Giveaway prize winning today.

Sorry there are no photo’s I’m in the middle of patchworking.

I wrote your names down onto paper, cut them out and picked one out of the proverbial hat. (actually I placed them onto the desk and closed my eyes, rummaged them around a bit and picked one)

Amelia your the lucky winner, well done. Hopefully you’ll leave a message for me with your email on it. (don’t worry I won’t publish it) and we can exchange addresses and you can tell me your favourite colours so I can choose a skein of Wollmeise for you.

Mandy surveys the other presents she has bought and wonders how much this is going to cost to get to the states….

edited to add.

Where are my manners, Thank you everybody for taking part. I really enjoyed reading everybodys stories about there first memories of there favourite fruits and vegetables. It was very good fun.

Phone sock’s

It all started when son no.1 came home with a ridiculously expensive brand new phone. (that is mine in the photographs, it costs me about thirty quid a year to run and its ever so old) Anyway, I could see it was a precious object to him so I knit him up a phone sock which he was really pleased with. (I don’t have a photo of that, he’s never around for long enough to grab it off him, wash it and then photograph it)

The next day he went to work and when he took his phone out of his pocket, well, the phone sock caused a little bit of a stir. There were lots of questions about where he had got it from and bearing in mind he is mainly surrounded by chaps, it was the chaps that were the most interested. I immediately had many orders, I had to calm son no.1 down and say actually I don’t want to knit phone socks for the rest of my life. (Well, I would if I was paid a living wage, but you know how these things go) But, I will knit one for the engineer that is teaching you this year, which is this one.

And he was tickled pink by it.

And then son no.1 sort of promised one of the receptionists a phone sock. As I was in the middle of several projects I kept putting it off, but I decided to get it out of the way yesterday and I’ve made her something that I hope she likes.

I am quite pleased with the flower.

I dread to think how many order’s he’s going to come home with tomorrow.

And son no.2 has just told me this evening that he was talking about my handmade socks at sixth form and two of his friends have requested a pair each. Thanks for that love…

Edited to add, the flower was not of my own invention. It was late when I posted and I should have referred you to whom the designer was, apologies.

This lovely flower was thought up by Susan b Anderson and is published in her book Itty-Bitty Nursery as Pacifier Clips:Flowers. She has a full tutorial on her blog

Full Moon

Have you seen the moon? I think the halo around it at the moment is wonderful, courtesy of the dust from Iceland’s volcano.

I captured these images yesterday evening, even with a tripod my little camera struggles to capture just how jaw droppingly beautiful the moon is at the moment.

Its a full moon tonight, (although it is cloudy here) go out, look up, and if you look carefully you can almost imagine that there is just the slightest hint of blue, a blue moon.

Mandy wanders off singing “blueee Moooon, you saw me standing alone….”

Such a lovely weekend.

If a little exhausting, actually I am still recovering, I am absolutely worn out.

On Saturday I went to a local meet up of the Warwickshire Quilters, which was a meeting of all of the quilting groups in Warwickshire. I believe this event happens about once a year. I had only intended popping in for an hour just to find out about our local quilting group and where they met, I stayed for the whole day! I was made to feel very welcome and I am very much looking forward to seeing the ladies that I met at the next meeting.

The ladies above all followed the same instructions, the centre of their quilts had to be made with diamonds and the next border had to have a block’s on the corners and so the instructions go on. Its very interesting to see how their quilts have developed and how they are so very different to each others.

I loved the colours of this quilt, the quilter thought that perhaps it was a little bright, I didn’t think so. I loved the use of her black which really makes the colours come alive.

and this very beautiful quilt made by Sue Cook has been published in the magazine Patchwork & Quilting as a tutorial, part 5 is in May’s edition. It is even more beautiful in the flesh, I am so glad that I have seen it.

Having gone to bed very early and slept late hubby felt that I could do Wonderwool. I had been saying that it was too far for ages, but he was game and although I was nursing a cold, I thought well I can sit and sniffle at home or I can do it in a car, so I dozed myself up, tissues at the ready.

The Black Mountains on the way up.

We arrived at 1.30 p.m. so I had just enough time to go around the stalls once. I thoroughly enjoyed it, one would think I would have bought lots but I only bought some Noro for my blanket and a few buttons.

I met old friends and new, especially one lady, *waving to Jenny* who came over to say hello because she recognised me from reading my blog. She was lovely and said how much she enjoyed reading my blog, it made me feel all pink. I couldn’t wait to tell my boys when I got home, honestly its been such a buzz. I told her I’d love it if she said hello on my blog, fingers crossed.

We followed the River Wye for many miles, such a stunning river, I would love to spend an afternoon relaxing by it.

