Thursday, 27 December 2012


As you all know I am a very keen cook and love experimenting with new and intresting recipes.
This one was by Barney Desmazery and was in the December, 2012 issue of the Good Food Magazine.  (Christmas Turkey with Clementine and Bay Butter)
I followed the recipe to the letter but when we carved it!!  It was disgusting, pale, slimey with no flavour except salt.  I have had great difficulty in keeping my Husband from throwing it out.
We have now decided to try making a Thai Curry out of it for our family gathering on Saturday and I will report back next week as whether it was edible or not.
All I can say is, don't use Barney Desmazery's recipes without trying them out on some unsuspecting soul before you serve them up on Christmas Day.
Personally, I shall never use any of his recipes again.

Monday, 19 November 2012


I have just found the ultimate Chili recipe book.

The Chili Year Book has 52 recipes, one for each week of the year.  It is clearly written and bound to lay flat on the worktop.  The recipes are varied, delicious and easy to follow for even a modest cook using chicken, mince, fish, and vegetarian ingredients.

At only £ 8.99 it makes a very acceptable Christmas present.  As your local bookseller.

Saturday, 17 November 2012


I have posted some of my Advent Calendar quilts on E-bay so that, if you want you can buy them using your paypal account.

I got another commission for a baby quilt today.  This is a little boy due in January, so that makes two I need to make as soon I have pt the finishing touches to my most recent Advent Calendar.

Keep a watch on here for some more new items coming in the Spring.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

It's been a busy week this week.  I got a special order which needed to be ready for collection on Wednesday so I have been working flat out.

Just had a call from our eldest son who is coming to visit this weekend.  His wife and sons are being tasken to a caraven in Scarborough by the other Grandparents and as our son says, "You wouldn't get me in a caravan at this time of the year."

I shall have to make a cake.  Talking of cake, I haven't made my Christmas Cake yet.  I usually make it in February and put it in the freezer to mature but this year it just didn't work out.  Never mind, I'm sure it will still be scrummy.

We have acclimatised to the English weather again which is just as well as it has been dull and rainy today.  We've been up to Gloucester this afternoon for various things and it was a successful visit.

My tea's ready now so I am going to sign off.

Bless you all. G

Saturday, 27 October 2012


Back in England again after a wonderful 6 weeks in Spain.  I delivered the cot quilt to my Client who was delighted.  The little girl in question is very sweet and so Vanessa tells me is an extremely good baby.

When we got out there the weather was in the low 30s which was a bit too hot for me so I had the excuse to stay indoors and make a couple more Advent Calendars.  I also made bumpers for two very low beams in our house and I have dressed the doll I made at a day workshop earlier in the year.  That is going out to my Granddaughter in Seattle I am afraid.

Not long now until 1st December so get your orders in to me as soon as you can in order that I can make sure everyone has the calendar they want.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012


I've started packing for my trip to deliver the cot quilt.  I'm going by car so can take my sewing machine, fabric and sewing box.  Heaven.

I shall continue to make calendars and quilts to order so, if you would like one, get your order in soon so that I can get it to you before Christmas.

You will notice that I haven't mentioned clothes.  If there is room I shall take some, can't quilt in the nude you know.;-)

Friday, 31 August 2012


I have finished the quilt I am making for a client in Spain.

This is a detail of the quilting on this little pink and white  cot quilt.

Thursday, 30 August 2012


No more quilting for a bit.  I had to pack away my sewing room this afternoon to make way for our little family arriving on Saturday.  Hubby put the cot up amidst much puffing and blowing but it is done now and tomorrow I will make up the bed in the study for our 5 year old Grandson.

The family arrive on Saturday for a night so a lot of upheaval for a short stay but worth it just to see them all.

I feel quite bereft without my sewing machine upstairs.  I gave it a really good clean and oiled it before I put it away so it will be raring to go when I get it out again next week.

