‘Blossom’ by Henry age 9

May 6th, 2014 | Family, Other | 5 Comments


old crumbly branches

hang elegantly over me

swaying the beautiful pink buds

side to side

World penguin day

April 25th, 2014 | Family, Other | 1 Comment

Penguin400wThere’s a ‘day’ for everything now isn’t there?

But today is special because it’s World Penguin Day and we happen to have the world’s biggest Penguin fan in the house- our Henry.

Naturally, Henry asked for a penguin for his birthday a few years ago and so my parents adopted him an Adelie penguin which he calls Smirky.  This is a drawing of Smirky!

Henry corresponds with Pablo the president of the Global Penguin Society and sewed him a little penguin for Christmas. You can see Henry proudly holding Pablo’s penguin on the Global Penguin Society’s Facebook page!

Over the years we’ve made penguin birthday cakes and soft toys (Basic Grey’s pattern)














































And of course, appliqued penguins! My applique penguins were originally designed a few years ago for Fat Quarterly and you can get the free pattern here: Janet Clare Pattern – Penguins

Happy World Penguin Day!

Betty’s 3rd birthday

April 14th, 2014 | Family | 4 Comments

Betty3                                                                                                                                  JoeJump420w

HenryJump420wCan you believe Betty is 3 already! She is a delight.

On Betty’s birthday we all went to the bluebell woods for a long walk.

I took my big camera to take some photos of the Bluebells but they aren’t quite out yet.

So I took some photos of an ordinary, every day dog walk instead.

There was hide and seek (the boys hide and Betty seeks), muddy ditch jumping, tree climbing and sunshine.

And next week there might be Bluebells as well.

Betty gets us out every day, rain or shine and without her there’d be a lot less Sunday mornings spent playing in the woods.

I do love my dog.


1959 flan

April 4th, 2014 | Food | 1 Comment

Flan420w Flan (n.) A baked dish consisting of an open-topped pastry case with a savoury or sweet filling

Such an old fashioned word for a pudding. Flan. I rather like it.

This is a marshmallow and chocolate flan from my 1959 cook book ‘Exciting Cooking’ and is one of those puddings your Granny used to whip up in minutes from an assortment of left overs.


Naturally, I didn’t have any leftover cake crumbs and couldn’t face making the pastry- I went shopping instead.

I didn’t have any coffee essence so used espresso and I left out all the nuts, because I didn’t fancy them.

Also, I only had small marshmallows which turned brown long before they melted.

But it was still a good flan!

Chicken tea cosy

March 28th, 2014 | Sewing | 7 Comments

ChickenTeaCosy420wThis week I came across a picture of my chicken tea cosy on Pinterest and then the next day a lady wrote and asked where she could find the free pattern for it.

Funny how that happens.

So, the pattern is here: Pattern – Hen Tea Cosy

You’re welcome!

Artisan apron

March 26th, 2014 | Artisan apron, Sewing | 19 Comments


Apron420wAs you may know, I work from home in a little room off the kitchen and I used to find myself doing all the things that needed to be done instead of actually working. If you work from home I’m sure you know what I’m talking about!

After much thought I realised that I needed a work uniform, something to wear that made me (and everyone else) know that I was not at home but at work. And so I made my apron and have been gradually embellishing it with my favourite sayings and little badges and motifs and now when I wear my apron I feel creative and ready to work.

My apron is so lovely and cream and special that I’m not tempted to sweep the floor or brush the dog when I’m wearing it! And now when I take it off I actually feel that I’ve left work behind for the day- which is a marvellous thing for an apron to achieve don’t you think?

Anyway, after lots of requests for a pattern it is finally here and in my Etsy shop now.



March 13th, 2014 | Other | 6 Comments

CandlewickRuby420wI’ve been seeing a lot of candlewick bedspreads in the charity shops lately. And I’ve bought a few despite not really liking them (yucky, pastel colours) and having no idea what to do with them once I got them home.

But I’ve finally learnt to trust my instincts on such things.

And then last week whilst in one of those shops that sells everything I stumbled across some indigo washing machine dye and thought I’d see what effect it would have on a candlewick bedspread.

And to my surprise they dye amazingly well! So now I have no idea what to do with a beautifully coloured candlewick bedspread! DyedCandlewick420w

Maybe I could use this coat as inspiration?


March 6th, 2014 | Other | 4 Comments

RabbitSoftie420wRabbitSoftieCloseUp420wSorry for repeating myself here but my little rabbit pattern does get very popular at this time of year and I thought I’d make him nice and easy for you to find.

Rabbit is such a simple charming fellow that you’ve still got plenty of time to stitch a whole warren of them before Easter!

You can find the free Rabbit PDF pattern here.


Whales410wSo, here I am to announce the happy winner of my ‘Hearty Good Wishes’ fat quarter bundle. There were 654 comments (wow! Thank you!) and the random number generator I used chose comment number 426- so many congratulations Sue Bennett!

Please email me your address and I will rush to the post office with your fabric!




Hello and welcome to letter H on the Moda designer blog hop!

I’ve been given the letter H for my ‘Hearty Good Wishes’ fabric line and book which are due in your local quilt shop very soon.



My ‘Hearty Good Wishes’ fabric collection and book are inspired by the English coast in the winter time and by my love of listening to the shipping forecast on BBC Radio 4 late at night whilst sewing in my studio with my boys sleeping safely upstairs.

I’m re- making the ‘Good Old Blighty’ quilt from the book in my new fabrics. I’ve finished the applique and am slowly embroidering the names of the sea areas (pattern and instructions in my ‘Hearty Good Wishes’ book).

I live in the centre of town now but I grew up near the white cliffs of Dover (where the tiny piece of dark navy fabric is at the bottom right of England). I’d love to live near the sea again!





















So, here are a few of my favourite things beginning with my letter H:

favourite quilt block: Hexagons. I really enjoy English paper piecing

favourite word: Happenstance

favourite food: Honey

favourite memory about school: Home time!

I love quilting because: I love to use my Hands

something I can’t create without: a Happy Heart

somewhere I like being: Home preferably by the warm Hearth

somewhere I’ve been: Honiton, Devon which is beautiful and famous for it’s lace (made for Queen Victoria’s wedding dress and Prince George’s christening gown)

And now I have some treats for you!

I have a fat quarter bundle to giveaway to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment telling me something you like beginning with H.

I’ll draw the winner at random on Friday 28th February (English time!)








And you can find the PDF pattern for the letter H quilt block here.




Now please hop on over to French General for your letter G, and then to Basic Grey for your letter I.

Hearty Good Wishes!