First blog post

My Life.

When I told my daughter I was going to start a blog about things I remembered and things I had done she said “Oh good!!  You will be able to go back and read all about it when you go senile.”  KIDS!!!

So here is my life in short bursts of whatever comes to mind at the time.  Hope you enjoy.

Love Gill. xx




Christmas is Coming (I Hope)!!

It all depends on Boris.

Well things are starting to look festive now. The tree is up, lit and I had a great time hanging the decorations and remembering the who, what, when and where they all came from. This also includes the ones I have made for my family and friends over the years. The quilted trees are this years.

My oval for this year is a gingerbread man, these keep getting more and more each year as people keep saying ‘can I have one’. I am just so pleased that they are liked so much, I made 20 this year.

The anticipated Christmas snow came at the end of November and lasted two whole days.

The weather forecast is telling us that we will only get clouds for the next 2 weeks!! There have been some beautiful sunrises and sunsets though before and after the miserable parts of the days set in.

My tag creations are up to date now, only two more to go. I am loving making these and I will enjoy being able to look at them over the next year and practicing the new things I have learned.

I have begun a new blanket in some chunky wool that I was given with some added colours from my stash. Chunky is not a wool I use much at all and I am finding it difficult to crochet with. I have had problems with tension that has led to a dip in the middle of my square but, being lazy, I have left it there and will add some pompoms for folks to play with. (Oh yes it was definitely meant to be there – it was quite tricky making it like that – no I don’t think I will do it again)!!!!!!!!

Alas I haven’t got very far with my new hoop so it will be next year before I finish it. Never mind, it will give me something to post next month!

ONE WEEK! I have 1 week before my daughter and her girls (grands 1 & 2) come for the Christmas holidays and I am busy working to finish writing my cards to deliver to my dancing and crafting friends and my neighbours. Grands usually come with me to post my street cards, I wonder if they will be too old and grown up this year.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and I will be back in the New Year.

Love and hugs, Gill. xxxxxxxxxxxxxx


Guy Fawkes and Poppies.

Hi everybody, this has been an awful month so far as the weather is concerned. Don’t let them dare tell me there is a drought for a least three years!!!! I live near the top of a big hill and I was beginning to wonder if I should build an Arc. Things are not looking too good for the rest of November either. I am hoping for some snow for Christmas but not before the grands get here.

We have celebrated Guy Fawkes/bonfire night with rather damp bonfires and fireworks. Mind you the fireworks started in October and have been going off most nights until a couple of days ago. Next lot New Years Eve but will be continuous from mid December onward. I love fireworks.

There have also been many, many celebrations for the end of World War 1 and acts of remembrance for all who gave their lives so we could live ours. Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall in London was wonderful, uplifting and emotional.

The blue ‘Tunisian Tile’ blanket, as I have named it, is finished – Hoorah!! It will be next year before I will be able to get it and the other blankets to Linus UK though.

I am nearly caught up with my TAST stitching

and just 2 days behind on the #52tagshannemade, here are a few for you to see.

My doors are all hung and working properly, Mark is a very nice and helpful man. He is coming back next year to build me a shed.

The gardener has cut the lawn for the last time this year and done the annual massacre of the bushes around the lawn. I can now see out of the kitchen window! This celebration comes every year but I can guarantee that by May everything will have grown twice as high again. Good to know some things stay the same,

I have just begun my last Encrusted Calico hoop and hope to have it ready for next month’s blog. Here is a teaser!

Saying that has just reminded me that I only have 2 weeks left before I need to get the Christmas tree etc. out of the loft and begin to decorate the house. I love doing this but hate taking everything down and putting it away again.

Grandd 2 and I had a very busy half term week as all the workmen came while she was here (she was supposed to come the week before but that got cancelled), so my planning backfired on us. I forgot to say that the tree man came to cut down a couple of trees that week too. I also persuaded her to make Christmas cards for the family.

And IT RAINED!!!!!……………..

See you in December

Love and hugs, Gill. xx

ps. Sorry I am late in publishing but, for some reason, my photos wouldn’t load. Will try to better in future. x


Dinosaurs Etc.

Hello Everybody, it is a lovely sunny day today and I’ve managed to get some washing out on the line and dry. We have had an October heatwave this month, up to 21/22 degrees C, what is the weather doing?

At last I have made a start on my Christmas tree skirt, I only cut it out in February, how’s that for instant action!!?

With things like this I like to stitch down the applique before I begin to embroider and embellishment comes last. Then it is time to sew together, add the backing and closure pieces and stick on any glitter and/or raised items. Shall we see how far I’ve got by next month?

