Saturday, 1 August 2020

A Picture for Sunday - Evening Light


How I wish photographs could convey smells.  Not only was the evening sunlight magical, but there was also the scent of camomile and pineapple weed in the air.

Friday, 31 July 2020

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 291 - Woven Effect Knitting


This stitch is one of my latest discoveries in knitting - a lovely diagonal woven effect, and an uncharacteristically non-stretchy texture.  I am making a second baby blanket - the scallop patterned one is all but finished, but being impatient to try out a new technique, I started another.  As a result I now have a pile of very nearly finished projects, which means I could finish them with a quick concerted effort and get back to sewing again.  The good news is that we are expecting the carpet fitters next Thursday, so we can sort out the dining room, and then I can have my sewing room back!

Roll on next Thursday!





Here goes for Week 291:-


Many thanks to my co-host Andrée for linking up last week with here lovely stitched chives.  If you haven't seen her blog post yet, nip over now and see more.


If you have no free motion quilting to show, feel free to link up and show any project you like.  Here are the usual rules, but feel free to ignore them.  To keep the original emphasis, however, preference will be given to free motion quilting when featuring projects from the previous week.

If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.

Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.

Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post.

3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for five days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Tuesday.

So far quilters from the USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, France, Macau, Russia, Ireland, Brazil and Sweden have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.

Saturday, 25 July 2020

Summer Marmalades


Real lime marmalade is golden yellow - it's official!

To take a break from knitting I have made some summer marmalade, using anything but oranges, because Seville oranges are only available early in the new year.

The dark red one the left is grapefruit and red gooseberry.  Finally I have found the ideal use for the gooseberries I grow at the allotment.  I was thinking of digging out the gooseberry bush, but the flavour of this marmalade is so good that the bush has had a reprieve.  This batch has turned out a bit runny for my liking, a bit too much like French jam, but having discovered a great taste, I am going to have to work on the recipe.

On the right is grapefruit and plum, made with plums from a tree in the garden outside my husband's work.  I haven't quite made my mind up about the flavour yet.  Perhaps it needs to mature in the jar for a few days.

As for the one in the middle, I'm borderline ecstatic.  It is a combination of lime and kiwi fruit.  The fruit took hours to prepare, because limes have thin, hard skin so the shreds are an awful fuss, and all the kiwi seeds needed to be cut out to prevent the marmalade taking on the appearance of frog spawn.  During cooking the limes change to a sludgy pond weed colour and look as appetising as cabbage soup.  The magic happens after the sugar is added and the temperature is raised to reach setting point.  The colour is gorgeous, showing how the bright green stuff in the shops is full of colouring.  As for the taste, it was just what I was aiming for.

Now I have to see if I can master lemons.  They have never lived up to my expectations.  

Sunday, 19 July 2020

A Picture for Sunday - In the Corner of a Field


A perfect place to sit and enjoy the clouds.  I spent a happy half hour sitting on the ground among the flowers this afternoon.  There were swifts soaring overhead, greenfinches chattering in the hedge, and not a single ant tried to crawl up my trousers.  A rare treat indeed. 

Saturday, 18 July 2020

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 289 - Shopping for Buttons


Expeditions to the shops these days are like journeys into a strange cinematic version of your own country.  It is all too weird.  So forgive me for getting excited about buttons.  The shop I usually go to turned itself into Maskland weeks ago, so yesterday I went further afield to a different shop and stocked up on buttons for unfinished and not-yet-started projects.

Rather than make a final decision in the shop, I came home with two options for the little cardigan I finished in May.  Do I opt for the little pale pink portholes with transparent centres...



...or the spotty ones?  I'm torn.

Either way, it looks as though it is still going to be some weeks before the sewing room is reinstated.  We need to get a new carpet now that the dining room has been redecorated after the ceiling collapse.  The local carpet fitters (very quick, very good) are doing an appointments only system for their showroom.  I would rather just wait until life returns to normal, but that's what I said weeks ago about buttons.  In the meantime, I shall carry on knitting, learning new techniques, and pining for my sewing machines while they lie idle under all the piles of stuff stacked in the sewing room.

In all the confusion - yes, I'm getting old - I have completely lost track of time and didn't realise that this was my week for the linky.  Thank you to Andrée for reminding me!  Not only have I lost track of the week, I am just coming to terms that today is Saturday and not Friday.  Oh dear.  

Many thanks to everyone who linked up last time, it was a good turn out!  This week I shall keep the linky open until Wednesday to make up for the late start.



Here goes for Week 289:-


This week's featured project is Chris's UFO transformed into a lovely mini quilt.  If you haven't seen her blog post yet, nip over now and see more.

75E8565B-B5D7-4EA0-9DC9-83D52827A9D1

If you have no free motion quilting to show, feel free to link up and show any project you like.  Here are the usual rules, but feel free to ignore them.  To keep the original emphasis, however, preference will be given to free motion quilting when featuring projects from the previous week.

If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.

Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.

Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post.

3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for five days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Tuesday.

So far quilters from the USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, France, Macau, Russia, Ireland, Brazil and Sweden have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.




Wednesday, 8 July 2020

A Birthday Box


Now and again I find an absolute gem in a charity shop.  A few years ago I found this marquetry panel, thinking my husband could make something with it.  At that stage he must have had his head full of other projects, so it has just been lying about the house waiting for its day to come.


Whether the original maker made it as a practice piece, or the beginning of something that was never finished, we shall never know, but at least we know his initials, which are etched in the centre.  Are they EK or KE?


It is a shame I can't ask EK or KE why he put the prettier of the two roses upside down at the bottom, and I would dearly love to rearrange some of the pieces for better contrast.  Perhaps that goes to show that it was indeed a practice piece.

Now all EK's hard work has been put to good use as a box lid.  My husband has made a box for my threads, and had it finished in time for my birthday last Sunday.


I had a happy afternoon sorting out my threads, and here they are, all neatly arranged.  The top two layers are in made to measure removeable trays.  Blues and greens are in the first tray...


... reds, yellows and browns in the second tray...


... and everything else just squeezed into the bottom layer.

Apart from a few large reels which are too big for the trays, and some synthetic threads that I only use for tacking, I managed to fit almost all the threads I have into the new box.

Truly one of my best presents ever!  My husband is a star.  And a special vote of thanks to EK or KE, wherever he may be.

Thursday, 2 July 2020

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 287 - Still Knitting




One of my current projects nearing completion is this little round necked cardigan for a baby boy.  The scrappy bit from the toe of an old stocking is saving a stitch, a little trick which should be item 47 for a book I have always been tempted to write,101 Uses of Old Tights.

At the moment the cardigan is in a state of animated suspension, because ideally I would like to make a shopping trip to buy buttons, but with the present regime of only four persons in the shop at once and compulsory masks, I would rather wait until things return to normal.



This is the first time I have used grey on an item for a baby.  It tones in well because there is an occasional streak of bluish grey in the random blue yarn.  My husband was especially taken with these colours, but I have made it clear to him that I shall not be knitting one in his size.







Here goes for Week 287:-

This week's featured project is Vasudha's Centred Quilt.  If you haven't seen her blog post yet, nip over now and see more.


If you have no free motion quilting to show, feel free to link up and show any project you like.  Here are the usual rules, but feel free to ignore them.  To keep the original emphasis, however, preference will be given to free motion quilting when featuring projects from the previous week.

If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.

Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.

Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project, whether it is a work in progress or a finish.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post.

3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for five days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Tuesday.

So far quilters from the USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, France, Macau, Russia, Ireland, Brazil and Sweden have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week.

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