Jane's Jottings

Autumn in the Cotswolds


I have been saving these photographs to show you –  I know that the autumn is now over but I thought that you would still love to see them.  Bill, my husband, decided that I needed a break from the office and took me out for the morning – I had ten minutes notice to find a coat and some wellies! We went to Westonbirt Arboretum  near Tetbury. I had treated myself to a new camera so this was the perfect time to try it out.  The colours were the most extraordinary and I think the best I have ever see. Locally, we had all noticed that the autumn colours were usually good this year but these were difficult to believe – You could not paint it!



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Date posted: Sunday, December 18, 2016

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Exciting news for all of us!

Hello again everyone!

I do have so much to tell you and hardly know where to start. I think the first thing to say is that whatever you have heard, I am not retiring! I do however have some very exciting news! I believe this will be exciting for both Bill and I here at CSG HQ and for you as Members of the CSG. At the end of this year, I am handing over the day-to-day management, kit production, our web site and mail order part of the CSG to Andrea Thompson who will become our new Managing Director as of the 1st January 2017.

New Picture

I cannot pretend that I am not thrilled that Andrea is taking this over because I think this is the best news we could have! Andrea is a Maths graduate and software engineer and is more than twenty years my junior! This will mean she can take the CSG upward and onwards – something I do not feel I can do properly. I know that Andrea feels that the CSG is a real community and she will work very hard to develop this with the help of you the Members and her new team.Andrea as spent quite some time here at Pinks Barn over the past few months and has been learning the ropes working with my team here- she has made up kits, used our swatch machine known as Daph’s DoDah, packed orders and had money lessons from Bill and she still wants to do it!

Bill and I are taking Andrea to Germany next month to visit Zweigart and Vaupel & Heilenbeck  so she to can go shopping for linen fabrics and bands and we will both be at CSG Events throughout the rest of the year. I am already planning next year’s features so that my diary remains as full as ever!

New Office

For me, the best bit is to come – I am going to remain within the CSG as the Patron and as a designer and author. This is going to mean that I can spend all day everyday designing and stitching which after all is why I started the whole thing in the first place. You can see the start of the new office in the picture now awaiting some creative decoration.  I have lovely plans for this space and you will be included in the news when I  have decorated my new space and you will be able to see I still mean business! All I will need is the new computer and my stash and away I shall go. I have plans for some lovely new projects for you to stitch and I will be sending all of them to the CSG and I have so many ideas for books that we can publish. I will, of course, be attending the Knitting and Stitching Shows and the Together We Stitch Weekends at the Hilton Hotels with Andrea but I will not have to pack the van or put up the stand!

Thats all for now.

I will add some images of the Lotus Flower Needle Keeper later……..

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Date posted: Thursday, April 28, 2016

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Catalogue and Itch to Stitch 107 in the post next week!

Monty stealing photography props

Monty, our puppy stealing photography props!

Here I am at last! I swear that my road is paved with good intentions. I meant to be so much better organised this year and keep up with my  Journal entries. Next week, we will be posting Member’s Itch to Stitch magazine and our new 88 page colour catalogue.  This is my first catalogue since 2011 so it has taken some sorting out. We are still as busy as ever and have really not had time to collect ourselves I can tell you…….

I thought you would like to see some of the features in Issue 107 of your magazine – We have a new feature called Collector’s Corner where I get a chance to show you some of my stitchy treasures.

Collector's Corner

A pretty sampler for the 1920s and a First World War Hussif

Persian Pattern Band

Persian Pattern Band Sampler

Pretty in Pink Box

Pretty in Pink by Andrea Thompson

A counted pattern tile converted in to a jewel box.



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Date posted: Thursday, September 17, 2015

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I just love Roses…..

Rose Bowl

I picked these yesterday to cheer up my very gloomy house

The weather here in the Cotswold has been really quite depressing this month – So much for Flaming June! I am still wearing a vest and we had the electric blanket on last night! I had been out dead-heading the roses and suddenly decided that I needed some roses in the house. The variety of colours was so lovely – I am sure no-one would believe you if you painted them accurately.

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One of my few hybrid tea roses – This was bought for me after I had been teaching at a needlework shop in Woburn – Sadly the shop is long gone…….

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I have been collecting David Austin Roses for a number of years and this year they have been lovely. I am so mean, I buy them out of season and cross my fingers that I can look after them properly. As we rarely go away in the heat of the summer, I can make sure I water in any new plants regularly. I am not good at the art of pruning but seem to get away with cutting everything back quite hard in the autumn and keeping my fingers crossed.

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Last year, I treated myself to three small standard roses for the front path to Pinks Barn. In spite of the blackspot and the greenfly, they seem to keep going. Last year they were still flowering in later October!


 This sweet little climbing rose was here when we moved to Pinks Barn over twenty years ago. It has survived builders and carpenters with and without scaffolding!Pink on house

I planted this climber when we built the front porch during our first year here. We always get a wonderful show in June and then it refuses to offer again.


Here is a little free chart of a tea rose which may be stitched on linen or Aida fabric. If working on 14-count Aida or 28-count linen, I would use two strands of stranded cotton (floss) for the cross stitch and one only for the backstitch.

If you would like to find more charts of roses and indeed,other flowers do go to my

Download Store


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Date posted: Tuesday, June 16, 2015

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Hellebore Heaven

I thought you would like to see some of our Hellebore plants this year.

Also known as Christmas Roses, they are a personal favourite and I have been collecting various versions of these lovely early spring flowers for some years.




You see the variety of coloured centres and the variations or colour palettes in the more common varieties.


This selection are in a raised bed which means you can actually see the details in the flowers

Hellebore chart

This single Hellebore chart is shown in Madeira threads.

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Date posted: Sunday, April 5, 2015

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