April: Sunshine, Showers & Flowers

In our garden: Magnolia Stellata – the first time we’ve seen this beautiful gift in flower

I was out and about a lot last week and took my camera with me to record some of the places and the things I saw. Every evening I thought, ‘I must write about that!’ but tired eyes and a sleepy brain put a stop to me sitting at the computer. Now I’m bursting to share some of these new things, even though there is so much catching up for me to do around my neglected home…

I hope you have time enough to skim down this page and at least enjoy the photos if not my babbling!

Sunday – I have to share this photo of the early morning sunlight pouring into the sewing room /guest room.

Early morning sunshine in the sewing room/guest room

This time last year the room was the garage and the building work was not yet underway. The room is all that we hoped it would be and the morning sunlight coming into the room is a wonderful, unexpected bonus.  The room faces northeast but even so, as the days are lengthening and the sun rises further to the east, the room has become the perfect place for enjoying early mornings – my favourite time of the day.

Monday – I helped host a monthly craft group at our Church.  We had a guest demonstrator who brought armfuls of beautiful flowers with her and all the equipment for us to make a Spring floral arrangement.

My ‘Spring Flowers in Oasis’. Aren’t the colours amazing?

I have to say now that I have never applied myself to the art of flower arranging so although I enjoyed the morning and learnt some very useful tips e.g. tulips continue growing after they’ve been cut, so will quickly extend beyond their original place in an arrangement, I just came home with some blooms and greenery stuck in a block of oasis rather than a true ‘floral arrangement’!

Tuesday – My parents arrived for their post-shopping pot of coffee and we shared family news and put the world to rights. They then disappeared home to unload their shopping and I prepared lunch for a friend.  We meet once or twice a month and share what we’ve been learning from reading the Bible, from sermons, discussing how we’ve been applying what God is revealing to us through his word. It can be a bit sobering as we each realise there are areas where we need to repent and get in line with God’s will but it’s also uplifting and good to be kept accountable. Dorothy has been following the theme of ‘light’ through the Bible and she set my mind wandering along a similar path – thinking first of the pleasure I derive from the morning sunshine in the sewing room and then of God’s first words in the Bible, “Let there be light”, to the description of Jesus in John 1 v9 as ‘the true light that gives light to every man’, then to the three hours of unnatural darkness that descended on the region as Jesus hung on the cross (Luke 23 v44) through to John’s description of his vision of the resurrected Jesus in Revelation 1,’His face was like the sun shining in all it’s brilliance’.  Like the majority of 21st century Westerners I’m an urban dweller rarely experiencing total darkness and as a result I don’t stop to appreciate the value and wonder of light as often as I should.

Image result for images of Katharine Guerrier quilts
Katherine Guerrier Quilt

Tuesday evening – I got to the fortnightly meeting of Roundabout Quilters.  The visiting speaker was Katherine Guerrier author of several books including ‘Scrap Quilt Sensation‘. She showed us lots of her beautiful quilts whilst telling us about her patchwork journey from English paper piecing in the 1970s through to the introduction of cutting mats and rotary cutters and her evolved style, giving traditional blocks a modern free-piecing twist, merging colours and fabrics in a truly inspirational way.

Wednesday – I was out morning and evening but determined to spend the afternoon in the sewing room making a few more 4″ blocks to add to the border surrounding my newly printed New Every Morning banner (how corporate am I?).

A sneak peek at the printed banner and the fabric scraps pulled from my stash ready to make the border blocks.

Thursday – A second sunny day in a row with temperatures topping 17°C happily coincided with an arranged walk alongside a short stretch of the restored Basingstoke Canal.

Mary walking by Basingstoke Canal. Many of the small hedgerow trees are coming into leaf – such lovely bright greens.
Bridge over the Canal. Many canals had a very short heyday in the late 1700s and early 1800s before being made redundant by the railways.
‘HCC’ is the modern Hampshire County Council.


Mallard duck and her four fluffy ducklings on the Canal – first baby birds I’ve seen this year.

Friday – The weather turned and I discovered by way of a 20 minute cycle ride (and an unfortunate coming together of a large bus and a very large puddle) that my waterproofs need replacing!

Saturday – Began with a prayer breakfast with friends followed by a visit to Viv at Purple Stitches quilt shop to discuss my teaching one or two workshops there – wahoo! – and the inevitable purchase of more fabric… Then onto an afternoon celebration for friends’ Ruby Wedding Anniversary. Whew! Time for a quiet evening at home, too tired to be cross that the plot of a pre-recorded episode of ‘Endeavour’ left us completely baffled!

Sunday morning we woke to a hard frost – it didn’t do the Magnolia blooms much good but this tiny leaf wasn’t bothered!

Sunday – For two days in a row I enjoyed breakfast out – this time at Church.  In the afternoon, husband and me drove the short distance out of town to the village of Ellisfield and enjoyed a refreshing, sunny walk taking in the beautiful countryside and the carpets of woodland bluebells.


Bluebells flowering before the trees come into leaf.


A view across the fields to Ellisfield
Ellisfield Church
The village pub, The Fox, with daffodils in the lane.

For me this coming week is in complete contrast to the previous one with very few scheduled excursions, and being a bit of a home-bird at heart I shall enjoy being at home – maybe even do some housework patchwork!



7 thoughts on “April: Sunshine, Showers & Flowers

  1. It sounds like you had a really busy week last week, Allison! I would have been too tired to blog, too. Love the light in your sewing room. I’m not a morning person but I do love sunlight shining through windows into a home. Your English countryside looks beautiful, including Ellisfield. Charming!

    • Thank you for looking through that long post. I do enjoy our local countryside very much and there are lots of villages managing to thrive although these are tough times for farmers.


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