Photo Scavenger Hunt – May

Before I leave for Spain next week I though that I would post my pics for this month.A lot of these were taken on the way to or from work, on my visits to see my students – I hope that you enjoy them!

Emergency Vehicle

This along with a couple of police cars was outside Birmingham New Street railway station last week when Ellie and I were travelling back.

ambulance 2

Black and White Portrait

Taken in the window of the place where I had my photos developed, what a cute baby!

b and w portrait


Spotted this fabric at the last Quilt Day that fitted this category very well.



Taken outside Accrington railway station one sunny day (I do spend a lot of my life at railway stations!)

bike 2


This pic was taken that same day – like the contrast between the in and out of focus flowers.


Sign of the Zodiac

I was trying to be  bit creative with this – here is the Bull pub in Nelson, Lancashire.



So many pics to choose from for this – I eventually went with one taken last weekend at the Tudor House where Ellen works, Greyfriars in Worcester, this is part of the garden.


Think Vintage

Was not sure what to snap for this then saw this very cute dress in a shop window, I love retro fashions!

think vintage

Interesting Local Building

This is a very significant building to Huddersfield and to me. It is the oldest building on the University campus where I work – dating from the late 1800s. It is called the Ramsden Building and is where I studied as an undergraduate 28 years ago.

Ramsden building


Back to the railway station again for this – a rainy day in Yorkshire ( as opposed to a rainy night in Georgia!).


Red  Door

The thing I really like about the Scavenger Hunt is the way it makes you really look at things around you. I was thinking ‘where can I get a pic of a red door’ – well turns out next door neighbour but one has a red front door and here it is!

red front door

Cartoon Character

I am a huge Disney fan – the kids and I have been to Disneyland 5 times (4 trips to Euro Disney and 1 trip to Florida and loved every visit) – this is one of my souvenir soaps with the original cartoon character – the mouse that started it all – Mickey (who I have met on several occasions!)


Hope that you have had a good week – if you want to look at all of the other Scavenger pics then go to Kathy’s blog.

See you all when I return!

Thanks for visiting.

It’s not just for me you understand……

By that I mean  the large amount of fabric I am about to show you which was purchased at the Malvern Quilt Festival is destined to be used for lots of different gifts and sales items for my Xmas craft fairs so I do not in any way consider that I spent too much money, bought too much fabric or overindulged at all 🙂 I actually think I was very restrained as there was so much more I could have bought had I gone wild and just bought fabric with gay abandon rather than for the specific purposes I had on my list. In fact there was virtually no impulse buying at all apart from some very good bargains.

I am planning to make quilts as presents for the youngest family members this summer, play/cuddle quilts are what I had in mind made with two really lovely ranges from Makower. Firstly the very cute farm animals prints.

Makower farm fabric

Then the Makower pirate range – and I found some fab pirate and sea creature buttons to go on the quilt as well!

pirate fabric

pirate buttons

Both of these fabric sets were on my shopping list and we had already been round all the traders once without seeing them as I was looking for bolts of the fabric when we went round again and found them at the very helpful Cookes Quilting Supplies stall. I have looked on their website before but wanted to actually see the fabric and they were very good at searching out missing coordinating fabrics for me.

I also got some really nice new Xmas patterns for making ornies – look at all these lovelies – all from Goose Chase Quilting who I had not come across before.

Xmas fabric 3Xmas fabric 2

Xmas fabric 4

Along with some very cute Xmas buttons – there are little cookie cutters and gingerbread men in these packs! All these and previous pirate buttons are from Out of Africa suppliers.

Xmas buttons

Ellie also bought some lovely things – some flannel to make a lap quilt and jelly roll to make a duvet cover so she is going to have a busy summer sewing!

As well as the planned stuff there were a couple of impulse bargains –

These cute dinosaur labels £1 for 10 which I thought would make a lovely charity quilt for the hospice so I bought 3 packs.

dinosaur fabric

And a lovely Robert Kaufman fat quarter – I think this is called Holiday Flourish with some more of the fabric I have just used up in my throw.

Xmas fabric 1

I finished the border on the throw last weekend and made the spare panel and another set I cut out into  cushions covers, you can see them in the pictures below – now I have the batting I can put these together and I have also bought a darning foot for my machine so I will be trying out some free motion quilting on these!

Stained glass quilt with border

stained glass cushions

I took lots of pics of the wonderful quilts at the show so will have to sort out some of my favourite to post here later. I thought I would just leave you with a few shots of Malvern railway station – again like Hebden Bridge last week a lovely old station with some fantastic ironwork.

