Autumn Colours

It’s Friday again so it’s Photo Challenge time, today’s theme is Autumn, which is quite fitting with the wind and rain we’ve had over the last couple of days. Hopefully I’ll find some nicer autumn images to share with you…

A couple of years ago my friend and I went to Thorp Perrow Arboretum, the autumn colours were beautiful.

An early autumn walk round Bolton Abbey with the trees just starting to turn.

I’ve just finished this in time, the autumn side of my Tall Year Square Etui. I didn’t have the recommended threads so I just chose colours that mean autumn to me.

Tall Year Square Etui

This was actually last year, but it  could have been today with the rain!! There’s been a couple of changes since then, two lilac trees fell down (you can just about make out the lean on one of them! The laburnum next-door which we enjoyed was sadly taken down to make room for the big fence and the obelisk by the patio collapsed – well it was pretty old…I really must get round to making a new one!

Rain!

A sneak preview of our walking holiday photos! The hedgerows were absolutely laden with fruit, I don’t think I’ve ever seen them so full, hawthorn and rosehips here, but also sloes, blackberries, rowan, crabapples…

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The Friday photo challenge is organised by Postcard from Gibraltar, follow the links to see lots more autumn colour,

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A Charm of Hummingbirds

To say I’m on a roll would be pushing it a bit, as it’s taken me all day, on and off, but I’ve made another hummingbird for my niece’s quilt, I love it! I think it’s the most complicated hummingbird pattern I’ve got, but it’s just beautiful!

It’s another pattern off Craftsy, it’s designed by Liz Schwartz & Stephen Seifert, it’s called the Mango Hummingbird. I think it’s meant to be green and purple, but mine’s pink. Isn’t it gorgeous!Hummingbird Quilt

There are over a hundred pieces, so there’s only going to be one of these on the quilt! It went together beautifully, though I did have to concentrate on which colour and which shade. Three of the pink/purple shades were from one batik fabric, I just got selective as to which area I used!DSC_0541

My next big job is removing all the paper from the back, I can’t say I’m looking forward to that as some of the pieces are tiny, I think it will be a needle and artery forceps job!

I had a bit of a play laying the three hummingbirds I’ve made so far on the low volume fabrics, I think it’s going to work! I’ve one more pattern to try of another bigger hummingbird, then I think I’ll make a few of the first two simpler patterns, maybe using lighter shades and a stripy tail for the plainer one. DSC_0544 (2)

Once I’ve got a few hummingbirds made I’ll start setting them in blocks and hopefully pull the quilt together.

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Hummingbird Quilt

I’ve just started a new quilt… I know, I’ve got a Splendid Sampler quilt on the go, another BOM about to start, another being hand quilted…but hopefully this one one take to long, if my idea works out…

…yes, I’m sort of making it up as I go along!

I offered to make a quilt for my niece and her husband when they moved into their new house in spring. I suddenly realised I’d made quilts for my other god-daughter, friends, family, in-laws, but not for my own niece, a house move seemed a good excuse!

Having asked about colour schemes and themes I was sent a photo of the wallpaper in their guest bedroom, very pretty neutral colours with pops of colour from hummingbirds. I decided to make a hummingbird quilt.Image result for hummingbird wallpaper uk

My idea is to make a ‘low volume’ quilt, at least I think that’s what it’s called, all soft, light shades, but then have pops of colour with paper pieced hummingbirds. I’ve found four hummingbird patterns on Craftsy, some 6″ square, a 9″ one and a 9 x 6″. I’m planning to make them into 12″ blocks, some will be just squares, some half triangles, maybe some pinwheels. I’ll hopefully make about 7 or 8 hummingbirds so they can be scattered across the quilt.

