Monday, 16 December 2013

The weeks have flown by

I had this idea in my mind that after my thyroid operation when I would have to take two weeks off I would spend it doing some really enjoyable, relaxing sewing projects. I was going to work on two Tula Pink designs, my Shoreline Quilt, started in one of her classes when she was in the UK this Summer, and my Modern City Sampler quilt blocks. I love making these blocks, but just haven't had time to fit them into a rather more hectic schedule than anticipated this year. I had happy visions of ending my two weeks 'off' with a lovely big stack of finished blocks.
I spent the two weeks after the operation sitting in an arm chair falling asleep. In week one I did two rows of knitting. The second of which had to be undone. Three times. In week two I was less ambitious and watched two series of Madmen, time not completely wasted! Week three was spent gearing up for my first day back teaching- managed it, but was back to the arm chair for a couple of days afterwards. Recovery has been slower  and less full of activity than I imagined it would be. As a consequence I still haven't fitted in my 'fun' projects as it has been back to work as soon as it was possible.
 Two enjoyable days were spent teaching at the West Country Quilt Show and I would recommend a trip to it- a proper quilt show, but on a manageable scale, with excellent catering- yes, cake and lunch that are as good as you could make yourself...plenty of interesting stalls staffed by knowledgeable ladies and a smattering of knowledgeable gentlemen, lots of classes to choose from-whole days or taster sessions, plenty of quilts on show and outside the hall some of the most beautiful countryside you could wish for and towns like Bath and Frome to visit, so well worth making a longer journey and staying a few days.
 I would have taken photos, but there were so many lovely quilters to chat to, so much fabric to stroke and purchase and then classes to teach that I rather ran out of time! Yes, I know I do NOT need any more fabric. Now I REALLY do not need any more fabric.
 Since getting back home from the show I have been giving the house a proper sort out- there isn't a single piece of furniture upstairs that has not moved in the past couple of weeks. One of those tasks that just had to be completed by Christmas...the blog and Christmas preparations took a back seat, but this weekend, the tinsel came out, the fairy lights came on and I got into the festive swing.The darkest part of the year is with us and boy, has it been gloomy! But this morning a real bright bit of unexpected jolly news arrived in my inbox- the lovely Cathy of Potter Jotter ( link to her Blog on the right) had a blog giveaway of some of her delicious ceramic buttons- I won some! mmmm, what little project shall I use them for.......? Cathy makes  ceramics inspired by quilts, one day I hope I shall have a bowl or plate to match the buttons!

Monday, 25 November 2013

Spring threesome completed


...and here is how they all look together- a photo taken from atop the ladder, so forgive the less than perfect shot....

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Today, we are in Spring

Despite what the weather is like outside, in the studio, it is Spring.

Friday, 22 November 2013

...and THREE....

Third Autumn painting, tomorrow we head for Spring.

Second Autumn painting

I will be trying for the Olympic Speed Painting Team....

Back to painting.

After weeks of being a post-op zombie, I am back to work. Trouble is, I was told that I would need two weeks off after the operation, in fact it was four before I felt well enough to get back to a 'proper' work routine. So, squeezing a LOT of paintings into a small stretch of time as a deadline approaches next down, eight to go....

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Christmas Cottage Class

Teaching this one on Thursday at Lady Sew and Sew- still some places available, so come if you can!

Friday, 8 November 2013


 Yesterday I taught a class and today I got back behind the sewing machine. My voice is still rather hoarse and very deep- I am now the quilting Barry White- but after three weeks of staring vaguely into space or sleeping most of the day, I'm back on track, slow, but getting there at last. This evening I sat down to relax and checked out the new edition of Popular Patchwork- thrilled to see my stripes runner in the magazine- seems so long ago I did the work on it and sent it in, the weeks pre-operation are still all a bit vague, gave me a real kick to see it published.

Sunday, 3 November 2013


Slowly, but surely. The bandage is off, the bruising is going and my voice is coming back gradually. Still sleeping and sitting around doing not a lot, but I am being very well cared for by my in-house nursing service.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Jelly Roll Christmas

We all get tempted by jelly rolls. All those lovely fabric patterns, all the cutting done for you...I was tempted last year by a jelly roll of the Moda 

'Joy' range and succumbed to its charms. I decided I would make some Christmas items to go with my runners from last year, I would make until I ran out of Jelly Roll,  just to see how much I could get from one roll, I had so much fun, I confess I bought a second roll. Next Thursday, November 7th, I am teaching a class at Lady Sew and Sew in Henley upon Thames, "Jelly Roll Christmas"- students will get all the templates they need to make a set of tablemats, table runner, tray cloth, tea/coffee cosy, cafetiere jackets  ( 3 sizes) and a pot holder and more- enough lovely festive makes to make your kitchen properly Christmassy, all from one Jelly Roll- they make great gifts too! All the items are simply Foundation Pieced, all use 2.5" strips, so great stash busters too. There are a few places left- I will be teaching with my new post-thyroid removal 'Barry White' style voice, which should add a note of hilarity to proceedings, just bring along loads of fabrics from your festive stash (I know we all have one of those....) for maximum stripping fun - see you next week!

