30 April 2014


At Christmas we were given the present of a wine tasting experience at Westfield, near Hastings, just on the East Sussex/Kent border.  We booked for a tour last Friday morning, so travelled to our hotel on the outskirts of Hastings on Thursday.  As we had plenty of time we had stops along the way on the coast roads David visited a railway model shop just outside Arundel, and we took a lunch stop around Littlehampton to enjoy a picnic on the deserted west beach there. We had another stop at Worthing and went to a fabric shop, Eclectic Maker.  It's a modern fabric shop so any thoughts of getting some purple/red/pink batik type fabric went out of the window. Instead I bought this

I've undone the woven ribbon, but not the fabric, yet.  It was so neatly folded and tucked and if I undid the squares I wouldn't be able to put it back the same way! The photo doesn't do justice to the delicate quarters of golds, yellows, creams. I did get another 2 fat quarters, a newsprint one which was folded the same way, but you've guessed it, didn't go back together again.

In contrast to the sunny day when we travelled the Friday was cold, grey and damp.  We had a brief tour of the vines at the winery followed by a wine tasting.  We tried samples of 5 wines, some sparkling, a couple of fruit wines and followed with lunch and glass of wine.  We took a taxi into Hastings then had a look around the Old Town.
It was a grim day!

David took a photo of the mosaic on the underpass
And here he is on the beach, going to take a photo of the pier.  I stayed on the pavement as I didn't fancy walking across the stoney beach.

The tall fish sheds for drying out the nets

The two pics above were from one boat.  The bottom photo was showing a fisherman's cottage
A funicular railway with the carriages moving.
Stained glass window in the fishing museum (formerly a church building)

more boats

On Saturday we took the trip home but instead of taking the coast road we headed north towards Tunbridge Wells and across Sussex before taking the motorway from Gatwick before heading towards the M3 and home.  On the way we stopped at David's brother's place in Surrey.

But before getting there it was out with the NT cards again as we went to Bodiam Castle, built in the 14th Century with quite an impressive moat.  The ruined castle had murder holes above the entrances so they weren't that welcoming to strangers!

It was onward to Scotney Castle which has two buildings, a house owned by the Hussey family and the former castle at the bottom of the valley which was made into a ruin by its owner, but makes a lovely view from the house.  The azaleas and rhododendrons were making their impact on the garden with their flowers which added to the lovely vista.

The main house at Scotney Castle
The Castle

The tiniest daffodil I've ever seen, in the grass bank
Just look at that colour!
Quirky pic of the castle

Looking from the castle to the house

More rhododendron loveliness

Out and About

The last 2 weekends we've been out and about, Easter Monday out for the day near Yeovil, Somerset, just an hour's drive away. This last weekend we had a couple of days near Hastings, where we had a wine tasting experience that was bought for us as a Christmas present. Quite a lot of photos taken so may be more than one post.

Near Yeovil there are a couple of National Trust properties close to each other the first we visited was Montecute House then onto Barrington Court.  It was a really sunny warm day and unsurprisingly was very busy.

Montecute House had some really lovely gardens and around the back of the entrance was a bed of lovely tulips in the cut flower garden, though the high hedge behind cast quite a shadow.
The gates looking to a long drive

Montecute House

The Orangery with ferns, wallflowers

Ooh, more tulips

Just a few more!
After a tour around the house, it was deciding whether to lunch there or to go onto Barrington Court, just a few miles away and we decided on the latter.

As a lot of people were making the most of the warm sunny Bank Holiday weather it was really busy, but we managed to get parked.  As well as house, gardens, nice lunch and sunny weather it had some artist studios and incredibly a patchwork shop!  I was very restrained and to David's surprise I didn't buy anything, but just had a good look around!

Another bit of quilty inspiration came in the form of the brick pathway that lead to the house. Please excuse my shadow taking photos, perhaps I should have turned the other way!

Aren't those patterns fab?

Here's the house

A tudor building that was one of the first owned by the National Trust and was renovated at the turn of the last century by Colonel Tate, grandson of Abram Tate, of Tate and Lyle fame. 

The gardens were just lovely, considering it was April it was full of colour
And of course we take photos of each other, just to prove we've been there!

23 April 2014

Playing With Headers

This afternoon I've logged onto Sew At Home Mummy's "Beautify Your Blog" weekly article and this time it's about Headers.
Sew at Home Mummy
I have struggled with this one, trying to get the photo adjusted to fit the header and have ended up using the photo actual size which looks pretty small and weedy.  I've used the Pixlr Express editor that Erin recommended and have got the header that you now see.  I used it on a test blog to try it out, liked it and decided to use it on this blog.

I then decided to do a collage of the recent Mug Rugs that I sent to Pam in February

Oohh look at that! I think I've impressed myself!  This may lead to more playing about.

22 April 2014

More blocks

Sunday and today, because of iffy weather I've stayed in and sewed.  I've taken a few blocks that I've made and decided to frame them so that I will later quilt as you go
I'm keeping the purple/red/pink theme on white on white background.  I've found I've got yardage of light beige tone on tone print which will be just right as it won't show through the light background.

I've recently seen a blog, Little Island Quilting, making quilts for children in Mexico City called Soy Amado and asking for quilted blocks.  I've pulled together some blocks that I've tried out with various methods, I wasn't sure what to do with them so I've machine quilted them.

And here are the backs

Today, I sorted out a panel of 8 jungle prints which I won in a raffle about a couple of years ago called "Jolly Jungle".  The print isn't true and with some steam ironing and starching to coerce the panels to square up a bit better, but cutting the panels straight this is what one of them looked like, not good.

See what I mean?  So I just cut around exact quarter inch from the edge of the frame instead of using the ruler to measure and cut straight.  Using strips of fabric to frame again I could straighten as best I can and trimmed the blocks to 12.5" square.  Now I have 8 blocks and could do with 9, so I'll have to find some inspiration to make a ninth.  I am thinking of using the striped and giraffe fabrics together either as arail fence or to cut wedge shapes to join together.

Feels good to be using up stuff.

19 April 2014

Mug Rugs

I've taken part in the Easter Mug Rug swap forum on the Popular Patchwork website.  I was to make a rug to send to Carol, otherwise known as Thimble on the forum and I would receive one from Sylvia. All of us in the group were to open our Mug Rug envelopes yesterday (Good Friday)

This was mine to Carol

And this was from Sylvia

Enjoyable swap and lovely to receive!

Happy Easter

16 April 2014


A few weeks ago I saw a post on Judith's blog here about Bee Blessed blocks and liking the look of the Asterisk block I had to have a go.  Seeing the 'positive/negative blocks made I knew I had just the right fabric to make it fresh and spring looking, so here it is

Jude has received and likes them, which is great.

I have been following Erin, at Sew at Home Mummy's blog and made 2 of the blocks for the Classic Meets Modern (link on the sidebar) and this week caught up with March and Aprils blocks.

March was Drunkards Path

April was Double Z.  Is it this way?

Or maybe this way?
What do you think?