Daily Archives




In the language of flowers Amaryllis means both ‘radiant beauty’ and ‘pride’.  The radiant beauty is easy to spot; these are not shy retiring little petals, but big shouty extraordinary blooms.  But the pride? I think I’ve worked it out.  You see my three amaryllis have started to get competitive.

No sooner had I finished sharing the scarlet splash of my Rapido, than Blossom Peacock snuck skywards while my back was turned, and I opened the curtains one morning to find a delicious candy stripped floral explosion on the windowsill.  

March 034 

I’m completely fickle I know, but I think this is my new favourite.  It’s just such a lovely mixture of the punchy dark pink, crisp white, and that beautiful feathering on the petals, each vein picked out in a slightly different shade.

March 029 

And then right at the centre, a hint of pale lime green.

March 033 

On a sunny day, we wake up to the light streaming through the petals, and on a grey rainy day like yesterday, they brought a smile to my face as I opened the curtains.

March 020

But do you see the tall centre stem, still in a bud, still tightly curled?  Yes, that one.  Two days later…

 March 168

It wasn’t going to be left behind.  This is ‘the big white one’, otherwise known as Hippeastrum ‘I’ve lost the label and can’t remember the name’.

March 171 

It’s beauty is more in the architecture than in any fancy colours, as you saw in the earlier pictures it’s head and shoulders above the other two, a cool classical column of an amaryllis, rather than a vibrant shot of colour.

March 161 

Next to Blossom Peacock it reminds me of a school prefect, reprimanding an overexuberant junior.

March 164

My daily sunshine, whether it’s raining or not.

Quilting Work in Progress

Reality Quilting


The lines are closed. Your votes have been counted and verified (yes, there are two), and it’s time to announce the next quilt-in-progress.

(cue anticipation, a darkened blog with swooping flashlights, and some sort of thudding electronic countdown)

In the order of their nomination, your semi-finalists were: Contestant 1, Monet in Silk (thank you Mandy) and Contestant 4, Constantly Cutting out in Tokyo (thank you Fleur).  Both semi-finalists have been on a real journey (that would be from the shop to my house) and have done so well to make it this far (without Kitty co-opting the fabric to play swirly swirly dancing game).

(more lights twitch across the blog, the readers clutch their fingers with their teeth, jiggle up and down nervously, or switch over to see what’s on on the other side).

And I can now reveal, that the quilt that I started last night is …..

(annoyingly long pause while the blog eyes up both piles of fabric)

……..Monet in Silk!

Monet gasps, and rustles slightly as the cotton that longs to be Tokyo’s 1,600 tiny squares rescues a brave smile and secretly hopes that the silk turns out to be really slippery to sew.

Would you like to see:

March 182
Ten gorgeous dupion silks, lined up and then sliced into 10 inch squares, or as near as you can get to 10 inch squares with ruler-resistant silk that frays if you so much as look at it.

March 196

Kitty took a nap after church this morning so, carefully ignoring the siren call of the washing up, I pulled the duvet and pillows off our bed to try to lay out the quilt.

It sounds simple enough, lay out 80 squares of 10 different colours in a pleasing arrangement.  But when the colours change depending on whether it’s raining, whether you’ve got the lights on or off and which side of the bed you’re standing on, it’s one of the most complicated quilt lay outs I’ve done yet.

The resident artist came to help for a bit to reduce the need to circle the quilt every time I laid a new square.  H has a very different eye for colour to mine, and we tend to pick up things in each other’s work that the other wouldn’t notice. Well, he sees things in mine, and doesn’t see the things that I spot in mine; his work I tend to gaze at in awe struck wonder combined with a complete inability to tell him which bit he just changed.

But before a little voice in the nursery started to pipe up “mama, …..Mama,……. MAMA!”, I had a quilt all set out on our bed, crisp flakes of silk settled into an eau de nil patchwork.
March 197
I’ve got a system of stacking quilt blocks in their rows with post-it labels to mark the row number and the direction of the stack, and some superfine pins hold each of the rows together so we will be able to sleep tonight without destroying the whole arrangement.

Now all I need are a few more naps to sew it up.
March 208
One seam at a time.

(PS for those who may be curious – and to be a completely shameless enabler of Mandy – the silk is from Broadwick Silks, located just around the corner and an easy walking distance from Libertys and Carnaby Street, and the colour palette is huge.)