Category Archives: Patchwork

Happy Friday Number 6

Hooray!  Here at last for Happy Friday…That’s the problem with living in the wilds of Norfolk, the internet connection is rubbish at the best of times, and when it goes wrong, it really goes wrong! Never mind, I’m here now, and if I type very, very fast I might just get back in in time for the Great British Sewing Bee which I love, do you?

So what happened this week which deserves a Happy Friday mention? Well, firstly I fell in love with, and just had to buy these gorgeous pieces of vintage eiderdown fabrics from Sarah Moore.  As soon as I saw them I was transported back to childhood and the eiderdown m granny used to tuck me under when I went to stay.  If only I still had it… I’m hoping to make a little patchwork cushion for my bedroom to keep those memories alive.

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Higgins had a play date with his little friend Coco.  It’s sooo difficult to get a clear photo when he meets his pals, there’s so much charging around, but here they are, I think they were hunting otters! 2015-02-06 14.41.31I started making the cowl designed for the Remembering Vanessa Knitalong which I mentioned in this post and explains the gorgeous yarn I showed you for Happy Friday number 4 

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So that’s what’s been happening on Planet Penny, how about you?  Do please join in with the Linky below to let us know what has made you happy this week.  You can find out how to join in here if you haven’t done it before.  Please, please play fair and mention Happy Friday in the post you link to. This is as much about people finding their way back from your blog to the Linky party as it is finding your link below. You can also join in via Instagram with #PlanetPennyHappyFriday.

I’m leaving you with good wishes for Valentine’s Day this weekend, and I look forward to following your links and finding your happy moments!

See you soon…x

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Splash of Colour – November

Better late than never, they say, but I can’t believe it’s Friday and I haven’t managed to post all week.  Higgins and I have just got back from our walk, and the rain has started so I can sit down without guilt while he sleeps off the exercise (and the obligatory bath, well he is very low slung!)Emma over at Silver Pebble feels just like me about winter, but has come up with a ‘cunning plan’ to keep the Winter Blues away.  She has invited fellow bloggers to post a blast of colour at the beginning of each month between now and Spring to keep our spirits up which is right up my street (although anyone who has been visiting Planet Penny for a while now will know I don’t really need an excuse to get colourful !)

I need a bit of cheering up now though.  We’ve had a tiring, noisy but ultimately great weekend with family and now they’ve all gone home.  The little boys, one four, one nearly five and one six year old  very nearly ran Higgins’ legs off and he had so much fun.  Although he was puzzled, very puzzled about the blue stripy human puppy which every one wanted to cuddle.  It made exciting squeaky noises and was, allegedly, very nearly as cute as Higgins but wasn’t allowed to play. 

 Tim has gone back to work for two weeks and it’s just me, Higgins and Henry.   There’s  been a lot of sleeping but lately  he’s been looking at me saying, “I’m BORED!”

So, November colour…Well, there’s been a lot of orange about…

 There’s been sunshine too…and pink… I found a strangely speckled dahlia…

 What do you think?  I like my flowers to be a true clear colour on the whole, but I don’t want to sneer at it’s brave attempt to carry on flowering.

But orange?  I am generally heard to say,’I don’t like orange, but…’

I’d run a mile from any clothing in orange, it would make me extremely miserable.  But a blue bowl full of clementines, now that would make me happy.  Nasturtiums?  I love them.  Pot Marigolds.  Pumpkins. Autumn leaves. Terracotta tiles. I’m sure you can add to the list. And the book that is making me happy at the moment, and adding an extra splash of colour is Kaffe Fassett’s Quilts en Provence.  It’s full of orange, and I love it!

One day, I will make one!

So every time the mud outside gets too much I shall escape to the sun and Provence and dream…

Back in the studio, someone else is getting a colour fix, but he’d better not eat those cushions!

I'm not chewing...I'm not!

I shall be back next week with my latest colourful cushion, another fair isle which has been progressing rather slowly.  Have a lovely weekend, I hope the sun shines where ever you are and if you are celebrating Guy Fawkes Night, enjoy the fireworks!

Four and Twenty Blackberries…

…to bake in a pie!  That seems to be all I can find.  Just enough berries to colour an apple pie prettily pink.  Certainly not enough for jam or jelly.  I know they are late this year but an awful lot appear to have shrivelled and died before even ripening. Higgins doesn’t like blackberry picking.  HE likes to decide when we stop and start on a walk, and he’s not going to climb into prickly places  with HIS short legs, Oh no!

Still, I might just make the most of these by making Blackberry and Apple Crumble Icecream.  I’ll report back on that later so bear with me.

I’m happy to be able to show you the latest baby gift before it goes off to my great nephew. ( Why does being a Great Aunt feel so much more aging than a Granny?)