By that time I shall have had my middle granddaughter (my daughter’s youngest) coming up from London for a week, all by herself for the first time. I shall meet her at the station and her Dad puts her on the train in London. During that week I am having 5 new doors fitted to replace 1960’s, very dangerous, glass doors. It will be fun!!!

My TV went wrong on the 17th September and has been back for repairs 3 times now for the same thing, no sound. Have you ever watched the news etc. with only subtitles? You get some very weird words come up and by the time you’ve worked out what they should be half the interview is over. Very frustrating – I have a much deeper understanding of what a deaf person must go through now. Well today I got a voucher from the company to get a new TV so gd. will be glad, she was thinking about not coming if I didn’t have one!!

I have managed to complete ‘Red Fire’ hoop. I was looking to make something very different from my other two hoops so I went for bling, glitter and sparkle like fireworks. The principle is the same for the first part, sandwiching the found pieces between two layers of fabric, its just the embroidery that makes it zing.

Here are the other two to compare.

Blue blanket is just waiting for the last 2 rounds on the 5 remaining squares before I can crochet them together then add the border. Sorry the photo’s terrible, I don’t know what happened!

TAST is coming on OK, I have only 2 weeks catch up left.

And I’ve just begun a new challenge I came across on FB, 52 Tags. We are given a list of suggestions for each week then share and see how everyone got on. I think I am perhaps, a bit late for the sharing part as it started in January this year but I shall be interested in what I come up with, will you?

Gd. wanted more dinosaurs to go with Daisy Dinosaur so she wouldn’t be lonely so I have cut out a husband (Dave Dinosaur) for her and a son (Tyrone TRex ). Unfortunately I don’t think I will be able to finish them before she comes, it will more likely be Christmas, we’ll see.

I have finished making my Christmas cards, here are a few. I really enjoy doing this each year.

So it has been a very busy month along with dancing beginning again (Hooray) and next month doesn’t seem to give much in the way of a let up either.

Hope you all have a good month and I will see you in November. Looking forward to other folk’s fireworks as well as mine!!!

Love and Hugs, Gill xx


Autumn’s Here

Hi All,

Its September again, where has the last year gone? You may remember July’s project, Encrusted Calico, well I enjoyed making it so much that I decided to make some more but very different from each other. Here is my Blue Neon hoop, I hope you like it – look out for Red Fire next.

All the family are now home and back to work/school. I miss them so much but am resolved to looking forward to Christmas and seeing them again.

September’s project is my shirt seam seascape using seams from cut up shirts that belonged to my husband. I think it turned out well but was very hard work on the fingers and I will definitely be using the sewing machine if I make any more. This was all hand embroidered on to a backing fabric and I included some some felt scraps for houses and bits of lace and beads for the sea foam. I have attached it to an old painting canvas box frame. Please let me know what you think of it and should I make some more.

The fuchsias have been glorious again this year, I really love them, so blousy and in your face but wonderful colour at this time of year.

It has been a strange year with the weather, we have had summer in spring and spring rains in summer. Now its getting dark so early and the temperature is starting to go down I wonder if we will get winter in autumn – we shall see!!

I have resumed my TAST embroidery and am about 5 week behind so there will be some catching up to do.

My holiday blanket now has 10 out of the 15 large squares needed so I think I need to concentrate on this this for a couple of weeks if I am to finish it this year! Should I join them with dark blue or light blue?

Card making is on my mind just now as I have bought some new stamps from Lavinia Stamps and have been watching lots of ‘how to’ videos. So I may have some to share with you next month.

Bye for now. Love and hugs, Gill. xxx



August arrived like a damp squid – rain, rain and more rain but, thankfully, we have had some really nice days since. My two eldest granddaughters came up from London on the first and I had a week with them before my daughter arrived. Talk about ‘Kevin and Perry’ teenagers!! One word answers to questions, disappeared into bedrooms with electronics and only appeared when hungry. The eldest was a bit better and would help out with meals and dishwasher duty. I took E for an eye test and some new glasses and I for a hair cut as instructed by their mother and a trip round the supermarket for some treats afterwards.

Needless to say my crafts have mostly been put on hold but I did manage to finish my August project hoops, I hope you like them.

I didn’t like the bare hoop so I cut some 1″ strips from thin nylon fabric my mother-in-law gave me in the 70s and bound the outer ring, I think it makes a nice edging. The back I finished with a circle of felt slip stitched to the crimplene (50 years old) that I used for the main pictures.

My TAST stitches have not been touched and I will have some catching up to do when everyone goes home next week.

The same has to said for the blue blanket as things are set to get quite hectic in the next few days.

On Tuesday two very dear friends are coming to see us, they are godmothers to the girls. One is coming from Lancashire the other from Scotland.

