Grange over Sands

Every year I run a couple of residential stitching weeks. I started them a quite a few years ago, with an aim, apart from the teaching to enable students to see a little of the area that we were in and to make them affordable to all.

We’ve tried a few places in the Lake district, and for the last few years have been to Grange over sands, staying in a Fawlty Towers type of hotel / conference centre.

It is a a forgotten part of the UK and in the Autumn a beautiful place to go, especially if you have good weather.


So much inspiration to be found

I teach in the morning, we go shopping, walking, swimming etc in the afternoon then have tea and cakes at 4 and continue stitching until 10 in the evening, sometimes later.

This week I have been teaching my Interchange Applique class.

Here are some of the results from students.


For some reason I seem to have missed a few

Here are the “jumper” samples



Here are just a few more photos at presentation time

As I drove home today it gave me time to reflect on the week.

We have been so lucky with the weather, with clear blue skies on Wednesday and Thursday, there were some fabulous sun rises at 7 am and sunsets at 4pm.


As always I took masses of photos

But what made it such a good week?

Talented students

So much fun and laughter


A lovely mix of ages of students

Kindness and generosity from every

I love watching students get to know each other, have a fun week, share experiences and develop good friendships.


Next year I will run another couple of residential weeks but I think it is time to find a better hotel, and perhaps go to a different area. I have an idea to go to a recommended centre near Matlock in Derbyshire

If anyone is interested in joining us please send me an email and I will send you the details when I have some. Admin is not something I like to do so, although the course will be well organised admin is not high on my list of things to do

I shall miss the company of you all this weekend, thanks for making work for me such a pleasure.

More adventures to come next week!





Hebden Bridge

Many of you will remember the floods in Hebden Bridge on Boxing day last year. The town was almost completely flooded and many of the shops ended up being closed for many months, some struggling on in temporary places for a few months whilst the town was being restored. Elaine at the Quilt Cabin moved upstairs, which wasn’t very convenient

Now Hebden Bridge looks great, I took some friends there a couple of weeks ago and they were very impressed and wished they had a Hebden Bridge near them.

The shops have used the time to source new products, change things etc.

This bag and  tea towel sum up some of the feelings in the town.


When I first met Elaine and Rob from the Quilt Cabin almost 2 years ago, we had a dream. I was currently teaching from my studio and was getting fed up of clearing up for students to come in and was getting too busy with teaching else where, so wanted somewhere else to teach from, the arrival of the Quilt Cabin was just perfect timing. However just as things were getting going, the arrival of the flood waters came at just the wrong time. We were just beginning to establish some good classes but the teaching room was tiny, and in it was also the long arm machine. Now Elaine has the room next door. The space is ideal, with all the facilities that you need to teach.

I often have discussions with my textile friends as to the direction we are going…

more exhibiting, more teaching, write more books, magazine articles etc etc.

This week has helped me make some decisions. I like being in my studio but after a couple of days I need some fun company. I just love teaching, I love encouraging students, I love passing on my skills and more than anything I love the company. I love to see woman (and the occasional man) enjoying themselves, making new friends, doing things that they say they cant do eg draw, put colours together and going home with something they are pleased with.

This week I taught 2 days at Hebden Bridge and had 2 great days.

Come and see the shop, the teaching room, the town. It’s a beautiful area, come and have a day in the town, go for a walk on the hills and come and do a class!!

We sorted some dates for some classes for 2017. Phone or Email Elaine if you are interested

This week I received a photo of a finished piece of work from a student that I taught the Interchange Applique technique and I thought I should share it as it is just fabulous. The attention to detail, not just in the cutting skills but also in the choice of colour has made it a stunning wall hanging.



Yesterday I worked all day making my Uzbekistan coat quilt. I must have pulled a muscle in my back at my Body Combat class on Wednesday night so could hardly move yesterday so spent the day cutting and stitching. I’m always the one saying my textiles are not therapy but real work – yesterday it was therapy and today i will need to do some clearing up, as working so quickly I make a lot of mess on the way


It’s only November but we every year we need to submit our teaching proposals for Festival of Quilts. Although it might be hard teaching there i really enjoy planning the classes there as they are always full

Here are my plans

I will do the same class twice

  1. The interchange applique technique. we wont get huge amounts done in 1 hour but students will understand the technique and be given enough to make a small placemat or similarimg_8816
  2. Hexagon inlay (needs a better name) – an innovative technique. Now I just need to write up my plansimg_8818


West County Quilt Show

I’ve just returned from having an exhibition at the West County Quilt Show

It is a lovely show, smaller than the FOQ but has some good galleries and has a lovely relaxed feel. This is the second time I have exhibited here and I returned again as I like it, for a few reasons. The organisers are lovely to deal with and I was even brought a cup of tea  by Charlotte in the afternoon. Where else can I have such a huge white space to display my work?