I’ve also tried one of the patterns from my new knitting book. (You didn’t think I could wait ’till I’d finished everything else did you?)  Remember these?

Being an American book I had to find alternative yarn, but I was more than happy with what I got.

Cashmere….Merino wool….Silk…Machine Washable! It’s lovely, really soft and cuddly…

It is Sublime baby cashmere merino silk DK which I bought in Norwich for £4.50 for 50gms  but I’ve since ordered some other colours online from Shadow’s Discount Wools at £3.90 a ball.  I’ve had a sock thing for ages, as you might recall, so these are perfect to add to my repetoire for present giving.

Finally, there’s the blanket.  I’m SO near to finishing.   Remember this?

Well, this is all I have left…

Just three more rows of edging to go and I’ll be ready to show it off, Hooray!

Lovely weather for ducks…

…and toads. I spent so long moaning about the cold during the winter I hesitate to mention the heat, but in Norfolk over the last few days it’s been hot,hot,hot… It was lovely to wake up this morning to the gentle patter of rain, and good that the dry spell didn’t break with a thunderstorm and a deluge that just runs straight off and down the drains.

Higgins has spent a lot of time lying around, too hot to get up to mischief (mostly). We tried a cooling spray of water from the hose but as far as he was concerned it was rain, and he was very put out. This morning when he barked to go out and it really was raining, he just sat and growled at it to stop. When it finally eased off enough for a quick sortie round the garden he was most intrigued to meet one of these…

I’ve not seen him wandering around the garden before, but he must have been feasting on our slugs for a while because he was really rather large. I hope by now he’s found another comfy spot for pest control duty.

I’ve been nibbling my way around the veg patch for a few weeks now, mostly salad greens and carrot thinnings. The mange tout have been tasty and the pea flowers very pretty…

… but my raised beds are not really big enough for such straggly plants. I keep finding enormous pods under the collapsed foliage which are definitely only suitable for ‘mange’ing the bits out of the middle. The beetroot are looking great though, and the little ones I thinned out were delicious. We had the first two courgettes for lunch, thumb size, and the first few beans, french and runner are beginning to show. Oh, and the potatoes I planted in two big buckets are looking really healthy. I just hope there’s something happening below soil level.

I’ve been trying to get some colour into the pots in the courtyard area by the studio to make up for the fact that my front garden is suffering from a) the dry and the heat and b) my inability to get things to flower which will take over from the spring flowers, aquilegia, poppies and all the other things currently running to seed. I’m finding the black walls of the studio a good background for bright colours. It worked well for the primulas…

…and now they are over I’ve planted a vibrant mix of dahlias and geraniums.

We actually managed to beat the blackbirds to the cherries this year, probably because we’ve had the best crop ever.

We can never get many as the trees are quite tall, and pruned to give a high canopy of shade, but Will went up and did his orangutan impression and we managed a couple of pounds of sweet dark fruit.

Trying to make the most of them I found a recipe for pickled cherries on the internet. Unfortunately not a good recipe, the amounts were all wrong so I had to improvise and won’t know if it worked for a month, but if it does I will let you know and share the recipe. Looks pretty though…

Cherry jam required stoning the fruit. Oh dear…Tim came into the kitchen to what appeared to be a blood bath…Juice on the work top, the floor, most of the utensils, my hands, arms, clothes… There was only a pound of cherries. I ended up with just a jar and half of jam which allows for testing…absolutely delicious…but by the time I had cleaned up and bleached the kitchen the project was probably not an effective use of time. Anyone getting offered cherry jam when they come to my house will know they are very special!

I’ve also finished a poignant project. A while ago I lost Jan, my much loved Aunt, a patchwork enthusiast. Her daughters-in-law passed on two works in progress along with her sewing effects, and hoped I might be able to make them into the family heirlooms Jan had intended. I was a bit stumped with the first one. It was a long strip of hand sewn hexagons, three to five pieces in width, and long enough to be the width of a double quilt. Looking at the prepared pieces, and the fabrics I had to work with, I wasn’t going to be able to complete something that size. And anyway, I really wanted to keep it as predominately Jan’s work and adding another nine tenths to it would take mean it was more my project. In the end I divided it into three pieces, and rejoined them to make a rectangle, piecing in hexagons Jan had tacked to card (old Christmas cards in fact, and rather moving to find cards from my grandfather, and other relatives now passed away amongst them) until I had something about baby quilt size.

Now I had to keep my fingers crossed for a baby! Last month, little Euan arrived. He would have been Jan’s fourth grandchild and she would have been so happy. But at least I could pass on the quilt she had made so much of, with both our names on the back, to give him a cuddle …


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