Saturday, May 5, 2012

Rain, Drought, a Stitching Show and the Big Sort. Again

Well, April escaped without me noticing and then May Day came and went and a sulky grey one it was too, well in the North West UK anyway!  Goodness, what a lot of water has fallen from the sky recently considering most of the country is officially in drought.  Our county has escaped the hosepipe ban but south and east of here the rain reached biblical proportions with a lot of damage and at least one death that I am aware of.  The Badminton Horse Trials in Gloucestershire were cancelled, this is possibly the most famous three day event in the equestrian world and would have been used by many riders as *practice* for the Olympics.  It must have been pretty miserable running in the Manchester Marathon too on Sunday!

So, apart from getting soaked at least three times while Nordic walking, what have I been up to?  The WT went off to France and Germany last week and got told off when he got home for not calling me after driving from Paris to Frankfurt!  He is very good about emailing every time he lands or takes off but it appears much improvement is needed when in a car! 

The Knit and Knatter and a Stitcher group had a nice away day at Aintree on Friday.  Yes, I know we were too late for the Grand National (thank goodness!) but in perfect time for Creative Stitches and Hobbycraft show that was held there.  Julia kindly took a carload and I had a nice knatter (sorry) with Tracey in the back of the car.  We were both Army brats so have quite a lot in common.  Arriving at the show we decided to do a quick walk up and down the aisles to see what was there.  To be honest, it is a small show just in one hall and not nearly as large as the Twisted Threads one at Harrogate in November.  But most enjoyable all the same, some lovely silk fabrics, the scissor man who comes to Harrogate was there so had to buy a couple of pairs of scissors, didn't I?  Would have been rude not to! 

After lunch we all went our separate ways and the highlight for me was Lorna Bateman's stall with the most gorgeous silk ribbon embroidery kits.  Lorna and her assistant Gill were quite delightful, not to mention patient, in showing us how to make spider roses and leaves.  I came away with a small pincushion which, God willing and the creek don't rise, will be finished with a beautiful silk embroidery done by me.  Just don't hold your breath, dears!  All in all, a lovely day in the company of friends, who could ask for more?

Stash from the Show!
Gorgeous Crazy Quilting - possibly
my new favourite?
Chameleon Threads and Hand  Dyed Fabric
from South Africa

 Lorna's Silk Embroidery Samples

Back at the barn, taking advantage of the WT's absence and no necessity to cook dinner for a few days, I embarked on the Big Sort - mm, you know what I am going to say.  The sewing room.  Again.  This time it was serious, I sorted everything, needles, reels of cotton and why I have fifteen reels of blue thread I have no idea......., silks, fabric, charts, you name it, it got sorted.  I have some charts that I am putting on my sale page so have a look and see if there is something that is calling to you.  Some are quite old but might appeal to someone.  All my WiPs, UFOs, call them what you will are neatly stored in file folders that I have been buying at our local supermarket every time I go shopping.

I haven't been stitching on any of them, you understand, because during this slightly harrowing time I discovered these pieceswhich have been hanging around ever since I left Michigan eighteen months ago and I decided they needed to be finished and on their way to be made up into kissing pillows for the US military (scroll down to the heading Soldier Kissing Pillows).  Haven't stitched on Aida for about twenty years and I keep forgetting to use three strands of DMC as well as not actually managing to stitch an entire heart without frogging!  You can see the Zen like state I got into doing the lettering too!  There was some distinctly colourful language being uttered while all this was going on.  I am trying to keep in mind that the recipients of the pillows are enduring much worse, either fighting or waiting for news at home.

This post is going backwards, a couple of weeks ago I had another nice away day with Julia and we went to Knutsford, a lovely little town not far from here, where I am sure as  many of you know is what Elizabeth Gaskell based her fictional town of Cranford.  We had a nice wander round the charity shops and a delicious lunch in the Penny Farthing Museum which is really a restaurant with lots of penny farthings and related ephemera.  Well worth a visit and you can give thanks, if you are a cyclist, for gel saddles!

This plaque is outside WH Smith
the bookseller

After lunch we went to visit Tracey in Fibre and Clay and had a ladylike drool at all the beautiful yarn I but restrained myself to buying just a pair of bamboo needles.

