New website

With loads of things to do at the moment I have had to seek help to get my website redesigned. Its not ready yet but here is the title


I’ll post more when it is ready

I’ve been teaching at Midsomer Quilting at the weekend – I am always made very welcome, looked after well and had a lovely couple of days

I taught 2 different classes

Here are some photos taken just outside the classroom


I’m still working on my circle theme – some just made for fun, like these ones


This is my hand stitching based on Uzbek plates


This is a quick blog post …more to come another day



January update

After a few weeks without any teaching, this week I was back at Hebden Bridge, teaching a Townscapes class and the Creative Textiles class that I teach every month. Our numbers are growing and it looks like I will have to teach another day a month – I’m not complaining. Lynne always does a brilliant job of photographing the day but we were hand stitching so there is not a lot to see. We were looking at Indian textiles and carrying out some Kantha stitching. The first kantha quilt I made was in 1995. The technique hasn’t changed since then but it was good to talk about my visit to Kolkata, having seen the museum there.img_2696img_2695img_2694img_2693

After having made a small Uzbekistan quilt I wanted to make a much larger one, and started working on it, I’ve painted the background and then added some gelli printing. There is so much more to do on it yet – just need a bit more time

I’ve cut all the “plates” out by hand and will place them on top of the painting but I haven’t decided on the layout yet.


A couple of years ago I bought a Sizzix machine and I can’t resist investing, occasionally, in a few more dies. They are so easy to use.

Using my Interchange appliqué method and my sizzix machine I made these 2 quilts

I love the dense machine stitched lines using Mettler variegated thread. Most of my students know I don’t really like using variegated thread especially if the colours are in long blocks and are very different but I do like the Mettler colours and they work so well on these quilts.

I can’t wait to experiment more and make some more.



After a few weeks at home I thought I would be really ready to get away and do lots more teaching but I have really enjoyed doing the Park runs on a Saturday, Body combat classes etc and making my almost daily trips to the gym. I shall miss it, and talking to all the other lovely women there that I have gradually got to know.

Today I did a Personal best on the 5km run. It was a different course and a bit hillier, and proud to have come 4th in my age category. Park runs are such a fabulous experience – you don’t have to be a good or fast runner. They are so well organized and there is a lovely atmosphere.

Although it seems hard when you are doing the run, I very quickly recover, and if nothing else it is a great excuse to eat chocolate.



January is always a quiet month for teaching, it’s good, it gives me a chance to catch up, think up some new ideas etc, however, I do miss the company of students.

I am about to have a few very busy months so I wanted to get ahead with some of my teaching samples and CQ quilts. This week I have done something that I have always told my students never to do. I have made JQ’s January – August all in January. Don’t tell anyone. I won’t post them yet and I may even change them or rather do more.

Here they are. They are all inspired by Uzbekistan.


Need to do something about this guy’s face – he looks a bit like a monkey


These are all 11″ square. Some are painted and appliqued others just appliqued. Now I just need to use them as samples for a larger piece.

I sent off my project to the V and A and it has been photographed


I have been asked to write a project for a new book on patchwork and quilting. My brief was to design a project inspired by the quilt below, it was made in the 19th century using an intarsia technique similar to my jumper quilts. You might just be able to make out the hearts, spades and club motifs on the corners











Here is a very low resolution photo of how it will appear in the book,


and here is a photo of one of the finished child’s toy or hanging decoration


I’m working on some new teaching ideas based on Uzbekistan plates – all about circles and have  been playing with the circle attachment and flower stitcher, using my little used Janome machine – my samples are not worth posting yet

Beautiful weather yesterday and I just had to get out on the hills


This morning I joined 70 others for the launch of the new routines for the exercise classes I go to. I must be mad to decide to to Body Attack followed by Body Combat – loud music, a dark hall and some very fit and slim girls . I love it!

It was held at the leisure centre just near North bridge – Look at all the patterns. I really should use these photos as inspiration to make a quilt for the new “Made in Europe 2 ” SAQA exhibition





Christmas Holidays

When I first started writing a blog probably at least 8 years ago I used to think why do i need to write it, who reads it, etc etc but now I realise that I actually like writing it, as it makes me think about what I have been doing in the last week or so. A couple of weeks over Christmas, yes, maybe I have had to be a domestic goddess but it is lovely to have the family back home, and I have a very busy Spring ahead of me when i will be away quite a bit.

The weather has been good and I have done lots of walking and even a park run on Christmas day, along with 550 others


Walks close to home


and another visit to Northumberland


And to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park


Not Vital


Kate Daudy


Angela Harding


I have an International Threads Quilt to make “Hand Stitched” is the title so here is a start based on my Uzbek plates


It will take a while to finish, I’ll stitch them one at a time when I am on trains and planes etc. So, now, I can listen to audio books on my phone, stitch and travel on a plane all at the same time. Recently I have listened to Sheltering Rain , Honeymoon in Paris by JoJo Moyes, Return to the Coffee Shop of Kabul by Deborah Rodriquez and now am listening to Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts – all excellent!

I have been working on a new project for the V and A. I don’t really think I should say too much here but I will in time – thankfully it has been accepted.

Here is a sneak preview


I have been making kits up ready for the show in Paris in February – not my favourite job


and my latest quilt is finished (note the variegated thread)


and now, apart from completing my tax return form, I really want to make a Journal Quilt or one for Voyage – I have an idea for the next few that have a theme Freedom.

Updating my website and filling in my tax return form are top priority.



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