Malvern Station 1

Malvern Station 2

Malvern Station 3

Malvern Station 4

I will try to post again mid-week as we will be away all next weekend – we have a Bank Holiday re-enactment show at Ashby de La Zouche Castle  in Leicestershire so if you are in the area on Sunday or Monday do come along,  it would be lovely to see you.

I hope you all have a lovely week ahead and thanks as always for visiting.

Never too early for Xmas crafting!

Hope everyone has had a nice week. I have been getting on well with my Xmas ornie targets for this year – I am aiming to make one new ornie for me a month as well as the usual present ornies and stock for at least one Xmas craft fair. So I will be starting that stock as soon as term finishes at the end of May and I have a bit more time.

So far for me I have finished three JBW stockings (plus a blue one to hang on the conservatory door) and this week completed the JBW Xmas pudding ornie and another one which is taken from a bigger design using blackwork of ivy leaves from one of my old New Stitches magazines. I have made the ivy leaf ornie before for my Project Nepal fundraising but want to re-make a lot of past ornies just for me and this was my demo piece at last week’s WI craft bee. They are both backed with some nice holly fabric from my stash and the pudding one has a great stocking ribbon that I got at the Harrogate show last year.

Xmas ivy ornie

                        Xmas ivy ornie 2

Xmas pud ornie

Xmas pud ornie 2

Xmas pud ornie ribbon

I am now working on a JBW tree ornie for me. I have put together all of the blocks for my stained glass window Xmas fabric throw with the sashing and this afternoon will do the border which is pieced from all the Xmas fabric used and the backing. Hopefully that will be finished this afternoon as I have been very good and got up early to do the housework and spring clean the cellar!

stained glass window quilt top

I am very pleased with the way that it has turned out – I did have a bit of a challenge with the outer sashing as I discovered that the bottom row of blocks were quite a bit smaller than the top row (my inaccurate cutting!) so I had to stretch that row to make it fit but it turned out ok. With the left over block I am going to make a cushion in the same style and have cut out single pieces for a matching cushion. I have also got lots of odd rectangles from cutting the border so thought I would make a small runner for the coffee table so that my room can be very co-ordinated this Xmas.

We had a bit of a show and tell of all the different blocks on Monday at Quilt Group. This is a pic of Davina’s blocks that I took at the workshop which just shows how different the choice of fabric and sashing colour can make the quilt look.

May - Davina's quilt blocks

If you go and visit Davina’s blog  you can see the pic she took of the original stained glass pattern with solids and black sashing.

I have had a very nice week, very busy at work but I have had a few trips out to visit my students which is always lovely. On Monday I went ‘over the border’ to Nelson in Lancashire. It was a  lovely train journey through very beautiful countryside, this is a very historic area  full of beautiful hills and moors and lots of industrial heritage – mainly dating from the Victorian era when all the mills were built.  Here are a few pics to share with you – the first two are taken at  Hebden Bridge station, then there is a view of the hills from the train and the flower was near the college I was visiting.

Hebden station

Hebden clock

Hebden view

Hebden flower

I hope you have all a nice week ahead. I am very much looking forward to next week as I am going down to visit Ellie in Worcester and we are going to the Malvern Quilt Show ! There may well be some additions to the stash (it would be a shame if there weren’t!) and then I am helping Ellie bring all her stuff back up as she is coming here for the summer this year which is lovely as we can do lots of crafting together.

Thanks for visiting.

A Lovely Week!

Hello again

Hope you have been having a very nice week. I have –  filled with lots of lovely crafting and fun with other people while doing it. I only started crafting socially (as in joining groups) about 4 years ago when I joined the Embroiderers’ Guild but now the kids have grown up and I have a lot more free time for me it forms a large part of my social life and I love it! It is so nice seeing what other people are working on and getting advice when you get stuck and having a good laugh (and usually some cake!) while you are at it. This week was a very nice one as I went to two knitting groups, did one session at WI and spent all day yesterday at a Quilt Workshop run by Christine from my quilt group.

First of all though my Spring Exchange for the Seasonal Exchange blog  has arrived in the USA so I can show you pics of that.When I was given my partner Lisa’s name I went to look on her blog to see what sort of things she liked making and I saw that she had made this as an exchange piece for her to send off and she mentioned that she liked it so much that she would want to make one for herself in the future so I thought this would be perfect and luckily she is pleased with it.

Spring bird ornie 1

The design is called Friendship Bird Floss Ring and is from the Jan/Feb issue of Gift of Stitching magazine. It is stitched on evenweave with thread from The Silk Mill. It is the first time I have used the little pearl thread rings which I got from Sew and So.
I have seen on a few people’s blog pics of their smaller stitched items photographed outside on bushes so I thought since this is a bird it would be nice for him to be in a tree so here he is in my garden!
Spring bird ornie 2

Knitting progress with the pink baby cardi is slow but steady – not helped by the fact that I keep forgetting to do eyelet rows while I am decreasing so I have had to take back quite a few rows!

