Monday, 29 October 2007

Back home and a nice simple 19thC quilt

We went up last Thursday, Steph and I.
Steph has always been wonderful; now I know she is heroic. As you have seen the cottage was a disaster and filthy. We arrived at 11.30am and by the time we went to bed Steph had not only cleaned the sitting room within an inch of it's life, she had also repainted it. Whilst there amongst other things, she painted the breakfast room, the kitchen and the family room, repaired the split doors, made new panels for the side and end of the bath and more, much more...... I did what I could but no one could keep up with her.
On to something far more pleasant. At a friend's house I was told about this quilt. It was made by an ancestor of a friend. The maker was Elizabeth *****, and the quilt possibly dates from 1870. It comes from Wales.
It's simple quilt, pieced over papers, see the nice stitching.
I like the way it is faced.

And whilst the piecing stitches are quite fine the quilting is less so. Perhaps only 4 per inch.

I love the little prints.
Elizabeth made quilts for the farm workers and also made lace, embroidered and painted. Her other things were given to the National Trust for use in their properties and this quilt was sent back as it was unwanted.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Going on dial up for a few days.

I'm off to the cottage with Steph to clean and paint and clean and then clean some more. I've managed to get the phone line put back on but could only get broadband if I signed away my soul for a year. So I'll be back on dial up. This might mean I can't post any pictures whilst I'm up there.
The carpets were deep cleaned on Monday so at least I won't have to feel the need for shoes before I get out of bed. I'm amazed the stairs and landing have come up clean but I'm told they look fine, we shall see.
If I don't manage to get back online, speak to you again on Monday.

Monday, 22 October 2007

Aren't these scrummy?

I keep pulling these out and having a stroke.
I just don't know what to do with them yet. I had the fabrics for Nostalgia for about 4 or 5 years, I ummed and ahhed for ages before using them. I can see the decision for these taking just as long.
Still no sewing at Toad Hall. The spirit is willing but the body is not happy. The cold is still hanging on to me like a leech.
All I got done today were a few preparations for painting the cottage and sorting it out. Things like getting new loo seats and finding the right sized plug for the sink in the utility room.
I love it so much up there, we are thinking about being brave and renting it out again. Are we mad? I know if we do the prospective tenants will have to be rock solid.

Friday, 19 October 2007

More of the cottage and Guy Fawkes Night

Strangely the upstairs was far better and cleaner than the down. Except they felt the need to put stickers up in three of the bedrooms. In one of the photos you can see what happens when you peel them off.

I feel a little better today, enough so I even got dressed and out of bed. I planned to sew a couple of quilted cushions for the cottage but though the spirit was willing the body was not.
I've just heard on the news one local authority is banning a bonfire on the 5th of November because it's not environmentally friendly. November the 5th here in the UK is when we celebrate the plot to blow up Parliament being foiled. Traditionally children make effigies of Guy Fawkes and it is placed on top of the fire which is lit in the evening. We also have fireworks, toffee apples and other goodies depending on what part of the country you are in. When I was small, children would make their Guy a week or so beforehand and beg by saying 'a penny for the guy'. The money would buy fireworks. It never seemed to be considered begging except by my mother so I never had the pleasure of making a Guy. In later years effigies of other political figures have sometimes replaced the Guy. It seems a good way for a society to vent it's anger with the powers that be symbolically.
If I ruled the world, I would not stop the bonfires but I would limit fireworks to only be allowed on the night itself. As it is they will probably start this week end and go on until late November.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Tagged with meme

I've been tagged by Sharon

7 facts about me

1, I had a misspent youth and regret none of it.

2, I suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after a medical fiasco and have come to the conclusion I shall live with it the rest of my life.

3, I did a parachute jump (solo) to overcome my fear of heights (don't copy, it doesn't work)

4, I married DH Mark 1 on my 20th birthday (far far too young)

5, I had 11 pregnancies, two of them ectopic before conceiving DD through IVF.

6, I designed and made my own clothes when I was just 14

7, I met DH Mark 1 on a round the world cruise and DH Mark 2 on a plane to Geneva, Switzerland

I tag:-

Clearing up the aftermath

I think the photos say more than words.
It took most of yesterday to get just the kitchen clean. I don't know why but I haven't taken a photo of all the rubbish in the garden.
Guess what I'll be doing over the next few weeks.............

Our cottage -after Part six

Our cottage -after Part five

Our cottage -after Part four

Our cottage -after Part three

inside of one of the kitchen drawers

Our cottage -after Part two

Our cottage -after Part one

Our cottage-before

I'm not well, not at all well, I have a highish temperature and am feeling poorly. I posted this post early this morning, only to discover it went on the old blog by mistake. Duh!

This is our cottage. We bought it 3 years ago with plans to retire here in a few years. We can't afford to keep it as a weekend place so we rented it out.

