flea market for needlecrafters

Today, I had a lovely morning out . . . to a flea market for needlecrafters – yay!  I spotted a flyer for it the other day at the baker’s – an annual flea market organised by a local group of needlecrafters in a neighbouring town. Well, obviously, I just had to go, so I did.

It was in the local hall, and there were lots of lovely stalls to look at. Some selling general haberdashery items (they were the professional stall holders), others selling really vintage items . . . some selling hand-made goods, and others selling all sorts of crafting supplies.  I headed more towards the “amateur” stalls, and had no trouble at all finding a few bargains to snap up.

Now, although I don’t need anymore new fabric, I couldn’t resist when I saw the price one lady was selling for.  7€ the metre (that’s £5 or $8 US)  – a bargain!!!!!


Just look at these gorgeous prints! 

From left to right: 1.40m of “Winsome” by Nancy Halvorson a Benartex fabric, 50cm of a gorgeous green (don’t know what brand); 50cm of a Japanese Robert Kaufman; 50 cm of a Hoffman International and 50cm of “Verona Tiles” by Makower (all fabrics full bolt width) . . . so 23€ for 3.4 metres of gorgeous fabric.

Another lady was selling used dress-making patterns.  She had cut using the large size so they’ll be fine for me who needs the M line lol.


With the price of patterns, these were a giveaway: 1€ for the skirt pattern and 2€ for the trousers/shorts/waistcoat. 


Some vintage buttons which look gorgeous on my new green fabric for 3€ and a little vintage plastic thimble for 50 centimes.

AND . . . I bought two tombola tickets (proceeds of which will be helping to fund the needlework club for the coming year) and won two hand-made lavendar bags ^^


I could have spent hours having more of a look, and probably managed to empty my wallet, but my husband, who had kindly come with me, was sitting in the car listening to the radio, so I thought I had better not push my luck. 

I am really excited about all my buys, but especially excited about the patterns.  The “Plan” for this coming week will be to follow a proper trouser pattern. 

happy dancing with a bed banner

We’ve been away for part of Easter weekend, helping eldest son and Titia move into their new flat . . . which was the perfect occasion to give them a present I had been working on.   A “bed banner” – as in, a small quilt to hang on the wall above their bed.

Titia had asked me to make them one last year ^^ . . . I began, but, with our own house moves, things got stuffed in a drawer and I never seemed to find the time to finish. Until I learned they would be moving, and decided I had to get it finished in time to make the perfect flat-warming present!

When I began, in March last year, I had decided that I would do this project making blocks to quilt as I went.  This seemed the easiest option for a beginner, when working on a basic sewing machine.  “Purples” was the colour Titia asked for . . . so I began thus


then quilted each block with straight lines . . . and followed the Gourmet Quilter’s really excellent video on youtube for assembly.   The method is actually very easy, although practise will be needed to make it perfect lol.  I also have to say a huge thank you to Avis, without whose help and encouragement this quilt would never have seen the light of day ^^

So drum roll . . . and photos of my most recent (and largest ever) quilted piece.

bb front 2

bb front 1

modelled here, by my headless husband, and a broom stick.  I added loops thinking the best way to hang it will be on a length of wooden dowling.  And I made it reversible, in case they get fed up with the busy blocks


bb back

The finished piece measures approx 140cm x 70cm.  As I say, it’s the largest quilt I’ve finished so far so it has given me the motivation I need to get out one of my other quilt top and finish it very soon.

And a thank you to Titia ^^ who bought me two new thimbles for my collection AND took the photo for me, because I am incapable of taking decent unfuzzy close-ups ^^


what Claire found under her xmas tree

I was totally spoiled this year for Christmas, with a wonderful variety of pressies under the tree. Some hand-made, some shop-bought, but ALL just perfect ^^ 

From Avis – one of her home-made stars for my tree and the most gorgeous ball of yarn which is speckled with sequins and is beautifully variagated – I am so excited because I’ve been doing some knitting and this is going to be perfect to make myself a scarf – I can’t wait to get started.

from avis xmas

From my other half – two nighties – one with short sleeves and one with 3/4 sleeves.

from dric xmas

From Fred – a “Harry Potter” card and bookmark

from fred xmas

From Hélène – two thimbles

from hélène01

From my sister – Series 3 of “Miranda” . . . I’ve been waiting impatiently for this for ages lol.

from jane xmas

From my daughter and her boyfriend – because I can’t draw or paint but I still want to paint

from megan xmas

and some more bookmarks for my collection

from megan xmas mp

from one of my English students – a magnetic memo pad

from naima

from my sister-in-law

from natacha

From eldest son and ‘Titia (these were on my Christmas liste hihi) – three detective novels with a difference. The main character is a lady who runs an embroidery shop and has an Irish Wolfhound – and solves murder mysteries ^^

from s&l xmas

and also some more bookmarks

from s&l xmas01

from Stéphanie

from stéphanie xmas

and last, but not least, from Valérie – some cat notelets and a really cute thimble with a little fairy leaning on top.

from valérie

back to normal

Life is getting back to normal after the relaxed life-style over the summer. I am a little behind with a few “thank yous” so will make up for it now . . . by saying thank you to Valérie, who brought me back these gifts from the States

kdo from valeriea dog print fat quarter for some patchworking, and a scented mug rug.

