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Sunday Sevens #104

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series showing what you did in the previous week in photo format. Visit Nat at Threads & Bobbins to find out more.

1. No, it’s no longer in the dining room – I’m sat on it in the lounge, but this is the photo I took when we took delivery of our ‘new’ sofa, another eBay bargain. I’ve also ordered a brand new one to go with it which should be here in about six weeks. Can’t wait to get rid of the two corner sofas that we’ve had for the last ten years!

2. Here is Mr H-L looking very slim in his suit just before he left for an interview in Amsterdam. Over two stones lighter in less than two months – he got the job, too!

3. A change of artwork in the window next to the Post Office in our local town.

4. Mr H-L with our granddaughter in the cardigan I knitted her for her first birthday.

5. A bit of a cheat project – a pre-printed advent calendar panel that I put together and quilted, also for our granddaughter.

6. No.2 Son is now responsible for ironing his own clothes!

7. He won the school Conker competition later that same day – must’ve dazzled the competition with his perfectly pressed school uniform!

8. Popped out for a quick drink to celebrate Mr H-L’s job offer. The pub had their fire blazing and, even though its not really cold enough yet, fires are always so welcoming and cosy, aren’t they?

9. On Saturday we said The Boys could choose where they wanted to go for lunch. Did they choose McDonald’s or KFC? No. They instantly said ‘Tambourino Gold’, which is an Italian restaurant in Sherborne. We had lobster which was a tad pricier than a Happy Meal.

10. Friends came round for supper earlier in the week which resulted in a late night and a lie in. We woke up late and went downstairs to find them washing up the mess from the previous evening. Oops – not what good hosts should do! I did cook them a full English afterwards, though.

11. No.1 Son and his girlfriend all dressed up for a football Hallowe’en do. We promised to drop them off and pick them up which meant staying up until nearly midnight – something we rarely manage these days!


Speedy Christmas Gift – ‘Entrechat’ Bolero


My blog post for Minerva Crafts this month is this adorable little girl’s cardigan/bolero, which is now available for grown ups, too!

This one is for a Christmas present but, as it was whipped up in just a few hours, I couldn’t resist casting on another as a birthday present immediately after the first one was off the needles.

Follow this link for the pattern and to see how sweet it looks on our baby granddaughter.


Sunday Sevens #103

Sunday Sevens is on time this week, with only eight photos, too, largely due to not having a phone to take snaps when out and about, but let’s not drag all THAT up again…….!

Visit Nat at Threads & Bobbins to find out more and how you can join in.

1. The daisies are now all starched and holding their shape beautifully, so just the chain to finish now before I can hang it on the dresser.

2. I was watching Phil Spencer’s Secret Agent programme in the week and the ‘before’ picture showed the exact same Axminster carpet that we have as a rug in our lounge! They were advised to rip it up because it looks like a pub carpet, but it works as a rug on our oak floor. Isn’t it funny how the same carpet can present so differently according to how you decorate?

3. This little girl finished her pyjamas on Thursday and has worn them every night since – she even went home in them after posing for this photo!

4. I couldn’t resist these cute Robin fat quarters. As you might have guessed by now, I LOVE Robins and these will make something Christmassy. 

5. It’s impossible to get a decent photo of your dog enthusiastically tearing open her birthday present, but here is Tess on her third birthday with Fifi looking on enviously in the background.

6. My favourite kind of parcel! A bag arrived from Wool Warehouse with yarn for my next commission. I WILL finish the shawl first – only 55 more pattern repeats out of 120 to go.

7. I have a new phone! Exactly the same as the ‘old’ one and Mr H-L is now banned from touching it. Hopefully, there will be some photos outside of the house next week now I have a phone again.

8. While I’ve been writing this post, I managed to burn the cake that was in the oven – oops!

A reminder that Stitching Santa 2016 is now open for sign up until 30th October – click on this link to find out more.


Christmas Commissions

I know that the kids have only been back to school a month and that The Boys are still wearing shorts to school (heck, I’m still in my flip-flops), buuuuuut……there’s no escaping the fact that Christmas is just around the corner. 

For those of us who like to give handmade gifts to our nearest and dearest, if we haven’t at least started thinking about what we’re going to make by now, panic sets in.

I actually have made a start, if a lot little later than previous years, but I also have quite a few commissions already this year – yay, thank you, dear customers, for not leaving it until the last minute to place your orders!

