Kitties, Uncategorized

Another heartache

Well it’s been some time since my last post, I had every intention of trying to blog on a weekly/fortnightly basis. Unfortunately as some of you will know we lost our beautiful girl Batfink last month, it feels too much to bare, still raw after losing Mr Winters.

I managed a little teaching and stitching but to be honest my heart hasn’t been up to it. Losing days worrying about Misfit and our latest stray boy Fred, dare I go out? Too many what ifs causing lots of stress.

Thanks to a great family and fabulous friends and my wonderful Dave I started to relax a little, cherishing the little things with the boys. Misfit has become the biggest cuddle monster and Fred loves nothing better than head rubs off his Dad.

But still I’ve been struggling with social media, everything seems so overwhelming right now and I wasn’t sure how to get out of my funk until I heard from my dear friend Deb from Quilt routes. I’ve known Deb for a few years and we share the same love of fabric, thread and machines.

Long emails showed we’d both hit the same wall for different reasons, neither of us knowing how to get the social media side running again. So we set a date, something to work too that would hopefully get our mojo up and running. I’m glad we did as I’ve been much more inspired since I realised I wasn’t alone. Thanks Deb!

Before I sign off I just wanted to share a couple of blogs that you may like to read, inspiring and heartfelt. First up Sheena Spacey’s blog Sheena is a good friend and this post struck a chord with me, I hope you enjoy it. And do check Lisa’s blog New simple life her posts are beautifully written and heartfelt.

Have a wonderful weekend, I’m looking forward to a roaring fire and kitty cuddles.x

Art quilts, Kitties, Uncategorized, Workshops

A trip to festival of quilts

Last weekend mum and I had our annual trip to festival of quilts, we always stay over for a night so we can relax, browse and of course shop!!

This year was extra special for me as you may remember I am taking part in the portrait shuffle organised by Through our Hands in aid of Save the Children. Once we had arrived we made a beeline for the stand and yay there was Mr Winters grinning at me surrounded by wonderful portraits in lots of different mediums and styles. I felt so honoured to be part of the shuffle and mum was so proud, I’m very excited to see which piece I receive once Annabel and Laura have recovered from the show. We also got to meet Annabel, Laura and Linda on the stand and see their fantastic work, Annabel and Laura were also painting live raising more funds for StC.

I also got to see the A matter of time travelling exhibition, check out their Instagram feed for more photos and artist details.

Whenever we go to festival we always take part in one of the hour long workshops, there are always lots to choose from but we couldn’t resist booking on Deb O’Hare’s (Quilt Routes) hand stitched landscapes class. I’ve known Deb for a few years after chatting on Instagram and catching up at each years festival and she is one of nicest ladies you could meet and an amazing textile artist.

Mum and I promised to behave and we did although I did take some sneaky photos….sorry Deb! Everyone was given a kit for the class then Deb talked us through the piece we would be making then step by step instructions. It was a fun class and Deb had lots of samples to show us and talked through all the different techniques she’d used. The hour passed so quickly and we took our pieces away to carry on at home, I really enjoyed finishing mine.

The 2 days flew by and we went home with slightly fuller cases and needing a rest, I also think the trip helped find my missing mojo, watch this space.


Kitties, Uncategorized

Learning to cope……..

So it's been quite a while since I last blogged, if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you will know that in May we had to say goodbye to our handsome boy Mr Winters. After being hit by a speeding driver he was left paralysed and we had to make the difficult decision to say goodbye.

If you've followed me on social media for a while you will have seen many posts over the years of Mr Winters antics, he was such a character and had a habit of inviting waifs and strays in and was my constant companion.

We decided to take some time out to come to terms with losing our boy and to help Misfit and Batfink adjust, we are all learning to cope in our own ways.

Unfortunately when you've been so busy and suddenly stop things have a habit of sneaking up on you, the endometriosis decided it was the perfect time to rear its ugly head again just as Dave accepted a job running the audio department for a newly merged PA and lighting company. So the past couple of months have seen him working all hours and traveling to festivals up and down the country while I've been undergoing tests, starting new meds and trying to rest. Thankfully my parents have been able to come down and visit and of course that meant I got lots of encouragement to take it easy and do whatever made me happy, I've spent lots of time enjoying the garden.

Today I have finally finished my piece for the Portrait Shuffle that the fab ladies at Through our hands are running to raise funds for Save the Children, all the portraits will be on display at this years Festival of Quilts and when it's over you receive a different portrait in the post. I signed up for the shuffle back in April with no idea what I would create, as I started to see the posts of portraits that had been completed I started to feel a bit intimidated and also went completely blank.

On one of Dave's days off we planted some forget-me-not seeds that the vet had given us, the sun trap under the willow tree was always a favourite spot for Mr Winters and the perfect place for planting. Something told me that I should make the portrait of him, so after many weeks of faffing he is finally finished.

Here is the portrait, titled 'Wait for me' from the poem The Rainbow Bridge. I do hope you like how this has turned out.