A thank you to eldest son and ‘Titia who thought of me during a short weekend break in the mountains and have added two thimbles to my collection, as well as a “cars” bookmark ^^

kdo setl

And a thank you to Zazimuth who sent a whole pile of bookmarks AND had been busy embroidering and cross stitching

kdo zazimutha

kdo zazimuthb

thank you Titoune and Pierrette

I have more thank yous to post today . . . yes, indeed, more generous friends who have been thinking of me and fuelling my addiction for collections.  First of all, Titoune (who was a faithful follower for the “Tangled Frame” SAL) sent me some bookmarks – one of which comes all the way from Kyoto.

from titoune

And thank you to Pierrette, a lovely lady at my local patchwork club . . . who gave me a beautiful wooden hand-painted thimble . . . with a Matriochka design lol.  Unfortunately, even with my macro button on my camera, I can’t seem to get a decent photo.

from pierrette

a big thank you to Chantal

I’ve taking part in an exchange on a French forum with 4 other ladies.  I have already made, and sent my gifts to everyone, in fact I think I sent the last one way back in August, but we had a full calendar year.  Anyway, today I received a huge parcel from Chantal so the unpacking was very exciting . . . almost like Christmas early ^^

Chantal has made me one of her “specialities” . . . you’ve all seen puzzle mats I imagine?  Sort of large piece of green felt that you do puzzle on, then roll it up to keep it safe until you want to work on it again. Well, Chantal makes a WIP roll . . . very ingenious!  It can be used for patchwork blocks or for cross stitch pieces . . . idea is you lay it on mat, then roll it up to take it places, and it doesn’t get all creased!

She also added two lovely thimbles for my collection AND a zany cat bookmark for my bookmark collection.

So a big thank you Chantal.


thimble collection is growing

I haven’t posted any recent photos of my new thimble collection . . . which is growing lol but proving ever so difficult to document because my camera just isn’t up to zooming in on small objects. I’ve tried, and tried again, but have real problems taking any decent photos. I zoom in and things just go fuzzy . . . I zoom out and lose all detail.  So, apologies for the poor quality of pictures. Anyway if my collection is growing, it’s because I have discovered a lovely on-line shop Cottage Thimbles which have loads of really nice items at very reasonable prices AND their service & packaging is simply brilliant.  The other great thing about Cottage Thimbles, is that when you place an order, you get a FREE thimble : the special of the month, so it’s a great incentive to shop regularly ^^

Recent additions to my collection therefore are

4 London monuments

which cost me £1 each.

Second photo is of a few buys on ebay! England, Yorkshire, Wales  plus a second Wales  from Cottage Thimbles


and two of their dated collection (photo is fuzzy) which were my free gifts: one is July 2012 and the other the Jubilee 2012

and then three of Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit, bought on ebay

I now need to keep my eyes open for a suitable display unit.  The one I bought on ebay is great, but can only hold so many . . . so for the moment I have it on a shelf unit with just part of my collection on display, and the others are stored in a wooden box.


visit to Pierrefonds Castle

Our friends from Down Under left this morning – suitcases full of souvenirs of their 2 weeks in France . . . and computer full of photos of their stay with us.

Yesterday we took them to visit a castle in Pierrefonds.  Originally built for Louis of Orleans in 1393 this fortified castle was dismantled by Louis XIII in 1616 and the ruins were later given to Napoleon I in 1810.  Then, around 1857, under Napoleon III, Pierrefonds underwent restoration by Viollet-le-Duc (a very famous French architect who was also responsible for restoration work on Notre Dame de Paris).

and little stop off in the gift shop afterwards where I bought a couple of bookmarks and a wooden thimble for my collections.

more thimbles and bookmarks

My collections of thimbles and bookmarks have grown some more this week.  First of all . . . I received a comment from Aurum who also collects bookmarks, asking if I wanted to do a swap . . . to which I replied “of course” ^^  So I had a rummage in my duplicates box and sent a batch to Aurum, who in turn, sent me a batch of her duplicates. So 14 new specimens for my collection.

Next, my darling daughter (aka Lindashee) decided to follow my example with the massive clear-out in bedrooms . . . and decided I could have the bookmarks she found in her drawers. Two are ones I actually made for her in my early stitching years (and the canary one could do with a gentle soak because it’s decidedly filthy)

Then, on the thimble front . . . while ordering thimbles for myself the other week (the London series) I ordered a second set and sent to Christine . . . who very kindly sent me a parcel in return.  Not only did she send me three thimbles (sorry about the fuzzy photos) one of which has my initial on one side and a dog’s head on the other

but she also sent two lavendar bags and lots of different printed fabrics for future sewing projects.

So a big thank you to Christine, Aurum and my daughter.

“Thimbles” – Edwin F. Holmes

Today I received the second book on thimbles that I ordered from a Market Place seller on amazon and am looking forward to learning a bit more about these little sewing accessories.

This book was published in 1976 so only editions around are second-hand. My copy is an old library book (with the City of Liverpool Public Libraries sticker inside lol) but is in excellent condition for the price I paid (just under 10 euros). The book is a nice hefty hard-back one, with 150 pages . . . loads of text, looking at the history of thimbles and classifying them by the materials used ( porcelain, enamel, gold, mother of pearl, ivory, silver, bone, horn, leather, glass, stone, wood, fabric, brass & plastic) . . . lots of photos in b&w but also 8 pages in colour . . . so if there are any thimble collectors out there who don’t own this book, I suggest you try and get your hands on a copy because it looks like it’s going to be a fascinating read.

Here are a few snaps of the inside