I LOVE Christmas commissions, well, any commissions at all, really, as they give me an excuse to be creative and make something when I’ve got no other excuse to sit at my sewing machine – and they enable me to legitimately delay the boring stuff like housework:)

I was asked to make six coin purses, each one personalised to the recipient, so I started the fun part of the design process by choosing fabrics.

One request was for an adult who likes butterflies, so this is quite a grown up purse.

A lining of floral bouquets seemed appropriate for the butterfly theme, and the whole was brought together with a lilac zip and zip pull.

Next up was a little girl who loves Hello Kitty, so I teamed a funky flower print with a cat appliqué.

I decided to pick out the pink and add a pink mini-gingham lining and pink zip.

The next request was something for a “girly” girl, so I went to town with the florals with a flower motif appliquéd onto a small floral print.

A more subtle leaf print lining tones down the busy effect and a love heart zip pull continues the feminine feel.

The brief for the next purse was quite specific; it had to be a grey star on a blue background for a girl who likes the Dallas Cowboys – this is my take on it.

More stars on the inside and a love heart zip pull soften the design a little.

“Cupcakes” was a fun brief to interpret and I found a print that looked like it had ready-made sprinkles on it!

A cherry red zip and pull bring together the red accents in the design, with more “sprinkles” on the inside.

The final brief was “Sparkles” and had me stumped for a while – until I looked down at my engagement ring.

Is that sparkly enough do you think?!

A mini-star print provides more sparkles on the inside.

So here they all are, each one individual to its recipient.

I’ve certainly had a great time coming up with a suitable design for each brief.

What a thoughtful commission – to tailor something specifically to six different individuals. They’ll love them, I’m sure, and appreciate the lengths that this lovely lady has gone to, to find them each something unique.


Sunday Sevens #102

Time for another Sunday Sevens as organised by Nat at Threads & Bobbins . Not that we’ve heard much from Nat lately – where are you Nat, we miss you?

  1.  Working on the lacy border for the Baby shawl commission that I’ve been slogging away at for a few months. Baby was due yesterday and I’ve run out of time! Trouble is, I get a numb bum if I sit for more than two hours at a time, so I can’t knit it any faster.

2. Whilst I’m still in my Summer linens and flip flops, I’m looking ahead to more typical Autumn weather and thinking about what to wear on the chillier days to come. I’m making the main view in orange and brown Ponte Roma – very seasonal colours. It’s actually a dress which looks like a skirt and top and I reckon it’ll get a lot of wear as it’s as comfortable as a tracksuit but MUCH smarter for everyday use. In fact, I’ve already got plans for a second one in different colours.

3. I finally got around to buying some spray starch for all those crocheted daisies that I made back in July. What a difference it makes. These are going to be a garland for my upcycled oak dresser.

4. As you probably know, I cook a LOT, so should be pretty good by now. However, cakes are not my forté – they always taste great….but look rubbish. Not this time! I used this Carrot Cake  recipe and followed it to the letter and it actually rose!

5. I doubled up on the icing so that I could put some in the middle, too, and topped it off with the grated zest of an orange.

6. Here’s what’s left of it on the far right after a friend hosted a very successful charity MacMillan Coffee Morning during which over £200 was raised!

7. My iPhone 5s is currently residing in a bag of rice. Why? Dear husband left it in his trouser pocket and it went through a wash cycle. I think it’s too far gone to dry out in a bag of rice. I’ve got 18 months left on the contract and no phone so you can imagine how cross I was. Anyone got a spare one…..?!

8. No.1 Son took a snap of the harvest lunch (as I no longer have a camera phone…). It was taken at the end when people had started to leave  so you’ll have to believe me when I say the hall was full and it was a lovely atmosphere.

9. And finally……#stitchingsanta 2016 has started! Click on this link to sign up and take part this year.



#stitchingsanta 2016!

ButtonThe last two year’s #stitchingsantas were such a roaring success, that I promised to do it all again this year and the time has come to sign up!

It’s a Secret Santa with a difference aimed at all the like-minded crafty folk here on the internet – YOU!

Whether you’re one of the lucky few whose family know and understand you so well that you receive endless perfect gifts based on your love of sewing/crochet/knitting or, like me, your wish list is met with a “What do you want one of those for….what is it anyway?” – #stitchingsanta is for you.