Sunday, 26 August 2012


After Church this morning and preparing lunch I took myself off to my sewing room and finished the quilting on the cot quilt.
I'm really pleased with the result.  Spent this evening tying off and darning in all the ends.  Loose ends will work their way out when the quilt is washed so I make sure all ends are notted and then darned into the wadding layer.
The weather has been better today and I managed to get two loads of laundry dry outside.  I don't usually approve of hanging washing out on a Sunday but the weather has been so bad lately that I made an exception today and was rewarded with a basket full of lovely soft, dry washing.
It's a Bank Holiday tomorrow so life will be quiet here.  We never venture out on Bank Holidays as the traffice is usually so bad.  This weekend is usually the worst as it is the last Bank Holiday before the schools go back in September, and, indeed, the last Bank Holiday we get now until Christmas.
Saying that it will be quiet tomorrow, I hae invited a recently widowed friend for lunch.  Think I'll do Pork Medallions with Mustard, Wine and Orange Juice with a Plum Crumble for desert.  The main course is from my lovely 1080 Recipes book which has been transalted into English from the original Spanish and which contains some very tasty recipes.
Thought this photo of a meal made from my 1080 Recipes book would make a change from another photo of a quilt. 

Saturday, 25 August 2012


Kelmscott Manor is situated on the Oxfordshire/Gloucestershire border.  Willliam Morris the textile, furniture and ceramics designer lived here from 1871 until his death in 1896.

It is now owned by the Society of Antiquaries of London who restored it in the 1960s when they took it over from Oxford University.

Morris's daughter May lived in the house until her death in 1938 when it passed to Oxford University under the instructions in her will.  This proved to be a bit of a millstone for the University so they were relieved when a court judgement allowed them to pass it over to the Society of Antiquaries of London.

The house itself is situated in a very quiet lane and is surrounded by a lovely but simple garden. 

Full of Morris's designs and samples of his cloth, furniture and ceramics the house makes a clean and light museum on three floors.  The attic is reached by a most unusual staircase.  Originally the steps would have been very steep but someone devised the idea of a split staircase where each stair is divided into two and staggered so that each stair is only half as steep thus making mounting it very easy for even the most infirm visitor.

We found the whole experience a delight.  The docents were pleasant and polite and very knowledgable on their subjects which made for an even more intresting visit.

There is a restaurant but there is also a pub in the village, The Plough at Kelmscott, both serving delicious and reasonably priced food.

The only thing which could have been a problem was that the car park is a very pleasant 10 minute walk from the house, although there is a drop off point for disabled and infirm visitors at the house itself.

Friday, 24 August 2012


The cot quilt that I am making for a customer in Spain is all ready to be sandwiched and quilted.

This is the stage when I have to make the decision about whether to hand quilt or machine quilt.  All my quilts are hand finished.

Machine quilting gives much more strength to an item and is quicker but hand quilting is very restful and pleasant to do sitting under the apple tree on a fine, sunny day in my lovely country garden.

Talking of gardens we picked 1kg of each of Runner and French beans today.  So that's another job, processing them all to put into the freezer to make sure we have a supply of lovely green vegetables during the winter.

I love the Autumn, or at least the late Summer, when all the products of our hard labour earlier in the year comes to fruition and we can process it and put it away for the Winter. 

We have had hard Winters for the past few years, indeed, in February, 2010, the snow flakes were so large they looked like prawn crackers coming out of the sky.  That was a memorable night when my neighbour rang me to say we had fireworks outside.  I looked out of my cottage door and, yes, we had.  The weight of the snow had brought down our main electricity cable with much spectactular sparking and banging.

Our local Electricity company were wonderful and worked all night to get our power on by the next morning. 

 I love working by candle light so it was no hardship to me; we just stoked up the woodburner and stayed cosy all night.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012


I've been cutting out the pockets for more Advent Calendars this evening and a thought struck me.