Thursday sees my son, daughter-in-law and youngest granddaughter come to stay for a couple of days from Cambridgeshire. It will be wonderful to have the family all in one place again.

During July I deconstructed some of my husband’s shirts that I had kept for crafting. There were lots and lots of seams in a big box by the time I finished. I couldn’t think what to do with them until the light bulb in my head flashed and I have decided to make a seascape picture with them for my September project.

See you all then. Hugs and love, Gill. xx


Encrusted Calico

Hello to one and all – 6 months into yet another year!!! How does time pass so quickly these days, especially when so many things we took for granted are no longer available to us? Well next week dear old Boris is going to remove all our restrictions and rely on everyone to be sensible and use whatever means we have to safeguard each other. FAT CHANCE!!!!!!!!! Sporting venues (particularly football) have seen our covid numbers rise to what they were in January despite supposedly having to have negative tests to get into games. What chance do we have now??!!

I have been busy with my new project and have thoroughly enjoyed myself. I loved making my encrusted calico hoop and will definitely make some more. I began with some cotton sheeting in my hoop and scattered the things I was going to use to make my picture on the top, moving them around to where I thought they would look good. There were buttons, beads, rings, a pebble and a buckle.

I put a stitch or two into a few items to hold them where I wanted them to stay and left the others free so I could move them later. The whole hoop was then covered with another piece of material. Then I went round each item with small running stitches, sewing through both materials and trapping them between the layers (encapsulating). It does not matter if there are wrinkles in. the top fabric as they are used in the design. I use a spoon to push the free pieces around to where I wanted them. When this was finished the hoop was released from the base layer and re-hooped over my work.

Then the real fun began – choosing the stitches I would use and the colour and type of threads to embroider over my captured picture.

Do have a go at this, I would love to see what you make.

My TAST stitches are keeping me interested as all this month’s are new to me.

I have another 18 small squares of my blue blanket ready to be joined. This will make 4.5 large squares, 11 out of the 15 I need, not far to go now then joining and edging to do.

August’s project is 3 small 4″ hoops to do with the night sky.

The garden is decidedly soggy at present, we seem to have had 1 good day followed by 3 or 4 days of rain, torrential rain, more rain and clouds like lumps of coal. Most of the colour has gone with just some yellow showing now.

Soon it will be fuchsia time and all will be glorious again. The weather man has just announced that we will be having a week of wonderful sunshine from today. Hoorah!!! I wonder what the the following week will bring.

I am so delighted to hear that my daughter and two gds are able to come and stay with me at the beginning of August and my son and family are coming on the 17th. How wonderful it will be to have the house full again and all three granddaughters together again, I can’t wait. I skip around singing to myself ‘1st August, 1st August, 1st August. I know I’m mad but I can’t help it!!!

See you all next month. Love and hugs, Gill. xxxx


Heat Wave!

Happy June to you all.

I have been looking for different types of embroidery to have a go at for a while now and am trying to make one ‘new to me’ thing each month. For June I have done a piece of mixed media artwork I named Wheels. I was heavily inspired by the front cover of a book by Sharon Boggon called Creative Stitches for Contemporary Embroidery, an absolutely wonderful book. It demonstrates the stitches for left handed people too. As with most of my work these days I only use what I have in the house. Beginning with a piece of cotton sheeting I coffee dyed it – I don’t like tea – then stamped coffee circles with pastry cutters when it was dry. I ink stamped some writing in places, added 3 small pieces of material and embroidery began. I used the Boro method to sew down my patches, several different stitches (from Sharon’s book) make the circles and finally filled in with whatever came to mind. Still need to stretch it properly over the canvas frame but you get the idea!

The weather has turned gorgeous again and the garden is really enjoying it, beautiful flowers everywhere. How soon before they are shouting about drought I wonder or will it rain first.

On Friday I went to town to pick up my new glasses, I am supposed to be able to see better now but I can still see to sew, read and type better without them!

I had the most joyous surprise last week, half term, when my son and youngest granddaughter came to stay for a couple of days. We treated ourselves to a Chinese takeaway (no point when on your own), went swimming, had lunch out and spent a wonderfully sunny afternoon at Roundhay Park – including an ice cream – how decadent!!! It was really lovely, the first family I’ve seen since last August.

TAST stitches are nearing the halfway mark and, as usual, some are good some not so.

Blue blanket got ignored this month I’m afraid while I did my Wheels project so no progress there. Next month’s project is called Encrusting Calico, we will see how I get on.

Lots of hugs, Gill. xx



Hi folks, my knotty landscape is finished, hip hip hooray!!!!! I am so happy!!!!! I have really enjoyed making this hoop art, something else new to me, I’m not too sure I’ll make another one too soon but never say never!