If you are going to Festival of Quilts next month do pop to the Through Our Hands stand and check out the fabulous selection of portraits that have been sent in from across the world, and do say hi to Mr Winters.

Until next time.x

J-Club, Uncategorized

It’s May!?!?

I can’t quite believe it’s the 1st of May, how did that happen?

April was a busy month and the past week or so has been particularly busy with our Janome J-Club meeting and the parentals going on holiday leaving me to play shop!

Our J-Club meeting was a busy one with lots of fabulous stitching going on, we are very lucky to have some super talented members. Linda brought along a cushion she had made after attending one of my appliqué workshops and Pam brought her gorgeous Kaffe Fassett quilt, sadly I didn’t manage to sneak it out of the door! We also had members buying some of the charity makes that the group have made at previous meetings, I snagged the quilt Jan made from orphan blocks, I wanted it for the sofa bed in my studio. I’d only been home an hour and Misfit had claimed the quilt, an honour really as he won’t go near any beds/blankets we buy him.

All busy stitching away
Linda’s Flowers and Butterflies cushion
Misfit claiming the quilt

I’ve been helping at the shop while the parentals have a well earned break, I always enjoy chatting to customers and getting to grips with all the machines. The thread selections in the shop are amazing and it’s like being a kid in a sweet shop, so many wonderful colours.

Just a few threads, Madeira & Mettler

I also received 2 lovely parcels this week! My dearest Marilyn sent me some of her precious eco dyed fabrics in shades of lilac and purple so I can make an art quilt for our bedroom, the photo doesn’t do the fabric justice, the prints are exquisite. The lovely Steph,  Millhouse Designs has been busy making up hand dyed indigo fabric packs and split her offcuts with me, not quite sure what I will make yet but got lots of ideas whirling round in my head. What would you make with these fabulous fabrics? 

A bit of a yucky end to April as I caught a virus but I managed to drag myself out yesterday to go and watch the Wookie and The Salford Jets at the G Festival in Salford. It was worth the effort and I do love this band, next up is two reunion gigs at the end of May which will be great fun.

The Salford Jets at G-Festival

I’ll be having a rest this evening and then tomorrow I’m hoping to get 5 pieces photographed for sale and crack on with 6 more that are waiting for more stitching. 

Hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend, bye for now.x

Art quilts

The big reveal 

Those who follow me on Instagram will know I’ve been working on an art quilt over the past week, it was a surprise gift so I could only share a few cropped photos of stitching in progress. Today Steph has received her Natural Ginkgo art quilt so I can finally show you the completed piece, it’s already up on her wall and looks fabulous. I struggled to find suitable base fabrics for this piece so Steph gave me some of her precious eco printed fabrics to use and they work perfectly. This piece took many hours of stitching on my Janome 1600 and many metres of thread and I enjoyed every minute of it.

In progress stitchery
The Janome 1600 ready to go

All received and hung in its new home

As well as creating the art quilt I found some time to make a little thank you bookmark for Marie who has supported my stitching since the early days. Marie is one of those wonderful friends who gives you free reign to create what you want and as leaves are my new path I decided on four golden leaves. Marie received it today and is thrilled, I can’t wait to make some more.

Leaves bookmark

Lots more stitching to be getting on with tomorrow so I’m off to put my feet up with a glass of wine. Have a great weekend everyone. X


Distracted by the sun

Like most of you I’ve been quite distracted by the sun for a week or two, long days in the garden tidying ready for new blooms.

when we moved here the garden was very over planted and overgrown so we’ve been working our way through the beds stripping plants out. Our hard work is paying off as we’ve some gorgeous plants breaking through and every day is a surprise as new blooms appear.

And of course the kitties love the garden! Mr Winters has spent most days sleeping in various beds and Batfink and Misfit have kept me company while I’ve been sketching.

I’m finally getting back on the machine this week with a long overdue present ready for stitching and some pieces decorated ready for basting. I can’t wait to work with these and you can tell my new pieces are very much influenced by the garden and nature.

I’ve also been at the shop for a couple of days this, catching up and going through everything before the folks go away. Yesterday was a great day, mum and I were so busy and I love helping people choose machines, threads etc and helping them on their sewing journey. And yes before you ask I came home with more thread!!

A busy weekend of stitching ahead, enjoy your Easter!


One can never have too many machines!

For a girl who hated sewing machines for years (my fault not the machines) I’ve ended up with a few great ones. 

Years ago when I couldn’t get my head round sewing machines mum got me an embellisher and that was the start of my textile journey. I soon progressed onto a small Janome QC6019 which I used to make my first wall hangings.

Janome QC6019

Suddenly everything made sense and I was lucky enough to get a Janome Horizon 7700, the sheer size of this machine allowed me to make much larger pieces and the free motion is like a dream! I’ve just collected her from the repair centre at Janome today where she has had some much needed tlc.

Janome Horizon 7700

At this point the Wookie decided I had enough machines but Mum and I had other ideas😂 in came my Janome 1600, a straight stitch only semi industrial beast! When you’re working on pieces that require hours of stitching, this machine really helps get through it. It also has a larger harp meaning I can stitch very large pieces without having to fold/roll them as much.

