Monday, 24 November 2014

Farfield Mill, Sedburgh

While we were in the Lake District we met up with Chris, (pearshapedcrafter) and her DH who so kindly took us to Farfield Mill in Sedburgh. 
They drove us through all the little country lanes, through beautiful Cumbrian countryside we had never before travelled. We saw a huge rainbow, so intense in colours, and we could clearly see both ends in fields at opposite sides of the road. We were disappointed we couldn't manage to stop to photograph such an amazing sight or venture to find that legendary crock of gold.
Many thanks to Chris and Tony as this was a fabulous day out. 
The old water mill has four floors of quality crafts and materials, to see and to buy, with exhibitions and demonstrations too. We had a really good crafty natter whilst exploring and the DHs sat in the bookshop on a big comfy sofa and did a bit of man nattering before we went into the cafe for an excellent lunch. A place well worth visiting if ever you are in the area. 
Check out the link above.

The Technicolour Dreamcoat 
One of the wonderful projects on display, overflowing with the dreams of hundreds of children.

You can appreciate the scale of the coat as we stand next to it.
There were lots of crafts to try and I loved this giant sized French Knitting frame.

The results......
Chris, clutching some of her crafty purchases, and watching a weaver set up a loom.
Super hand made items for sale, beautifully displayed
I wondered if this sheep, Baabra, was knitting up wool from one of her family?
whilst her DH is on the pc!
Thanks again to Chris and Tony for such a great day out.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Elf Clogs & Angel Decorations

Just back from a most enjoyable few days in the Lake District, where we stayed in a super log cabin. 
We had perfect weather and, after days out visiting many of the lovely places, I managed quite a bit of crafting.
I'm sure you know the story of the Elf and the Shoemaker ......well I'm sorry to disappoint you, these little elf clogs did not appear in the morning by magic. 
I made them!!!
I found the pattern on pinterest but I reduced the size to make them cuter. They are so easy to make from felt and can be blanket stitched or simply just over stitched.
The little tag says, "Somewhere a tiny elf has lost a shoe" but it would have to be "Somewhere a tiny elf has lost his shoes" if you display a pair.
Bells or bobbles, added as trims, make them extra special.
Some are going to be posted off to my family in Brighton and Germany and will have little chocolate treats popped inside before they go on their Christmas trees.
You can judge the size by this collection which is in an A4 box.
I also found these little angels on pinterest. 
Also easy to make, from lined circles of fabric cleverly folded to make the angel's robes with a felt heart shape for the wings. Different colours, fabrics, ribbons and trims give them character.
To find the patterns on pinterest search "patchwork angels" and "elf clogs" and you will see lots of pins come up.
All the spare ones will go to my grandchildren's schools as fundraisers or little gifts for their teachers.
I also had the idea to make a Shepherd and a King from the same pattern.
Here's the view from our lakeside cabin window which was an idyllic spot to see the birds on the lake and the amazing skies at sunset and sunrise with all the reflections on the water. 
I kept forgetting to take photos so I missed capturing the best scenes and 
these inferior pics were taken from indoors. 
The two large dots on the windows were to stop the birds flying into the panes.
The birds swirled in patterns around the lake each evening at sunset.



Sunday, 2 November 2014

Lueneburger Jahr der Giebel & Hexagons


 These four cushion panels are almost finished and I'm just stitching them to their backings.
 I stitched all these hexies together during my travels and in the evenings whilst I was away visiting my family. 
They were made from scrap pieces leftover from my hexagon quilt. 
Although I mainly use a sewing machine for patchwork and quilting, I really do enjoy hand stitching. I find relaxation and great satisfaction in a completely hand stitched project.


On my recent visit to Germany it was great to wander around the familiar cobbled streets with a different purpose and it made me take a fresh look at all the wonderful old buildings as I toured the town's latest public art event. 
Over the years there have been boars and fishes artistically, and often amusingly, decorated around the place. This time it was the giebel, (gables) the stepped top shape of the old buildings. 
Shops, companies and associations of the town sponsored and produced works of art in many styles and themes by decorating a model of this feature of the beautiful buildings.

This must be the prettiest building (below) to house a well known food stop.........guess which one?.......
I'll tell you at the bottom of this post!
Giebels are in many shop windows... these were some of my favourites
Outside the Karstadt department store this advertises the forthcoming traditional Weihnachts Markt
(The Christmas Market) which takes place each year in the square in front of this shop.

Here through Sand Passage is a lovely big supermarket where we shop...
Inside a bank......
 An estate agents window ...
A lingerie store created this...



