Usually we go out for lunch on a Wednesday, but yesterday I had to stay at home. I was expecting a parcel, which I was told that I would have to sign for ......... but when the parcel was delivered, I didn't need to sign, and it would have been left in the garage for me if I had gone out. Most annoying! So instead, we went out for lunch today. It was a lovely day for a drive through our wonderful countryside
we went to Pirn House, which of course means that I had the French toast with bacon and maple syrup ...... and Malcolm decided to have it to
back home, I had a potter round the garden with the camera. I don't know what has been wrong with the clematis this year. Only one of them flowered when it normally does, and we now have two flowering which should have flowered weeks ago
and this one has yet to flower
we have had a lot of bees in the garden this summer ....... this was a big fat hairy one on the herb pot this afternoon
the exceptionally warm weather of the last few days has brought out great clouds of tiny flies. We are going to have some very well-fed spiders if they eat all these little flies caught in webs all round the garden
the warm weather has also meant that the butterflies have been busy on the buddleiia
I have finished one of the two little Linus quilts - I just have a bit of the binding left to hand-stitch on the other one
this afternoon I made two sheepie cushion covers. The first one was with the fun fabric I bought last week
the second one was with the much more sophisticated fabric which Maureen gave me
and I am sure that Anna will enjoy these photos of the real thing!
to finish ....... taking scenic photos through the windscreen doesn't always go to plan - especially when your driver whizzes round a bend, and you lose your balance and lean to the side, resulting in this!
....... but also a great success! OK, let's get the failure out of the way. As you know, we had an apocalyptic, end of the world, super moon, total eclipse of the heart (oops , got carried away with the title of a Bonnie Tyler song!) I managed to wake up and stagger out into the garden at 3am on Monday (I just hope the neighbours didn't see me). But despite fiddling and twiddling with camera settings, this is the best photo that I managed - if I had been more organised, I would have had the tripod set up, and would have had a much sharper image
but then on Monday evening, we had a stunning sunset, and as my camera has a dedicated sunset setting, these photos are a lot better than the moon failure!
at this time of years, large numbers of crows congregate in the field across the road, with some of them sitting on the phone wires
then they rose in a great cloud
I was slightly concerned as they flew over me (I still get frightened when I see The Birds !!)
I don't quite know how I managed to get this effect of beating wings!
to end, another failure ........ I don't think we will be making any wine from this year's crop of grapes ..........
....... or producing our own oil from these olives, which are the size of pinheads!
...... when I had to give up yesterday? I had just shown you Kay's stunning quilt, and was going to show you more quilts - I used to hesitate about posting quilt photos, and there used to be signs up saying that photos were for personal use only, but I noticed there were no signs on Friday. I guess with so many quilters showing their quilts on blogs/Twitter/Facebook/Instagram, a few photos here won't make a big difference
these two quilts have many of the same blocks - but look how different they are, simply because of the colour choices
as always, I had my naughty but nice lunch ........ macaroni cheese and chips!
after lunch, this little quilt caught my eye
how little is it? My little finger provides the scale
of course, there weren't just quilts, there were traders! I may have bought one or two little things .......
fun fabrics for some new cushions
this spotty fabric is for the outer border for the Aunts' Quilt (with a piece of the background fabric of the blocks)
I had looked at this earlier in the day, then went back to buy it in the afternoon, as I really liked it!
I stocked up on machine needles
and who could resist bargain threads!
so, on to Saturday, when I headed to Borderland Fabrics to do a workshop with Debbie Renton. I knew we were going to make a panda wallhanging, so I was surprised that the requirements list only called for a piece of brightly coloured background fabric, and a piece of black fabric. However, all was soon revealed
all set up ready to start
the white is a freezer paper template, with the black fabric fitted into it
the template removed
the wrong side, showing the black pieces stitched in place
it was time to stop for lunch, which was included in the price of the class. There was a choice of sweet potato soup, or red pepper and tomato soup. I chose the sweet potato
there was also a very tasty selection of sandwiches
after lunch, I started quilting my panda block
then we had another break, this time for a cuppa and cake!
by the end of the afternoon, my panda was finished
to finish ........ Debbie has given me permission to share this photo of her stunning quilt "Free Spirit". She had been thinking of making the quilt, when sadly her horse died. She went home and started work on it that night ........