So beautiful, maybe next time.

And then we wandered slowly home looking for somewhere to eat and stopped in Stratford upon Avon for a bite to eat before coming home and hitting the sack.

Gifts from the Orient.

Do you remember Lucy? ( Son no.1’s first love.) I still speak quite often to her, mainly at three in the morning on Facebook when another night has been disturbed and she asks me why I am up. We often have deep and meaningfuls at that time in the morning as you may imagine.

Well, she has a new beau and he is looking after her and she is very happy. He recently took her to China, how fabulous is that. On her exciting adventures many photo’s were taken of her wearing the hat and scarf I knit for her, especially when she visited Ice City. She later told me they really saved her life as she was absolutely frozen.

And she came home with gifts for me. Which was a wonderful surprise and I was tickled pink by her thoughtfulness. Fancy thinking about little old me when your having a wonderful time in China, but think about me she did.

One of the presents she gave to me is a beautiful, light as a feather silk scarf, it truly is beautiful. I am saving it for special occasions.

And then I opened another present to discover a very beautiful blue bag. Perfect I thought, I just need a bag for taking my sock knitting around in and that will fit the bill beautifully.

So I opened it and found this.

and then I opened that and found this.. and then I started giggling. It was like the Russian dolls of bags. It was fabulous and such Fun.

and then I opened that and found this….

and my giggling was becoming louder

and then I found the tiniest of bags. (which will be perfect for my sewing notions)

And at that point I was just giggling my head off, it just tickled me completely. So a strange woman sat on her own in the living room giggling at bags.. No wonder my sons don’t understand me.

They are such wonderful presents. Thank you Lucy.


I knew as soon as the first folds came together in the shape of a flying goose that I was done fore. I knew when I let out a silly giggle when the first row of geese came flying past that I was falling and falling incredibly fast into a powerful love affair.

And I knew when I finished the final seam and turned my block over to view my work and literally gasped with delight. It took my breath away.

And I haven’t been able to stop thinking about these folded flying geese since. I am in love with them.

Fortunately for me, I had gathered a few metres of fabric that another lady had kindly destashed in my direction, which I had fully intended to make Son no.2 a quilt for University. So on Monday I showed my son this fully completed block and asked him if he would like a quilt made with this design. The split seconds that I was waiting for an answer were the longest I’ve ever known. He likes it and said yes, it would be nice.

So I have been washing and drying old fabric, cutting many, many squares, 240 2″ x 2″ 120 31/2″ x 2″ etc etc. And this is just for six blocks. Interestingly you can just about get six blocks out of 2 metres of fabric. (1 metre light and 1 metre dark)

And after working for many hours and getting up at 3.30 a.m. this morning to sew until straight through until 10 a.m. you have this.

This is six blocks worth, I am just in the process of choosing a central fabric, I am not sure if I have anything that will suit. Which may mean another trip to the fabric shop, oh the trials I have to endure, shocking it is, shocking.

And of course if you give in, in any way to your obsessions, especially if you live with male offspring, you end up with this.

I am off for a shower, I’ll tackle it after that.

7 things.

I picked up the baton over at Diane’s blog to reveal 7 things about my self, here goes!

1. I used to take my comics over to the graveyard across the road from my home to read them whilst sitting on a bench underneath a tree. I’d sit there for hours, everyone knew me and many people would say hello, it was the only way to get some peace and quiet as there were seven of us at home. I always found it one of the most peaceful places to be.

2. I used to regularly climb the walls of Kenilworth Castle, one of which was about 30ft high. All of my friends did it, until one lad broke his arm when he fell and the warden became a bit more alert as to our activities. These days I look at that wall and shudder at the height of it and I have Never admitted this to my boys!

3. My right big toe clicks if I move it in a certain way. I used to drive my twin sister to distraction with this in the middle of the night.

4. I love to play Scrabble, I’m not fantastically good but I enjoy it, sadly I am surrounded by men who are either dyslexic (son no.1), mentally not into words more into maths (hubby) and a boy that if he put his mind to it could be quite good but refuses to play. (son no.2) I tried to play Scrabble online but found that mostly people were cheating. When challenged as to what the word meant that they had put down, they would bluster but not answer the question. I remain frustrated that I don’t have a regular Scrabble partner.

5. I have favourite trees that I always look out for when going down a road/park/motorway. I like to see how they are doing and am deeply affected if I see that they have been cut down.

6. I like to feed the ducks in the Abbey Fields and have got to the stage that I don’t need to borrow a child to feed them. I often don’t bother in the summer as there are enough children around to feed them but when the weather is harsh in the middle of winter hubby and I often trot over to feed them half a loaf of bread.