I have also almost finished my latest Xmas ornie and made a start on another this week as a demo piece for my WI meeting. I have recently joined my local branch of the Women’s Institute which meets monthly with a variety of activities on the programme. This month it was a Craft Bee and I was asked if I would like to demo something so I chose blackwork which turned out to be  good choice as no-one had heard of if. There were quite a few cross stitchers who came to my table but some people who had never tried crafts before so we had a fun evening. The pics below show my demo table and a couple of the pieces that beginners did. I used patterns from the Blackwork Archives  for the beginners as there are some very good simple designs there that you can download.

WI Blackwork 1

WI Blackwork 2

WI Blackwork 3

The quilt workshop I went to was based on a design called Stained Glass Windows. I forgot to get a picture of the original quilt that Christine had made as a demo but it was made from bold plain colours with black sashing to give the effect of stained glass. We had been asked to bring any fabric from our stash and as I have rather a lot of Xmas fabric (ahem!) rather than buying anything new I decided I would use the workshop to make an Xmas version of the sofa throw WIP.

The quilt design seemed quite complex to start off with (especially for me as I am a little spatially challenged!) as you layer seven 10 inch squares of fabric and cut them all at once into seven different sized rectangles, then you lay them out so that each block has one of each of the seven colours.

You can make any size of quilt by cutting extra sets of seven fabrics. I will probably only use 6 of my 7 blocks for the throw – I may cut out pieces for another block to make 8 blocks once I see how big the 6 are (am hoping to get some more quilting done this afternoon in between hedge cutting and other domestic duties!) Here are the three I got finished yesterday, I decided to use green sashing rather than black as I thought it looked more festive. 

May quilt 1

I am very pleased with them as it is the first time I have done a sashed block and it wasn’t as hard as I thought. I had lots of help from the others and it was very nice to see all the different colour combinations that people chose and how they turned out.

In cake news this week I have been experimenting with my recipe and have made a different flavour – vanilla with a hint of ginger (Jake approves!) – here are the strawberry and chocolate star topped versions I made for quilt workshop.

May cupcakes

Lastly I will leave you with some pics of my neighbours’ very cute cat, Henry, who was climbing in the clematis this week and very kindly posed for me. We don’t have any pets any more – all having died of old age –  but Henry comes round a lot and is very friendly.

Henry 2

Henry 1

I just love that last pic – so cute!

Well I hope that you have a lovely week ahead – I am going to be super busy as I am out every night, all social and crafting which is lovely. Thanks as always for visiting and for all the lovely comments! I especially welcome all those new people who have visited through the photo scavenger hunt

Photo Scavenger Hunt – April

Once again I had great fun with these – trying to interpret some of them in different ways. Most of them were taken on my recent trip to Spain. Hope you like them!

A church

This pic was taken from the boat when we went on our trip to the island of Tabarca and shows the old church which is being restored. I love the contrast of colours between the blue sea and the stones of the buildings.

A cross

Again from Tabarca, this is taken outside the church and is the cross from the top of an old well. I really like this pic – think it is one for printing off and framing.

A sculpture

I did see lots of nice sculptures in Spain as they love public art but then came across this on the beach so thought it was a good one for this category.

A set of keys

I wanted something interesting for this as all my personal keys are very boring them I came across this advert for a cross stitch picture which I think is wonderful so I am using this. The kit is called  Keys to the Kingdom from Rosewood Manor Designs and I am using this pic from their website as I have not got around to ordering this yet. I am going to stitch bits of it as greetings cards – I thought they would be lovely for 18th and 21st cards.

An interesting shop name

Not only an interesting shop name but a very lovely shop. This is my LYS in Huddersfield where I go as much as I can for Knit and Natter!

April showers

Back to Tabarca for this one which is interpreted a bit differently. Most of the beaches in Spain have showers where you can rinse yourself off after your stay. Some are just for feet but this is a full size one. So here you have a pic of a shower taken in April!


I have posted pics of breakfast before on my blog and I now I get to do it again without seeming strange. This is my all time fave brekkie which I have for special occasions – scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and bagel – yum yum! I like the way my chilli sauce has formed a heart shape – breakfast with love!


Jake found these in a supermarket in Spain – we were there just before Easter so I guess it must be a Spanish tradition. I was going to use them for scrambled eggs then I thought  ‘ I wonder what huevos cocidas actually means? ‘,  looking at the label – it means boiled eggs so we had them for picnics instead!

