Happy New Year!!

It’s January 2020 – a new month, new year and a new decade!!!

And time for new projects and also new year resolutions. I have never been very good at keeping new year resolutions and so I don’t tend to bother any more with them. But this year, I have made one – its been written in my diary for 1st January 2020 for weeks……
Finally finish the second of a series of four cross stitch carousel horses that have been ‘on the go’ for 28 years!!! Tony bought me the charts before we were even married, and I started the first one and eventually finished – years and years later. Then I started the second, got half way through and stopped, but its time to get number two done, hopefully start and finish number three and maybe start number four…….. I do think I might need stronger glasses to see what I am doing!

This year for Christmas I decorated the mantel shelf, with lights, a garland and small baubles, nestled in between are small bits that I have made, the Christmas bowl fillers look great tucked in the garland and there is also homemade decorations I have been given.
I have really liked having the mantel shelf decorated and so have decided that I will continue to do so, the theme for January is stars and snowflakes. I have made a number of bowl fillers with stars on – these are leftover from Sarah’s Choice Version Two quilt, which has been on our bed over Christmas. Version One has been over the sofa!!

The rest of the stars are origami, inspired by the decorations at Kedleston Hall in Derbyshire, they had decorated one of their Christmas trees and also the garlands with origami stars in music papers, someone had a lot of patience to create so many, they were simple but beautiful.

Oh, if you are wondering what a bowl filler is, it’s a small decorative pillow that are meant to fill bowls!! I came across the book by Debbie Busby, hers are in wool applique. I just liked the idea, they are quick and easy to make. The problem is I can see us having a huge wicker basket full of them by the end of the year – not a bowl!!

January is a good time for new ideals and trying something different creativity!!!



January has been an up and down month, a very emotional month – as my Mum died in the middle of it.

I haven’t been in a place to concentrate on new ideas and techniques. I have done a lot of weaving, finished the piece on the loom and turned that into a bag for me and then I set the loom up with a scarf. The colours are inspired by the landscape – hills, rivers and lakes, heather and moors – so, greens, browns, purples and blues. I think once the scarf is made then I will use the same colours for a tote bag.

I have also been doing some crochet, started a Granny square blanket, really shouldn’t have started it as I have so many projects on the go but….

Both of these projects are relaxing, therapeutic – my hands are busy, creating something useful and hopefully beautiful but my mind doesn’t not have to be focused or engaged, I can think through things or just switch it off, which is what I need at the moment.



February normally seems like a really short month, but this year it has been sooooo long!!
We had a lovely evening at the Royal Albert Hall, seeing Cirque Du Soleil Lucia on the first day of the month as a birthday treat, it was a brilliant show and a great treat. Tony bought me the show bag and brochure, all the bags from the Cirque du Soleil shows we have seen (five of them now!!) hang on outside of the storage cupboards in the workroom, being used as project bags, a lovely reminder.

We then went on a long weekend cruise – which turned out to be …. Very interesting, Storm Ciara, 98mph winds, and at one point 15-degree tilt on the ship and the Captain recommending that we all sit down, wherever we could while he completed the manoeuvre!!! Let’s just say it was an experience.

I had taken a crochet project with me to do, hexagons to make into a throw. I was intending on having this as my ‘going on holiday’ project for the rest of the year, but it’s a bit more complicated than last year’s Granny squares. And I have realised that I will need to wear my reading glasses to see what I am doing, so won’t be any good in the summer. I will have to find another project for my ‘going on holiday’ project!! This one will be ‘sew in the evening’ project once I have finished the Granny square blanket.

I have been working on small quick projects lots of quilted postcards  or weaving, made a lovely scarf. It was inspired by the landscape trees, foliage, rivers and lakes, earth and the moors – so greens, browns, blues and purples. Also been doing lots of crochet of my Granny square blanket.

I just needed smaller projects that either finished quicker or projects that didn’t need me to concentrate, just so many things going on in my life – Tony working away in Manila for three weeks, in-laws not being well and my Mum’s funeral, my brain wasn’t in the right place to do any complicated quilt work or designing.



The World changed in March!

My home has always been my safe space, somewhere that I feel happy and safe and with everything that has and continues to happen, it has become even more so. I am used to spending a lot of time in our home on my own, I enjoy quietly creating and I find it’s a great stress reliever. So having to stay in, hasn’t really made any huge differences to me, except I have both my husband and daughter home all the time!

Tony works from his desk in the corner of the workroom and Laura does her university work on the floor in the sitting room. I provide teas and lunches, as and when needed!
My classes were cancelled with two weeks of term left and we have no idea when they will start again. It is a little odd not to be having to think about new ideas and projects for teaching, working on two or three quilts at a time, samples and demonstration pieces, I am always looking to what I could/will be teaching next and I have done this for years. Suddenly I don’t have to….

It doesn’t mean I have nothing to do, there are so many unfinished pieces of quilts, fabric for more quilts, fabric for  clothes I have wanted to make, yarn for knitting, crochet and weaving, cross stitch and tapestry kits….. I probably have enough stuff to keep me quiet for the whole of this decade!!! Well, I might need a bit more fabric to go with what I have to just complete a quilt, or more yarn to blend in with what I have!!!

I have decided that I will work on one quilt at a time, at the moment Tulip Field quilt, I only bought the fabric for this quilt, for me (not for teaching) a few weeks ago, it’s a new range from Lewis and Irene and I just had to have it – tulips, mice (no clogs) and windmills!!! I am just putting it together and so I will write more about it in next month’s blurb.

Once this quilt is finished then I will look at the project bags that are hanging on the cupboard doors and decided which quilt I will concentrate on next.
I have also been making lots of small quicker stitched projects, 21 Quilted Postcards and six bowl fillers (free pattern for Hope bowl filler in Have a Go section). And both the cross stitch horse and crochet Granny Square blanket are coming along nicely!!

I hope that you and your families are all keeping safe and find plenty to create.