Your mother was a hamster*

*and your father smelt of elderberriesThe kids are back to school and work has returned with a bang. I've had my head down deciphering awful writing all week, with very little time for anything else. The dog walking must go on, however, and with it the final little bits of foraging for the year. The blackberries are all gone now (mostly to my house, admittedly), so this week was all about elderberries.They take quite a lot of cleaning and de-twigging, and you end up with a far less impressive amount than you thought, but hey - free food, right? And jam. You can't go wrong with jam.Steamy!This autumn I've made a ton of apple pie filling (yum!), a million blackberry things (jam, cobbler, [Read more...]

Englishness in a glass

I was out walking the pup yesterday and suddenly noticed the huge numbers of elder trees that are in bloom at the moment. They seem even more overblown than usual somehow - maybe it's the delayed spring we had or maybe it's the fact that until last summer (before Katie) I very rarely ventured outside. And certainly not for a walk. Shudder.I thought to myself, why not pick some of them and make elderflower cordial. It can't be that hard, right? It's just water and sugar and elderflowers (obviously), and maybe a couple of other things. Once again my poo bag stash came in very handy. Last time it was for collecting wild garlic scapes, which are a lot nicer than poo, I can tell you.I used this [Read more...]

*sigh*

We have just got back from a short break to possibly the most beautiful place I have ever been - the Scottish Highlands. Wow. It is breathtakingly, achingly, incredibly gorgeous. We stayed in a fantastic guesthouse in Oban, which looks like this (but without the peculiar v-shape from the panoramic photo, obviously):Unfortunately we only had two nights there, but did manage to hire a car at the last minute and spent the day driving around with our mouths agape in awe at scenes like this:Glen NevisThe trip was way too short (aren't they always?), and of course now we want to move to Scotland as soon as possible. Although my sensible side reminds me that it barely gets light in winter, not to [Read more...]

Why I need to get out more

Katie (the puppy) is a master of toy destruction and can decapitate pretty much any squeaky animal in less time than it takes to get it home from the shops. I'm fairly sure she's not alone in this talent, so I don't hold it against her. Instead, I thought it might be nice to commemorate her kills.Yes, I know vulture is spelled wrong. That's how my son says it.I have a whole stack of little wooden plaques just waiting for their heads. Dog toy taxidermy – it's the new big thing.

Head in the sand…

Or at the very least, buried in fabric.My work situation is a little uncertain at the moment, for all sorts of boring reasons that I won't go into. Although I have a shed-load to do it seems that what ended up happening instead was a little bit of stitching. I'm playing around with some Field Study to make a shop sample for Annie. This is such a beautiful fabric line. Gorgeous colours, and such a fantastic mix of prints. It's pretty much the definition of eclectic. Just a sneaky peek for now, but I'll show you more when it's done.I have also got my Pervalong bundle in my hot, sweaty hands. I love it so, and I can't wait to get started. I'm very excited that I will have some lovely people [Read more...]

Muscle memory

I was tidying the living room the other day (trust me, it doesn't happen very often) and rediscovered the giant granny square blanket that I started making about two years ago. I'm not sure why it got forgotten, but it has been sitting in a basket under the coffee table for a very long time. There was no way, I thought, that I would be able to pick it up and carry on without going back and relearning how to crochet. Surely a two-year hiatus would have erased my extremely limited crochet skills. I was amazed, and a bit relieved, that my hands remembered what to do, even if my brain didn't. That kind of thing fascinates me.It's about 34 inches square at the moment, and I think I have enough [Read more...]

*insert wild cackling here*

Yesterday was the best day out I have had in forever. A few of us from the LMQG went to the beautiful home of the brilliant and hilarious Lucie Summers for a screen printing workshop. Lucie had prepared screens with our designs for a quilt label in advance, so after a cup of tea (in THAT mug) we got right down to business. Thanks to Lucie's expert tuition, there were happy dances going on all over the studio. Michael and SydneyIt's possible that I got a little bit carried away with all the lovely colours available and I now have more quilt labels than I could ever use, I think. Ah well, any excuse to make a million quilts. In all the excitement (and hysterical giggling) I [Read more...]

It’s been a while

It has been a long time since I was here. Life could not be more different. New home. New husband. Happiness. It feels good.Life got complicated there for a while, but there was always time for making. And with a house full of quilts (but always space for more) there needs to be somewhere to share them. What's the point if you can't show off a little, right?There have been quiltalongs:(single girl)(swoon)and block parties (that will last a long, long time):(rose star block party)and assorted other quilty adventures here and here.As always, there are a million works in progress. Keep watching - I'll prove it!