Children's art....




Now, here's the answer if you've reached this far!
Yes! They're everywhere..... McDonalds!

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Flying Geese in Batiks

At last I am posting after a 3 month break from blogland. 
Many thanks to those special bloggers who drop in here now and then and who missed me and my posts and I can say that I am doing OK despite a trip to hospital and a diagnosis of a heart problem I will have to live with and manage. I feel fine but it did lower my spirits and drive for a while.
I am off to Germany to visit my family next week so will be missing again for a while, but I intend be back blogging with a vengeance very soon.

I've still been stitching and have finished a few WIPs (works in progress) whilst MIA so there are quite a few pics on here. 
This is my latest machined WIP. 
Random coloured flying geese in batik fabrics and I'm really enjoying making it.

Another small hand stitched project turned these scraps from the Folded Dreams quilt I finished in July (see it here) into........
this Clam Shell cushion
Serendipity!
I cut the strips for the quilt top (below) one afternoon then machined it next day and it is huge. Bigger than a king sized one I think. I was quite surprised how it grew and it is such a super quick method which was shown to me by Pat, a member of my quilters group. 
Scrap strips of different lengths, in a similar colour depth were joined to contrasting squares to produce a long, continuous, length. When it was joined along the length the result was this quilt top and it was serendipity how the colours panned out. 
I loved making it and it really was a quick result. 
 Today the sun was shining so DH treated me to a quilty trip out. First we visited "Sticky Fingers", a small, but gorgeous, patchwork and quilting shop in Coppull, in the Warrington area, where the owner, Wendy was so friendly and patient in helping me to select the perfect backing and edging fabric for my hexagon quilt.
It's hand stitched and is single bed sized and will be edged in a toning turquoise.
Wendy also kindly recommended a local garden centre where we had a super lunch before driving home. There is a stunning range of fabrics in the shop and I know for sure I'll be paying many more visits there. It was a lovely, enjoyable, worthwhile visit.

We also stopped off at Black Sheep Wools (who amongst all their wool stash, now have a small quilt fabric department) where I was tempted and succumbed to some more Kaffe Fassett fabrics for my next hand stitched project to keep me happy on my travels. 
I have a personal "thing" that, each day, I must make something or I feel that the day is wasted, and these hand stitched projects help me to fulfil this so easily with results that are all so worthwhile.
Why waste time?


Saturday, 19 July 2014

Wet Nellys in Hydrangea Heaven.

We enjoyed a lovely day with friends Neet and Chas and after a good natter and lunch the day's heavy rain left us and so we took advantage of some sunshine to visit a nearby National Trust property....
Speke Hall.
After touring the hall and basking in history we strolled the gardens and we were overwhelmed by the hydrangea walk.
This white variety was amazing and HUGE!
as you can see ....there's Neet behind them.
Of course, the purple shades were my favourites and I loved all the shades over just one plant..




We went crazy taking photograph as each plant offered something different and we were especially fascinated by the fluffy tops of this variety right at the back.

This was my favourite for the beautiful centres.....


but then I adored this one's vibrant colour....
and this one is very special and really lovely! 
Then there was this fascinating pointy one.
The bees were in Hydrangea Heaven
and so were Neet and me.
What's this you may ask? Well let me tell you about a local delicacy.
We went for a welcome cuppa before we left and just had to try.......
a Wet Nelly! It certainly tastes better than the murky lump it looks.

It evolved in Liverpool during times of hardship as a means of using up leftovers and any stale crumbs of cake or bread. It varied according to each family and also what was available day to day.

Here's the recipe from the National Trust at Speke Hall, Liverpool, if you'd like to try one.

Wet Nelly

PUDDINGS AND CAKES

  • Serves:8
  • Preparation time:4 hours and 15 minutes
  • Cooking time:1 hour and 15 minutes
Try making your own! © National Trust/Alex Muir
Try making your own!

Ingredients

1 loaf of white bread (day old becoming dry is perfectly fine for this recipe) with crusts cut off and cut into chunky squares
100g butter
140g brown sugar
¾ pint milk warmed
500g mixed fruit
1 dessert spoon mixed spice
3 medium eggs

Method

  •  Soak bread in milk for at least 4 hours and preferably overnight.
  •  When fully soaked, add all other ingredients, mix together well and pour into a greased deep sided roasting tin.
  •  Bake at 180°C/Gas Mark 4 for approx 1 – 1 ¼ hours until soft but springy to touch.
  •  Delicious served hot with custard or cold with a cup of tea.
  •  Enjoy!