Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Britain’s Next Best Thing – BBC2

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Way back when this blog was new, I wrote about queuing at Liberty’s department store to sell my idea for linen & feedsack print bags to a Buyer, as part of their Open Call event in February 2010 (

I’ve been looking out for the BBC programme, presented by Theo Paphitis, that was filmed on the day & here it is, just 14 months later. It’s one of a series, also featuring Boots & Habitat open days:

I’m not visible (except for a split-second at the 44 minute point!), but it’s interesting to follow the stories of some of the other hopefuls. I feel even more lucky to have been taken on as a Liberty’s supplier, although – as discussed in the programme – the retail mark-up is very hard to work with and still make a profit.

Britain’s Next Best Thing is on iPlayer until the end of May.

18th Birthday quilt

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Happy Birthday Charlotte!

Here are a couple of photos of the quilt I made for my friend’s daughter for her 18th birthday. I thought it might be a welcome gift, as she will be going to uni in the autumn & it’s a cosy thing to have when you are away from home.

I asked what colours and types of prints to use, so the quilt would be to Charlotte’s taste – “blue” was all I was told!

The quilt is an easy Ohio Star variation, using plain navy cotton for the background, backing and binding, with the stars in a variegated batik cotton from my stash. There are three borders & the mitred binding is stitched to the back by hand, as it gives a much softer finish.

World Book Night

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

I had 48 copies of “The Spy Who Came In From The Cold” to give out for World Book Night. As the beginning of the book is set in London, in gritty and depressed surroundings, I immediately thought of Croydon. My plan was to leave copies on buses in & around the area, getting off & switching to another route once I’d parked a couple of copies on the seats. Small problem – the kindness of strangers: “Excuse me, you’ve dropped your book” “Is this yours?” “Don’t forget your book”, etc. One man nearly got off the bus to return a copy to me as I stepped through the doors. Bless them all – my faith in humanity is totally restored. Even better, I saw a couple of people get on, pick up my book & start reading – the thrill of it! Brilliant.


Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Just back from Gloucester, where I had the privilege of singing Choral Evensong in the Cathedral on Monday and Tuesday with a choir from All Saints, Carshalton & St Mark’s, Purley.

This tiled floor in the Cathedral would make a fabulous quilt – look at the marvellous jumble of patterns where the tiles have been taken up and put back randomly:

Also, deeply thrilled to visit the setting for Beatrix Potter’s “Tailor of Gloucester”, now a very touristy gift shop, but still obviously the same building as in the illustrations:

Welcome, Lily Rose!

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Just finished a baby quilt for a new arrival: Lillian Rose, a sister for Eddie.

I used my favourite 1930s reproduction fabrics – that should be repro-duck-sion fabrics, if you look at the blue check closely (sorry).

The quilt is a Square-in-the-Square block, that sets the printed squares on the diagonal. The background fabrics are a fine green chambray and soft calico, backed and bound with calico.

I’m experimenting with continuous line quilting (hate fastening off & sewing in the ends), and the simple, diagonal quilting is made up of only two lines (plus stitching around the borders). Start in one corner and turn 90 degrees every time you get to the opposite side. It’s true. It works!

Photoshop skills course – V&A

Monday, February 7th, 2011

I’ve been doing a Photoshop skills course at the Victoria & Albert Museum since January ( It’s six weeks of 2 1/2 hour Monday workshops from an artist with an interest in digital design: Paddy Hartley ( – and so has just the right approach for someone involved in craft. The course runs on a rolling programme & is very reasonably priced. It’s all on Apple Macs in a purpose-built classroom with interactive whiteboard, etc. All you need is a basic knowledge of computers, an open mind and a memory stick to store your creations on.

I was given some beautiful homemade cupcakes for my birthday last week (white chocolate and fresh raspberry), and took a photo of one of them along to the course to play with. Here are a couple of the results (not works of art, just a bit of fun).

First, the cupcake:

Flying cupcakes:

Cupcake flowers:

Singer 201 attachments

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

I’ve been playing around with the attachments and feet that came with my vintage Singer 201 (and one or two I bought on eBay). They are small wonders of engineering, and work beautifully.

The Zig-zagger:

The Ruffler:

The Tucker:

The Hemmer:

The Hemmer 2 (a fine, rolled edge)

The Binder (adds bias binding):

The Quilter:


Saturday, December 18th, 2010

Tried to drive to Bristol today. Turned back on the A3 at Esher. This is why:

Christmas gifts (shhh!)

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Here are a couple of things I’ve been making for Christmas.

The first is a Scandinavian-inspired cushion for a Danish friend. It’s made from a vintage table runner that was badly worn and fraying at the edges, so I had no compunction about cutting it up. The runner was about a metre long, plain linen in the middle, with embroidered ends. I trimmed away the damaged edges, took out the middle and joined the two ends to make a symmetrical design. The back and covered buttons were made from the undamaged linen from the middle of the runner. I then made tassels for the corners from embroidery thread.


The second gift is another cushion, this one made from an embroidery project begun in a Sandie Lush workshop at Quilters’ Haven in Suffolk. The embroidery is all in Colonial Knots using Caron Watercolour thread, with Mill Hill seed bead detail. A brilliant day at the workshop, and an elegant gift – win, win!

The photo shows the cushion cover flat, I wish I’d photographed it with a cushion pad inside, it would have looked much better.

Pisa tiles

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

Saw these tiles in the Duomo at Pisa – crying out to be made into quilts. The quality of the photos is very poor, as I didn’t want to use flash inside the building.

Oh, and everyone who goes to Pisa has their photo taken “holding up the tower” – I couldn’t stop taking pictures of other people doing this. Here is the best: