Monthly Archives: August 2016

Janet Bolton Workshop

In an earlier post I said I would say more about Janet’s workshop that a friend and I attended in Lampeter, Mid Wales in July.

We both thoroughly enjoyed the slow pace of the day, enjoying the hand stitching of patchwork pictures.  Janet is a lovely, gentle lady with quite a sense of humour, which I think her work portrays.  In preparation for this workshop I had done a piece of work, which was a little ‘workshop’ featured in Janet’s latest book,  ‘Fabric Pictures, A Workshop with Janet Bolton’, see  below.


Whilst I really like it, I am conscious of the fact that it is not really ‘my’ work, so I tried to do something more ‘me’ in the workshop, see below

2016-07-29 17.47.57

This piece I do not like, it seems too contrived and hasn’t got that naive quality I associate with Janet’s work.

I have done a few more, trying to find my own style, but I don’t feel happy with them.

AGGRO - WIN_20160821_102633

This is from a drawing I made some while ago and it is all turned applique, a slow stitching method but because of its’ sometimes outlines, I think it is more in keeping. I’ve added the sketchbook page ..

AGGRO - WIN_20160821_103023

I had to do another sketch which simplified the shapes for the turned applique..

AGGRO - WIN_20160821_103042

So, not all our work turns out as we would like, but it is always worthwhile having a go.

Until next time, happy stitching,


Scrap-bag work

Thought I’d better add my latest update, after Marg’s excellent contributions. I’d like to say that I’ve been really busy stitching away, but in truth the sunshine has tempted me outdoors too much lately.  One of the things I love to do is play around with scraps of fabric and ‘stuff’ that I save in my copious scrap-bag. This is something I tend to gravitate to when I’m stuck on something, need new inspiration, or just don’t know what to do next! So of course, when I’d been distracted by hiking and outdoors, this is where I turned to re-motivate myself – and it’s no surprise that what I came up with were two landscapes. Here they are:

scrap-bag 1     scrap-bag 1 close

scrap-bag 2    scrap-bag 2 close

Most of the rest of the time when I’ve sat down with my needle has been spent completing my latest challenge for the FifteenxFifteen group. This month the challenge was Architecture, and my piece is called ‘The architect’s sketchbook’ and I’ll add it to my gallery of 15×15 images (in the tab above).

architecture - jb

Our hiking has been mainly in our usual haunts around the nearby Peak District and we’ve also been away to the Lake District for a lovely family holiday.  So, just to show where I’ve been whilst playing truant from stitching, here are a few of my favourite distractions!

Peak district – wonderful weather:-

IMG_2967 IMG_2987 IMG_2735

Lake district (not such good weather, but lovely anyway) :-

IMG_2882 IMG_2880 IMG_2845

Now – what next!!



Jenny Wren

A couple of weeks ago, we noticed that our little wren, which had been flirting about all over the garden for a couple of weeks, had not returned to her baby chicks .  By now, it was about 7pm and we were getting a bit concerned.  Help from the internet told us that sometimes the nest is left for a  while by the parents in the hope that the chicks will leave the nest and also that towards twilight the chicks would stop chirping and go asleep. We checked about 9.30pm and sure enough, all was quiet.  Sigh of relief.

The next morning, about 7.00am the chicks were madly chirping and there was no sign of our wren.  We phoned Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, who said they would get someone to call and check the nest and if necessary take the chicks away for care at their centre.  In the meantime, it would be beneficial to try and feed the chicks with small caterpillars, spiders and the like!!  Whilst my husband rushed off to the pet shop to buy some mealy worms, I scouted round for caterpillars, but found only one, as they had to be very small ones.

During his absence, one of the little chicks fell from the nest.  I managed to put it in a shoe box, but sadly this one did not survive.

Peter was quite successful in locating the nest entrance, finding two baby wrens and feeding them mealy worms, no small feat.

The man from Staffordshire Wildlife Trust collected the nest about 11.30am and took it away to their centre, saying that we had done a good job in keeping the survivors alive, adding that we could check on their progress tomorrow, which we did and they had both survived the night and were doing well.

I wrote this little poem in remembrance:-

We really thought it wouldn’t be long
Before we’d hear your cheery song
But we waited and waited to no avail
And your dear little chicks began to wail
We sought some help from The Wildlife Trust
Swift action and care was surely a must
To save the lives of your chicks so sweet
With their bright yellow beaks and enormous feet
So wherever you are, be it close or afar
Know that we’ll keep our doors always ajar
In the vain hope of hearing your shrill little songs
And seeing your nest just where it belongs

and here is a photo, albeit not a good one, of the chicks

Jenny Wren

Be back soon.




New Ideas

I love flowers in the house all the year round and ususally buy some when doing the grocery shopping, but this year I decided that from 1 June, I would buy no flowers, but instead only use the flowers grown in our garden.

My husband, who loves to garden, made two cut flower areas for me and between us (mainly him) we planted those plants recommended for being good for cut flowers.

My mum-in-law also likes flowers and when we visit I take a vase for her.  My efforts this week are shown below

FLOWERSPerennial sweet peas, yarrow, echinacea, I’ve forgotten the name of the little white bauble flower, but it doesn’t mind being cut and keeps on flowering.  The red leaf is physocarpus, a new foliage plant this year and the colour seems to go well with any cut flower.  Mum in law was chuffed to bits, saying how much she loved the vase as well, which was a gift from my sister in law.

I enjoy thinking up new ways to display flowers and when I was tidying my shed, which I have to do on too frequent an occasion, I found these little glass jars, which I think I intended to put liquid dyes in, but I have not been able to find the right sized cork, so I thought………..

New idea

I think it looks really good, again I’ve used the perennial sweet peas and in between put rosemary and mint herbs.  As the display is quite narrow, it fits quite nicely on a narrow windowsill.

Moving on from flower arranging, earlier in the year I bought a new blouse for summer.  The first time of wearing it I must have dropped something down the front, hadn’t noticed and so the stain, whatever it was, dried and would not come out once washed.  I was determined not to relegate the blouse to my already huge pile of things I use for messy jobs in the shed, so read on.

One of my favourite stitchers is Janet Bolton and early last month, a friend and I attended one of Janet’s workshops, which I thoroughly enjoyed – more about the workshop in another post.  Janet wore a grey twinset and on the front of the jumper were two small round appliqued patches.  I was intrigued to know why they were there, but was too shy to ask, hoping someone else would, which they did.  Janet told us that someone had made her laugh when she was drinking a glass of red wine and she had spilt two drops on what was her favourite jumper, hence the patches.  So this set me thinking, I hope you like the result of my efforts.

Repaired Blouse

I prefer it now than before, loving the uniqueness of it.  I had to add a few embroidery stitches down the front edge as well just for effect.  I think this will become addictive and am on a quest looking for older blouses which could benefit from a few hexagons.

Hope you are enjoying the summer and I’ll be back soon.