Sunday, 10 May 2015

Casting on

     
I'm giving my sewing machine a rest after a busy week and getting on with my new project, a Wildflower Cardigan. The pattern is by my favourite designer at the moment, Alana Dakos. You may remember that I made the child sized version, the Wee Wildflower,  for Vivi last September. The link is to my photos and projects page on Ravelry.

I had to think long and hard about the sport weight yarn for this cardigan as I have been a bit disappointed with the Debbie Bliss brand I used for the Gnarled Oak cardi and the Bergere de France for the Entangled Vines. Both pilled badly although the Debbie Bliss looks OK if I use one of those velcro type brushes that remove lint. I don't think I should have to do that though when the yarn is so expensive.



I needed a harder wearing yarn that was not quite as soft. I searched the forums on Ravelry and found that an American yarn called Chickadee from Quince & Co was really popular. It is only stocked at one shop in London, Loop,  and they did not have quite enough yarn in the colour I wanted so I decided to take the plunge and order it from the US. There is a good selection of subtle colours but I liked this slightly sludgy green called Bosc. There was a notable difference in the price in America and the price here but this was all due to import tax and shipping costs. In the end there was only a couple of pounds in it. Why is yarn so cheap over there? I must say that the staff at Loop took my name and called me back a couple of weeks later when they had more in stock. I would definitely order from them next time as they have a beautiful selection of yarns and seem to have great customer service too.



So, how is it knitting up? I cast on for the back and have managed about 5" so far. The yarn is slightly harder but has excellent stitch definition and no sign of going fluffy. I would love to hear your recommendations for other DK or sport weight yarns. I really would like to support British yarns more. I would like more subtle tones and better value.


The other project on my needles is Lexie's silver and gold bunny girl. The link is to a pink and cream dressed version I did a few years back. I went into Hobbycraft in Cardiff for some odds and ends and found the ideal sparkly silver yarn in the reduced bin. It is Rico Creative Reflective print. This is a 4ply silver grey with a silver metallic thread running through it. Not my usual kind of yarn but ideal for the project. I "interpreted" the gold as a strong yellow. Hopefully she will be finished for the end of the month when Lexie and Sam are coming to stay for a few days.

Finally I need advice about storing fixed circular needles. Mine are like a rat's nest of tangled spagetti in this bag. There must be a better way.



I'm linking up to Janine's Wool on Sundays on her website Rainbow Hare Quilts. The regulars to the party are a lovely bunch and there is always some new project on the go. The button on the right takes you to the current Wool on Sundays.

Next week is going to be really busy with visits to Malvern for the quilt show and to Althorp for a tour of the house with Mike. I may not get much time to post anything but I'll be taking lots of photos while I am out and about for when I do.

Catherine

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Over the rainbow

I woke so early this morning that I was sitting up in bed drinking tea well before 7am. There had been some rain overnight but the sun came out and I spotted the most glorious rainbow. I grabbed my husband's phone quickly and took two photos; one through the bedroom window and the other through the study window to catch both ends of the rainbow. The photo does not do the colours justice but it was spectacular.


Such an uplifting start to the day.

My English Country Garden appliqué quilt was so near completion yesterday that I left everything in the kitchen overnight. I don't have a dedicated sewing room so use the kitchen table for my machine and the centre island for cutting fabric and assembling the blocks.  The top came together fairly quickly although the pieced cornerstones and flying geese meant there were lots of points to match along the way.

I hope you will not mind a few photos. I am really pleased with the finished top.





Mike is hiding behind the last photo!

I used fabrics from my stash for the flowers on pieced blocks using Lynette Anderson's range of fabrics called Bread and Butter. Some of the flowers are hand turned appliqué, some using fusible with machine appliqué. A few flowers are embellished with very simple embroidery mainly blanket stitch, chain stitch and a few French knots. I would love to improve my embroidery skills one day.
The border fabric is the new blender range called Bumbleberries from Lewis & Irene- they do a huge range of colours in this blender so I think it will become a favourite.

Thank you Kerry for giving up your time to design this lovely pattern. It has been a pleasure to work on it. Details of the pattern can be found by clicking the link in the side bar.

Also thank you to new visitors to my blog. I have really enjoyed your comments recently.

