Sunday, 13 November 2022

Hope Springs Eternal

Just found this unpublished post written before Covid dominated our lives and thought I’d post it anyway, even if just to provide me with an incentive to attempt to re-establish some regular blogging! It also reminded me of the gloomy winter months that still lie ahead of us before experiencing that glimmer of hope I mention below that happily occurs, occasionally and without warning, during the early months of the new year.


(Written a few years ago BC………)

Well, I'm not quite sure where the last six months went, but here we are already in mid February and well on the way towards Spring.

Yesterday I visited an interesting nursery with my friend Jane. Down a narrow lane and set in the grounds of a school, we first discovered The Walled Nursery at Hawkhurst in Kent last summer and it is a little gem.

Set in a beautiful Victorian walled garden, they are gradually restoring the old Vicotrian glasshouses, melon house etc. As well as a great selection of plants, they serve excellent homemade lunches, coffees and teas set in the old vinery where a huge, gnarled vine of over 100 years old still lives on. Tables and chairs are set out on gravel (clever use of tennis balls prevents your chair sinking!) and the tall brick walls are covered in vintage and antique gardening and agricultural tools.

We were lucky to visit on a bright and sunny morning and were excited by the sight of honey bees buzzing in and out of the pretty pale yellow primrose-like primulas, mini irises, hellebores and hebes on sale. After the bitter cold dark days of winter this year, the sight and sound of bees filled me with delight, a sudden surge of happiness and hope, that Spring is not far off, that it will get warmer and light and brighter, and there will be flowers!

Friday, 25 August 2017

Etsy Shop Update

As I've been super busy with the sewing machine this last week I thought I'd share a quick roundup of new items made and now available in my Etsy Shop.

All of the following items have been added in the last few days and are available at the time of writing.


I've made a couple of new pincushions. The first one is made from pretty blue and white fabrics from the Blue Sky range designed by Edyta Sitar of Laundry basket quilts for Andover Fabrics, backed in a pretty red print.

Another pincushion, this one in beautiful soft grey blue French General fabrics and the same pretty red print back.

Both pincushions are plump and pretty, and with a subtle scent of lavender as I can never resist adding a bit of lavender, these are lovely to use when sewing or would make a pretty gift.

Drinks Coasters

A set of 6 beautiful vintage floral linen coasters with frayed edges and a woven natural checked reverse are now in my shop.

Another set of coasters in pretty blues and whites from Blue Sky fabrics have been added.

And another set of the popular French General fabric coasters is now in my shop.

Key Rings / Key Fobs

I made these pretty lavender filled key rings /key fobs from antique fabrics back in May /June and shared here in a post, but have only just got around to adding them to my shop.

One is made from a lovely antique soft green and white striped French ticking, and the other slightly smaller hexagon is made from a pretty tiny floral antique cotton.

Glass Cases

I've just finished making four pretty linen and blue floral fabric glass cases and they are now in my Etsy shop.

Sorry about all the little collages but I do enjoy making them!

Thanks for looking!

Gill x

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Summer Snippets

It's hard to believe we're past the middle of August now.......why is that the warm months always fly by the quickest?

It's been a funny old summer here and despite the warm, even hot, days that we've had, the amount of wet days seems to dominate and I'm in the mindset that Autumn is really not far away at all. 

Gathering the first blackberries in July this year was the start of this pre-Autumn feeling. So early, usually we don't pick them until the middle or end of August. It's been a bumper year for blackberries here in Kent and we have stacks in the freezer already and hopefully more to come. 

To me, the mornings smell autumnal, the evenings too when there's the smell of bonfires or wet grass in the air. I've started making warming soups and beany stews, the oil has been delivered in readiness for the chilly mornings (we actually had the heating on for an hour each day when it was wet and chilly -  in August!!) so it takes me by surprise when I step outside on a sunny morning and find its actually warm and still summer!

When the weather was wet I got back into sewing after a longish break. After selling a few patchwork pot stands in my Etsy Shop recently, I thought I'd better get sewing again so got out my patchwork books and was inspired to make some more. 

Some of the pot stands below are already sold but there are still a few left in my shop here

They are made in traditional block designs, some log cabin Courthouse Steps designs, a Windmill design and a Broken Dishes design. I will be making more.

Windmill design

Broken Dishes design

Courthouse Steps already sold

 a lucky win of complimentary tickets to the Festival of Quilts at the Birmingham NEC last weekend, courtesy of the generous Carolyn Forster, quilter, teacher and author of lots of beautiful books including Quilting on the Go, inspired me even more and now there is no stopping me! 

The Festival of Quilts was amazing! I'd wanted to go for years, and being a member of the Quilters Guild I was always aware when it was on through the quarterly magazine articles, but having no sewing friends I never plucked up the courage to go alone. 

A good friend with no sewing interest wanted to go and we both had a brilliant time. She now knows what a fat quarter is and is about to tackle her first patchwork project!

Here are just a few of the amazing quilts that were on display.

The quilts were incredible. Each one different in concept, but each one beautifully made. 

Inspired by the beautiful quilts, and armed with some gorgeous fabrics, I got busy making something on a slightly smaller scale than the quilts.....some little patchwork coaster sets!

 French General fabric coaster set 1, now sold

 French General fabric Set 2

Blue Sky fabrics by Edyta Sitar for Andover 

The last two sets of 4 coasters, the French General fabrics Set 2 and the Blue Sky set are available in my Etsy Shop

Edited : Blue Sky set now SOLD

Before the Festival I also made some cushions for home and for sale

One for the sitting room....... for my daughters bedroom which sits nicely on her cosy chair

.......and one for my online shop! An upcycled denim jeans cushion now in my Etsy Shop

I shall be making more of these!

I've also been making some reversible bandana bibs which are currently being "tested" out by a friends baby granddaughter! If they fit well then I will make some for the shop.

Enjoy the rest of the summer everyone, may the sun shine long into September (please, pretty please, as I'm off on holiday soon!)

Edited 21 Aug :  As the little Blue Sky Set of Coasters shown earlier in this post has now sold, I have just finished a similar set (see above and below) which is now in my Etsy Shop here. These coasters have a definite vintage French feel about them, with the beautiful blue, cream and white fabrics used and the hand quilted finish.

Gill xx