Monday 31 December 2012

Outside the comfort zone

Lula is studying Japanese and has is showing an increasing interest in Japanese food.  She is a typical tweenager when it comes to vegetables and as we don't eat meat she has to embrace them or eat cheese but the influence of East Asian cookery is certainly helping as did some bento style Christmas gifts from here and here. We all ate Omrigiri- moulded rice cakes.
She made herself a bento lunch.
 She is cooking us a Wagamama recipe tonight- think buckwheat noodles, soup, vegetables and salmon.   This is my favourite kind of food, clean, fresh and an antidote to roasted roast veggies.  And we have mochi to finish with a nod to Japanese new year traditions.

Embracing new things is important in life.  Nobody wants to stagnate, we have to leave the safety of our comfort zone. From a textile point of view I have little to no purple.  I have always found it a difficult colour although some combinations- orange/purple, yellow/purple delight me so I have been buying the odd purple FQ where I see one I like.  The left kitchen print and the Heather Ross mice are from Frances at Miss Matabi, she has a sale on at the moment too.  The Bo Peep print is a 30s repro from Country Threads, Bath.
New Year, a good time to try new things.  I have some bad stuff going on but also some incredible, exciting and happy stuff to counteract and exceed the bad.   There is always something good somewhere, always important to remember that.   Happy new year x
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Sunday 23 December 2012

Wishing you happiness...

It is not all doom and gloom here.  Thankyou for all your kind thoughts and for being there when life gets tough, it does help.  We are all at home now, eating and sitting around- not me- I am sewing obviously- and generally messing about.  Lottie underwent a brief metamorphosis... to a rein-dog
Reindeer dog
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Wednesday 19 December 2012

Hard Times

I had some very difficult news last week, a bereavement that I can only describe as extremely challenging.  To be honest, I have been holding off posting because it has been so hard.  I should add, we are all still here, Damian, Lula, our pets, me, safe and sound and all together but life for me has been been eventful and deeply upsetting.
I will still be around online, reading and looking, posting erratically.  I will not be commenting, responding to post or emailing very much just at the moment.  I am having to spend a huge amount of time having conversations  that I would rather not have and time disappears in great big chunks so I have to save what remains for self protection.
We are wrapped up warm in our little house.  Work is nearly finished for us all and I will be having a quiet Christmas with D & L, my mum, brother, sister and nephew.
L has been busy stitching and baking with D. I am so proud of her Frosted Pumpkin Dessert of the month, all finished.
Wishing you happy times x
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Monday 17 December 2012

Here's to friendship

It is always an utter treat to meet online sewing buddies in person and on Saturday I did just that.  I met Amanda  (right in picture) last year at Fat Quarterly Retreat and hit it off, plus she is based in Bath which is only 1 1/2 hours from me.  Danielle (left) is on a round the world trip with her husband and three children and Bath is on of the places she has been able to fit in on the UK leg of their journey.  We know each other from blogs, flickr, instagram and twitter and online friendships seem to accelerate more quickly so that meeting up in person is never difficult, there is always common ground and a warmth and understanding.
We spent a long time in Country Threads which is a wonderful quilting shop with a great selection, and  incredibly helpful staff.  Amanda brought a bee quilt to show, considering she is 6 months pregnant and Bath was busy with Christmas shoppers this was a brave decision but so worth it.  She met Danielle through this bee and many others and it was a beautiful piece of work from the bee members, topped off by Amanda's hand quilting.
And we did a little gifting, Danielle gave us tea towels screen printed by Cat and Vee, gorgeous!
 A truly lovely day.  Much love all round xxx
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Saturday 8 December 2012

Living the Dream: Village Haberdashery

I am sure there is a little part of every fabric lover that dreams of a bricks and mortar shop, it is going to remain as fantasy for me but for Annie of Village Haberdashery she is living the dream as she expands her business bricks and mortar as well as online.  Time to drool for fabric, yarn and embroidery fans...
I swear I would explode if this shop was near me: Anna Maria Horner and Denyse Schmidt are in the building- please Annie, think of opening a Southwest branch!
Next weekend there is a special open weekend before the business opens in the new year.  The London Modern Quilt Guild will be on hand and have your pennies at the ready- there is a generous sale shelf including the newly added Nursery Versery.
Something for everyone...
I would be there but I have a prior date with Amanda and Danielle which I am looking forward to hugely.  Wishing my best to Annie in this new venture and have a great time to those that go!
You will find The Village Haberdashery at 47 Mill Lane, West Hampstead, London

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Tuesday 4 December 2012

Can you help Fabricate?

Hello from another Kerry! Kerry has very kindly granted me a guest post today to tell you about my modern quilting magazine project, Fabricate.

Fabricate is set to be a monthly magazine for modern quilters here in the UK. We haven’t really got a magazine tuned into contemporary trends for patchworkers for reasons I can’t really go into too much, so I decided to take the bull by the horns and try to do something about it!

I know a magazine is hard work- I used to be the editor of one. I graduated in Publishing a few years ago, before I had ever expressed an interest in quilting myself, however I’ve been crafting since I was very small. Nowadays you can find me at the PennyDog Patchwork blog where that’s pretty much all I do now. I love quilting and I know there’s a lot of us in the UK who do too- 33,000 people attended the Festival of Quilts last year alone and I'm pretty sure we’re not all traditionally minded.

The reason I'm appealing to you now is that I need to raise £5000- or $8200 including fees- before the end of December in order to rent shelf space with WHSmiths and make the project worthwhile. If I can’t fund this then it can’t be a reality. It’s a really rubbish time of year to try but to get my launch date of 21st March which will hit the Sewing for Pleasure show and also the Easter weekend when craft magazine sales are at their highest, it needs to be done now. I have a meeting with my distributor on 20th December so it would be great to be able to give them a definite answer by then!

So if you have $1 spare (about 65p) then it would be very welcome, however I am offering early subscriptions, one off copies by post and even advance advertising at reduced rates just to try and hit this target. Can you help? Please tell your friends and keep up with the progress at

Would you like a free project? I've got a file over on the Indiegogo page for the above clock project, or you can put your email address in on and I will email it over to you.

Have a great Christmas!

Saturday 1 December 2012

Day one...

Start of advent and a tingly feeling of excitement (and a little fear) for Christmas coming so soon.  Advent stockings sewn years and years ago come out again and have been filled with chocolate are ready for Lula.  Damian bought us each a card calendar too- I adore these, no chocolate, just nostalgic Victorian scenes, cherubs and an excess of robins.   I wanted one so much as a child that I would create my own out of plain paper and felt tips, preparing little scenes underneath the tiny window.  I finished my winter quilt but there never seems to be sufficient daylight to photograph it and now it is crinkled with use and has the usual cat and dog fur clinging to it!  You can see it under these pics.  It is well loved on these chilly, dark evenings.
I don't buy many Christmas cards and so for the few I do purchase I fancied something different.  These little  letter press drink mats (perfect for a beer) can be found in the Little Red Press Etsy shop alongside some extremely tempting Keep Calm and Make a List notebooks and other fancy paper goods.
And these cuties came beautifully packaged from another UK Etsy seller, Charlotte Vallence.  She has some beautiful prints and cards for sale, The Amsterdam greetings cards are so charming and the mini silk screen Union Jack in green and pink is so a favourite colour combination for me and a lovely take on the flag.  Both these card ideas were random finds on Etsy and I was so pleased with them.  Meanwhile, a big stack of fabric squares is calling me, and I know you are busy too, in the midst of gift making and thoughts of presents, wrapping and how it will all be done in time
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