Catherine

I'll be linking up to Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? and TGIFF tomorrow (well, it is a finished top!) and Esther Aliu's WOW (Wips on Wednesday) next week with this post. All links are in the side bar. I know how much comments mean so please take a peek at these parties if you have the time and give some encouragement if you like what you see.

Monday, 4 May 2015

My English Country Garden.

I've been a bit behind with the blocks for Kerry's fabulous English Country Garden appliqué BOM on her blog Pennydog Patchwork so I decided to get my act together yesterday to finish the 12 blocks.
The final blocks were the dahlia and clematis. I had left the dahlia for some time as the background was a set in circle. I really should have taken photos of the method but it was fully explained in the block instructions. I was so pleased when everything worked out.
I had used the blocks to practice different appliqué methods but decided to make the last 2 blocks with fusible web. This saved time. So without further ado....



I have used PicMonkey to make a collage of the 12 blocks in order to try and work out a layout.


This is not the final layout and due to different lighting conditions the colour of the background fabrics is not always true. I chose a Lewis & Irene blender fabric called Bumbleberries for the sashing from my LQS, the Patchwork House in Llantrisant. This lovely blender comes in 20 beautiful colours to coordinate with all their fabric lines.


The blocks will be divided with cornerstones in the sashing. Check out Kerry's here. Kerry has used very dark background fabrics and sashing and her cornerstones really pop.

I hope you have all enjoyed the Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK. Mike and I had a wonderful time with two of the grandchildren, Jacob and Isobel, at the Moscow State Circus in Cardiff on Saturday. The acrobats, high wire and trapeze were fantastic and the whole show was so professional.

I should get the sashing finished this week if the weather is as bad as the forecast suggests.
Have a good week anyway whatever the weather.

Catherine

This week I am linking up to the fabulous Esther Aliu's WOW link party. Esther designs the most marvelous appliqué and is currently running the Oma's Blues appliqué BOM. There are always interesting projects to admire so please check it out if you have time.

I'm also linking to Kelly's Needle and Thread Thursday. The link is in the sidebar on the right.



Tuesday, 28 April 2015

The future is bright, the future is Orange (with apologies!)

April has flown in and not a post written but I could not wait to write about my weekend away for a retreat with my Honeybee group.
We decided last year that we would book a retreat and I found Come2Quilt which seemed to have everything we needed; an experienced quilting host, delicious food cooked by her husband and a comfortable space for our small group. Kate and David Ranson have been running retreats from their home in Somerset for some years. The walls are adorned with examples of Kate's work and it seemed that we were still discovering things we had not noticed at the end of the stay.

Kate's Orange Peel wall hanging
Our task for this retreat was to conquer the fear of curves and with this in mind Kate had designed an orange peel wall hanging in two contrasting fabrics. The templates and instructions were at our workstations and we settled down quickly to cut the three shapes we needed. Although this stage was tedious it passed quickly enough as we chatted.
I had originally planned to use a Japanese fabric I had bought on impulse. I'm not sure what had come over me as gold highlights are not my thing at all and as the time for the retreat came closer I fell right out of love with the colour and design. I pulled two fabrics from my stash instead. One was a muted orange and the other a modern restrained design in pale grey with a touch of the same orange tone. Orange seems to be my "go to" colour this year (it was purple in 2014).

Gilly and Liz with Kate in the background.

Jane hard at work. She is the industrious one!
With Kate to guide us we took our first tentative steps in sewing curves. Those of you who are more experienced may have forgotten how difficult it is at the start. Eventually we mastered got the knack of easing the fabric and sewing at the same time. Curves were clipped and pressed and our blocks started to take shape. The real difficulty was in trying to get points matched when we joined the rows together. This is where my skill with a seam ripper really helped!
It had been hoped that the quilt top would be finished by the end of the weekend but this was not to be. The combination of great company, food and wine with a "new to us" skill foiled our attempt. Jane had decided to use her blocks to make a bucket shaped tote bag. Her design was modified to include a curved bottom and a flap. Her bold fabric choice was a real success and I cannot wait to see the finished bag. Gilly decided that the only way to go was to do a table centre. Her Brandon Mably spotted fabric was accentuated with larger circles and will look super in her modern home. Liz and I are going with the original design idea and hope to have wall hangings to show soon.


