Blog Archive

Catching Up

Hello again!

I don't know about you but just lately my mind has been full of nothing in particular and I have felt the need to hunker down and nest, reflect and just be. The ebbing and flowing of the Virus confused my brain, and I felt happiest doing my limited amount of going out, but otherwise, staying home felt right.

I've been in my sewing room a lot, I've sorted out my wardrobe and organised the kitchen.  That was satisfying.  

We had my husband's family here for a few days, following all current restrictions, and that was lovely.  They are my step grandchildren and I had great fun with them on a picnic, and a woodland adventure playground.  We went to a favourite place of ours called Bolton Abbey.  Nowhere near Bolton, but rather part of the wider estate of the Cavendish family of Chatsworth House fame.  We had a lovely time!

We also were treated to my darling daughter and her fiancé staying here, which was a delight! Lots of time to potter and chat and eat and walk (not at the same time!)  It was a delightful week and I loved every second.

I mentioned time in my sewing room and here are a few things I have made:

Another Miette skirt ("another??!!" I hear you exclaim) from Tilly and the Buttons, this time in a brushed cotton, just in time for autumn.

A cosy long 'Agnes' sleeved t-shirt,  again from Tilly and the Buttons, in a cotton lycra fabric.  Aren't the little anchors cute?

A short sleeved and a long sleeved Agnes in a butter soft stretch cotton. Here is the short sleeved one, but the long sleeved one is in the wash!  I love the fact you can vary this pattern in several ways to make it look different.

I've also been knitting and finished 3 pairs of socks - a 4 ply pair for my husband (he's wearing those today!) and this DK pair for myself.  I used Winwick Mum's great tutorial as a starting point, adapting them to knee high by using my own recipe here.  They are warm and cosy and will be perfect in my walking boots on chilly days. I made a semi matching pair for my husband, hence the plain cuff on mine so we could quickly tell them apart.  Clever, eh?

Hopefully we will have a wedding to celebrate next year, virus permitting, and not only do I have the enormous privilege of making my daughter's wedding dress, I am also making her fiancé's bow tie.  I made one as a prototype, and he's pleased with it, so that's good!  You'll notice a dog collar in the same photo, which I hasten to say is not for him, but for Daisy Dog!  I recently met one of my daughter's best friends, who is enjoying learning to sew, and has mastered dog collars for their new puppy. She made one for Daisy and it is fabulous!  Really soft, looks comfortable, and is completely washable.  They look so professional and neat that I asked her for instructions on how to make them, which she shared with me, and I made one for Daisy to match the bow tie, just because I could!  There are loads of tutorials as well on Pinterest, and I bought the hardware from a great online shop called Petsbits. I can see Daisy having a whole wardrobe of collars.

I promise not to leave it nearly so long next time before coming back for a bit of a chat.

Stay safe, be well, and take good care,

Donna x 

Venturing Out

Hello Friends,

As always, I hope this finds you safe and well, wherever you are in the world.

Life jogs along well here.  Lots of time in my sewing room, and the garden when it's not raining!  

As a family, we've been reluctant to go 'out out' unless it's been necessary, but dipped our toe in the water of venturing further afield recently.  Last week we went to see my daughter and her fiancé in London, which was absolutely brilliant!  We drove down to avoid using public transport, taking with us a picnic and flask of tea for the journey!  Oh what a wonderful reunion we had with them.  As is the case for families all across the world, the parting for so long has been hard, but the coming back together again oh so sweet.

As we had the car we took a trip to Epping Forest, for a walk and a picnic lunch.  It was so lovely flopping on the warm ground for a picnic and a chat.  Why does food always taste even nicer out of doors?

We also went into the West End to do a little bit of shopping and I can honestly say I have never seen Regent Street and Oxford Street so quiet, well, not since I was a child growing up in London! We managed to get everything we needed in a short space of time then went to meet my daughter's friends and their puppy in a local park.  Daisy enjoyed playing 'chase' with her new friend, and we had a good chat and lots of laughter at the dogs' antics.

Once we were back at home, feeling ever braver, my husband and I went shopping for the first time, other than for food.  I felt quite giddy with the excitement at seeing lovely, and rather tempting, things again!  I decided to treat myself to a very pretty breakfast cup and saucer, milk jug and tray. So delicate and fun and don't the puffins and penguins just make you smile?

Two of my dear friends and I have swapped out regular cafe meet ups for long walks with a picnic and I am really enjoying it!  We live in such a beautiful part of the world and are quite spoilt for choice for places to walk from our doorsteps.  This is one of my favourite walks, up on the hills overlooking the beautiful Ribble Valley, feeling like I'm sitting on the top of the world!  

My husband and I have started to be more adventurous where we walk Daisy too, and pack up the mini flask, water, and our Ordnance Survey app, and go off exploring.  Really special.

The River Ribble

On the banks of the River Ribble

Ribble Valley

This pandemic has made us all a bit inventive, and I am pleased over the past few weeks to have spent happy hours with friends in parks, gardens, and even sat on driveways!  Going without things has been OK, but not seeing those we love, not so good.  How truly wonderful it is to reaffirm those relationships and see the smile of a friend, or hear their laughter in real life.  Priceless.

Stay safe,

Donna x 

A Quilted Wallhanging

Hello friends,

Well, I promised last time I would be back to show you my finished quilted wallhanging and here I am!  This has been my main Lockdown Quilting Project, and it kept me sane really, as I lay in bed when I couldn't sleep and plan the fabrics for the next 'house'. My daughter, who I haven't seen for months and miss like crazy, bought the pattern for me and it made me think of her as I stitched away.  The pattern is a digital machine design by Anita Goodesign.  The fabrics were all leftovers from other projects.

Here it is...

The pattern is called "The Village" and the blocks are modular, so I picked my favourites to stitch and laid them out on the bed to decide the layout and colours as I went along. 

We have hung it on wall in my daughter's bedroom here (we still call it her room despite the fact she lives in London!)  It is visible whilst climbing the stairs and I enjoy seeing it every time.  It's over a metre wide, so makes quite a statement!

I'm now back making blocks for my daughter and her fiance's wedding quilt.  I am incorporating Liberty Fabrics into it, (her favourites), and had tried out various blocks, which I then decided not to use as they were too 'busy' and I am going for a more calm, understated look, to match the decor in their home.  Never wanting to waste anything I made them into a mini sofa quilt for Daisy Dog (who isn't allowed to lie directly on the furniture).  She absolutely loves it (despite her face in this photo!) so much so I am making some more blocks, in between wedding blocks, to make a mini sofa quilt for the other room!

Stay safe, until next time,

Donna x