Five Photos – Five Stories #5

Hi everyone,

This is the final part in a series of five. I was nominated by Connie at basildonkitchens to take part in the following challenge:

“Post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge”.

Here is my 5th photo.

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Isn’t he a beauty?

This is another holiday snap. After driving north across South Uist in the Outer Hebrides, we stopped at the side of the road to eat our picnic by the car. As we got out the sandwiches, cake, fruit and Thermos flask, we hadn’t noticed who had crept up on us. There he was looking straight at us as he grazed. Could he be the phantom picnic snatcher? I wouldn’t want to mess with those magnificent antlers! We retreated to the safety of the car just in case :-)

It’s now time for me to nominate another blog for this challenge. I’m nominating Doreen from Treadle Music. Doreen is an amazing free motion quilter. I hope she accepts the challenge. Her blog is well worth a visit anyway.

Avis x

Five photos – Five Stories #4

Good evening everyone!

This is the 4th part in a series of five. I was nominated by Connie at basildonkitchens to take part in the following challenge:

“Post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge”.

Here is my 4th photo.

CIMG2554

It’s a holiday snap today.

Some of you may have walked past this little building without even looking at it or realising it was there. It is located on the edge of Gibson Park, Melrose in the Scottish Borders. Apparently, it has been in existence since before 1890, though it does appear to have had a fair bit of restoration since then. If you look closely, just above the door you will see that it used to be a fire station. The horse drawn fire tender used to be housed inside (without the horse of course). At no bigger than a single car garage, this has to be the smallest fire station in the world…..unless you know better ;-)

It’s now time for me to nominate another blog for this challenge. I’m nominating Gun from Rutigt. Gun is the Queen of Fabrics. She makes the most amazing things, especially from fabric scraps. I hope Gun will accept the challenge but if she doesn’t, her blog is always worth a visit anyway.

See you tomorrow with photo #5 :-)

Avis x

Five Photos – Five Stories #3

Hi everyone,

This is the 3rd part in a series of five. I was nominated by Connie at basildonkitchens to take part in the following challenge:

“Post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge”.

Here is my 3rd photo.

IMG_20150418_162941005

Still sticking with the gardening theme. You were very patient reading my waffle yesterday so today I’m saying very little today.

What a difference a couple of hours makes :-) My last photo was how my greenhouse looked yesterday. Now, it’s almost ready to grow things in it again. Whether that will actually happen this year or not remains to be seen but I suppose there’s no excuse for not putting at least a few salad pots together. Bring on the summer!

It’s now time for me to nominate another blog for this challenge. I’m nominating Jule from The Pocket Camerade. Jule writes several wonderful blogs. She doesn’t usually take part in awards or chain letters but she might just make an exception for this one. Her blog is well worth a visit anyway. I hope she accepts.

See you tomorrow with photo #4 :-)

Avis x

Five Photos – Five Stories #2

Hi everyone,

This is the 2nd photo in a series of five. I was nominated by Connie at basildonkitchens to take part in the following challenge:

“Post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge”.

Here is my 2nd photo.

IMG_20150417_165632471_HDR

I’m sticking with the gardening theme for now. It’s a true story. I can remember this like it was yesterday.

One cold and very windy winter’s night a few years ago, I was on my way home from work. The wind was the strongest I’d ever experienced and I remember being quite worried while driving, particularly along the seafront. The gusts of wind gripped the car and threatened to lift me off four wheels. I, in turn, gripped the steering wheel and wished I was home. This was the worst part of the journey that night. It was pitch black dark and, thankfully, most people had got themselves home earlier than I had, so there wasn’t too much traffic. I just wanted to be home, quickly and safely. Then everything would be OK and I could relax.

The first part of my journey from work was heading into the wind and that didn’t feel too bad. However, as I turned to go north towards my house on the cliffs, with the bitterly cold North Sea on my right, I began to think of damage. We always have damage, every time the wind is strong, especially from the east, we have damage. The ridge on the roof of our house runs north to south. Our longest fences around the property run north to south, perfect for the prevailing west winds to grab and throw as they please but everything has even less chance of staying put when the wind is straight off the sea, from the east. Thankfully, this doesn’t happen often but when it does, we get damage.