We all start our Advent countdown by taking the sweetie out of the pocket numbered 1.

What happens if we start at the pocket marked 24?  If we start at number 24 we know that there are 24 days to go before Christmas Day.  Thus, when we get to pocket number 1 we know that there is 1 more day to go before the exciting day to which we have all been looking forward!

It's just a thought.

Monday, 20 August 2012


It's been a good day today.

It started with a morning spent at my sewing bee.  Just four of us get together once a month to chat, drink coffee and quilt.  I got the bindings sewn on my little angel Advent Calendar so, for me, it was excellent.

It's been a busy day as I held a Mothers' Union committee this afternoon to start getting  our ideas together for our Centenary next May.  We also got the bare bones of the speakers programme for next year and by the look of it we shall be spending quite a lot of time eating, drinking and making merry.  I can hardly wait.

To finish off my busy day I attended Choir practice and croaked my way through the music for Sunday Service.

Quiet day tomorrow, give or take a few phone calls so, with any luck, I shall be able to get some more quilting done.

Friday, 17 August 2012


I seem to have been chasing my tail today.  It was only meant to be a short trip into the village to get a key cut and post the Ladybug wall hanging to Seattle but I met so many friends that it took all morning.

After lunch I took the key back as it wouldn't work, collected a prescription from the chemist and bought two dresses for a total of £28.  One was £ 14.50 and the other £13.50 so I just had to have them.  Our village dress shop has some lovely things and I had spotted a lovely dress in the window which I now own.

By the time I got home and had been in to see my neighbour who is housebound with a painful knee, it was time for a cup of tea and then supper.  I like to quilt in daylight so, as the evenings are drawing in now, shall have to wait for tomorrow - most frustrating.   I promise, I'll do double tomorrow - honest.

Sunday, 12 August 2012


  We went to The Black Horse at North Nibley today and had the roast.  It was superb.  However, we had a good giggle when we read their Tapas menu.  Tapas are served in the evenings and one or two of the delicacies on offer were as follows:-  Gambas con Ajo Petrolio, (Prawns with garlic and petrol), Calamares Porfundo Frito, (Deep Fried Squid).  Profundo means profound or deep as in deep thinker, petrolio is obvious.  Clearly someone had taken and English/Spanish Dictionary and literally translated the dishes word by word instead of using their head or even looking the dishes up in a Spanish CookBook, or even online.

I have spent the rest of the afternoon finishing off my Train Advent Calendar a photo of which is posted on this site.

Friday, 10 August 2012


Well, I think I've processed the last of the plums, for the time being.  The Victoria plum is covered with very hard, green fruit at the moment so I may have to deal with some more before the end of the month.

I made my signature soup, Plum, Zucchini and Mint Soup.  It is totally vegetarian provided you use vegetable stock but has the taste of minestrone.  If you would like to look at the recipe go to

I got the recipe from The Pike Place Cookcook which I bought on my first visit to our youngest son who lives in Seattle with his wife and family. 

If  you are ever in Washington State, USA, pay a visit to Seattle with its wonderful food market.  It is the oldest market that is still going strong in the States and the variety of foods and goods is amazing.  Everyone is friendly and smiley and the fishmongers even sing and throw the fish about.  It is a spectacle that draws tourists from all over.

What about quilting?  I hear you cry.  Well, I am sewing the pockets onto my latest offering.  The Ladybug wall hanging is finished except for labelling and my printer has run out of ink so I can't print off the personalised label I have designed for it. 

I shall have to make a visit to town tomorrow to get new ink cartridges.  I shall also photograph the hanging to show you all what I have been doing.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012


It’s been plums all the way here today.  Yesterday My Beloved picked 19lbs of plums while I was out. 

Honestly, you can’t leave him home alone or he gets into mischief.

Today he has been making Plum Chutney and I have spent the afternoon halving and stoning the remaining plums.  I shall make Plum and Courgette Soup from the recipe in my Pike Place Cook Book and then stew and freeze the rest.

