November 13th, 2013 | Family, Sewing | 6 Comments

Did you know our Henry is penguin mad? No? Well, he is really is!

So when I saw the penguin family on Basic Grey’s booth at Quilt Market I couldn’t buy a pattern quickly enough.

I wanted a very simple, vintage look for my penguin- sorry! Henry’s penguin- so I dyed some wool blanket and just whip stitched the pieces together raw edges and all. I made the largest size, Peter and he was easily stitched in one evening.

Henry has been waiting for a whole 3 days for his penguin to be finished and this afternoon instead of working as planned I went and bought some stuffing and found some button eyes, sat down and got him done.

Penguin is waiting at the kitchen table for Henry to come home from school. I am waiting to see his reaction and my work will just have to wait that little bit longer (again).

But there won’t always be a penguin mad boy in the house will there?



November 6th, 2013 | Other | 2 Comments

   Whilst at Quilt Market I had the pleasure to meet many people in real life who I have been working with from afar.

One such person was the lovely Linzee McCray.

Having had to read rather a lot of my archives to write her welcoming piece about me on The Moda blog Linzee knew all about my china dog collection and found me the perfect gift.

And now I have 3 little American dogs in my collection. How kind is that! Thank you!

Quilt market

November 4th, 2013 | Moda fabric, Other | 12 Comments

    I had my very first international business trip the other week when I went to Houston for Fall Quilt Market! It was the most amazing, inspiring and exhausting few days.

I stood on the Moda stand with my ‘Hearty Good Wishes‘ fabric. I talked in Schoolhouse. By the way, I am never ever watching myself!

I also went to the Moda fancy dress party as a ship’s figurehead complete with a seagull on my head, which was great fun. You can see a little glimpse of my costume on the Minick and Simpson blog here.

Mark Dunn (Mr Moda himself) wore a shirt made from my seagulls fabric.

And last but not least, I met so many lovely designers whose work I have admired and whose fabric I have bought all these years. Quite extraordinary to be there with them.

In short, Quilt Market was a pleasure and a privilege.

And if you can’t sleep on the plane home you get to watch as you fly into the dawn.

thread scissors

October 18th, 2013 | Sewing | 5 Comments

These are an absolute delight to use. They were a lot of money but weren’t expensive (if you see what I mean). They are solid and smooth and built to last and can be repaired and sharpened forever and ever. I intend to buy myself a whole set.

I bought them from the great grandson of Ernest Wright himself. Who held them up to his ear and carefully listened to them opening and closing before passing me several pairs of seemingly identical scissors so I could ‘see which pair belongs to you’. Not understanding why I did as I was told and found that each pair was slightly different and I could easily chose my pair after all.

So, here are my handmade thread scissors. I’m going to make them a little case and I’m going to take enormous care over the making of it because I’m pretty sure I’ll have both forever.


October 15th, 2013 | Other | 3 Comments

  embroidery inspired by a Lowry quote, on vintage blanket with a laundry tag

The other week I went into London and saw the Lowry exhibition at Tate Britain. It was the first time I’d actually seen his work and was struck by how monochrome, bleak and repetitive his paintings are, as I’m sure everyone is.

Lowry was a rent collector and his paintings show the world he lived and worked in. What he saw and how he felt all there on the canvas, over and over again.

Stepping outside the gallery my world seemed very vibrant, positive and teeming with opportunity.



October 10th, 2013 | Hearty Good Wishes | 10 Comments

Well, I had an exciting little shopping trip today!

I went to the newsagents and bought the November copy of Coast magazine which features my ‘Hearty Good Wishes’ book, and has free patterns for four projects and a coupon for my Etsy shop too.

It’s very nice to see my work in a glossy magazine!


tailors ham

October 7th, 2013 | Sewing | 9 Comments

Saturday night found me covered in sawdust trying to make a tailors ham and a sleeve roll following the instructions in my Merchant and Mills book. I’m not sure I’ve ever used them before but apparently they will improve my pressing and thereby my dressmaking enormously. I have high hopes of this being true.

I’d really like to make more of my own clothes. I have a lovely wardrobe on Pinterest and half a lovely wardrobe in real life. But at least I’ve made a step in the right direction by buying the book and a factory dress pattern and making a ham.

I also signed up for Ted and Agnes’ challenge to wear something handmade (by you or someone else) every single day for a year. I’m dressing much more thoughtfully in the morning to complete my challenge and have been sharing my outfits on Instagram (my little blog).

Now, excuse me but I need to get sewing and knitting because I’ve already worn nearly every handmade item I own!




September 30th, 2013 | Family | 4 Comments

Happy birthday my gorgeous boy!

A Field Guide- quilts for all seasons

September 27th, 2013 | A Field Guide, Books | 8 Comments

So, today I can finally show you my third book ‘A Field Guide- quilts for all seasons’.

It’s actually been ready since the middle of August but today I finally had the time and the photos (thanks Sarah!) and the energy to list it in my Etsy shop and so here we are.


The book introduction: ‘We are a family of collectors. Not of fine art (though that would be nice too) but of the more mundane conkers, pebbles, feathers, fossils and shells. My boys became collectors the very moment they were able to put things in their pockets. We have an old glass fronted cupboard in the hall filled to the brim with treasures- the boys call it the Curiosity Cabinet and if you visit and are very lucky they will sit you down in front of it and share the stories of how they came by such interesting things.

So, you see it was only a matter of time before our nature collecting became a book, this book, which almost wrote itself. Turns out I’ve been collecting ideas for years too.’

I hope you like it!

Duchess cake

September 23rd, 2013 | Food | 2 Comments

So, I tried a recipe from ‘Exciting Cooking’. It’s called Duchess cake which is a short pastry base covered in raspberry jam, an almond-y layer and icing (think Bakewell tart).

My little brutes loved the cake!