Well its time for May flowers, lilac, bluebells, azaleas and, of course, dandelions. They are all enjoying the wet weather which is more than I can say. They remind me of my lilac and lavender blanket. By the time I get walking again I’ll be lucky to get as far as the post box let alone back home again.

Beyond TAST is getting harder and I am not too keen on some of these stitches others I love.

My blue blanket now has 6 squares out of 15 done, I am being a bit slow with this as I have several other things on the go and I am getting lazy. Not long now before our lockdown eases and we get more freedom, maybe my enthusiasm will rear its head again then, I do hope so.

I went for my 2nd Covid jab today so this may give me more confidence to do things. I wonder if my craft and dancing groups will be able to open again, I can’t wait to dance and see people. My line dance teacher is talking about starting classes soon, I hope the class in Morley will be open as her other classes are too far away to get to.

I have been experimenting with my cross stitch initials recently both for ladies and gentlemen and I am really pleased with the way they have turned out. The main outline is from a lady called Emily Peacock who I found from my CrossStitcher magazine quite a few years ago. She has given me permission to make these for commissions if I can get anyone to buy them – isn’t that exciting? I am now trying to work out how much to charge – time and materials, package and postage. I have never done anything like this before so I’m learning on the hoof!

I am still tinkering with my family history and I have found a gentleman in America with the same name as me. I have written him a letter hoping he can help me so now I just have to go and post it and keep my fingers crossed.

Hugs and love, Gill. xx



Hi everyone, I hope you all had an enjoyable Easter.

Here I have felt a bit isolated but had a wonderful hour face timing with my kids and granddaughters.

It has been a funny month since I last spoke to you. March ended up with some beautiful summery days – warm enough to go out in tee shirts – then April came with sub zero temperatures and the only showers we have had have been snow, sleet and hailstones.

Can you see the hail on the trampoline, it didn’t last long as the sun came out but this repeated itself all day for several days. There has been lots of sun too but far too cold to enjoy outside, best through the window!!!

My front garden is brightening up beautifully with heather, daffies and forsythia flowering and a lovely dark red hebe next to a peachy coloured maple.

I have only three weeks TAST stitches today as we had a week off to catch up if we were behind. It has been good as the stitches are one’s I haven’t done before so a bit of a learning curve!

My blue blanket is coming along slowly but I am pleased with the way it is looking.

I have made some progress with my knotty landscape and am very pleased with it. It should be finished by next month. I am always happy to have something finished, it gives me a great sense of achievement.

On Mother’s Day I received some beautiful flowers from my daughter and they lasted several weeks.

I was sad when they had to go but the plant next to them with the little white flowers was given to me at Christmas by my neighbour and there are still flowers on it. Isn’t that wonderful?

It has been a busy day today, the gardener has been to cut the grass and he has taken the brown flower heads off the heathers at the front. My food delivery has come and I need to find room to put things away – reminder to me – EAT SOME STUFF OUT OF THE FREEZER!!!!!! My blog is still ongoing and I am SO happy my new book has just arrived, book 12 of the Chronicles of St Mary’s series by Jodi Taylor. These books have saved my sanity over the last year, they are interesting, exciting and very funny. Long may Jodi keep writing them.

Hugs to you. Gill. xx



Hi everyone, well spring is on its way and here in the UK March is really living up to its name and we have had some of this year’s worst winds. However the sun is also begining to show its face more often which makes me feel so much better.

Since last month I have been browsing through the internet for sewing inspiration and have picked up on a couple of ideas. Firstly I noticed quite a few ‘moss hoops’ where french knots have been used to create moss covered banks. These gave me the notion to use this method to make a small landscape, so here is my progress so far using french knots and a few other stitches as well.

I am really enjoying this.

Secondly I came across some beautiful quilts by a Canadian lady called Kirsten Chursinoff and they set me on the path of making some birthday cards.

As you will know I am into recycling as much as I can and these gave me the opportunity to use the smallest of leftover fabric from other projects, some only 1cm square.

I have been keeping up with my Beyond TAST sampler finding lots more stitches that are new to me.

I am using these stitches on my blue cushion cover which is coming along slowly.

I have to wait for the next week for each stitch before I can add it!

Mask making took up some time in between the other things and I now have another 6 to send to my daughter along with 2 for her husband and I kept 1 for myself.

There are a few projects currently on hold, I haven’t started my Christmas tree skirt yet and I am still trying to decide what to put on this year’s oval ornaments. My blue blanket is still as last month and I am no further on at crocheting the Storm Trooper – which means no I haven’t started it yet!!!

Have a Happy Easter one and all, here’s hoping for warm weather and lots of sunshine.

Love Gill. xxx