On arriving at the quilt show on Friday, Maureen and I were delighted to find that our very own Kay was this year's champion!
this is Kay's description of her quilt
this shows the reverse side
and this detail shows Kay's exquisite quilting
I am having terrible problems writing this post - I have even changed browsers, which usually works, but it has made no difference! So I will tell you tomorrow all about the rest of the quilt show and what I did on Saturday.
Of course as a Mum I am duty bound to embarrass Stuart on his birthday! He will be relieved to know that I have decided against showing the really embarrassing naked photos....... instead I have unearthed two photos from previous birthdays. These aren't the best of photos, as I simply took photos of the old photos, which weren't that good in the first place! This was his fifth birthday ........ and yes that is Malcolm way back when he had dark hair!
this was his eighth birthday. We had just moved to Hampshire, and he had only been at his new school for two weeks, but had already made enough friends to have a birthday party!!
As Malcolm was looking through all the treasures that Rachel gave him (she is now a Lovely Grandma!), I whisked some of them away to take photos out in the sunshine
there were lots of pieces of glass, but I was so worried that I would break them, I just picked out one pretty piece for a photo
there was also this machine, which is a grinder
Malcolm is looking forward to creating some stained glass pieces - which of course I will share with you.
do you remember some weeks ago I painted my little pie crust table? With, as usual, too many projects on the go, I hadn't done any more with it. So Malcolm stepped in the other day, when it was too wet to work in the garden
and gave it a light sand, creating a shabby chic look
he then gave it a coat of wax
he'll take the table over to the flat tomorrow, but I won't be going with him, as I am going to the Autumn Quilt Show at Ingliston tomorrow, then I'm going to a workshop at Borderland Fabrics on Saturday, so I will have to wait to see how it looks.
to finish ....... when I was out in the studio on Tuesday it was rather chilly, so today Malcolm lit my stove for the first time since the spring
This morning we set off bright and early, and soon crossed the Border
we kept seeing little flashes of autumn colours in the trees
Malcolm was slightly cross when this slow moving beastie pulled out in front of him ....... fortunately we didn't have to crawl along for too long before it turned off
there are no photos from our first destination. We were calling in at friends of Rachel (who hopefully by now is a Lovely Grandmother, as the Lovely daughter-in-law has been in labour for some time), who had very kindly brought several packages for Malcolm back to Northumberland after a recent visit to Rachel. I haven't yet taken photos, but the packages contain lots of wonderful stuff for stained glass making - Rachel had been having a clear out, and having decided that she wouldn't make more stained glass, she offered all her supplies to Malcolm, who was delighted to accept. With everything safely stowed in the car (with very careful handling of the box full of sheets of glass!) we headed to Corbridge. We had our lunch here
we both had one of the day's specials welsh rarebit. It was so good I am going to have to make it for lunch one day soon!
strolling round the town, we couldn't decide who (or which) was older, the tractor or the driver
not only were these meringues enormous, but they had delicious fillings such as lemon curd. I absolutely deny that Malcolm had to drag me away, before I bought the entire stock!!
a proper, old fashioned, greengrocer
this shop had lovely things, both inside
of course we can't visit Corbridge without a browse round our favourite shop ...... but for once I didn't buy anything - there was so many lovely things to chose from I couldn't make up my mind!
we could have spent a large amount of money in this new shop, including buying one of these wonderful shepherd's huts (but again Malcolm may have dragged me away as I got out my credit card!!!!!)
