Inside, Outside and All Around the House

Hello Everybody,


I love planted pots all around the house

There’s not a whole lot of sewing going on here at the moment but I thought I would check in so that you know I am still here; I haven’t fallen off the planet. I stopped sewing in April for my annual tidy up in the garden but rain prevented any decent progress for weeks, after which it suddenly turned very hot. Now the sun is fierce, the ground too hard to weed successfully and insects multiplying, so much of my time in the garden is spent watering. I am however, pleased to say that I have repotted all the plants in our courtyard and around the perimeter of the house, something that hasn’t been done in a while and a job that I was able to do in the shade.


The stone wall between our courtyard and front garden, lined with small plants

When I haven’t been in the garden, I have been spring cleaning my house, re-organising my wardrobe, visiting family in England, buying (even more!) plants and enjoying some of the lovely outdoors that is on our doorstep.


A walk around a nearby loch on my birthday in May

I love watching the farmers busy on their tractors at this time of year and the birds following them up the hill and down again.


The view from one of my windows

I have made a few tiny things recently but just for family. I made another matchbox for my son and a small embroidery for my daughter. Unfortunately both were rather rushed as I left them until just before our trip down South and they took longer to finish than I anticipated. My son is head arborist at the Royal Horticultural Garden Wisley in Surrey, England, so my matchbox had to reflect his love of trees and woodland.

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My daughter is very happy at the moment but often has some spells of feeling low, so I made her a little bear to help her believe in herself and inspire confidence. The photo was taken before I stitched the edges and sewed all around it with a bright turquoise blanket stitch.


A Bear Hug from a pattern found on Pinterest via

Last Christmas, I had a spell of making little paper houses; four for my son, a few for my daughter and one of her friends and then a couple for a friend of my own, for her birthday. Finally I have made one for myself. The houses are so charming, just under two and a half inches tall, with an LED flameless candle light hidden inside so you can light them up at night. I used pale pink and blue tissue paper in the windows but dark colours show up even better. I love the idea of a whole street of tiny  paper houses lit up on my windowsill!


Lit (below), and unlit (above) paper houses, on my bookcase.

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Most of the things I make are for other people, yet there are wall hangings and runners I would love to make for myself. This probably means buying more fabric to make them something I can’t really justify, given that I still have half a dozen unfinished quilts in various stages and quilts I bought both pattern and fabric for years ago but have not got around to starting.


A Clematis in flower on the back patio

Then there is the itch to try more arty things, to experiment with styles that are new to me, like the American primitive patterns, or new techniques like needlelace and other surface stitching ideas. These blog posts of mine must often seem far from what is generally thought of as English Paper piecing especially when, for so many people, it centres around the hexagon. Not a hexagon in sight here, so far.  But it is all part of the same journey; to discover what I can do with English Paper Piecing, beginning with a  simple base, enhancing, adapting and pushing traditional boundaries wherever I can. And, if possible, giving it a little flavour of Scotland at the same time 😉


A single Allium at the front door


If you ever have questions, please ask. Maybe thinking about the answer will lead me to further experiments.

I hope you are all having a warm and wonderful summer.

Till next time…..




2 thoughts on “Inside, Outside and All Around the House

  1. Hello again! I always enjoy your posts. Your garden is great. I garden a bit too but mine is losing my attention as I have baby quilts to make by August/September. That and my back aches with too much yard work. 😏. But I enjoy the quilting and always end up doing something new each time I make one. One expecting friend gave me 8 little pieces of fabric- 8”x13” to work with. They are batiks which are a new type of fabric for me to sew with. So matching additional fabrics and deciding how to showcase her original pieces has been challenging, but pleasantly so. This morning I decided on a pattern and then had to create the templates. Ha! My school math does come in handy.
    I really do identify with your comments about seeing and wanting to try new fabric art things. There are too many and not enough time. But I heard someone say today about reading books( I can add on-line sites) …”I you don’t read, you don’t see.” (Jan Beaney). And, to extrapolate, if you don’t see how do you know what to do and try?
    Thank you again for sharing.


    • Hello Jean, how lovely to hear from you! I know what you mean about the garden losing one’s attention. I start off with huge enthusiasm in Spring but by now things that need doing have built up inside the house and I am drawn back inside again. I have some Moda Charm Packs in batik that I haven’t even opened yet and I wonder what particular challenges sewing with batik presents. I expect it’s finer and not as crisp to work with as quilting cotton? I can’t understand why I don’t have enough time. I try to fit in so much each day but I suspect I spend quite a long time just thinking about things (and yes, dreaming about what I might do). But thats what inspires and motivates me and fills me with pleasure, so I don’t want to give that up. I suppose the answer is variety in what we make – a little bit arty, then a little bit quilty and so on.


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