The harvesting season is really here now and I picked, shucked and froze peas and broad beans and then picked Runners and French.  We will freeze these as per the method which seems to work well giving crisp, green beans with a good flavour as opposed to the “boiled washing” flavour I used to get when I followed all the rules and blanched, cooled and froze our produce.

I have done some sewing today.  I've finished the Ladybug wall hanging and will publish a photo shortly.  I have also begun quilting another Advent Calendar. 

I find quilting so relaxing.  I even quite enjoy darning in all the loose ends on my work or perhaps that's just an excuse to get me out of amy more produce processing this evening. ;-)

Monday, 6 August 2012


Interesting day today.  Book Club coffee morning at Berry Blue in the village centre.  It’s a new and the only cafe/restaurant in our village and is superb.  We decided to lunch there just to see if it would be a good venue for our Diners’ Club.

The food is really good and reasonably priced.  They stay open until 10 pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and serve a Bistro menu but you have to take your own wine and they have the cheek to charge corkage of £ 3.50!  That’s a bit naughty when they don’t have a licence.

We  walked the mile down and back and then walked down to Mill Cottage for the MU garden party.    The weather has been really odd today again.  When the sun was out it was very, very hot, when it rained it threw it down.  What is going on with our Summer?

This afternoon I witnessed a Sparrow Hawk catch a Sparrow and fly off with it in its tallons.  That was gruesome.

 I've been so busy today visiting and having fun that I am ashamed to admit I have done no sewing at all so, now it’s the Choir debate, shall we go to practice or not?  Mmmm?  What would you do with all those exciting Olympics to watch?

Saturday, 4 August 2012


We have a glut of plums this year.  Pity it’s not sunshine but we can’t have everything.
I’ve made two plum crumbles this morning.   I use a lovely crumble recipe with brown sugar and a teaspoon of ginger.

I do enjoy cooking, almost as much as patchwork and the Summer is a  lovely season with all the home grown fruit and vegetables available

I am sewing the binding onto the Ladybug hanging now so it will soon be winging its way out to the States.  I shall be sad to see it go and I really enjoyed piecing it.

I have hand quilted around all 5 ladybugs to make them stand out and look more realistic.

My cousin is coming to lunch tomorrow with her Husband.  Roast lamb, home grown veg., and, of course, plum crumble to finish.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012


I know it's a bit early to start thinking about Christmas but take a look at some of the Advent Calendars I have made for my Clients in the past. All the pockets are lined and quilted and the background is also quilted.  Each calendar comes with a hanging sleeve so that all you need to hang it is a length of dowelling and two cup hooks.  I ship worldwide but email me for postage rates.

Each calendar is priced at £ 24.99 plus postage so get your orders in early to get the best deal.  More photos will follow.


I took the opportunity this afternoon, between Olympic events, to pop up into the sewing room and finish the machine quilting on the Ladybug wall hanging that I am making for my little Granddaughter's birthday next month.

I have spent the rest of the evening tying off and darning in all the ends and hand quilting the ladybugs. 

Friday, 27 July 2012


I'm off up to Yorkshire tomorrow to deliver they personalised baby quilt that I have just finished.

To be honest, I can visit my two little Grandsons while I am up there so the journey is not as odd as it might sound to deliver one quilt.

  All my quilts are made to the requirements of my customer.  This one was in a pink and cream colourway with the baby's name appliqued down the plain panels but I am happy to do any colourway and to put name, date of birth or just a little message on the plain panels.  It's up to you what you want.

Thursday, 26 July 2012


It's so hot and humid here today that quilting was not the most popular past time here at Woodbine Cottage Quilts;  making Loganberry Sorbet was more the thing.

I love it here in the country.  From the guest room I could see Farmer Wilcox cutting his hay.  Driving up and down, up and down the field.  by the time the early evening had come he was baling.