I do have a finish this week on the knitting front. I have been following the KAL on Ravelry run by 2 Knit Lit Chicks, Barb and Tracie. Their podcast is always worth a listen for trends, tips and good reads. This KAL was an Alana Along using the designs of Alana Dakos. Remember my Entangled Vines? This is the link for the finish off thread with some beautiful knits. I just about managed to finish another cardi for myself which I have on Ravelry with all the details of yarn etc. It is my Gnarled Oak cardigan designed by Alana and I just love it- everything is just right and it fits so well. The KAL finished tomorrow and I have my fingers crossed.



I told you I liked orange.

Post-script. I finished the third row of the orange peels yesterday afternoon and decided to finish at that point. I have squared it up, chosen a thinnish cotton batting and I aim to hand quilt it. No photos as yet.

So I'm back home and sorting things out for a visit by Jenny and her family next weekend. She and her husband are celebrating their wedding anniversary by staying in a 5* hotel on Friday night and we will have Isobel and Jacob to ourselves. Bliss (I think).

Have a wonderful week. The promised downturn in the weather has not happened yet in South Wales and it is another sunny, if cool, day.

Catherine

I'm late but linking to Wool on Sundays and tomorrow to Yarn along with Ginny of Small Things. Also linking to Celtic Thistle Stitche's New to Me, button on the sidebar, with my new curvy technique.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Easter wishes






Wishing you all a wonderful family Easter filled with chocolate and fun!



and wishing you a joyous Eastertide full of the true meaning of Easter.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Oma's Blues Progess; making templates and starting to sew.

I set aside a couple of days for sewing this week. I fancied a quiet time to recover after the stress of my father's illness and appliqué hit the spot nicely.
I had been studying Simply Successful Applique by Jeanne Sullivan for the best way to make templates. I decided to try a few different ones to find which suited me best. Initially I thought I would use fusible Wash-Away sheets for templates but there had been several comments on the Yahoo group that this product might not wash away completely so in the end I chose to use freezer paper. The book suggested that ironing two sheets of freezer paper together would provide a more stable template.
Mike had acquired a rectangular wooden wine box and it struck me that it would be ideal as a light box. The wooden top was replaced with a perspex sheet and a 10 watt fluorescent light was fixed inside. Ridiculously easy and saved us a whole lot of money too. I look a bit studious in the photo but I was concentrating and not posing.

Tracing the freezer paper templates
The central medallion is a basket of flowers and a bird surrounded by the triangle pieced ring with so many small elements so I needed to be organised. I labelled and numbered the various elements on the plan of the design and as I cut the templates I also labelled them and placed them in ziplock bags.
Selecting the fabrics was the most difficult part for me. I was trying the base the tones on the colours in our Chinese plate with a good range of dark, medium and light blue tones. I had found the ideal fabric to fussy cut for the bird's wing but trying to get a good range of blues with similar tones was hard. Some were too green, others too lilac.


Once the fabrics were chosen I ironed the freezer paper templates on the right side of the fabric. These were cut with a scant ¼" border for the majority of the shapes and ⅛" for the tiny pieces. The freezer paper templates were then detached, the material turned to the wrong side and the templates laid down with the shiny side up.
Concave curves were snipped to a couple of threads from the template. I turned the border over and 'tacked' the straight sides with a touch of the Clover iron. The edges adhere to the freezer paper to stabilize the piece.  Using the Apliquick tools I turned the curves over and used spray starch liquid applied with a paintbrush and the Clover iron to set small gathers to make a smooth curve. I hope I have described that adequately and I highly recommend the book for lots of information and great photos of all the techniques.

The background fabric was marked with lines of running stitch from corner to corner diagonally and from top to bottom and side to side to find the central point. These lines are to help with the placing of the templates. I also traced a vinyl overlay as in the photo below so that I could slip pieces under to the correct positions. Another easy way to place the pieces is to use the master pattern on the light box and place the block on top. The pattern is seen easily through the fabric. The stems, bird and leaf were stitched first then the basket and large flower.

appliqué with vinyl overlay
So, my progress so far is slow but very satisfying. I really feel I am getting to grips with some new techniques.



If you fancy having a go at this there is a link to the Oma's Blues group in the side bar on the right. If you join the group there is access to the pattern for free plus some great Easter projects.

Enjoy your week,

Catherine

I'll be linking with Esther Aliu's WOW party on Wednesday. If you have any WIP's you are working on why not add your link as well? Click the image for WOW in the right hand column to go to Esther's blog.

