Time to reflect

I may not have much teaching at the moment but I have so much preparation to do for teaching in 2017

My first priority was to sort out my residential classes. the only way to decide if a place is right is go to visit, so this week i went to Willersley Castle near Matlock to have a look. I have loved going to the Grange over Sands area but it was time for a change. I have been to Derbyshire many times but not to Matlock recently so I did a bit of googling to find where the nearest quilt shops were, craft centres etc. On my way I visited Rowsley Craft Centre, Heirs and Graces  and White Peak Embroidery in Darley Dale, all worth a visit.

Next to Willersley castle is Cromford Mill where Quilessential Quilt shop is


I think we will be visiting the shop a few times when we stay in November and December.

They stock the full range of Kona Solids fabric, coincidentally I have been working with kona solids this week – more later. I can work with my own dyed fabric but when I want to teach a project it is easier to use fabric that can be bought or can be substituted

Hotel was great, huge teaching room with lots of natural daylight, great food, lovely warm swimming pool, helpful staff and beautiful surroundings with lots to do in the afternoon.

The first residential will be on Oct 30th but this is full already (as is Sidmouth) but if you are interested then I can put your name down on the waiting list

The second week will be starting Dec 4th – a bit close to Christmas but an ideal time to go christmas shopping during the afternoons. This week we will be doing Interchange, Counterchange and Notan. This is not full as I have only just organised it. If you are interested please email me. We will be staying in the annex so it is a bit cheaper.

I have plenty of spaces – all single ensuite rooms etc. No painting printing on this class, just some designing, some applique and  stitching.

With many of my classes for 2017 full up already – not all, I need to promote the cruise as this one isn’t full. I know it might seem expensive but the cruise company have agreed to pay the 200 $ gratitudes (not absolutely sure what that means- some one will tell me) and it does look amazing.


I have been working on developing my Indian inspired work ready for teaching in 2017 and have been looking at the village quilts made in Gujarat.

Here is mine that I bought when i was in Ahmedabad




I bought a Kona Solids skinny strip jelly roll. The fabric is cut to 1.5″ – very useful if you want to sew skinny strips.

I made these 2 cushion covers – just teaching samples


I am working making more samples for my classes of Interchange, Counterchange and Notan so using the same jelly roll made this quilt.


It will make a fun class.

Now I really need to get on with writing up all my new classes and getting my website updated. I decided I couldn’t do it myself so have asked the graphic designers for their help. Watch this space.

I bought more Kona Solids from Quiltessential to make an Autumn leaves inspired quilt and spent yesterday cutting paper and fabric, just with a pair of scissors


Here it is laid out on the floor – testing colour schemes and layouts


I stopped posting Christmas cards out to friends last year but still give out cards to my friends locally. I made about 40 cards fairly quickly.


Here are some of my favourite cards that I have received this year


My “On the Edge” quilt has been selected for the advert for Doxford show


Wishing everyone a happy Christmas and best wishes for 2017







December and January

I never have much teaching in December and January. It is always a good time to catch up on some admin, tidy my studio and plan some new projects. The admin goes to the bottom of my list, next to the bottom is tidying up and as always it feels exciting and in a way nerve racking coming up with some new teaching ideas. Will anyone like what I do?

I started my textiles career as an embroider and have never really done much in the way of traditional patchwork. I was never really that interested in getting perfect points, and all that measuring seemed too much like hard work. I always really liked using scissors not a rotary cutter. I have now, got to love my rotary cutter, all the better when I have a new blade (new one thanks to Sarah). I also realised that I could cut a straight line with my rotary cutter without using the ruler. Last year I bought one of many new books and thought I might work my way through some of the samples to see how I went along with Impro Quilting. I love all the free cutting and no careful measuring.

I made one quilt very quickly, just strips. A non quilting friend came into my studio and commented on the quilt, I replied it was very quick and easy to make and her comment made me make another “it’s the colours you choose that makes it look good”



This was all I needed – I had to make another


And another.

This time I made this one from a Sir Lankan piece of fabric that I bought last year. The method I used this time was one I used in 2001 when I made a quilt to raffle,along with some of my students to raise money so that my daughter could go to the International Scout jamboree.


I am teaching a set of classes in 2017 Indian Inspirations so using the Ralli quilts as inspiration ) or Trip round the World, I made this small one


and then a bigger one – not quite finished


I bought some graded fabric when I was in France, ordered some more from Germany and found some more when I went to Harrogate.This one is made with just a few long quarters of fabric


I am really enjoying making these quick, non perfect points and free cut quilts. Not sure whether I will develop these ideas further but I’m sure they will come in useful for some teaching somewhere

All these photos are taken with just my phone so the quality is not good and many are taken with poor artificial light

Since I posted that I was going to run another couple of residential weeks, I have been inundated with students enquiring about Sidmouth. This course is full as all of the students who came to Abbot Hall wish to come back again. I can really only run it so far south as I will be in the area anyway. I really need to keep them in the north of England and will run another in Matlock. Following many emails and requests from ex students etc I have changed the subject of this one to a more Nature Inspired theme. We will cover painting, printing, machine skills and use of more specialised machine embroidery threads and will use flowers, leaves, the landscape etc as our source of inspiration.

I need to visit before I can work out a detailed course programme, but it is half  booked already.

I really will do some admin next week, and maybe I will sort my website out and put pictures of all my new quilts / workshops etc

Last weekend there was a Winterlight festival near us. Here are a few photos



I am a member of Voyage – an international textiles group with members all around the world. I really like the quilts that Frances (Murphy) has made for our 2016 collection. Francis lives Arizona and more info is available on the website





Another week

I could say teaching residential textiles weeks are exhausting but I love teaching the when the students are so much fun and such a pleasure to teach. It’s also good when the weather is fabulous and it is in a very special place.

I went back up to Grange over sands on Monday to teaching a different class – this time a Townscapes week.

Almost all my students had been before so they all knew each other so it was lovely to watch them enjoying each others company and enjoying all the activities of a weeks textiles class.

They are a fun group of students – there is so much laughter

The weather was good so i was able to get out and do some good walks in the afternoon


We had a week making quilts and stitched samples based on townscapes. Students chose a range of sources with some fabulous results. Sorry I dont have pictures of everyone’s work


I have selected a couple of pictures here showing the story from photo to textile piece. I love teaching this journey


I have a few plans for next year

A week in Sidmouth – almost booked up already

A week in Matlock – possibly doing Townscapes

and maybe another week at Grange Over Sands either doing Interchange Applique or inspiration from the local landscape

I will post soon the details when i have them organised

I now have a few weeks to tidy my very messy studio, make some more quilts and do some local teaching. I’m not sure that I am looking forward to it – it might seem quite lonely after the fun I have had in the last couple of weeks