I think I have mentioned in the past that post boxes in Scotland don't have EIIR on them, as we have only had one Queen Elizabeth (the current one),unlike England, which has had two. But the main point of interest in this post box for us is the fact that it was made in Falkirk, where we lived in the 90s (before we went to Indonesia)
when I saw this sign, I wondered if it was the Methodist or the chapel who was primitive!
back at the car park, there was a lovely display of sunflowers
on the way home there was more frustration, stuck behind large vehicles
so we had to pop in for a delicious cheese scone to recover!
whenever we pass this cafe, with its very large sign, I want to open a cafe a hundred yards along the road with a larger sign saying "oh no you're not!"
as we began the long climb up to the border, the mist came down from the hills
but cleared in time to capture the moment we crossed back into Scotland!
just look at the rich, red, newly ploughed earth!
to finish - when we got home, there was one of those annoying cards from the postman. But fortunately it told us where he had hidden the parcel in the front garden, so we wouldn't have to trail into Hawick tomorrow to pick it up
so what was in the parcel ........ just a little taste of heaven! We love these Australian biscuits, so I was delighted to track down an Australian shop in London which sells them online. But as the postage was almost as much as the biscuits, this is a very special treat! The big question is - will I hide them away and eat them all myself, or will I share them with Malcolm and Stuart, who really likes them too??!
......... aka the four fat quarter quilt, came about way back in 2002, when the aunt and uncle of someone I knew announced that they were adopting a little girl from China. There was much discussion as to what they would call their new daughter, and the brother-in-law of the aunt came up with the worst ever suggestion. As Chinese people are very good at playing table tennis, he said, I think you should call her Ping Pong. Of course his suggestion was vetoed, but somehow the name stuck to the quilt!
obeying my pattern, I cut the strips
then stitched them together
the strips were then cut into 81/2" squares, and I arranged the first blocks on the design wall
having read through the pattern, I realised that I should add in a bit to say that when you lay your fat quarters out for cutting, you should have the selvedges on your right. If you have them at the top or bottom, you won't be able to cut your 8x21/2" strips (yes, I know because I made that mistake once!) It's a very easy quilt to make, and if you want a bigger quilt, simply add a border.
the bird bath is in frequent use - Malcolm had just refilled it this afternoon when Mrs Blackbird appeared and had a good splash
the robin has been appearing every day just as it starts to get dark
Malcolm stuck his head in the studio door this afternoon to let me know that there were some butterflies on the buddleia
but this one preferred the wall
to finish, a sad tale! Way back in 2009, I made this cushion for Malcolm
when Anna was here, we were looking at it, and I saw that it was looking a bit neglected, so yesterday I washed it. But when I went to give it a gentle press - oh dear, it has frayed and holey bits!
so that's yet another project on the to-do list, a new cushion for Malcolm!
On Saturday morning, Malcolm headed off to Berwick, and I loaded up the car with my sewing stuff and headed for Kelso. I had already made the two quilt tops, and had layered them ready for quilting (I'll tell you about making them tomorrow), so it didn't take long to get the machine set up, ready to quilt the first one
by lunchtime the first one was done - yes, I used my favourite big loopy meander!
then I quilted the second one in the afternoon
they both look like this on the back ..... cosy, cuddly deep pink fleece
I demanded insisted asked nicely ........ but Yvonne wouldn't give me her seaside themed quilt. Wouldn't it just look wonderful in the flat!
Lorraine had another of her stunning hexagon quilts
Tricia was working on a fun quilt for Linus
you can see the blocks have owls on them ....... but did you see that the sashing has pussycats?
Sandra was adding borders to the quilt which will be raffled at next year's Exhibition ....... you are only allowed a sneak peek!
of course you know that we can't spent a day sewing without sustenance! Having had a piece of Rineke's delicious Canadian apple cake
it would have been rude not to have a piece of Tricia's equally delicious cinnamon and pecan cake
to finish ..... when I was doing the food shopping his morning, I could see the supermarket's security guard casting a beady eye in my direction, as I rooted about in the bottom of my bag. But I wan't trying to hide something I had acquired illegally, I was looking for my camera, so that I could share this with you. Yes, it's still slightly more than three months to Christmas, but they had Christmas cakes, mince pies and puddings for sale ........ ridiculous!!