I bought some fabric at the Festival of Quilts and also raided my scrap box, so this is my colour scheme…DSC_0534 (2)

Yesterday I printed off some of the foundation paper pieced patterns, I’ve made up two so far. This is my first one, very delicate, it’s 9″ square but it can also be made 6″ square. I like this one. It’s designed by Kristina of Centre Street QuiltsDSC_0530 (2)

The second one is a lot simpler, it’s smaller too, at 6″. I’m not so sure it isn’t a bit too ‘blocky’ I might try it in lighter shades, maybe have a few dark pastel ones. My mum thought maybe using a striped fabric for the tail would help and actually that is how the pattern is illustrated! This one is designed by Made by Marney.DSC_0531 (2)

I’ll try all four patterns and hopefully do a mixture of them. I want it to have a fairly random feel about it, though as you know I do struggle with ‘random’ so we’ll see how it turns out.

 

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Back to Front

I took the last two pages of my stitch sampler with me on my walk last week, well I knew I would need something to do in the evenings when we collapsed in a heap. So as we walked from Melrose in Scotland, to Lindisfarne just off the Northumberland coast at the top of England, I stitched the front page and the back page of my sampler book.

I stitched the back page first, I decided to ‘write’ a bit about the book, a few statistics, after all, it is a well traveled book. It’s been in my handbag for most of the last 18 months, I’ve stitched it in cafes, hotels, train stations, on trains, airplanes. I would have included how many different DMC threads I used if I had the book with me at the time to count! (Eighteen if you’re wondering) I’m still not sure about the spelling for ‘travelled’,the computer says it’s wrong but one ‘l’ just doesn’t look right to me, may be it’s an American spelling? The two l’s are staying anyway!DSC_0526 (2)

On the front page I decided to keep it fairly simple with a title, date and initials. I didn’t want it completely plain though and rather than trying to work out embroidery patterns I chose to write the names of some of the places I stitched in but which didn’t get a mention on the stitch pages. I used a variegated cream thread so it can be read (if you look carefully) but the main title stands out first. They add a bit of texture!DSC_0528 (2)

I’ve stitched the front and back page on to the main book pages, so all I need to do now is to make a cover, I think I’ve sussed out how I’m going to do it so hopefully it won’t take too long. I’m planning to include a pocket in the back for a notebook which will list all the stitches, so when I find a stitch I want to use I can check which one it is and remind myself how to do it.DSC_0538

Fingers crossed I’ll be doing a happy dance soon 🙂

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Monday’s Meander Round the Garden.

I rather like having a wander round the garden after a holiday, seeing what’s changed, what’s appeared and what’s on it’s way out…

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…the roses are not bad for half way through September. This one is called Champagne Moments, one of my favourite roses for flower power, the only downside being it only has a gentle scent. It’s usually a creamy white, but for some reason these particular blooms look blush pink,maybe it was the early evening light!

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The clematis over the arch by the patio still has a few flowers, despite me giving it a good hack before I went away. They looked lovely with the sunlight behind them.

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This is actually a clematis shrub, it doesn’t seem to be grown very often but I like it for it’s late blue flowers. It’s decided to grow rather sideways this year over the path!DSC_0523This is one of the plants I bought at Harrogate show this year, it’s a Rudbekia, I wasn’t sure about it at first as the first few flowers looked pretty weedy and insignificant, but just look at it now, covered!!, It’s pretty big too, about 30″ tall, makes quite a statement!

 

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I planted this heather just before I went away, having treated myself on Otley market, heathers are quite useful for early autumn colour.

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This euonymous alatus or spindle tree is part of my newly planted autumn border. It’s just starting to turn red. In years to come I’ll hopefully have a good display of autumn colour.

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The leaves of the cotinnus coggyrhia look amazing next to the pieris planted underneath. As you can see I’ve left a few allium seedheads and astrantia flowers to add a bit of winter interest, if they last that long.

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There was a little parcel waiting for me when I got home, a memory pebble for Zach, it’s a natural stone carved with his name, only about 3-4″ round, a company called Villager Jim make them, I thought they were a nice subtle memorial to have in the garden, tucked away in a quiet place.

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The overall picture of the garden is still very green, hopefully this week I’ll have chance to do some more tidying.

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Clover Cord Maker

This is just a quick post as whilst I was on holiday my first post as a Minerva Crafts blogger went live. Minerva Crafts is based over in Lancashire, not that far away, but they have a big on line store selling lots of different types of fabric and all sorts of crafty stuff.

