Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Archive for April, 2019

April books-2019

April has been a good month for books. The first one was the least enjoyable, thereafter I had some great reads. Do let me know if you have read any of them and what you thought.

Marcus Zusak-Bridge of Clay- I am a little amazed I made it to the end of this book, I found it rather heavy going and frankly disappointing after his Book Thief. I rather think style got in the way of story telling. Basically it is a rather sweet love story and a marvellous tale of loss and death. I also loved the depiction of family life with five boys, he captured the utter chaos brilliantly as well as the love and care of brothers. So reminded me of bringing up three boys. I found the first 80 pages hard to wade through, and had I not been away from home and my heap of books I might have abandoned it. Part of me wishes I had.  I really wish someone had told him to stop the muddly style. Has anyone read it and what did you feel? Oh there is a Bridge and Clay is short for Clayton- he helps his father build a physical and emotional bridge to the family. There is a twist towards the end which is so subtle I missed it and had to go back and recheck because things subsequently made no sense.

Anne Griffin- When All is Said– I really enjoyed this book. Maurice Hannigan makes five toasts over one weekend to the five people who influenced his life, beginning with his marvellous older brother , his hero Tony. It is simply a love story to five people , there is a country house and mystery too. Read this one, you’ll be glad you did.

Ann Cleeves- White Nights- sometimes a who dun it is just what I need. The second book in the Jimmy Perez series. So good.

Chris Hammer- Scrublands- A top notch thriller which I really enjoyed. It had a very strong plot, full of twists and turns, but not so complicated that I ever got muddled or confused .A journalist visits a town a year after a priest commits a most inexplicable murder to research how a community recovers from such a crime. What struck me throughout the book was how well the author conveyed the heat in the Scrublands, I had a real sense of place in this Australian community. A thoroughly good read.

Alex Michaelides- The Silent Patient. Another thoroughly enjoyable thriller. The silent patient killed her husband, her new psychotherapist sensing a book in getting her to finally break her silence , works hard to make that happen. Some interesting twists and turns. Highly recommended.

So that’s it for this month. Have you read anything good recently?


Scraphappy, April,2019

So with the addition of a scrappy border.

with some not too shabby corners

My beginners nine patch quilt , is done.

And on the whole I am quite a little bit proud of myself. Measuring is a challenge to me and as for being accurate to 1/4 inch , it brings me out in a glow just thinking about it. The rotary cutter terror was overcome, the mystery of the lines on the ruler and mat became clearer, and scary new sewing machine saw me changing the sewing feet with confidence.

I am ready for the next quilt….

Joining with Kate for Scrap Happy day, please pop over there to see how others have used their scraps.


In which there is still no knitting but there is a unicorn, a Fairy Godmother, a Princess, and happy mail.

I have no excuses for the lack of knitting for the last week, life simply got in the way. Hopefully I will remedy this in time for next week.

Let’s start with Happy Mail which this week saw the return of my Sawdust Heart.

Sadly there will be no further exhibitions of these hearts but the organiser Helen Birmingham has decided to collate all the personal stories that inspired the makers. I feel very grateful for the chance to take part in this event.

Second happy mail came from the wonderful Gillyflower Faire

Look who came to live in England. Please meet Frond,we shall be hunting all kinds of magical beasts in the years to come. Thank you very much indeed, he made my day.

Weekend plans- yippee it is Spring into Wool tomorrow in Leeds, can’t wait to try surface crochet and go hunting for sock yarn to make my first ever pair of socks.

And so to the unicorn etc.

See, they are real as are Fairy Godmothers and Princesses. Not something you see every day in Swindon hey.

Hope you all have a magical weekend, Do tell your plans,

Be Happy,



April Windows

Better late than never. Linking up with Wild Daffodil’s window challenge

My windows this month come from the church of All Saints Pavement, York and a favourite shop in York, guess what they sell that attracted my attention- picture at the end.

First the church, so called because this was the first street in York to be paved.

Winodws from outside and windows from the inside.

I loved the dove on this one and the rainbow effect of the stained glass beneath

This is the Royal Dragoon Window, installed in 2002.

This is the West window designed by Charles E Kempe, a celebrated Victorian designer.

Now let me think, what might they sell in here I wonder…





Still no Knit, shame on me.

The quilting class last week was hard work , physically and mentally. With hindsight I rather wish it had been six half days rather than three full days . However I have learned a great deal and in particular the things I wanted to get out of the class. I can now use a rotary cutter and a ruler thingamabobs. I have constructed a block, with 1/4″ seams and made a scrappy binding, and learned how to add wadding and a backing. So on the whole. although battered and shattered I am glad I did the class.

Last week was the binding. I duly turned up with the required strips all cut out and in sufficient number, only to be told a lot of them were too short. GROWL. She didn’t say how long a strip needed to be before it was difficult to sew. So I cut some more and stitched them together. More says the tutor. I cut more. By now it was 2pm. Finally I had them all joined up. Ironing mode and trimming mode.

By three pm I had them all pressed and ready to attach. Off I went , oh but I should have stayed in snail mode. I had to get the binding attached all round in order to be shown how to join it. At 3.50pm with less than ten minutes to go I was ready. Binding duly joined. Tutor inspects sewing. OH dear me, hangs head in shame. I had gone very very wonky in my rush.

Anyway I finished attaching the binding with tables being cleared around me. So nearly done. Mrs Hare from last month had the final laugh, she finished her quilt bang on time at 4pm.

Back home I pulled out the erroneous seam, and have re stitched it. I now just have to attach the binding to the back. Hopefully in time for Scrap Happy Day. Quite excited about it now.

Anyway, we have been away this week, so instead of some knitting to share, here’s a few pics taken on our travels.

First town we visited is called Alcester, it’s near Stratford-on-Avon. My Dad grew up here. Strangely as children we never visited, I had only been once before about 28 years ago when I went with Dad and my Step Mum. and Mr B was baby B in his pushchair.

It’s got some lovely black and white buildings, I am saving most of those pictures for my May Windows post, and I know I haven’t done April windows yet.

Next stop was the very pretty town of Broadway- a typical Cotswold town.

And a very nice veg shop..

very nice prices too said Mr E.

After that we headed to Cirencester. Although we had taken our sons to the roman villa there I had not been to the town proper, and it’s very nice.

It was a lovely  sunny Spring day and we made an impromptu picnic with sandwiches from M&S and a coffee from that stand, and ate it on a bench by the church.

Love the hares. From there we headed to the New Forest, bit rainy there, but we did stop by this nice lake.

Rather tired now! This weekend will seem tame by comparison.

Thank you for all good wishes last week for my brother, he needs all the support we can give him. He’s my baby brother for goodness sake… he shouldn’t be poorly.

So my weekend will be washing, ironing ,cooking and cleaning and I may just do some sewing on the binding! I hope you all have some exciting plans and have had a good week.

Take care and Be happy,


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