Our first tenants were lovely, we could not have wished for more, indeed they have remained friends. They liked the layout of the house so much they bought a plot of land in the village and built something similar though much bigger.
Though the kitchen was not of my choosing but it is solid oak. We had oak floors laid throughout the ground floor.

And this is it viewed from the back.

And looking out from the breakfast room.

The sitting room.
To say we have been unlucky with our 2nd lot of tenants, might be an understatement.
I'll show you tomorrow (blogger willing) the 'after' photos. Let's just say at this point, I'm glad I had industrial rubber gloves and industrial strength cleaning products.
There is still a long way to go. I should be going up with DH today to continue the work but I've come down with a temperature, only a cold but quite a bad one. We have a skip (dumpster?) arriving this morning to clear out the debris.

Monday, 15 October 2007


Twenty years ago tomorrow Britain suffered a hurricane.
We are not in a region which normally suffers from them. The TV at the moment is full of stories of how it affected people.
So here's my story. We lived in a big Victorian house at the time with cast iron fireplaces. The fireplaces in the bedroom had a cast iron flap for closing when you didn't have a fire going. This flap is heavy and apparently it flapped up and down all night making a huge racket. I say apparently, as I slept through it whilst DH lay there worrying (grin). We woke to find our fences damaged and the roof of our shed had gone. We were lucky, a huge oak tree in next doors garden came down, we were lucky because it fell away from our house and not into our bedroom.
The BBC's version is here

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Floribunda has put a photo up of my quilt hanging at the Pacific International Quilt show and has a link to her album of photos taken there.
Sinclair is as pleased as punch he has a quilt on almost every sofa for him. I'm determined those cream sofas shall stay that colour until they get up to the cottage despite his best efforts. I got a little more packing done yesterday of the delicate stuff. And today I'm visiting Costco for industrial strength cleaning stuff. This is all taking time away from the business of quilting.

DD came home for a flying visit (the funeral of one of her teachers sadly). It was lovely to have her home if only for one night and a quick shopping spree in TK Max. Her order was placed for duck a l'orange (luckily I had some of the sauce ready in the freezer) and a roast chicken dinner. Mums still have our uses (grin).

Thursday, 11 October 2007

I'd rather be stitching

Do you remember that scruffy pine shelf thing I got at the dump (skip, refuse centre, tip, whatever you call it in your country)? Well doesn't it look fine with a coat or two of paint? I found the mugs first and then found a deeper colour of the duck egg blue, and today I found matching tea towels. It's going in the breakfast room.
Someone asked what all the bubble wrap was for. Well I/we will be living in the cottage next week and I'll probably stay on a while furnishing and decorating it up for sale, so I need furniture, new curtains, I'm taking up most of our china, glasses, ornaments, paintings etc and I've had to buy loads of 'stuff'. Luckily 'stuff'' has never been as cheap as it is now.

I found four of these bedside table and the six lamps to go on them. I still need to find two chests of drawers and two wardrobes.

I found six of these lovely cranberry glass wine glasses in the Laura Ashley sale. I think they'll look great with the table laid with white china and add a huge splash of colour to the dining room.
And then there were these curtains in the same blue as the old single duvet covers of my DD so they can go in one of the bedrooms. And I finally got round to sticking the letters on the house name plaque.

So much to do and so very little time. We start taking the first of it up on Tuesday.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Sights in my garden this morning

Looking out of the window this morning I saw this bird on the roof of our garden shed. By the time I found my camera she had disappeared but luckily I saw her (him?) again later. I think it's a grouse (looks very like the one on the Famous Grouse bottles of Scotch) but I live in a town (though we do have a nature reserve done the road) and I always think of grouse living in Scotland.
I love the way water droplets look like crystals on these leaves.

I have set up a separate blog "Flying Away" for any of my works which are available.

Monday, 8 October 2007

Technical hitch #2

Do you sometimes think you are not supposed to be doing something?
I duly got DH on standby as my photographer on Saturday morning, but all the photos have to be 'fiddled' with considerably in Photoshop so you can see the pencil lines.
This is taking quite a bit of time and time is something I'm more than a little short of this week. This is the sort of block you'll be able to design.

The new sofas have arrived a week early. It's a good job our sitting room is spacious as it now has four large sofas, two exceedingly large arm chairs and two foot stools.

All this shopping does have a purpose. We're selling our cottage and rather than selling it cold and empty we're furnishing it House Doctor style. (Though I have always done this even before they did TV programs on it.)
The sofa delivery men had loads of packaging in the back of their van so I asked and they off loaded it and it wasn't until I tried to actually get it into the house I found the true volume of what I'd been given. I now am the proud owner of about 2 cubic yards (or more) of bubble wrap, foam etc.

I can just squeeze round the side to get out the front door, but how we shall get upstairs tonight I haven't a clue (grin).