Anyway, I did get home safely that night but I had no way of knowing whether we had lost fences or roof tiles because it was so dark outside. It would have to wait until morning. I was home and that’s all that mattered for now.

It was time for dinner. I switched the oven on and began to prepare vegetables. I walked towards the sink to wash them and something caught my eye through the kitchen window, glinting in the pitch black outside. I saw it again, this time a bit higher and then again. I remember standing really still, watching for it again but in reality, it couldn’t have been for more than a couple of seconds. There was one final FLASH and a CLATTER of aluminium and glass. My beloved greenhouse came slamming to the ground. The entire structure had literally lifted off the ground with the force of one gust then wobbled and contorted in the sky like a giant jellyfish before my eyes. Then it was back to Earth with an almighty CRASH.

I still remember that horrible night, then waking up in the complete calm of the next morning to the sea of devastation that had been left behind by that awful east wind.

When I hear news of hurricanes and tornados around the world it always makes me think of the night my greenhouse took flight. Losing my greenhouse was nothing compared to what some people suffer at the hands of extreme weather.

Anyway, I lost all interest in greenhouse gardening after that. The crumpled, mangled greenhouse was eventually replaced and, according to Mr Fixit, “This one will never lift off”. It hasn’t. However, we’ve lost many panes of glass, and last autumn, the door blew off! We found it flat on the grass with all panes miraculously intact. As you can see from my photo, Autumn is still in my greenhouse and it is now Spring. I wonder whether it will ever be summer in there again.

I got a bit carried away there…..

It’s now time for me to nominate another victim lucky blogger for this challenge. I’m nominating Kate from Tall Tales From Chiconia. I know she is incredibly busy but hope she will accept. Kate is an amazingly generous and talented patchwork quilter and blogger. She has many other tricks up her sleeve too. Pop over and take a look at her blog.

See you tomorrow with photo #3 :-)

Avis x

Five Photos – Five Stories #1

I have been invited by Connie of basildonkitchens to join the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge:

“Post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge”.

I met Connie via her wonderful blog a couple of years ago. She is an amazing quilter, photographer and baker.

This challenge will take my blog away from the patchwork world for five days. I hope it’ll be fun for me to write and for you to read.

This is the first photo I want to share with you.

CIMG2675

Thankfully it isn’t what you may think at first sight :-)

Now this photo could probably have been taken almost anywhere in the world. I could ask you all to guess the location. Some of you may guess the country but I doubt anyone would ever guess where I found these.

Two years ago, I went on an amazing trip that I’ve waited (patiently) for decades to do. It was one of those trips that I thought would never happen. Every time I got close to fulfilling that dream, something happened to stop me going. I’m actually supposed to be away on holiday at the moment but one hour before I was due to leave home last week, another emergency changed my plans within a second. Just think, if I’d gone away on my holiday, you may never have seen this photograph or learned about the place where I found these boots.

I visited this location as part of a tour of the Outer Hebrides, a collection of islands off the north-west coast of Scotland. Each of the islands has its own personality.

Here are some facts about this particular island. You could call them clues. I wonder whether you will solve them and find the location…

This island is famous for a knitted jersey (sweater) that has no seams.

This island has only one road.

Local residents took control of the island in a community buy-out in 2006.

Approximate dimensions of the island 1.5 x 2.5 miles.

An event off the coast of this island was the inspiration for the novel entitled Whiskey Galore.

Barra lies to the south and South Uist lies to the north of this island.

Are you ready for the location? These boots were made for walking on Eriskay. It’s a beautiful place and the resident whose garden in which these boots are buried has a great sense of humour, don’t you agree? I wonder whether their ancestors were involved in the S.S.Politician incident. They certainly made us smile that day and we hadn’t had any alcohol :-) Did you solve the clues?

When accepting this challenge I agreed to nominate another blogger. Yes Claire it’s you! If you read either of my blogs regularly, she’ll need no introduction. Why not hop over and see what she gets up to. There’s something for everyone. I hope you’ll accept the challenge Claire:-)

See you tomorrow with photo #2

Avis x

The Loyal Union Sampler Block 4/121

Hi everyone,

Here is the fourth block of The Loyal Union Sampler from the book by Jennifer Chiaverini. It’s amazing what you can do with 45 tiny bits of fabric when you try. 

