Sewing, stitching, baking, cooking, gardening, shopping and general homemaking.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

A Bit of a Problem

I wrote in my last entry that Graham had built me a raised bed to grow vegetables in - well, I was sitting on my little garden seat, you know the type, you can sit or kneel on them, all I was doing was a bit of weeding. I stood up, bent down to pick my little seat up and I had a searing pain in my back. Oh well, that's my bit of gardening done for a while. Never mind, I'll just use the time to stitch and supervise Graham's gardening!!!

Close Up

I buy new geranium plants each year, I can get them through the winter but they tend to look rather battered. Last year I had the old fashioned orange ones, this year it's pink and white. Two that I bought turned out to be red though!

In recent years our winters have not been at all harsh and many outdoor plants survive in their hanging baskets. This one I particularly like, I can't remember what it's called, the flower is small and it has a lovely perfume.

This clematis is growing in a hanging basket. Some of the flowers are doubles, some are single. It always does well in the basket but I will be putting it in the ground for next year.

Monday, 23 June 2008

A Slow Start

I was very late this year getting to work on my veg plot. Usually I start my own seeds off in the greenhouse in about March or April but this year a few incidents put me off. I ended up buying small plants from the Garden Centre and at least I have some vegetables growing. The runner beans are doing ok but seem a bit scrawny, they are starting to flower though. The broad beans haven't done well at all, only about five of them survived.
This is the raised bed Graham built for me, I do much less gardening since I had my back problem so this raised bed is ideal for me. I only grow a small amount of any type of vegetable and in this bed there are peas, two sorts of cabbage, pak choi, lettuce, leeks and courgette. I've put those canes across that corner to protect the lettuce, we get a fox in the garden and he often has a walk around this raised bed - the little rascal!!!

Friday, 20 June 2008

My kitchen, tidy for once!

Monday, 16 June 2008

Tea Time

I went to a car boot sale with Graham on Fathers Day, it was his treat! He loves shopping more than I do and he's better at it. Most of the booters were just selling rubbish but I did come across a couple of interesting stalls. I got these two cups and saucers for £1, aren't they pretty. Another treat for Graham was shortcake that I made from a recipe recommended by Melissa and strawberry jam from a recipe here. The shortcake was beautifully soft, the best I've ever made. The jam was made using the freezer jam recipe, it turns out a lot runnier than boiled jam and tastes delicious, I suppose I could have made it thicker as explained in the recipe but l didn't mind it like this for a first go at this method. Next time I'll use the recipe that has a bit of boiling as the sugar took four hours to dissolve properly and boiling would make it quicker. The next jam recipe I'm going to use is the canned pineapple and canned apricot, that should be an easy one!

Friday, 13 June 2008

A Few Needlecases

I had a comment from Stitchety Grub saying that she collects needlecases. Being the big showoff that I am I had to put a picture here of some of the needlecases I've made recently. I really don't know how many I must have made but they are just perfect for when you want to do just a small piece of embroidery. Sewing accessories make lovely gifts for stitching friends too. The tiny needle cases are from a tutorial here.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Another Purchase

I needed a tray for my new patio set (below) and thought I was going to have trouble buying what I had in mind - but - a new shop has opened up a ten minute walk from where I live called Unique Chic. I couldn't believe that a shabby chic store would open up here so of course I had to visit and bought the perfect shaped trays you see in the picture. She stocks all the lovely painted furniture and the wire & metal shelves, racks, planters etc plus everything you would need to achieve the shabby chic look. When her website is up and running I'll give a link to it.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

My Back Door

We were very late getting our plants potted up this year, the weather was just too horrible. At last the sun is shining and we've been able to sit outside and enjoy the warmth. This picture shows where I like to sit during the day when I have a break, it's just outside my kitchen door and stays quite shady until about 4pm - perfect if you can't cope with too much sun.

Monday, 9 June 2008

Pretty Packets

I couldn't resist buying this soap, the packets they are in are so pretty, one is for me and one is to give away. For some reason garden centres always seem to have lovely toiletry displays, there were some lavender sachets that I liked as well but didn't buy them because I can make my own.

Friday, 6 June 2008

Voile Table Runner

I was given some lengths of voile, some with flowers on like this one, each piece is a different colour flower. It's beautiful cotton voile which I backed with a slightly heavier weight of cotton lining fabric. It only took me about half an hour to do. You could see the hem showing through the voile so I machined a fancy stitch all the way around the edge to disguise it.

A Bit of Patchwork

I enjoy 'collecting' fat-quarters but can find it difficult to get myself to use them, they look so lovely just stored together in a drawer waiting for me to admire them! Anyway, enough of that silliness, get on and make something - so I made a very simple table-cloth. I enjoy this sort of project, it's nice and straight forward. The backing fabric that I used gave me a bit of a problem as it turned out not to be square, I should've checked but I wanted to get it finished. It turned out ok though and you don't notice the not very neat mitred corners.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008


I've done quite a bit of applique, the method I use is very simple. I draw or trace the design on Bondaweb/WunderUnder, iron it to the fabric, cut out the shape, remove the backing and iron it to the background fabric. Then I either blanket stitch around the shape by hand or use my sewing machine to sew around it. Since I got my Pfaff Quilt Expression I've been able to do a blanket stitch with my machine, it saves a lot of time for well used things like the heart runner shown here and I don't have to worry about washing it in the washing machine.