Thursday, 14 May 2009


I have been very busy the last few days. No sewing, but I was offered some rhubarb, and of course I jumped at the chance. Coarse rhubarb can be chopped up and put in the freezer. If the rhubarb is left in for a while, it breaks down, so that lots of juice comes out, when it is defrosted. This makes great rhubarb wine. Finer rhubarb makes tarts or great jam. My husband is not a great lover of rhubarb and ginger jam, so I make rhubarb and orange jam. Recipe is below. 
The weather here is glorious. Beautiful blue skies, occasional white clouds and lots of warm, sunny hours. Long may it continue.
Enjoy the recipe!
Rhubarb and Orange Jam
4lb rhubarb
3 sweet oranges
5lb sugar
1 pint water
1 lemon
Cut rhubarb into small pieces. Add grated rind and juice of oranges/lemon with sugar and water. Bring to boil until jellied.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Penny Rug Completed.

At last! I have finished my penny rug. As discussed before, I bought this kit from a newsgroup, which sells unwanted sewing items. It was supposed to be hand  sewn with cotton perle, but I decided to use my Bernina 440QE. I had never used the buttonhole stitch before on a sewing machine. My machine behaved well until I went to sew the outside edges of the small pennies. It was not too happy, but I managed. Not perfect, but I got there. For anybody who is interested, I used the following info to sew the rug. (remember I always take a note of this info, in case I want to go back and do something similar). The needle was, in most cases, moved to the extreme right.

St No. Tension St Length St Width Foot No. Extra
Inner Pennies
161 4 3.10 4.00 20 Mirror Image
Outer Pennies (2 together)
161 4 3.00 3.8 20 Mirror Image
161 4 3.10 2.9 20 Mirror Image
Border for large Circle
161 4 3.00 3.8 20 Mirror Image

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Pony and Cart

My husband has been training one of the ponies to pull a cart. He started off with Periwinkle dragging a light tyre behind him. Then he moved onto a larger, heavier tyre. This picture shows the first time the pony was attached to the cart. Notice the polytunnel in the background. The cover was destroyed in the gales last October. The seeds are all planted for this year, but we are waiting for calmer weather, to get the new cover attached.

This picture shows Periwinkle walking along the road, with our other pony, Willow, wanting to join in the fun. You can see our house in the background. It was quite a misty day, when the photos were taken.
Till next time.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Penny Wool Kit

I bought a penny wool kit off one of the sewing sale sites recently. The kit had all the wool, templates etc. in it, all I had to do was felt the wool, cut out the shapes and sew it together. The kit was supposed to be hand sewn, using cotton perle and buttonhole stitch. I thought it would take me forever and a day to complete, so I decided I would use my Bernina, King Tut Thread and No. 161 stitch. I tried a lot of samples, and wrote down a lot of notes (see previous blog about how I keep a record of what I make), before I was happy(ish). I never think I am very good on the machine, but I try. Above is the centre of the rug. I placed the shapes down and then stitched around using the black thread, top and bottom. I got a better result when I stitched slowly and had the needle right over to the right, with the stitch mirror imaged. The rug was then backed with another piece of cream felt and blanket stitched all the way round. The outer stitching was quite difficult, as the machine had no felt to stitch into on the outside edge.

I then had to cut out 24 small, coloured pennies and 48 larger, cream pennies (24 for backing). These proved more difficult to sew, as they were much smaller. I have now completed all the machine sewing, but the pennies do not fit round the circumference of the rug. There is a gap, probably because of the machine sewing. I have a plan, which I hope to try out in the next few days. Keep your fingers crossed!

Monday, 27 April 2009

Sewing Machines!

I just had to share this, it is so funny. Now my husband says he understands why I am so tired at night.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Teddies for Tragedies

I'm back! I had a whale of a time with my family, but I was too pooped to pop when they left. My twin grandsons were really crafty, and one wanted to learn to spin and the other was on the sewing machine, so I had a great time showing them things to do. I also made teddy bear and rabbit dresses for my granddaughters, (their beasties get a new wardrobe every time they come up) so I was still making things, during their visit.

For the last few weeks I have been involved with one of the girls on the island on a Wednesday afternoon. The head teacher asked if I would help her with her Duke of Edinburgh Award. If you follow the link, you will find out what this entails. Lena wanted to help Teddies for Tragedies (again follow the link). Teddies are knitted and put in a drawstring bag. They are sent to third world countries, where the women are encouraged to get their children immunised. If they do so, they get a teddy. A similar scheme had been organised on the island a few years ago, and one of the older ladies (she is one hundred years old) had never stopped knitting. She had 65 knitted teddies ready. I was asked if I could coordinate the sewing of the faces, stuffing, sewing together the teddies and the making of the bags. I put a letter in the island newsletter, asking for more teddies, and you can see some of the results in the picture. The islanders have been great! The teddies at the back are finished, and the ones at the front have still to be stuffed and sewn. It is great fun, and Lena is such a nice girl! I used to do talks about the Mercy Ships, so the teddies are going to be sent to them for distribution, when they are completed. So not only will Lena be doing a community award, she will be helping children in Africa.

I have really missed blogging, and all the comments from my Internet friends. I promise not to be absent for so long again.

Friday, 3 April 2009

I am aware that my posts have not been all that interesting of late. I had imagined loads of references to sewing and patchwork, showing completed projects and lots of eye-candy, but instead I have been fighting a virus for a number of weeks, with no energy or concentration to complete anything. But I am feeling a bit better, so I am going to show an old project, which I completed last year.
On the island we have a Craft Club once a fortnight. Sometimes we have someone showing us how to do particular crafty things like knitting, crochet, patchwork, and on other occasions
we work on our own projects. Last year one of the ladies taught
us tatting. I had real problems with the shuttle, as my finger joints
got really sore. I went on the Internet and discovered you could tat using a needle instead of a shuttle - definitely my kind of work. I found two sites -


sent for some needles and I was away. I love needle cases, so I made one to house my tatting needles, as they are extra long. The needle case has two pockets on the inside covers, back and front, where there is only one pussy cat, and I attached a ribbon on a snap fastener after I had taken these pictures, so that I could carry a small pair of scissors safely with me. The scissors could easily be detached from the case, when in use. I enjoyed tatting and will do more in the future.

I probably will not be blogging much for the next week or two. I have nine members of the family coming to visit, so that should keep me busy. Hope the weather improves!
Till next time!