Last Saturday we went to the New Forest Lavender Farm at Landford near Salisbury. It was a really warm day (well, warm compared to recent days, as the UK has been experiencing a rather cold Summer this year). The gardens are small but absolutely stunning. There was a swathe of wildflowers and a large sunflower hedge. The whole thing was literally buzzing with insects of all kinds - bees, wasps, hoverflies, moths and butterflies. There were also a large number of birds flitting around. We even saw a dragonfly as we were about to leave.
As it was such a warm day we went into the tearooms for some refreshment. As well as a range of cakes and snacks they sell lavender shortbread, lavender cordial, lavender tea and lavender lemonade. All of the cakes are homemade by the owner and her two daughters. We decided to sample the lavender shortbread.
It tasted as good as it looks!
They also have a small plant nursery there and offer a wide range of plants for sale (much to my Other Half's delight!)
Although it is fairly small it is well worth a visit if you are ever in the New Forest.
On the way back we drove through the New Forest National Park. We stopped so that OH could take some photos of New Forest Ponies and some donkeys. They roam freely and that can make for very interesting driving. At one point a group of ponies had taken shelter from the strong sun in the shade of a large tree. The only problem was that meant they were standing in the middle of the road, quite unfazed by the large number of vehicles having to edge their way very carefully around them!
This week I have been on leave and, as OH has had to work, I have been able to get quite a bit of sewing and beading done. I am progressing slowly with my English Paper Piecing. I have been using up more of my small scraps of fabric. The stack of neatly tacked hexagons is starting to grow.
I am using a paper clip to temporarily hold the fabric in place and then, as my hexagons are only 1 inch on each side, I am using the corner tack method, rather than tacking through the paper templates. The corner tack method is only really recommended for shapes with sides of 1 inch or smaller. Instructions for this method of tacking can be found on the Sew & Quilt website.
I haven't decided what I am going to make with them yet. Possibly another small pouch or bag. I am just enjoying the soothing task of sewing them together. I am aiming to make a piece about 12 inches square. I have a little way to go yet!!
Thinking of other possible EPP projects - I have been inspired by our visit to the Lavender Farm. I am considering a way to re-interpret the 'Cat Tails' quilt on the cover of Hexa-go-go by Tacha Breucher to reflect the lavender fields, wildflower garden and insects that we saw.
As for the beading - I am saving that for my next post!