Janome 1600 aka The Beast

Without boring you too much here are my other machines, a couple of vintage singers and my embellisher and overlockers, not all my photos as a few are still boxed and stored since the move.

Embellishers and Overlockers
Frank my Singer 221K
Singer 15K 1947

I would like to say I won’t get any more machines, but I hate breaking promises!!!

Have a great weekend folks. X


Another year older?!

Another busy few weeks and I’m wondering where the first 3 months of the year have gone? I’ve been quietly working away on new pieces which at the moment are at the boring stage of drying and plotting some other pieces. I’ve so many ideas I want to play with but I’m having to be quite strict with myself or I’ll end up spending weeks just playing with fabric.

Last week was my birthday week, I think when you’re 40+ you should be allowed a week of celebrations, don’t you?? Being a St Patrick’s day baby it is always fun but we delay going out until it’s a bit quieter, I can’t keep up with the young ones anymore!!!

I received some fab presents, two of which I have to share. My wonderful friend Steph who dyes my fabric & threads for me (Steph’s Etsy shop) knitted me these fab kitty socks! They’re so soft and comfy and a perfect fit.

My purple loving soulmate Victoria sewgoclimbing made me this gorgeous pouch and filled it with yummy chocolate!!! I’m using Victoria’s photo as she does the best shots in such a beautiful setting, I still can’t believe she managed to keep this a secret as we usually share lots of ideas.

On Saturday I popped into Oldham to visit Patchwork Parade’s 5th annual fair, lots of stands selling fabrics and notions and displays of their groups makes. It was great being so local and always good to see others creations. I didn’t have long to look round as I was trying to get back in time for the 6 nations matches (a thrilling and weird end to the tournament) but I got a few photos and couldn’t resist some rust dyed and shibori fabric from Tracy Fox to make something just for me.

Another surprise was winning a giveaway on Ali’s blog, Ali always shares fab techniques and has shared many posts with favourite tools, gadgets and notions. I won the giveaway after sharing my favourite tool, the Sew line ceramic pencil. This gorgeous pack of Liberty scraps landed in the post yesterday and I’m thinking an EPP project might be the best way to show them off.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend and see the sun, let face it we’ve waited long enough for some drier brighter weather! 


Garden, J-Club, Uncategorized, Workshops

A busy week…

It’s been quite busy since my last post, the Wookie has been busy tidying and planning in the garden in between the rain and I’ve been prepping for classes and the sewing group. The garden is starting to bloom and we are both amazed how much it’s changing everyday.


Saturday was our first J-Club meeting of 2017, The J-Club is the Janome Club. There are groups up and down the country that meet up for sewing, chat, tea and cakes…. lots of cakes!  I was asked to run the southport group a couple of years ago and we have grown into one of the largest groups. We have a great mix of quilters, dressmakers, general sewists and everyone helps out if someone gets stuck on a project.

Joyce was working on this fabulous quilt, panels made from various fabrics that are layered with organza then embroidered on her machine. We can’t wait to see this finished and I promise to share a photo when it is.

Embroidered quilt in progress by Joyce

The lovely Jan has been working with some orphan blocks that were donated to our group, she finished stitching the binding on the quilt at the meeting and this will be a raffle prize in the next couple of months.

Jan’s orphan block quilt

Wednesday was my first workshop of the year, free motion quilting for beginners. A fantastic class to kick off my teaching year with a lovely group of ladies. I keep this class small so everyone gets plenty of one to one help enabling them to go home and continue their free motion journey. I love seeing the moment when it all clicks and the ladies grow in confidence, I’m sure they will have great fun playing with design and thread.

I’m also taking part in a swap in the sketchbook group on Facebook, swapping some of our own materials (no buying allowed) with a partner. My partner Rhonda is in New South Wales, Australia and loves free machine embroidery and hand embroidery so we are really well matched. I better get her parcel packed as it has a long journey!

Have a fab weekend.x


A long overdue start

I started writing this first blog post a year ago and as usual life and health got in the way.

I’m hoping to start fresh and post regularly on here rather than lots of posts over different social media platforms because I don’t know about you but I always end up forgetting something!

So new year and start and the Wookie and I are in a new house not far from the border of Saddleworth, it’s fantastic being close to a major town (Oldham) but on the doorstep of some beautiful landscapes.


A real bonus of the move is the spectacular sunsets we get to see looking towards Oldham, I can see some future pieces inspired by this view.

If you follow me on Instagram and Facebook you will probably have seen the in progress photos of the floral pieces I’m working on, these are part of the collaboration I started over a year ago with Rich from Rich Pictures Photography. They take many hours to stitch before I start embellishing further, I am looking forward to working my way through these as Rich’s photos are amazingly detailed.


Here are the samples pieces I created over a year ago to test if our idea would work. Tiny Monsters now lives with Rich, the orange poppy is on the wall at the parentals and the cushion was a special for Rich’s mom.


Anyway enough wittering from me, lots of stitching to be cracking on with.

bye for now.x