Hide and seek under blue skies…

The sun came out yesterday so we dashed out in the morning to enjoy it. Good thing too because it was back to cold and dreary again today. We listened to the green woodpeckers in the fields, played hide and seek, and generally had a brilliant run around. This is one of our favourite spots for a quick walk – it’s called Apedale and although it’s beautifully peaceful now, it’s actually a post industrial landscape. It was a centre for iron smelting for centuries, and then coal mining from the 1790s onwards. There were pitworks, railways, tramways, a canal, massive brick chimneys, and even, in the 1980s, a huge hole in the ground for opencast mining. That’s long gone now…

Post industrial landscape

Playing in the sun

This willow shelter/den reminded me how much I want to make a willow tunnel or arch in my garden (although perhaps we need to finish the current plans first – although unfinished projects NEVER put me off starting something else – sound familiar?!). This den wont be a terribly good hiding place until later in the year, but that didn’t seem to put the boys off!

The willow house

The sky was a beautiful blue, and I couldn’t resist this snap of a stunning silver birch against the sky.

Silver birch against the sky

Tom even nabbed a shot of me!
Who, me?


In the afternoon, a new friend came round for a sewing workshop, and brought her sewing machine…. isn’t it just lovely?

The Singer...

She thinks it’s from the late 1920s, and there’s barely a mark on it. The instruction booklets are included:

Singer instructions

And there’s even a lovely little wooden extension table. Glorious! And it sewed like a dream – the stitches were beautifully even and the fabric flowed through the feed dogs with ease. Definitely built to last…

I took her through the basics of making a knitting needle wrap – we had such a fab time – 5 hours passed in a twinkling. I’ve discovered that sewing in company is a rather wonderful thing, and I’d love to do it more often.

31 thoughts on “Hide and seek under blue skies…

  1. You can have some willow cuttings from us if you want 🙂 Might be a bit late for this year though – or perhaps not given the current weather!

  2. I used to have a machine like that when I was little – it had belonged to my granny and I learned to sew on it! I have no idea whether my parents still have it – I rather suspect not 😦

  3. Oooh I had one of those years ago only a manual model with the handle – cannot think what happened to it. Must be floating around the family somewhere. It also sewed beautifully.
    You’re right, sewing with someone for company is great. I teach crochet and just love the feeling of achieving something together.

  4. Beautiful weather, you lucky things! No such luck in Lancashire. Ah well, we can only hope. The willow shelter will be great, I had to leave one behind in our last house. They look wonderful covered in the limey green leaves.
    My mum was given a sewing machine like your friend’s for her 16th birthday (1945) by her mum and dad. We still use it for mending jobs and heavy projects as its so solid and amazingly even stitching. It can cope with anything.
    You are so right in saying that crafting with friends is such a lovely time. My friend and I get together regularly for crafting, chatting and eating cake!

  5. That looks like my first sewing machine, that I was given when I was 8 years old. I still have it at my parent’s house, now I use my Grandmother’s 1960s Bernina which sews like a dream.
    And sewing with friends is so much fun, I have a Wednesday night sewing group – for the past 6 months I have been teaching a group of friends to sew, they come round every Wednesday, we started off with common projects, now everyone works on their own projects, and I guide them when they have doubts. It is such a wonderful way to spend time with friends.

  6. With weather like ours you have to snatch every moment you can. Looks like you made good use of the brief sunny spell. Hope the boys get plenty more days to enjoy their camp.

    I have an old singer, although its probably a few years younger than your friends. I’m afraid I don’t use it much as my definition of portable is obviously quite different from that of the manufacturers :o)

  7. Hello Ali! Hello boys! I have a sewing machine like that, but it needs a rubber thing replaced. Thanks for the reminder that it’s still a good machine and I should sort it out!

    1. Hi Zillah! Get working on getting that machine fixed… Mind you, the feed dogs on my machine have had a fault for about 3 years and I have failed to do anything about it… it’s getting organised that’s the problem!

  8. There is something lovely about sewing in good company. I go to a quilting group which is great fun and a colleague of mine wants to learn how to sew, so we are going to barter as she does reflexology. I think it’s a great thing to share.

    1. It’s funny you should mention that – yesterday a couple of the local home ed mums and I were talking about the possibility of a skillshare to swap knowledge of stuff like crochet, sewing, spinning, needle felting… Could be fun!

  9. My mum had a Singer treadle which was beautiful too. I mad lots of mini dresses on it n the 60’s and it worked like a dream. I think she got rid of it in the 90’s before they became a ‘vintage’ collectible.

    1. I wish I knew what happened to the Singer that we had when I was growing up. They are such lovely things – and I was amazed that some of the things that I think of as modern innovations, like the extension table and thread cutter, were there on a 1920s machine.

    2. I wish I knew what happened to the Singer that we had when I was growing up. They are such lovely things – and I was amazed that some of the things that I think of as modern innovations, like the extension table and thread cutter, were there on a 1920s machine.

  10. Hooray for sun. Your friend’s sewing machine looks very much like my mother’s old machine, which also still works very well. Unfortunately, I do not have it as it is with my sister in the USA. The thing about them is that they are very heavy and will sew on just about anything. Wonderful machines. I hope your friend had fun with hers.

    1. It was so nice Angela, there was even a bit of warmth in the air when we were in the sun… makes me hopeful that spring is on its way. Mind you, I’ve just heard the weekend weather forecast…! 😦

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