Saturday, 26 October 2013

New dates added for classes in 2014

 I am delighted that Pauline's Patchwork in Poundbury, Dorchester, Dorset have asked me to teach some one-day workshops for them next year and as the classes are proving popular, they have added some extra dates.
 I will be teaching both classes twice, on a Saturday and again on a Sunday. The Kimono Cushion will be happening on the 8th and 9th of MARCH 2014- the Saturday is sold out, but spaces available for the Sunday class. The Christmas Cottages Runner will be arriving on OCTOBER 4th and 5th-the Saturday is filling fast, so book early!

Monday, 21 October 2013

Cut up

My operation has happened, I will probably be away from the blog for a couple of weeks, hoping to get some easy-peasy sewing done and enjoy the Autumn colours whilst recouperating, so far been sleeping a lot and not much else.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

The West Country Quilt Show

 Happens in November on the 28th, 29th and 30th. I will be there teaching- which is VERY exciting. Three projects for you to try- one a four hour make ( you can make it in less, but I will be there to help you for the full four hours!) and two 2 hour makes. On the Thursday we have these two little projects, Autumn Tree and Christmas Cottage, both foundation pieced and simply embroidered

and on the Friday, the Kimono Bag. See you there!

Monday, 30 September 2013

Foundation piecing- with added fish!

 All a bit bonkers here currently- been waiting to have an operation, which has been cancelled once already, got a new date in a couple of weeks time, supposed to take three weeks off afterwards. Consequently trying to fit two month's work into this month. Bit of a marathon, quite looking forward to the operation as at least I will get a few hours sleep!
 Finished a little hanging for the Contemporary Quilt Group's 'Water Water' exhibition in Henley in November, 'Fishing with Mr Klee'. I don't usually go for batiks, years ago I bought some manufacturer's sample sets of batiks in a sale for ridiculously little money so I could play with them without too much outlay of dosh, every now and then they suit a project, might just squeeze one more out of them, though nearly all the ones I have left are deepest, darkest sludge!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Autumn Leaves 'Quilt as you go' Block in Popular Patchwork

 I'm delighted to say that this design will be appearing in Popular Patchwork magazine in the November issue, out 13th October. 
 This is a real favourite design of mine as it is a simple block, do-able by hand or with the machine, quilt-as-you go, so you can make one block for a cushion, two blocks for a bolster three for a runner, four for a quilt...looks great in batiks ( never thought I'd hear myself say that) and delicious in brushed cottons. This is very popular as a class and I can honestly say that whatever fabrics students have brought in to make it with, it looks great- she said, modestly!
You can have a cushion made in a day. If you want to come to a class for this design, just look at my SHOWS TALKS AND CLASSES page for details of upcoming classes.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Friday, 13 September 2013

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Plenty of Painting

 I have been commissioned to do some paintings. Twelve to be precise. A new Psychiatric Ward is being built at a local hospital and it will have plenty of art happening in it. The theme for the work was 'outside in" and they wanted work that would bring the natural world into the building. I have been commissioned to produce twelve 30cm square paintings, four sets of three, that will also work as a whole group of twelve, loosely based on seasons, using plant imagery. I'm pretty damn thrilled by this, worked on painting number one yesterday. I'm starting in Winter as I think it will be more fun to go through the seasons from chilly starkness to luxuriant foliage rather than the other way round!

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

All change!

I was away in Bridport for the Hat Festival over the weekend and on Sunday morning I took my Great nephew out for breakfast and a stroll on the beach at West Bay. As we left the house he said "oooo, I have Dragon's breath this morning!". It was chill enough for us to enjoy making misty spurts of breath as we strolled along, we rounded the corner where there is a fabulous view of the valley down to the sea, big swathes of mist were hanging on the hills opposite.    
 We stood on top of the ridge of shingle on the beach, arms wide, letting the strong wind inflate our trousers and jackets- a wind so strong it made me and the camera shake, so no photos! I rather wished I had packed socks and a jumper for my weekend away, the season changed on Saturday night.
 Back home to a rainy, grey, chilly Monday. All change in the house, time for Summer to go away and Autumn to come out. The cats seem to approve of the new arrangement with their winter blankets in the front bay window!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

I just don't know what to do with myself...

...broken sewing machine.
Oh lawks!

Monday, 2 September 2013

In September- why not come to a class?

I'm teaching at Lady Sew and Sew in Henley-on-Thames, come along and learn how to make the Autumn Leaves block. In one day you will have a completed block.You can stop at one and have a cushion, make two more for a table runner or make four for a knee quilt. 

 Go here for more details!

Latest design

Cottages in the snow...just when we get the last heatwave of the Summer, I am sewing snowflakes.