We even get some help to hang our quilts. Thanks Paul.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Having done a few shows it is always good to reflect on each of the shows. I think carefully about doing them and if they have been a good experience. It is not just about how many books, kits I sell.

It is good to see friendsand students who I have taught and fellow exhibitors , and we do have a lot of fun


Thanks Stephanie, Paula and Marion for your good company! and hospitality.

and for a nice early morning walk

I enjoyed seeing the items for sale on Linladan stall,

www. and I just had to buy some things

I bought a few new things from Colourcraft


and some fabric


and I cant resist a few other bits and pieces


Here are just a few photos of quilts that I liked – sorry i didn’t record all the makers


Angela Knapp



Here is my “On the Edge piece” as part of the CQ Gallery


I did a little teaching but the classes were not very well attended – pity as they really are good value for money. I guess there is a lot to see at the show and there is always u tube to learn new skills.


Having a gallery space and doing it all on your own is hard, so here are my reflections

– no one to stand on your stand when you need to go to the toilet (best not to drink much),

  • you need eyes everywhere (believe it or not – things go missing regularly – this time I had 2 kits stolen),
  • you need to develop a very thick skin, I do wish some ladies would think…So when I hear the words “they have done it like this…” the “they” is me – only me, me that gets up at 6 to answer emails, fill in forms, finish quilts etc etc and works flat out all week. No one done the stitching for me.
  • “She’s done it like this”….She is me and I am only a couple of feet from you. You could always ask me actually how I have made the quilt. I am generally very happy to explain although it is always better if you buy a book but is too compulsary. I usually find the “expert” is not correct but do I interrupt and tell them so?
  • “Can I see the back?” Why? I cannot understand the obsession with seeing the back. Is it to prove that I cant be as good on the back as the front. I generally put false backs on my quilts so it is just a piece of fabric with a few quilted lines on it. So definitly not worth looking at.
  • It is always nice to be asked if photographs are allowed. My quilts are all on the web, pinterest etc so I don’t mind but it is nice to be asked
  • There are some people who think it is perfectly acceptable to put their dirty hands all over my quilts and use their finger nails to poke at my quilts to see how I have made them, and are completely surprised when i say “Please don’t touch my quilts” Notices saying please do not touch, make absolutely no difference

So after a few long days there are many trips carrying heavy things to the car and then a long long drive home often in the rain. At least when i arrive home, my husband usually helps me unload my car and makes me a drink!

I need to go to my exercise class today to ensure I am fit enough to be able to do another show!!

Ok my rant is over

My next show is the show in Paris, but I have a busy few weeks ahead doing lots of teaching

I have some new work to do – just a new idea to develop




My quilts are packed and I am ready for a few days in Bristol where I have a gallery space to display all my Interchange applique quilts and my Counterchange Jumper quilts.

It will be good to see lots of friends and lets hope for lots of visitors and students to attand the workshops I am giving.


I have been working on finishing quilts and getting ready for the show in France in February.

Here is my International threads quilts – Integration. It is the first proper quilt based on Uzbekistan. I could make another in a similar way using Jerusalem as a source of inspiration.

It is 40cm x 80cm – paint and applique with some added print and screen print

The patterns in the bottom squares are


  •  bread
  • pottery
  • suzani (although the blue colour makes it a bit lost in the background)
  • pomegranate
  • jugs seen in the museum
  • the walls around Khiva
  • etc


Always love my quilts when they are inspired by fabulous holidays

Happy memories of being in Khiva

I am teaching a new workshop as part of a 2 day course at institches—machine-stitched-flowers.html

Food is always good and I am looking forward to seeing Hazel and Terry’s new studio



At home

This week I have been doing a lot of preparing, and some local teaching.

I have a vague plan for a new book showing how to make the townscape quilts that i have made so am trying to make some more townscape quilts based on the photos I have taken in Porto, Uzbekistan and South Africa

I have an exhibition at Cowslip Studio in August next year with Sheena Norquay and Hilary Gooding showing some of our South Africa quilts so I decided to make another quilt similar to my “On the Edge” Quilt, but this time use only Schweschwe fabric. I plan to stitch it whilst i will be at UWE in Bristol next weekend.


The photo looks a bit darker than it really is

I taught at Hebden Bridge a couple of days last week doing a Townscapes design course. Here are some of the students artwork


I am planning a long thin quilt 6m x 25cm based on my photos of Costa Nova in Portugal. It is only at the beginning but here it is


With such beautiful weather this week I have out with my camera. I have been photographing Sowerby Bridge. It is, what Glynne Hughes in his book “Millstone Grit” referred to as neglectedfully wrecked but in the sunshine looks fabulous especially if you look up at the details on the buildings