Monday, 2 May 2016

Sweeps Festival Rochester


We chanced upon this fantastic day of English eccentricity when we visited Rochester, in Kent, on Saturday. We were staying with our good friends not too far away and none of us knew in advance that this event was happening. 
 It is one of the oldest traditional annual festivals in this country and is held around the city centre. There were lots of events and live music plus an artisan fair. 



















 Besides the many sweeps, there were more than 60 Morris sides from all over the country and the atmosphere was so vibrant and happy. It was wonderful to see our traditions come to life this way.
So sorry I cannot name the Morris sides except for this one with the Phoenix on their backs.

The young people in this side were so agile
The joy shines out!
There were pirates galore

Steampunk characters



Even a "wind up" fairy


The Jolly tar was being applauded for his rendition of a rousing tavern song.
Drummers young and old
Creatures great and small



Perhaps the oldest "baby" I've ever seen....



A rainbow of colours


I would love to go next year to see the Sweeps Parade and hear more of the music on the stages and in the pubs. It was such a good day out especially as we only went to Rochester to shop.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Liberty Lawn Leaf Scarves & Friday Smile

I have been messing about with an idea I've had in my mind for a long time and here's the result of my crafty endeavours. 
I was reminded of my idea when I spotted someone on the internet wearing just a string of larger leaves which is a bit more "artsy".
I made several light scarves from Liberty Tana Lawn fabric to wear as a form of necklace.
The leaf shapes were sewn together from double fabric, then turned out to the right sides and pressed. A rolled hem foot was used to machine a fine edge on the scarf then I hand stitched the leaves around the edge, adding small beads so they would dangle nicely and weight the scarf slightly so it would drape.  
After several experiments I am quite happy with this one below.
I varied the fabric patterns on the next one but I prefer them to be all the same, as in the pink scarf above.
Below is my first attempt but I think that the leaves are too big as well as being a mix of patterns and colours.

Friday has come around so quickly once again so
I'm adding a string of funnies to join in with Annie's Friday Smile over at  astichintime blog. Pop over to see more!
They were sent to me by my friend Jean in Australia and they really made me smile, so I hope you do too.



Monday, 11 April 2016

Friendship Quilt & Where to get a Bargain

Yesterday I sandwiched and quilted the top that I sewed together last week from the super blocks that Diane the Cheshire Quilter had sent me in our swap.
I really never expected to end up with such a substantial quilt from just six blocks and I am really pleased with it. 
Thanks again to Diane.
I found the perfect backing at a bargain price (see below) on a little jaunt to town on Saturday. 
Quite a few of you will know of Abakhan, the huge fabric, craft, yarn, store in Liverpool as they have branches around the North West and North Wales and that is where I was heading to get my fabric..... we..ee..e ll let me tell you a little secret.... opposite their Liverpool shop in Stafford Street there is yet another fabric shop selling mainly curtain fabric at the remarkable price of £3 a metre!! Even better .... they sell a small range of quality quilt fabrics for only £3.99 metre... woo hoo! I therefore managed to find the perfect backing for this little quilt for a song. I even spotted fabrics  that I had previously bought in other shops and paid over £15 for.
As an added bonus I also bought 3 large reels of Coats thread for just £2 and a mix of zips for 10p each.
It's worth popping in if you go to Liverpool but check the location L3 8LX as it is not right in the centre but is walkable.

My favourite block is the one where the triangle are little pockets, don't know the name of this block but I must find out so I can try it out.
( Thanky you  to Wanda for letting me know that it is called "Dutchman's Puzzle")

Friday, 8 April 2016

Sampler Swap Quilt, Mixed Bag & Friday Smile


Last year I swapped sampler blocks for several months with Diane of the Cheshire Quilter blog and I finally decided what to do with the 6 super blocks she sent me.  I never thought it would make a quilt but with the borders it has come out at 3 feet by 4 feet and I am really thrilled with it. 
Thanks so much to Diane for making these blocks and I learned so much from making her returns. 

This table runner was started 2 years ago and I have finally finished it. 
The fabric is Tim Holtz Ecclectic designs for Coats and the instructions can be found in one of Missouri Star Quilt Co's video tutorials. Believe me, it is so easy to get this one together, even though it looks complex, and the videos are a great step by step learning process.

Each Friday I try to join in with Friday Smile over at Annie's blog and nowadays it seems it is the main incentive to make me post on my blog. 
It's a great start to the weekend, it's fun, I have got to know quite a few really lovely people and we have shared so many laughs. Why miss it!!??
This week, this is my main reason for smiling as each time I see this special drawing on my wall it has me beaming. It was made for me by one of my grandies (aged 6) who knows how much I love giraffes and also purple. Perfect!
I love all the children's art work so much.

Early this year there was a radio appeal for BBC Radio Merseyside listeners to make fabric, paper, knitted or crochet poppies to create an installation after the "Weeping Window" poppies outside St George's Hall moved to their next location. Our group responded and made quite a few and, along with other people in and around Liverpool, the collection was put together to create this striking display. 
It is now on show in the Royal British Legion drop in centre in Williamson Street (off Church Street), right in the heart of Liverpool City Centre, in tribute to the service given by so many during WW1.
We are pleased and honoured to be a part of it.

How would you like this as your local pharmacist? (Or Apoteke as it is called in Germany)
I went inside just for some paracetamol, during my recent visit, so I asked if I could take a photo. 
The staff were so friendly and even offered me a bottle of water to take the medication.
In the days when old fittings are ripped out and discarded, this place is  historical treasure.


Have a good weekend and don't forget to SMILE.....may it be the only infectious thing you catch!!!