Something to do with Shakespeare

This pic was actually taken in March as we went to Stratford for Ellie’s birthday but I thought the fact that we had actually been to Shakespeare’s birthplace was too good to miss. No pics allowed inside so here is a shot of the house.

Something to do with St George’s Day

Again a great one for me as we did a three-day show at Bolsover to celebrate this the other week. My pic of choice from that is a shot of William de Bohun’s beautifully decorated helm resting on its stand after our show. De Bohun himself was looking a little hot after fighting in full armour in very high temperatures!

Something yellow

Again from Spain, these pretty flowers grow wild everywhere, they are all over the beaches and any uncultivated area. I don’t know their proper names, they have very thick fleshy leaves to conserve water and come in pink versions as well.

My camera

Pic taken using mirror in good old blog tradition! My trusty little camera – on its last legs but still taking some lovely pics – what would my blog be without it! It is a Fuji A850, about 2 years old.

ThimbleAnna’s pics can be found here – she’s got a good one for keys and the lists and links to other’s collections are at Kathy’s blog if you want to join in.

Thanks for visiting – see you for more craft updates soon!

Little stash, big ideas

Hello there

I have been having a very lovely week and I do hope you have too. It has been absolutely glorious weather, I have spent lots of time in the garden, doing both boring practical things like cutting the hedge ;-( and nice stuff like having a bbq and enjoying my flowers. My garden has really matured this year , the clematis is about 3 times the size it was last year and everything is looking very lovely so please indulge me while I show you a few pics.

clematis - may

garden may 1

garden may 2

Quite a lot has been going on indoors as well though this has been a relatively quiet week for me (like most of the population here in the UK) with only 3 work days and lots of lovely holiday. I celebrated the Royal Wedding by having a few friends round for cupcakes and Cava during the ceremony and a little buffet lunch afterwards. I thought Kate’s dress was absolutely stunning – just perfect for her. Will not post pics of that as apparently a third of the world’s population watched the wedding so I’m sure you will have  seen it! However here are my cupcakes that I made for the do – the first chance I have had to use my cake stand!

wedding cupcakes and cava

On the crafting front I have been working on my pink Sublime baby cardi and my JBW Plum Pudding Xmas ornie – the latter is nearly finished. I also have started a new quilting WIP. I said a while ago that I wanted to organise my quilt fabric stash in a similar way to how I have seen other people sort things on their blogs so bought some plastic storage boxes and was surprised to find that I actually have very little quilt fabric (lots of other types of fabric but that is another story!) This is it basically.

stash - may

Pretty poor isn’t it compared to some of the big names out there in the quilting world? However I am planning trips to the Malvern Quilt Show at the end of May and the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham in August so will have a chance to add to the stash. Sorting it all out did give me a chance to mull over a project I have had in mind for a while which is a small throw for the back of one of my sofas in the lounge. It is a brown leather sofa which is quite plain and since I have lots of lovely medieval style fabrics I thought I would make a start on cutting out some squares which I did this afternoon.

sofa quilt wip

This is not the final layout just a bit of a working plan, I am thinking about a large central square of one of the dark red fabrics with gold silk sashing and then strips of all the other squares with red silk sashing in between each square. No time limit for this piece just something to pick up as and when I get time – things are about to get very hectic round here with term starting again and all my re-enactment and other things.

I have finished my Spring Exchange piece for the Seasonal Exchange with a whole 3 days to spare  and that has been sent to the USA this week so will post pics of that once it has been received. I got mine from Lisa  last week when I got back from holiday so here are the pics of it. Please do go and visit her blog as she has loads of lovely stitching on it.

Spring Ornie exchange - front

Spring Ornie exchange - back

It is very lovely, the finish is so neat with lots of really even blanket stitch and I love the backing fabric as well. It is hanging on my patio doors with last year’s seasonal exchange Spring ornie making me feel very happy – I do love this season camping, bbqs just being able to be outdoors lots – fabulous!!!

Finally Elmsley Rose asked me in comment a while ago what my header pic was – it is part of a crewel work picture I bought from E-Bay about 4 years ago, unfortunately no info came with it about date or maker but I did promise that I would take a pic of the full thing so here it is. It is not a brilliant pic as it is framed with glass so there are some reflections but I really like this piece – it hangs in my hallway.

hall crewel embroidery

Well I will love you and leave you and hope that you have a very good week ahead. I am looking forward to a quilting workshop next Saturday and as much crafting as I can squeeze into my tight schedule!

Bye for now and thank you for visiting.