Can you imagine unwrapping a gorgeous skein of wool, a perfect metre of fabric, some vintage buttons or some embroidery silks? Perhaps a little handmade gift has been popped in the parcel too? All lovingly thought out with your interests in mind and guaranteed to be under your tree on Christmas morning. What a treat!

There are TWO categories to choose from – you can enter both or just one but PLEASE state your preference in your email. Choose from “Sewing” or “Crochet/Knitting”.

The idea is simple: if you would like to take part, comment below by the deadline of 31st October and I’ll send you the details of your lucky recipient.

You may already know this person as a follower of their blog but, if not, have a good look around their blog and try to put together some gifts that they would really appreciate. See my experience of previous #stichingsantas for what to expect: –

Gifted to my Secret Santa recipient 2014

Gifted to my #stitchingsanta recipient 2015

Received from my Secret Santa 2014

Blogging about Secret Santa 2014

Blogging about #stitchingsanta 2015

Received from my #stitchingsanta 2015

I will update this page with details of the blogs that are taking part so why not follow along and make some new blogging buddies!

How To Enter: –

  1. You can enter from anywhere in the world but I will try to match countries in order to keep postage costs down.
  2. State which swap(s) you would like to enter and send your email address, blog site and postal address to me at by midnight on 31st October 2016.
  3. I’ll email you the details of your recipient by 7th November.
  4. Spend a maximum of £10 (€13, $15US, $20AUS) excluding postage.
  5. Blog about your #stitchingsanta (linking back to this post) and share using the hash tag on social media.
  6. Post your parcel in time for Christmas – check last posting dates well in advance!! International dates are much earlier in December.

UK Inland: –


I hope lots of you join in – don’t forget to share, share, SHARE with your own followers, the more the merrier, HOW exciting!

Here’s who has signed up so far: –

sewchet (that’s me!)
































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Sunday Sevens #101

Time for another Sunday Sevens as thought up by Nat at Threads & Bobbins – click here to find out more and how you can join in, too.

  1. The Boys both won their football matches quite convincingly this weekend. No.2 Son’s team won 9-0 and he scored a hat trick. No.3 Son’s team won 5-2.

2. I treated myself to this mug by Wrendale Designs – I love this particular range and I’m hoping this is the first in a collection that will fill the hooks on my newly renovated dresser. Might have to put them on my Christmas list though, as they’re a bit of a luxury at ten pounds each.

3. I have a few commissions already for Christmas and this is my favourite so far – four kids’ bobble hats. I’ve made a sample in cream complete with the fabulous pom pom, which I love. The commissioned hats will have faux fur bobbles though, as preferred by my client.

4. Sewing lessons are still going strong – this is one of my Thursday after school groups.

5. Looking ahead to this year’s #stitchingsanta, I have been collecting goodies as and when I see them and thought that one (or both) of these books would be good for the knitting one. Just one pound each in our local charity shop, I’m sorely tempted to keep them for myself…..

6. I also picked up this cute little pot which will be perfect for all those patés that I make.

7. Talking of cooking, this is a new favourite of my ever-hungry family – a sausage plait. Delicious hot or, even better, cold in lunch boxes to make a change from sandwiches.

8. Jam making began in earnest this week and I am so glad I invested in this gadget a few years ago. It’s a vegetable mill and takes the effort out of removing seeds from blackberries.

9. Batch one is labelled and in the store cupboard. This jar went to the chap who, very generously, put his surplus apples out on his wall for you to help yourself.

10. Friday evening promised to be one of the last opportunities to have a picnic, so 11 adults and 19 children met in the park for cricket and a picnic tea. I took a platter of paella, still piping hot from the oven. Yum!

11. No.3 Son finished his corduroy trousers in time for the Autumn chill which has just arrived.

12. I made a very successful batch of Yorkshire puddings. Sadly, they don’t always rise as well as this.


13. Mr H-L has dropped two stones without really trying, annoying though that might sound. He now has two brand new suits costing £400 each which fall round his ankles at the slightest tug. What a waste!

14. We went to our dear friends’ house for a lamb roast on Saturday – what a great night that was!

15. I can’t finish without showing you their inventive solution to the toilet problem. With fifty guests and only one toilet, our host came up with this idea for a homemade urinal, situated around the side of the shed. A water bottle (the kind you get in offices) trimmed and attached to a pipe which led into a tray full of cat litter to soak up the liquid and any nasty smells – genius! There was even a privacy screen, battery powered light and alcohol handwash, too.