As most of you know I like making cords from embroidery thread to trim my cross-stitch smalls, I’ve always made it by hooking a double thread over my spare spool holder on my sewing machine and twisting it with a pencil from the other end before folding it in half to spring into a cord. When Minerva gave me the chance to try out a Clover Handy Thread Twister I jumped at the opportunity, it was great, in fact the last smalls I showed you had cords made with the Handy Twister, much easier, quicker and nicer than my usual attempt…Lizzie Kate Cross-stitch

Please follow the link to Minerva Crafts to read my post with more photos and info.

 

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No Further Down the Rabbit Hole

It’s three weeks since I last showed you my Down the Rabbit Hole quilt. I’d just about finished hand quilting half of the first border, I had great hopes of finishing the flower border…Hand Quilting Down the Rabbit Hole

…well, it’s been a pretty busy three weeks, life (and other projects!) got in the way and I’ve been away walking for over a week too, these are all excuses building up to the fact that I haven’t managed to do any hand quilting this time! Not a stitch😐

Hopefully next time I will have been more productive. In the meantime  please follow the links as I’m sure everyone else will have been more successful with their hand quilting;

Hand Quilt Along Links

This Hand Quilt Along is an opportunity for hand quilters and piecers to share and motivate one another. We post every three weeks, to show our progress and encourage one another.  If you have a hand quilting project and would like to join our group contact Kathy at the link below.

KathyLoriMargaretKerryEmmaTracyDebConnieSusan,  NanetteSassy , EdithSharon, and Karrin

 

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A Pair of Smalls for Skipton

My Embroiderers Guild are stitching a panel all about Skipton (where we are based) so there are embroideries of the main  buildings, some to represent areas, all surrounded by a square representing the home town of each member.

I volunteered to do a square to represent the Cenotaph. I must admit I volunteered to do this one as I knew I already had a poppy embroidery which I could adapt. It’s silk ribbon and beads with a french knots and a few squiggles embroidered. It was fairly quick to add ‘Lest We Forget’ along the bottom to make it represent the Cenotaph.DSC_0159

I was born in Pudsey in West Yorkshire, when I was little it was known for it’s treacle mines and backward flying ducks, neither of which I thought would be recognisable as an embroidery!

These days everyone knows Pudsey Bear, he is the mascot of the annual Children in Need appeal, a huge BBC fundraiser that raises millions each year, Pudsey was designed by a lady and named after her home town. He would be easily recognisable as Pudsey.DSC_0155

I sketch his outline and coloured him in with Inktense pencils which I then wet to make more watercolour-ish. I stitched round using a simple back stitch. The spots on his bandage are french knots and his eyes and buttons are satin stitch.

I ironed on some pelmet vilene behind and blanket-stitched round.DSC_0156

Two embroideries completed in a couple of evenings 🙂

By the way, if anyone is wondering, the treacle mines refer to a treasure hunt organised by the local vicar many many years ago. The end of the hunt was at the entrance to a disused railway tunnel where he served treacle sandwiches, telling the children a tale about it being the head of the treacle mines….and so it went down in history!

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Eighteen for 18

I’m a bit late with my update this month after all the traumas of last week, so here is my report on my achievements with my challenges so far for 2018;

  • 1 Etsy store opened; I’ve had a few more thoughts, I’m heading more towards my own website at the moemnt, especially as my OH met someone locally who builds them pretty inexpensively!
  • 2 Tutorials; Still nothing written but I have got two ideas!
  • 3 Sessions a week in the garden; I’ve had a few long sessions tidying up and sorting out the garden, so I’m making reasonable progress here!DSC_0158
  • 4 Quilts;My total remains at three but I now have all the fabric to make the top for my niece, I have a design in mind, sort of made up as I go along, I have a week off at home this month so I’m hoping to crack on with it then.
  • 5 Craftsy Classes; I’m still at 1.5 classes, as I’ve not managed to watch any this month, hopefully when I get back from my walk…
  • 6 New Patterns; I have stitched a new pattern called the Aster blouse by Colette, so my total is now 5, nearly there!DSC_0146 (2)
  • 7 Kits stitched; I made my sewing room clock from a kit this month.So I’ve now stitched seven kits, some of them are pretty loosely called kits, but I class anything that isn’t just the basic pattern a kit, even if it just includes a few beads, as it goes into my kit box!