7. My dirty food secret is Mr Kiplings French Fancies, especially the yellow ones that taste of lemon. I think they have the right ratio of cake, icing and butter cream and are just the ticket to brighten a Sunday evening.

If anyone would like to pick up the baton, be my guest.

Flower Power.

Whilst at our quilting class today I happened to notice Carie’s rather pretty Cath Kidston pin cushion. It is funny how the things that you notice or think about tend to form a theme during a certain period of time, whether it be a day or a week. For the last couple of weeks I have been thinking that I need a pin cushion. Not least because when I am hand sewing in the evening I don’t think hubby would appreciate it if I used the leather suit as a place to secure my needle and I have been using whatever garment I have been wearing.

Seeing Carie’s pin cushion today reminded me of the various pin cushions that I had made whilst at Junior school. I was quite blessed, not only did I have a form tutor who was very into crafting and painting, I was lucky in that Mr Davis taught me for two years. We also had extra lessons just on sewing, cooking and woodwork and I seem to remember pin cushions came up in sewing too. Sadly I don’t have any of these pin cushions but I suspect that my mother still has one in her work box which is not dissimilar from Cath Kidston’s flower pot design, – in fact I think she copied me! It was very similar with the use of red felt, the flowerpot shape and flowers (fewer but much bigger) at the top, mine had zigzag tape around the edge of the pot at the top and it would have been stuffed with a pair of my Mum’s old tights, such was the glamor of the crafting world in the middle of the seventies.

And there was another pin cushion that I remember giving to my Nan, which from that moment on was in constant use. I was always quite pleased because she obviously loved it so, I often saw it perched on a side table from where it had been used the previous evening when we visited for morning coffee. It wasn’t very big, but was just right for storing a few pins and the odd needle. I remembered it was a flower with round petals with a solid centre for storing the pins.. and to be honest that was about all I remember.

Okay, Flowers… That would mean circles.

I cut a few circles out of waste materials that I had lying around. You will notice that some of the circles are made up of more than one colour of material, this was just some waste from my cobweb block. (realises hasn’t put up post about cobweb block, makes mental note to remedy)

I used a drinking glass as my template. I cut out ten circles enough for four petals, one centre (which was slightly larger) and one backing.

Made the petals, (I am sure I don’t need to give you all of the instructions)

Then I curled the petals slightly and sewed them to secure the shape at the bottom and sewed those together. I achieved it by sewing opposite petals together and then the other opposites. It was a fiddle to do.

Hemmed the bottom circle and

pulled it together before sewing onto the bottom of my flower. Being careful not to sew the flower petals flat, you need them to still have shape.

and it should look a bit like that. This makes the flower stable and you need that at this stage.

I haven’t got photographs of the yellow ball being formed, mainly because it took three attempts, there was much swearing at one point and when I did look close to success I wanted to sew it down as quickly as possible.

It is the same technique as for the turquoise circle above but this time you need to use a thick thread which is doubled, you need to pack the stuffing in as hard as you can, you pull the thread up as tight as you can and then (and this is most important) you need to wake a sleeping hubby (I’m sorry the cat won’t do, I tried) to put his thumb firmly on your reef knot whilst you secure it and all before your thread snaps and you have to start again.

Whilst I was doing this I realised that the stuffed centre circle needed to be bigger so I tried a larger circle and my results were much better.

And then you should have this (or something like it)

The petals make it perfect for resting on the arms of comfy sofa’s, so it shouldn’t slip off so easily.

and I know there is one person in particular who will be grinning, especially with this shot.

It is almost a carbon copy of a sketch I drew earlier of how I wanted to hand quilt one of my patchwork blocks. Its true, (for me at least anyway) as I said earlier, the things that you tend to notice or think about tend to form a theme during a certain period of time, whether it be a day or a week.

Flower power in action.

Flying Geese turn into roses.

Before I start, I’m loving your stories about your favourite fruit and vegetables for my giveaway, keep ’em coming.

Last month I had an extra class for my block of the month only because I have double booked June’s date. (more on that in June) Very cleverly Anita managed to fit me in to an evening class that were doing the very same block that I would be missing. Actually this block takes two classes and I have to bring it along to July’s class to finish it off.

The flying geese rectangles were very interesting, I’d wondered how they came together and once I started to work on them it became very logical. Getting my points to stay as points does seem to be tricky. I can see how my work is improving (and has improved considerably since buying the new sewing machine) but I do think it is going to take quite a bit more practise before it all starts to come together on a regular basis.

Excusing the shoddy photography that has bleached the colours out of the material.

I can see the faults, but there are a couple of points that I am particularly pleased about.

Including the way the central cross, crosses perfectly. Of that, I am very proud.

Its tricky this patchworking!