We have all the windows open and the smell is delightful.  He will continue until the dusk is so dusky that he won't be able to see in spite of his strong headlights.  When I used to work it was an eerie thing as I drove home to see the tractors going up and down the field with their headlights picking out the way.

With our weather you have to make the most of every day of sunshine to get the harvest in.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012


I do sometimes wonder about teachers.  I have spent this afternoon machine sewing all four sides of some silk squares for our local primary school.  The pupils have done lovely dragon designs on them but, being silk, they are fraying really badly.

Woodbine Cottage Quilts to the rescue.  I was quite glad of an inside project today as the temperatures are soaring to 30 degrees and the sun is so intense it is not a good idea to sit outside and quilt.

Next thing to do is to make my sandwich for the Ladybug wall hanging so that I can quilt it and post it off to the States in time for September.  I sometimes think that the postal service in England is going back to the cleft stick method of delivering mail after a 1st class letter to 8 days to reach its destination. :-)

Tuesday, 24 July 2012


So far this morning all I have done is make a Gluten-free Pork Pie for my dear Hubby.  He has been a coeliac for 35 years and one of his regrets about his condition was the lack of pork pies; then along came Phil Vickery who is the Coeliac UK's envoy for all things cooking.  He published his recipe in the magazine a few weeks ago and this will be the second pie I have made.  Asw you will reaqlise, it has been a great success at the cottage.

It was not really the best thing to do today as my kitchen is very hot; mainly due to our AGA which is the heart of our cottage.  It is a faithful friend and very cosy to sit by in Winter with hand quilting to do.  I like hand quilting in Winter as it keeps your knees warm.

I have finished yet another Advent Calendar now so watch out for Ebay and my sales on here.  I shall shortly publish photos of all the calendars I have on offer at present.

I have to do two sick visits this afternoon to two of my MU members who are in our local cottage hospital but when I get back I have promised myself I shall finish the embellishments on the Ladybug wall hanging I am making for Tilly's fourth birthday. 

When we were last out in Seattle I visited my friend Linda Hitchcock of Undercover Quilts in Pike Place Market and I took Tilly with me.  She fell in love with this hanging that Linda had displayed in her shop so I bought the pattern, (it's by Betty Laughlin for Pieced Together Consulting and Design), and have made it for her.

Sunday, 22 July 2012


This is an example of one of my personalised Baby Quilts.  Every one is made specially for the baby in your life. 

Made with 100% pure cotton in my Cotswold  cottage here in England.

All cottons are washed before use with non-bio, non-detergent special quilt soap.  I use low loft batting which is specially recommended for baby quilts and then hand finish each one with a personalised label on the back to commemorate the birth or other similar occasion.

Names and birth dates can be incorporated if required.    A very special heirloom for the baby in your life to hand down to her own children when the time comes.

Prices from £ 49.99 + postage worldwide.  I am sorry to have to charge postage but the rates over here have gone up astronomically recently.  Local collection is also available.

Payment in advance.

Saturday, 21 July 2012


Harry Barnett of Barnett's Laptop Hoops asked me to send him some photos of me quilting using my hoop.  I had hoped to send some of me sitting under our ancient apple tree while it was covered with blossom but, unfortunately, the weather deteriorated during June and most of July so I finally got to do the photos today.

I love my Barnett's Laptop Quilting Hoop.  It enable me to quilt where ever I choose.  I brought it back from the States last September in an Amazon sack.  I could not believe how easy it was to get it through.  The bottom is covered with magnets to enable attachment to the floor stand but they did not activate the x-ray machine at the airport nor did they even ask me whatever I was carrying in a blue and yellow sack!  It stowed easily in the overhead luggage rack and made the 10 and three-quarter-hour journey from Seattle quite safely.

I call this quilt Diamonte Dill's Dazzling Diamonds.  I made it after a workshop using all scraps of material and a few fat quarters.  It now resides on our bed during the summer.