I'm also linking to Celtic Thistle's New to Me in 2015 (see the link button on the right). I thought I had nothing new until Fiona suggested the lightbox and the matter of a few new to me appliqué techniques!













Thursday, 12 March 2015

A knitting finish

Thank you to everyone who sent messages or posted comments after my last post. It has been a stressful time for the family and all your thoughts and prayers helped a lot. Dad had an angiogram and 2 stents inserted yesterday and has been discharged to my Mum and brother's care at home. Thank goodness for the NHS. Wonderful care and treatment from dedicated staff. I could not speak more highly of the unit my father was treated in.

I managed to finish my Entangled Vines cardigan as well. I am pleased with the result now and it is certainly cosy. Next time though I would knit the size down. There is quite a bit of positive ease and I think maybe slightly too long.


Never one to sit idle, I have cast on another of Alana Dakos' designs. This time it is the Gnarled Oak cardigan.


I'm using Debbie Bliss Rialto (DK) in coral.

I'll be linking up on Sunday to Wool on Sundays.

Right now I am getting down to cooking for the weekend at my parents house. I've made a Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato soup and will also be baking Mary Berry's Orange layer cake. I thought I would take a lasagne for the freezer and roast a chicken too. Busy busy!!!!

Catherine

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Blog temporarily on hold


This is just a post to let you know that I will be unable to write regularly for the next week or two. To be honest, sewing is the last thing on my mind.
My father has suffered a heart attack and I have had to travel to stay with my Mum and help out with hospital visiting and organizing things for her and Dad.
Could you please keep us in your thoughts over the next few days? I am feeling a bit stressed and anxious as Dad will be having an angiogram and possibly further procedures on Tuesday. I will not be able to respond to any comments individually and hope you will not mind too much.

I hope to be back with the blog soon.

Catherine

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Oma's Blues- I've started!

A new sewing week and hardly anything else in the diary this week at all. All my fabrics are washed and pressed, I have all the notions I need, so, no more excuses, I'll start Oma's Blues.



I traced all the elements of the centre straight onto the Wash-Away appliqué sheets. These are cut out now and put into separate plastic bags. Some of them are so tiny that I'm afraid of losing them.
My first real sewing is the round border for the medallion. This is pieced from alternating light and blue triangles. I traced the ring onto the sheets which I had joined together, numbering the triangles. I separated the sheets and cut the arcs of the circle with a rough ¼" border. The fabrics I chose are a pale blue and a dark blue and white flower print from the Oriental Blue fabric range from Makower. If you are sharp you will notice I have reversed the placement of the dark and light fabric. I would like to say this is a design element but truthfully I got them the wrong way round and there is no way I am doing the circle again!



I will finish the circle today and trim the fabrics to ¼" from the triangle points. I am undecided about the technique I will choose to turn the seam allowance under. Leah Day has a You Tube video where she makes a template from bonded sheets of freezer paper. The strengthened template is inserted behind the fabric and then the edges are turned with starch and pressing before the template is removed. The turned edges are then sprayed and pressed again. The alternative is to snip the inside circle, apply glue stick to the back of the Wash-Away sheet and turn the edge to stick down which is a technique used by Lynette Anderson. Advice has been offered on the Esther Aliu Yahoo group for both methods but I may go for the more time-consuming template method as it is said to give a smoother curve.

The weekend passed so quickly. My granddaughter Isobel turned 2 and came to stay with my daughter and the rest of the family. Aunties, Uncles and cousins arrived along with the other grandparents and we had an old fashioned birthday tea with cake and jelly and then a couple of party games. The adults all stayed for supper too so it was a very full day.


So by my next post I hope to have finished the ring, prepped the white fabric square and started on making a few of the elements for the centre.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Getting ready for the Oma's Blues Applique BOM


I seem to be getting ready for so many projects and I will be glad when I can get started on a few.

If you have not seen Esther's Blog yet you really should check it out. Esther Aliu is a textile artist and quilt designer. She established a private Yahoo group to link quilters world wide and regularly releases free patterns for the group. Membership is by application to Esther by email and comes through quite quickly. How do you all find Yahoo groups? I admit to being slightly ambivalent. I find the set-up a bit clunky but once you are in there are forums, advice, patterns and so much more. The BOM runs from January-November 2015.
The newly released pattern is called Oma's Blues which is a reference to her German grandmother's plates. I think blue and white quilts are quite beautiful and the design for this one is stunning.
There will be a central medallion plate with bird, flowers and foliage, surrounded by borders with other motifs.



