was at Hyde Park corner but he never made the short walk to visit Apsley House.

Aspley House was the residence of Arthur Wellesley who due to his successes as a military commander had the titles of Duke of wellington and Marquess of Douro bestowed on him in May 1814.He fought 60 battles during his military career and is looked on as the conqueror of Napoleon.  His house was popularly known as No 1 London because it was the first house people coming into London would reach after passing through the toll gate at Knightsbridge. There is no longer a toll for entering London unless you are doing so by car and you are entering either the congestion charge zone or the ultra low emission zone. The ULEZ is only payable if the vehicle exceeds the emission limits.

Photography wasn't allowed at all in the house so I have no pictures to show you. The house is home to many of the dinner services and other gifts presented to Wellington for defeating Napoleon. It also houses a large art collection. If you are in London it is well worth a visit. You can find out more about The Duke of Wellington Here. After our visit to the house we walked across the road so that we were on the island around which the Hyde Park corner traffic flows. Here there are several war memorials. The largest, the Royal Artillery Monument you can see in the photo of the Lanesborough hotel. This commemorates their loses and casualties in World War 1. The Australian War Memorial was dedicated in 2003 and is a wave like curve of green granite. It was difficult to photograph but you can read about it Here. We were headed for the Wellington memorial or Wellington Arch. My photo came out blurry so I have used one from Google.  The article was telling people about the arch.

Photo Evening Standard, taken by Luke Abrahams 13/4/2018

You are able to go into one side of the arch and also up to the top viewing platform to take photos. The lower floors were giving the story of the arch and what it has been used for since it was erected. At one time it was a very small police station. There was also a display about the Royal Artillery regiment . We spent some time reading the information before going to the art gallery at the top of the building. There was an exhibition running for a couple of months by a female artist. 

She was born in Epping UK in 1969 and received her Bachelor of Arts degree from La Sorbonne in Paris. I loved the colour and patterns in the work on display. The lighting made it a little difficult to get some good pictures but I'm happy with what I got.

Having enjoyed the artwork I went out onto the viewing platform to take some photos. The hotel and Apsley house you have already seen. This one is the best shot I could get of the back corner of the gardens at Buckingham Palace. Unfortunately this area is very wooded.

I then turned slightly to my left and took the next picture of Constitution Hill. Green Park is on the left of this picture.

John and I finished our outing by going to a cafĂ© in Hyde Park that served a very hearty, warming vegetable soup with a good chunk of crusty bread. As the weather was rather cool the soup was most welcome . We strolled for a little in the park before heading home on the tube. We enjoyed our day out.

Today is my none working day of the week. I need to take Missy to the groomers for 1 p.m. and I also have sewing on the agenda. I want to pull some fabrics for the blog hop I'm taking part in later this month. I need to cut the backing and wadding for the bag I'm making for my cutting boards and I need to set up the machine so I can get on and finish the bag. I also need to give a little thought to my goal for March. I think I'll start by making another cup of tea, then I can make some fabric choices.

Take Care