A hive of industry

As summer slips slowly into autumn, life here at Coombe Leigh is becoming very busy indeed.  Regular activities, postponed for the summer, begin again and new ones commence.  I have a new assistant here at Bustle & Sew – my friend Lisa’s daughter Emily has asked me to teach her to stitch ……

Teaching Emily to stitch

 … a very serious undertaking indeed!  Or so you might think from how hard she is concentrating on her hoop and needle in this picture.  But actually we’re having a lot of fun – she’s so enthusiastic and full of giggles!  At seven she’s old enough to start with a “real” grown up needle and floss, and here she’s beginning to stitch her first design, having carefully drawn and then traced her own rabbit and flower drawing she’s outlining the rabbit with back stitch.  We then plan to add felt leaves and button flowers to the background to make a picture she can hang on her bedroom wall.  I’ll be sure to show you when it’s done.  

I’ve been busy with my Winter’s Comfort quilt too…. 

Winter's comfort wip

 As I’ve used an old well shrunken woollen blanket for the filling, I can be very flexible with the quilting – there’s no danger at all of the filling breaking up.  The snowflake panels are quite large at 12″ square, but they won’t be quilted at all, I’ve simply stitched in the ditch around them.  I’ve also stitched around the patchwork panels, but have decided to fill them with free motion quilting – choosing circles and a cream thread so they’ll remind me of frosty cobblestones on a winter’s morning.  Still can’t quite decide how to quilt – or indeed if to quilt the navy blue sashing – if anyone has any suggestions I’d love to hear them.

And as well as all the sewing going on, I’m busy in the kitchen too with chutneys and preserves ….

Busy in the Kitchen

My lovely next door neighbour Julie invited me to take plums from her tree, and I made some Spicy Plum Chutney that smells delicious – a recipe for the October magazine I think.  Daisy and I have been blackberrying, though we didn’t get very many – I think we are a bit early, perhaps we’ll go again in a week or so.  Meanwhile though, we have enough for a lovely blackberry and apple crumble. And finally – figs from the large and rather thuggish tree at the end of my garden.  I have discovered a recipe for Fig Chutney that will use quite a few – it incorporates balsamic vinegar and red onions so sounds rather nice.  I’ll let you know!


It’s so rewarding to share an art that you love! I recently taught my granddaughter how to do some very simple embroidery, and she loved it! She left with a small embroidery kit that contains everything she needs to continue her practice, and we have a plan to share another embroidery stitch with each visit.
X Linda


That’s a great idea – you’re right, it’s lovely teaching the next generation, and it’s making me think all over again about how and why I do things. Good for both of us!


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