I took a Chinese plate that we have to our LQS and came back with just the three fabrics you see above with the plate. The light blue and the darker fabric are just right but the fabric with hexagons will be kept in reserve. Not sure it has the right feel. I may have to make a detour on the way to London to get some more. I have very few blue fabrics in my stash and none with these kinds of tones.......

......a few days later and after our visit to London....

Mike and I spent last weekend staying with friends. On the way there a little detour was in order to a fab shop called Creative Quilting in Hampton Court Village. This shop had everything I needed, fabrics, notions and a whole lot more including the most helpful staff.
I bought a selection of fabrics with mid and light tones. These have now been washed and pressed. The photo below shows the color catchers from these fabrics at the top and from blue batiks at the bottom.

I ordered Mettler 60/2 threads online for the appliqué. I thought these would be the range of colours to blend with the blue fabrics. The background is Kona Solid White, a good white white, if you know what I mean.  
I'll be trying a couple of new products for my turned edge appliqué. The wash away sheets can be used in the photocopier to copy the pattern then to stabilize the pieces. It will also be used for the foundation piecing of the pieced triangle (see above around the central medallion of the Oma's Blues). Those teeny, tiny triangles have to be pieced in a circle!



The central medallion pattern pieces have now been printed and traced and next week I should have prepared the background square and have some actual progress to show.

A few tools I ordered online to help with the appliqué. I'll be reviewing them when they have been used.



close-up of the tips
Just a small finish to show you this week. I knitted a Perennial hat, pattern by Alana Dakos, from the Sweet Georgia yarn I used for the Oak Trail hat. All the details are on my Ravelry project page


I'm linking up to Freshly Finished Friday (link in the right side bar). Click through on the little blue frog to see the links to posts.

Have a super weekend. It is my granddaughter Isobel's 2nd birthday today and we are hosting a tea party here on Saturday for grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and cousins. Should be fun!

Catherine

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Entangled Vines update- hate the yarn!

Do you ever start knitting with a yarn and really liking the feel and texture of it and then change your mind? I'm using Bergere Magic+ for my Entangled Vines. I loved the slightly soft feel and the colour when I started. As I have progressed with the sleeves, which are knitted on DPNS, I have had problems with splitting and pulling of the fibres with the ends of the needles. The whole cardi is knitted top down on a long circular needle so that there is a lot of weight and the yarn is probably handled more than if it were knitted in separate pieces. The photo with the book is taken with flash and this has made the stitches look neater but if you compare it to the photo below which was taken without flash you can see how uneven and slightly felted it looks. It may help to enlarge the photo on your browser. I'm seriously falling out of love with it and only hope that trying to even the stitches out with blocking will help.




I'll have to finish it now as it has cost me too much but I hate the lack of stitch definition. On the up side; as it is knit in one piece there will be no seaming and I have been able to try it on. It fits!

My book this week was lent to me by my friend Celia. It is The Forgotten Seamstress by Liz Trenow. Celia knows all about my quilting and thought this might suit me. It is about a woman who finds a quilt in her mother's attic and sets out to discover the secrets behind it. Asylums, royalty and love. If only my quilts had such a back story!An easy read and maybe not the best written book by a long way but enjoyable all the same. 
I will be linking up with Yarn along and Wool on Sundays, the links are in the right hand side bar.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Busy week

This week is flying by so I am taking a few minutes this morning to jot a few things down that I have been doing.

On Tuesday I hosted a sewing bee for the Honey Bee group I belong to. We are all ladies "d'un certain âge" who met at a beginners quilt course. There are about 6 or 7 of us who decided to keep meeting up as we enjoy each other's company so much. We have a laugh, share ideas and generally get along. Liz was feeling not so good so could not join us this week so there were only 5 of us; Gilly, Jan, Kathy, Jane and me.
Concentrating on getting down to work
Gilly with her new fabrics
Jan starting to bind her quilt

Jane and her Bargello quilt and Kathy with her embroidery sampler
I worked on some hand stitching of another flower block for the English Country Garden BOM so that I could organize drinks and lunch. I cooked 2 soups for lunch; Nigel Slater's Smoked Haddock Chowder and Jamie Oliver's Creamy Mushroom soup. Mike made some bread to go with the soups, Gilly brought her delicious chocolate brownies and some cheese and I made an apple and cinnamon tray bake.