     8 Pages in my stitch sampler book; I’ve finished a page on fillers and one on outlines, so my tally is eight, another target reached! I’ve stitched most of the pages together, so it’s just the front and back pages and a cover to make now!

  • 9 Pounds Lost!!! No change, this is one target that isn’t going to be reached!
  • 10 Mini Embroideries; I stitched this silken strata at the Festival of Quilts, so my tally is now eight, I’m happy with my progress here.DSC_0025
  • 11 Letters to friends; I’ve been really bad at this, it remains at two, but I’m planning on taking some letter writing stuff on holiday and maybe writing some in the evenings.
  • 12 Boxes or Drawers sorted in sewing room; I had a good sort out of my fabric stash last month, pulled everything off the shelves, found things hidden at the back, I’ve acquired a lot of fabric this year from various sources so I had a realistic look both at my own stash and the extras to see what realistically I would sew. I sorted it all out into fabric types too, a shelf for cottons, one for wools, jersey on another…so my tally is now eleven!
  • 13 New Recipes; I tried a new recipe for lamb shank this month, a long bake in red wine, very nice!, so my tally is now 7.
  • 14 Less Lengths in my stash! I used two lengths from my stash this month and I reckon I sorted about fourteen lengths for the charity shop, so maybe I’m somewhere near??
  • 15 Posts a month; I’ve just done a quick tally and I counted 28 posts!! Must be a record for me!
  • 16 cross-stitch smalls; I finished two cross-stitch smalls this month and August is almost stitched! So my tally is sixteen, another target reached! Although counting on the photos I get to seventeen!

     

  • 17 items of clothing made. I made two items of clothing last month, a silk sari top and my Aster blouse. So my tally so far is eight, so not bad, but quite a bit of catching up to do.
  • 18 Walks; My big walk started on Sunday, St Cuthberts Way which is about 62 miles from Melrose to Lindisfarne, so I’ll be doing several days walking, in the meantime last month I did two walks, one with WI and one with my friends. So my total is now ten walks so far and a week of walking with St Cuthberts Way.DSC_0104 (1)
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Monday’s Meander Round the Garden

I had a couple of good sessions in the garden this week, tidying and clearing. There’s plants and shrubs that needed a serious cutback, or moving, ready for new plans for the autumn and spring.DSC_0175

I gave the drive a good prune, I got the saw out! It was mainly I have to admit because my OH was chuntering a bit about his car getting scratched every time he reversed up the drive! To be fair it was getting pretty overgrown!

We have a one ton bag  left over from a log delivery and it’s very useful for big pruning sessions, I think I filled it three times! The ceanothus next to the back door has had half a hard prune. It’s been growing further and further out and one day I think it would have a load of snow on it and split, I could see it happening!  I decided to preempt it and hard prune half of it this year and if it survives the winter I’ll do the other half next year. It does seem to happily green up from low down the trunk, so hopefully it will thicken up nicely. The bright green twig is a variegated eunonymous that has reverted back to green, so I think I will be pruning that one out too!DSC_0177

The roses are still flowering well (considering the time of year) this one was one of the first David Austin roses we bought, it’s called Jude the Obscure, it’s a lovely soft peach colour. This branch is growing sideways!DSC_0179 (2)

I’m amazed how perfect this hosta looks, it must be one of those that slugs don’t like, I just wish I knew the name of this one, I’d get another one! The one next to it is nibbled a bit, whereas the ones at the bottom of the garden are pretty decimated!DSC_0184

The autumn colour is starting to appear, I think we’re in for an early autumn. These acers and cherry in the pots corner  are just starting to look autumnal.DSC_0180

I won’t be getting any gardening done this week as I’m on my big walk, but hopefully when I get back I’ll really be able to start putting the garden to bed.DSC_0190

 

 

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