I am not a robot

A quick line to apologise to my blogging friends on Blogger.   I don’t know what it is with the different platforms, but as a WordPress blogger I’m having a hard time leaving comments on Blogger blogs.  I jump through all the hoops:  select my ID, click on photos from the selection to prove I’m not a robot, and each time, I get an error message. 

I’ll keep trying, but just wanted to let Blogger friends know,  I AM stopping by and reading your posts. I just can’t seem to leave comments.

can’t get enough of Hélène’s mystery SALs

SALS Jan-July

This year I just can’t seem to get enough of Hélène & Mahélia’s mystery SALs!  For those of you who follow my blog regularly, you’ll have seen all of the above this year. 

In January, it was the cute skiing snowman that I finished off as a tree decoration. February was a blushing angel. March was a bunny.  April was a mother and her baby.  There was no mystery SAL in May, but in June Hélène had us stitching a child on his father’s shoulders, and in July a very oriental design with bird and blossoms.  The owl on a branch is one of the bonus designs that Hélène sends out to stitchers who complete her SALs. Not only do you have the pleasure of stitching the mystery SAL design, but you receive an exclusive freebie chart at the end of each one!

In August it was a little too hot to be stitching, so I gave that one a miss. And in September, for some reason, I missed the start of the SAL, so just followed other ladies’ progress on Hélène’s blog. However, when I saw the finished design, I was kicking myself, because it was simply gorgeous.  I therefore asked Hélène if I could stitch it late, and she said “of course”.

The October SAL is already underway, and I’m going to be stitching that too . . . but first, I began September and so far September’s mystery SAL looks like this

SAL Sept 01 Claire

SAL Sept 02 Claire

Some very pretty summery colours . . . next up, some pink and the colour of my choice.  I’ll show you more photos very very soon.

For those of you who are tempted . . . Hélène’s SALs are open to everyone and she does speak & write excellent English, so don’t be shy.  New SALs are always announced at the beginning of the month, with thread requirements, stitch count, dates of each stage, and the first part is always available on her blog. 

Rules are simple: you stitch part one, send Hélène a photo and she sends you part two etc. The only thing she asks is: a) that you respect dates for publication of photos on your blogs/social media (so as not to spoil the surprise for others) and b) that you only publish a photo of the finished piece once it has been “finished” (ie, framed, made into something).

If anyone is interested, the October SAL has begun. You can find part one here: October SAL part one.  You just need to leave a comment to “sign up” and click on the link to open chart. 

“Let it Bee” hexies update

bee 01

This is the photo I showed you the other day, of preparation for a new patchwork project with Henry Glass “Let it Bee” fabrics.  I am so glad I decided to find myself a hand-sewing project to do because it really has kept my hands busy, while resting my shoulder.

Only a few days later, and I have tacked 105 fabric hexies to my paper hexies AND found myself the most lovely box to store them in Rire

LIB hexies1

It’s a wooden teabag box, that is just perfect for keeping everything in while I work.  Being a “portable” project, this means I can take the box with me wherever I go and assemble hexies whenever I have some free time.

I’m using black thread for tacking and a cream thread for stitching the hexies together.  So far, I have one little flower

LIB hexies 2

LIB hexies 3

which I assembled the other day to explain to my sister-in-law how this piecing method works.  I am using whip stitch to sew hexies together.

The longest part on this stage one was the preparation.  Now that hexies are prepared, it should be relatively quick to assemble my fifteen “Let it Bee” flowers . . . and then I’ll set to work cutting hexies in my next fabric for stage two.

Kittens haven’t been helping . . . I was being very organised when cutting my paper hexies . . . snipping over a cardboard box . . . turned my back for 5 minutes and came back to this

kitten help

I have learned my lesson Rire  Never leave a cardboard box with paper cuttings unattended!

colour, cordials and kittens

I was catching up on some blog-reading the other day, as you do . . . and came across a video link on Lynda’s blog, Life on the Farmlet, that had me fascinated, and soon saw me searching for more videos.  Videos on Kaffe Fassett.

Crafters will know the name, and I expect many of us have some of his creations in our craftings drawers, since he is so famous.  I was fascinated to hear him talk about how he got into all the different crafts, and immediately shot across to amazon and bought a copy of his autobiography


I’ve only flicked through so far, but oh my!  This is going to be my bedtime book.  I actually wonder why they’ve put a dust cover on this book, because look what’s underneath


And just one glimpse inside


So much colour . . . just what a girl needs on a drizzly autumn day.

Speaking of colours . . . I was doing my weekly food shop and came across some interesting flavours of cordial.



Blackberry, violet and cherry ^^  Made in France, in the Franche Comté region, and what delicious coridals they are!  I particularly like the violet cordial which really does smell and taste like violets.

And last photo to show you how the kittens are growing.


Abby on the left, and Ducky on the right. You can’t tell from the photo but Ducky is a good kilo heavier than Abby now.  I’ve given up weighing him because my kitchen scales only weigh up to 3 kilos, and he hit the 3 kilo mark a few weeks ago already!  Not quite 5 months old yet, but both are starting to lose their kittenish looks and ressemble real adult cats ^^ 

SAL “Friendship Quilt V” update

Needle is flying as the end of “Friendship Quilt V” is in sight.  I completed another two blocks for this stage

blocks 22 et 23

So overall view now looks like this

view blocks 22 et 23

Don’t forget to check out progress of the other ladies who are helping to keep me stitching in this Stitch-A-long.

Avis, Kate, Gun, Jule, CaroleElizabeth, Lucyann, Cathy, Jess, Jacqui and Wendy.  Lots of lovely stitching going on, and everyone is really motivated ^^

Next update on  25th October.

a conspicuous cat cushion

The other week I said I had been busy with some secret sewing . . . and today I can reveal one of those projects.  The sneak peek photo I showed you was this (the rest was all done before my shoulder trouble)

cats 01

I was given those cat fabric squares at a patchwork club I belonged to, before our move, and originally began to add bands to make something with a 3D effect.  Then the house move happened, they got stuffed in a drawer . . . and in between, I had moved onto machine sewing rather than piecing by hand.

When I came across these squares again, I didn’t like my initial choice of colour at all. Blue and cream – much too drab!  So, I picked out two orange fabrics, and set to work to make something with these cats.

cats 02

That’s much more to my liking ^^  . . . and after that, some fun with Juki and quilting

cats 05

cats 06

and a very conspicuous cushion cover (which is square but I seem to have taken photo from a wierd angle)



This was made for second son and his girlfriend as a ‘’”thank you” present – they know why ^^

best layer of the month award #September


It’s time to do the totting up of number of eggs laid in September . . . and to say that Miss Moneypenny continued her broody silliness throughout the entire month. Not a single egg from her!  However, she’s now back out with the others, scratching and pecking, so I’m hopeful we’ll have some of her darker brown-shelled eggs to look forward to in October.

Luckily, Miranda and Miss Marple have been laying fairly consistently.  23 eggs from Miss Marple and 25 eggs from Miranda – a total of 48 eggs this month which is more than we are able to eat. I think I need to make a cake this afternoon, and take half a dozen of the freshest ones round to one of the neighbours.