As well as the usual show and tell we decided to do a small fabric swap and Jane had brought a pattern for foundation paper pieced stars. We will be using the swapped fabrics and some from our own stash to make the stars. The idea had been to try to use fabrics that would not be our normal choices but that was easier said than done as we were all drawn to the colours we like the best!

Jan brought along her subscription copy of Quiltmania, a French magazine that is also published in English. One of the projects featured was a Mystery Quilt BOM called Colmar by La Fée Pirouette (Nathalie Mèance) and only available in the UK though The Running Chicken Quilting Co. We all liked the project so much we rang and booked our places there and then. We want to work on a project together, building on our fledgling quilting skills by learning the new techniques. The photo of the first block is taken from the magazine.
The kits can be ordered mainly in Europe but with one outlet in Australia and one in the USA but places are filling up very fast. The written instructions are backed up by online videos so I think we should be able to cope. I am looking forward to improving my appliqué and embroidery skills.
New skills sometimes require new kit too- I ordered a set of Apliquick tools. I had seen them being used by Lynette Anderson on Youtube and I hope they will make it easier to turn fiddly edges on small pieces of appliqué. I also ordered a book on appliqué technique; "Simple Successful Applique" by Jeanne Sullivan. It arrived yesterday and I have only had a quick flick through it but it looks comprehensive with great photos, a video and patterns for 9 projects.



My cardigan is progressing well and I hope to have more photos next week.

Mike and I are off to stay with friends near London for a few days. A theatre visit is planned so I might include a review next week too.

Whatever you are doing, stay warm, stay dry and stay well.

Catherine



Monday, 16 February 2015

Miscellany

Lots of bits and bobs to talk about today.

As you probably know, my love for yarn, like fabric, knows no bounds.
I have started a new cardi for myself and I'm taking part in a KAL (that is a knit-a-long for the non knitters amongst you)- the Alana-along KAL on the 2 Knit-chicks Podcast discussion board on Ravelry. The KAL is based on the patterns designed by Alana Dakos. I chose "Entangled Vines" from her book Botanical Knits. The KAL is running from Feb 1st -April 1st 2015. It is great fun posting photos of our progress so there is still plenty of time to join the group and cast on. I had finished the hat too quickly (Oak Trail featured here) and love her patterns so much I wanted to do something else. She is the designer of the Playful Stripes and Wee Wildflower cards I knitted for my grandchildren too.

So, progress so far.




Sleeve and shoulder detail
The wool is Bergere de France Magic+, a 80% wool/acrylic mix in the "Fonte" colour. It is a grayish brown and if I were to take a guess I would call it Nutmeg. Whatever, it is a useful color that will go with lots of tops/dresses until the weather warms up. In all honesty I did go to my LYS looking for something more Spring-like. 
 I am knitting on 24cm Chiaogoo fixed double point needles (4.5). The yarn is easy to use, does not split and I think will be pretty hard wearing. The design is knit from the neck down which I have done once before in a child's cardigan. It needed quite a bit of concentration to start with to follow the twisted cables and motifs on the sleeves but the chart and written instructions were very detailed.  I have now divided at the underarms and the rest of the body is in stocking stitch so ideal for watching TV and knitting. The sleeves will be picked up and knit on DPNS.

I'm so keen to knit this cardi quickly that I took it to the hairdressers, so......
just for a laugh....



I have been trying to catch up with my English Country Garden BOM and have now almost made 9 of the 10 patterns released. Here are the latest blocks.


The pansy is cut out and prepared for some hand sewing on Tuesday 17th. My lovely Honey Bees are coming to lunch and I will be able to host the day more easily if I stick to the hand sewing. There may be 6 or 7 of us so I'm hoping the large Victorian boardroom table in the conservatory plus the kitchen island and table will be enough room for sewing machines and cutting boards.

Now for a photo of a stocking-filler present that my husband bought for me at Christmas.



It is a vintage thimble case made of cockle shells. The stripes are a pretty greenish colour.  I am not sure if this has been added or is natural. Mike thinks it may be Victorian. The thimble which was included is nothing special but does fit me. I think it is so sweet.

This week I'm linking to Wool on Sundays, Needle and Thread Thursday and Yarn-along. All links in the right side column.

Have a fun week.

Catherine