And just in case some of you are thinking that NO stitching is going on here is a sight of my somewhat slowly stitched CITA, most of part 1 and a very small amount of the second part and yes, I have signed up for Yvonne's new the fabric (thank you Sew and So!) and the threads all organised.
Castles in the Air - only 21
more parts to stitch!

Hmm, this has gone on long enough, you must have finished the cuppa I hope you began with and will be quite exhausted!  Thank you for staying the course and leave a comment, you know the drill by now, I get really upset when you just steal away!  Thank you for all comments and all my new followers, make sure you leave a way for me to contact you.

Love to you all, don't forget to smile!


  1. I read about all the rain, I hope everyone stays safe and as dry as possible. Sounds like you had a good time at both of your outings and very nice stash. I really like your colors on CITA. You are way ahead of me on the stitching front, I never got past the color picking stage.

  2. Sounds like you have been real busy, i bet your stitchig room looks lovely, but will you be able to find anything now, thats what happens when i tidy up, i cant find a thing!

    I saw the ribbon embroidery once before and loved the look of it, seeing it here again has made me want to try it, better add that to my wish list for my birthday when family ask what i really need.

    Enjoy the bank hol weekend whatever your plans Gillie and hope the rain stays away. xxx

  3. ooooooooooo ahhhhh yummm and cooo and lovely and wow ... mmmm anything else I can say to this post
    love the chameleon thread and your Cita start too and cute ribbon sampler bits too ..... hope you were taking note ;)
    love mouse xxxxx

  4. You've been a busy girl! I wonder if you'll like the ribbon embroidery. It looks intimidating to me. Love your mistake on the aida. LOL! Isn't it amazing how we can get to into our stitching that we forget how to spell!! : ) Wonderful stash you found!! What a fun trip!

    Happy stitching and enabling!


  5. Finding it a bit hard to smile at the moment (scowl). We visited Knutsford last year (was it?) and it was most exciting to think of Mrs G there.

  6. Look at all that lovely stash you bought! Everything looks so yummy! Love the threads! Can't wait to see what you stitch with them! Wonderful progress all around! Congrats on the Big Sort! Thanks for sharing!

    Melissa J.

  7. Your CITA is really looking good. I love the pictures of the shop. You would think you would have the WT trained by now,but then he doesn't travel by car very often does he. LOL
    Great blog update

  8. You bought some wonderful things! Organizing is such a wonderful thing: lots of time you find things you forgot about or that give you just the feeling of something new.
    The rain keep falling. over here in Belgium it seems like it's autumn and I'm getting a bit afraid that we're going back to winter, skipping summer like as if it doesn't exist.
    Good luck on the Papillon SAL! Happy sunday...

  9. I enjoyed reading your post and seeing the photos. If I'm correct that's a gorgeous Julie Arkell piece in the shop you visited.

  10. You have been busy! I've worked with Lorna before, she is really lovely. Looking forward to seeing your pincushiom

  11. Dear Gillie
    Looked at that website and those pincushions look wonderful. Now you have sorted your stuff I will have to sort mine and well done on starting CITA.

  12. Love keeping up with all you're doing Gillie, great photos, are you really doing crazy patchwork??

    Especially love the silk ribbon embroidery, I have a few kits....but haven't started yet

    Julie in Oz
    (PS: Thanks for the Wiki link for TimTams, haha, here's an Aussie who didn't know much about TTs except that they are yummy!!

  13. Oh lovely lovey stash :) Especially pleased to see the chameleon threads from my sunny shores :) CITA is looking stunning!

  14. Your CITA is inspiring!! I wish I had time to stitch, but things keep getting busier with my guys. Congrats on sorting your sewing room..that must have felt wonderful! Your days out sound like fun...I'm glad you have found companionship while WT is out and about. Great to hear from you! *Hugs*

  15. Love those chameleon embroidery threads! They'd almost tempt one to trade in the fabric stash for one of thread.....Almost.
    I'd love to have been along on your wander. I did find myself mildly shocked though at the name of that museum....."What a rude name," I was thinking, and then I noticed the "h." One of those "never mind" moments. Carry on.


I love to receive comments and read every one! Please never steal away without telling me you were here!