Late summer leaves and bloomers


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It’s been a forgettable kind of week, dominated by such a bad cold that I seriously couldn’t get out of bed for two days and completely lost my appetite. Does that make it flu? Whatever I’m better now and even had two allotment sessions in the sunshine on Thursday and Friday.

The silver lining is that I’ve had lots of time to crack on with the canvas needlework that I need to finish by the end of this month, in order to allow enough time for blocking, if I’m to use it for my upholstery course project in October. Ten days ago I thought all was lost, but today I feel it’s possible. Those of you who do this kind of work will know that even a couple of square inches represents about a solid hour of stitching.

Yesterday morning the sun was streaming into the kitchen so I decided it was time to get on with making my tulip design canvas needlework into a cushion. I cut the bottle green cotton velvet, pinned, tacked, had a practise on the sewing machine to get the tension and stitch length right and off I went. Honestly, it was easy, I don’t know what I was so worried about. I even finished the raw edges with a zig zag stitch, which I thought was almost professional. I stuffed the 16 inch square cushion with an 18 inch square feather pad and hand sewed the opening and it’s done and in use.

The other home-based job I’ve done this week is to sort out my bookcase. A few years ago, I guess as a form of therapy, I colour-coded my books. Not a good idea. For two years it hasn’t been easy to readily locate a book without scanning the entire case. My books are now arranged as they’d always been: alphabetical prose, poetry and drama, natural history, history, gardening and reference. Phew, what a relief. I also went to the library and after discharging a hefty fine (oops!) chose another selection of great books including one on flower arranging (Vic Brotherson’s “Vintage Flowers”), one on dyeing and Carola Hicks’ “Girl in a Green Gown” for Annie’s read-along starting next week.

Other highlights this week include picking apples from my Lord Lambourne tree, eating corn on the cob and sleeping under the log cabin quilt which I started making at the end of last year and only finished in May this year. (I hand quilted and that part took months and months.) It was this patchwork project to use up some of my mother’s stash that introduced me to the wonderful world of blogging. Whoever knew there was so much support, advice, cheeriness and fun to be had in Blogland?


10 thoughts on “Late summer leaves and bloomers

  1. Well despite a cold or flu you have done loads. I have two tapestrys to make into cushion covers but have been putting it off as well. Maybe I will feel braver now


  2. Sorry you’ve been under the weather, but well done for getting down to the allotment. I went on Thursday as well, it was gloriously sunny. I love your needlework, it’s beautifully done. I hope you find the time to finish the one for the upholstery course. Your apples look scrumptious, and that clematis is absolutely gorgeous. Love the newly organised bookshelves as well, I do like to have a good browse along bookshelves. I hope you enjoy the rest of the weekend. CJ xx


  3. I love looking a people’s bookshelves! Have you read The Luminaries yet? What did you think? It took me a while to get in to. Sorry you’ve been laid-up but glad you’re better. You’ve had a super-productive week nonetheless. Your needleworks and patchwork are lovely.


    1. Yes, it took me two attempts to get into it. I read the first 100 pages and was a bit at sea with it so I started again and never looked back. I loved reading it. I thought it was well plotted and very well written, the ending and resolution was simply brilliant and, a real test of a novel for me, I really inhabited the characters’ lives. It wasn’t an easy read to start with but became easier the deeper I got into it and towards the end I was in that tricky situation where you are racing towards the end because you care so much about the characters and what is happening but you don’t want it to end. I would put it on a par with “Possession” by AS Byatt and “The Stranger’s Child” by Alan Hollinghurst. What did you think? Did you enjoy reading it? I used to read a lot but I think I’m quite fussy and I’m very slow nowadays. I’ve just finished “The English Patient” by Michael Ondaatje which I borrowed from the library for my holiday three weeks ago!


      1. I did thoroughly enjoy it, once I got into the story. I thought the writing was incredibly evocative and really conveyed a sense of the times. Amazing, considering how young the author is. I had to re-read the ending because I read it too quickly the first time! I’ve just finished Louis de Bernieres ‘Notwithstanding’ which I absolutely loved. Beautiful human observation. I read ‘The English Patient’ years ago but haven’t read either of other two you mention – I’ll have to look out for them.


  4. Oh I’m sorry to read that you’ve been poorly Sarah. It sounds like a touch of flu to me if you were confined to bed. I hope that your va-va-voom is now thoroughly restored and that you’ve been able to enjoy some of the fabulous weather we’ve had this weekend. Like you I’ve been enjoying sweetcorn and apples from the allotment and have oodles of green tomatoes too. Thanks for the name of the everbearing strawberry – it’s much appreciated.


  5. I hope that you are feeling much better now. Take good care of yourself! I like my books grouped much as you describe, the idea of colour sounds lovely, but I don’t think it would work for me either. Your tulip cushion!!! Oh my, it is wonderful!!! The front and also the back!!! Of the needlepoint! So very neat!! Can you tell I am in awe!!! Looking forward to seeing the other piece too! Hope you have a good week. xx


  6. I have the ‘Girl in the Green Gown’ book ready to go too, looking forward to the read-a-long. Looks like you have achieved a great deal despite being unwell. Your cushion cover is absolutely stunning, the tulips looks beautiful. All your photographs are lovely. What neat bookcases you have, mine start off like that, but become rather messy again over time. I enjoy hearing how you choose to organise your shelves x


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