This block is called Anneke’s Choice.

Anneke's Choice (1) 

The angles were the most challenging yet but this is my first attempt and I’m sticking with it. There are no curved pieces but I sometimes look at it and see curves, especially from a distance. The finished block will be 6 inches square when sewn into the final quilt.

I hope you’ve all had a lovely crafty day :-)

Avis x

The Loyal Union Sampler Block 3/121

Hi everyone,

You may recall from a previous post that I had sewn the second block of The Loyal Union Sampler from the book by Jennifer Chiaverini. I wasn’t entirely happy with how my Y-seams turned out. A couple of readers suggested that hand sewing Y-seams might give a better finish than machine sewing. I had initially used the templates provided in the book to sew the units and decided this time, not only to sew the Y-seams by hand, but also to make my own foundation paper templates for the block units. Anyway, I hope you agree that my latest version of Abigail’s Swing has improved. It isn’t perfect, just improved. I’m definitely learning new skills along the way and that has to be good!

CIMG4175The third block is also finished. This one is called A House Divided. It was so much easier to sew than Abigail’s Swing.

A House Divided (2)

I’ve also got the fourth block finished which I’ll share with you later. If you’d like a sneak preview, take a look at my sidebar to the right. You should see the Loyal Union Sampler, building as I finish the blocks. This is so much fun! I could get addicted to making these tinies.

I’m quite enjoying foundation paper piecing lately :-) In fact, I’m loving it so much that my next gift is made using that method. I can’t show you the full project yet because the intended recipient sometimes reads my ramblings. Here are a couple of photos of my progress. I’ll share the final photos in a future post. I hope you like it.

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This one shows the quilting.

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There’s a few more small projects on my to-do list at the moment. I’d better get a move on. I hope you are all getting plenty of time to sew this weekend. I’ve had a lot of fun :-)

Avis x

Loyal Union Sampler Block 2/121

Hi everyone,

There hasn’t been much time to sew during the last few days but I did complete the second block of the Loyal Union Sampler from the book by Jennifer Chiaverini. This one is called Abigail’s Swing.

It was a real challenge for me. I haven’t sewn Y seams before and the tiny pieces were very fiddly to work with in the machine. Are Y seams easier to sew by hand I wonder? Anyway, it isn’t perfect but I’m happy with my first effort. I might re-do this one when my skills improve as I make other blocks.

The block is 6.5 inches square and will be 6 inches square when sewn into the quilt.

Abigail's Swing 

It’s time to make a cuppa and read some of your lovely blogs now :-)

Avis x

Loyal Union Sampler Block 1/121

Hello everyone,

I’ve finally sewn together the first block of the Loyal Union Sampler from the book by Jennifer Chiaverini. It’s called Abel’s Favorite.

I had some difficulty with the way the seams were pressed and decided there was no way I could think of to make it better than this. I’m really pleased with how it turned out.

The block measures 6.5 inches square so it’ll be 6 inches square when sewn into the finished quilt.

Abel's Favorite

I hope you are all well and getting plenty of time to craft :-)

Avis x

The Loyal Union Sampler – A New Challenge

Good morning everyone,

It’s time to embark on a new project. My sister bought me this gorgeous book from my wish list for my birthday last month. I’m sure many of you will already have this book and some may have even started to make the quilt. Have any my readers finished this quilt?…..I wonder.

CIMG4087

I read through the short introduction and decided on my colour scheme (which may change). This quilt is made up of 121 traditional blocks using a mixture of techniques. I’m looking forward to trying them all.

The first block is called Abel’s Favorite (US spelling) and I’ve got all of the little units made up. I followed the instructions to the letter and pressed all seams in the suggested directions but there is still going to be some bulk around the beaks of the flying geese. Here they are waiting to be put together. I hope I can make a reasonable job of it.

CIMG4068The finished block will be 6 x 6 inches so some of these pieces are very small and fiddly but that’s all part of the challenge I suppose. Friends and family have already told me that I’m mad for embarking on this project. My sister had no idea I intended to make the whole quilt when she bought the book. However, this is going to challenge me on so many levels and at the moment I’m up for it.

Wish me luck. I’ll probably need it!

Avis x

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