Category Archives: Family

I’m Having a Ally Pally Break This Year


Hello Everyone,

I just thought I had better bring you up to date and let some of you know that I will not be with you this year at The Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace.

Unfortunately, we have lost my mum, who was a very large part of our lives and who had been unwell last year when I was at the show. We’re all going in the right direction now and I am now fully back to my teaching and traveling all over to teach my thing. The show at Alexandra Palace needs everything I have and weeks and weeks of preparation so I have decided to take a break and sit back this year and concentrate on some of the many new and interesting ideas I have in my head, ready for my return.

I’m not really being idle.

Look out for Just Hands TV, where I have been doing some filming on an Introduction to Goldwork with three projects for you to watch and then try your hand at.

I’m also working on my website (with help).

The website and online shop are, as we speak being updated so if you go to the show looking to buy a new design to stitch. Don’t fret! You will be able to order it online along with a few other kits and items that might take your fancy.

I hope to go to the show as a visitor. This will be a real luxury as I haven’t done this for many years.

I hope you all have a fab time at the show and if we bump into each other, stop me for a quick catch up!

Happy Stitching!

See you all soon,


Leather Journal Made Using The Sewing Machine

I love working in leather nowadays and am getting some really fab results using Husqvarna cut work needles in a free form Kathy way. I made this leather journal for my niece Sarah who just had her birthday. Prior to this I had made her mum a book and Sarah had asked for one for her school notes ad appointments. It only took me another year ha ha to squeeze her into my hectic schedule but we got there in the end and I was so pleased with the end result . I now have a yearning to make myself one in black green and cream as I have been hanging on to the most amazing piece of lime green leather for several years now and not knowing when or if I would use it. Now I know exactly what to do with it. I just need the time which isn’t happening at the moment with Alexandra Palace starring me in the face. Oh well watch this space you never know.

China Painting at The Kiln in Bedford

On Thursday I spent a really pleasant time with all the ladies in our family at The Kiln in Bedford where we learned or experimented how to paint our own designs on to pottery or china. It was something completely new to us all as we are all very busy people with lots of different craft techniques between us but never had we sat down and painted china.

It was made so much more pleasant because you could order tea and coffee plus various cakes to relax and enjoy while you painted.

We spent several quality hours creating our master pieces, chatting and catching up with each other, followed by lunch along Bedford river. I really enjoyed it and can recommend it to anyone and for all ages. I can’t wait to go back and collect our creations next week once the shop had fired them and glazed them. What great fun and completely different from the norm.

Train Quilt Days

Hi there

It’s been a while because I have been having a lovely time doing lots of things that I shouldn’t be doing. When I next complain that I am running behind schedule i will only have myself to blame.

Or i could blame it on my daughter Julia who had a weeks holiday over Easter where she got all crafty. I cant remember the last time we did anything creative together due probably to the fact that she has spent the last four years getting her teaching degree and there has been little and no time left for creativity but boy did we make up for it with four small quilts being made and lots of quality time spent together doing them.

One of the baby quilts went to Gemma, Julia’s friend when we hosted her baby shower last Sunday and was very well received. The only problem was my niece saw a picture on Facebook prompting a post to me asking where her one was that I had promised for Jamie who is now one year old and minus his quilt. So there was nothing for it but to get going on his quilt while I was still inspired.

It made such a pleasant change working with a different medium as I usually work only in Organza fabric.

I kept the main design very simple so that it was quick to make and also durable to wash over and over again but i just had to pick the train design from the fabric and make bigger interpretations of it to go round the central blocks. I used bondaweb to adhere the train and carriages with a fairly open satin stitch over the edges followed by free motion detailing in the form of writing Jamie’s name on the engine and adding pattern to the carriages. Simple ditch machine quilting was done around the blocks with free motion quilting giving texture to the train border. Finally a narrow edging was added and hand stitched over to the reverse to finish the edges.

Oh its for me

It’s not a technical quilt and it wouldn’t win any prizes but it is practical and hopefully will with stand my nieces washing regime.

Mermaid Doll No 2 and Quilting with my Daughter

Today I finished another mermaid doll and I think I like her better than the blue/green one. I certainly enjoyed drilling and colouring the small cockle shells and then sewing them on to her body and tail to add texture and a 3D feel.

Yes I hear you say mermaids are not pink. But having never seen one and pretty unlikely that i ever will has allowed me artistic licence to create her.

She was a devil to turn through and stuff but patience being something at long last I have learnt enabled success in the end. I love goats as they produce this wonderful curly fleece which when dyed makes fantastic curly hair for any doll. Add a few beads and sequins to control the hair style and it makes wonderful idiot proof hair for many dolls not just this mermaid.

Julia has been very busy again today and has managed to make and finish another cot quilt for a colleague leaving in the next month or two and she is ready for Christmas having made up and finished her class room advent hanging. Shes so organised. I’m just getting over the last one let alone looking forward to the next.

Sewing over for today as off to the pics with Adam and his friend.

A Patchwork Quilt for Gemma’s Baby Shower

I’m not sure I can sew a straight line mum

Oh it all comes flooding back to you once you relax into it

Wow! Look what i have made for my best mate Gemma’s baby

Today was a really weird day. It all started off with us over sleeping and Julia nearly missing her doctors appointment and it got more weird as the day went on. It is very u unusual for Julia and I to find time to be creative together but today we worked along side each other so well that within 3 hours we had made a floor quilt, a toy bag and a play cushion, all from a nursery rhyme panel that i had brought from Patchwork Corner many months ago and never managed to find time to make up. Julia did all the sewing together and I was quality control, making sure all the pieces went together and checking and cutting to size. When it was complete Julia went off to Matalan to buy some yellow and cream baby grows, booties and mitts to go with the quilt colours while i machine quilted it and finished the edges. We sent my mum off to Tudor rose patchwork shop to get a pillow pad and cord to use as a drawstring to the bag and by 6pm we were finished with everything complete and ready to pack in clear cellophane and yellow ribbons. I had a lovely time quilt making with my daughter. It was a special time that doesn’t happen very often.

York Eye and Ocean Mermaid Doll

It’s been a while because i have been on my Easter holidays and have been walked off my feet round my favourite town, York.
Robert and I drove up for a quick visit and the weather was very kind to us. We had dry walking weather all weekend while it rained down at home. We stayed in our favourite hotel, The Royal York and had the added excitement of the York Eye being relocated to the hotels rather large ornate garden, SO it was one of those things you just had to fit in.

I hated it and now know that I will not be going on the London Eye which is much larger and taller than the York Eye. My best mate Carolyn will have to go on the London Eye as her 50th birthday treat with her daughter as I am a coward and can’t face it.

The shops were great to wonder round and of course I had to do some shopping. Who wouldn’t.

We hit home yesterday at tea time and I went straight in to finishing the Ocean mermaid doll needed for a class at Tudor Rose Patchwork shop in 6 weeks time. I was quite pleased with the result and have started a pink version too. I’m not a doll maker by nature but do really enjoy experimenting with a simple doll shape and embellishing to my hearts content. It works for me and that’s all that counts

Ocean mermaid doll Workshop at
Saturday 19th April 2012 10am-4pm