Saturday, 29 August 2009


When I saw the film Mamma Mia last year, I thought it must have been a bit of cinematic trickery to have sea so blue. I was wrong. It really is.

The Aegean goes from pure turquoise to indigo. It's been 22 years since I was last in Greece and I'd forgotten how lovely it is.

The people of these islands will be dining out on Mamma Mia for decades to come, I think. We had coffee and cokes at Skiathos Harbour (where Colin Firth and Pierce Brosnan missed the boat...), where narrow cobbled streets converged onto the dock.

The colours of Greece are predominantly blue and white, like their flag.

We almost felt obliged to take the Mamma Mia cruise to visit the neighbouring islands of Skopleos (where most of the filming was done) and Alonissis. It may have been the promise of the film being played whilst cruising that did it. Needless to say, I have had 'Honey, honey..' like a brain-worm ever since...

This the tiny church perched high up on a rock where the wedding took place - we stopped for a 'snapshot', as the Greek captain kept saying!

No2 spent most of his time with his feet off the ground...

...trying to create the most impressive splash.

Me? I had the best baklava EVER.

And a couple of glasses of rosé in the evenings along with my kalamari...

Oh, and a case of labyrinthitis that won't shift so I feel like I'm still on the boat (so, still with the brain-worm). My doctor has told me to take travel sick tablets for a week to try and get back on dry ground...

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Monday, 17 August 2009

The end of the affair...

My red and blue quilt is finished. Oh, I love it. It has been a joy to make.

From choosing the fabrics..

...they came from here, here and here.

To cutting them all into squares and rectangles...

...pressing all the seams...

...and watching them come together.

Laying them out on the living room floor, watched by Pippin, who nonchalantly walked across the whole lot as I laid the final one down, scattering the whole thing across my slidey wooden floor... deep breath, start again!

Sewing the top together and seeing it take shape, excited by the prospect of the hand-quilting, which I love.

The satisfaction I get from the mitred corners knows no bounds.

And then seeing it folded neatly, finished, at last. Sigh.

Wanna see?

My inspiration came from Jane Brocket's Domestic Front Quilt which is on page 170 of The Gentle Art of Domesticity. There is no pattern, as such, so I guess-timated and each big square is 8" square, with the middle square measuring 4". Each of the six rectangles surrounding the middle square measures 2" x 4". These are all the finished measurements and I added a 1/4" seam allowance on each side. The finished quilt measures 64" x 80".

I see that Jane's book is coming out in March and is called Inspired to quilt. I love her quilts and they are my inspiration, so it is the perfect title, in my opinion.

One last peek, yes? Ok, here you are:

Saturday, 15 August 2009

10 days, 10 things...

So, 10 days have passed since I last posted...

Not really sure why that is, but it's been a strange time. A time of fleeing at a moments notice; a time of tears and laughing; a time of having friends and being a friend. The holidays are going at a steady pace and I'm enjoying having No2 around...


10 things that have marked the long summer break so far:

:: Babette panels 1 - 5 ::

:: Blue butterfly at London Zoo ::

:: Blue binding ready to finish my quilt ::

::Bug house at Syon Park gardens ::
I want one!

:: more Jitterbug because I have the sock bug ::

:: NOT the dahlias I ordered, but lovely nonetheless ::

:: stunning orange dahlia picked from the PYO beds at my local nursery ::

:: purple anemones outside my backdoor ::

:: the most amazing terraced gardens at Upton House ::

:: and the stairs that lead you down ::

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

And relax...

Hours have been whiled away in the evenings to the gentle rhythm of hand-quilting my quilt.

I can literally sit for hours doing this. I am getting so much pleasure from seeing these red stitches appear and bring this quilt to it's closing stages.

It's almost like I don't want it to end. Good job I have another waiting in the wings...

Tuesday, 4 August 2009


I see I'm not the only one knitting socks! My first attempt and it's all about the yarn for me:

Colinette Jitterbug, colour87, bright charcoal.

The tiny dpn's have always taunted me but they are, in fact, a joy to knit with and this yarn is so smooth, the stitches are beautifully regular.

I love the way that every now and then you get a totally random colour come through in just a couple of bright pink...

...or lime green...

I'm following the pattern that comes on the back of the yarn label. I think there is a mistake on the bit where you turn the heel though... it didn't look right at all and so I think I've managed to sort it. That was a bit scary on my first attempt!

And so, here in August, I'm undecided as to whether I'd prefer to wear flip-flops or woolly socks...