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Category — Stitching

The Quilt of Terror….

There’s nothing like a bit of leaf blowing and single figure temperatures to have me wistfully wandering back to the light, bright days of late summer….and so it is back to early September that I am journeying to today.

And more specifically to my daughter Holly’s 16th birthday, oh and my 44th! We share! Pretty cool, huh? Well, I had decided about 8 months before that to make her a quilt, something really special, that she would treasure (did you ever meet a 16 year old that fantasised about home-made family heirlooms? No, that would be a 44 year old) No worries.

I had forgotten to remind myself that I had never actually made a proper quilt. Even better, I had decided in my very non-virgo way to leave it all to about 3 weeks before her actual birthday. Of course, we all know, denial is not a river in Egypt….

Don’t be fooled by this happy, confidant woman laying out the pieces. I had the ‘dummie guide to quilt making’ stuffed up my jumper, and a rising feeling of terror at those squares of pinkness. Worse still, quilt making best friend had selfishly hoofed off to Cornwall, leaving me QUITE ALONE……

But one thing led to another, and I found myself actually just doing it…zipping up those babies, stitching one row to another, keeping going, ironing, keeping going. I had pieces of dresses that Holly wore as a little girl, favourite pyjamas, things that I have worn over the years, and most specially pieces from her grandmother and great grandmother. Lots of stories, all joined up.

It got a little crazy quilting it with my Husquavarna machine…she’s a very accommodating old lady when she’s in the mood. Bought the softest batting and brushed cotton piece for the back – how very technical of me…. and this is what it finished up looking like:

The last bit of backstitching went in the night before…so right up to the wire, but hey…I did it!! And even more perfect, she loved it.

My sweet girl, with a ring in her nose, and an attitude to match, quietly listening to the stories of the fabric, and still agreeing to wear the birthday crown. My happy heart.

There was cake, lots. And sunshine, and wonderment that sixteen years had whooshed by in a naughty nano-second.

And it is true that she loved and appreciated all the work I had done on her surprise quilt. But do you know what totally rocked my baby-girls birthday world?

That would be the pair of kick-ass purple Doc Martens that I bought her….


November 1, 2012   3 Comments

A sneaky-peek….

Today, being Tuesday, I bring you a sneaky-peek of my studio, otherwise known as the Artshed (I suppose on account of it being a shed where art is meant to happen; other variants: tea-drinking shed, gossiping shed, chocolate shed, and general work-avoidance shed). I digress.

Which, in fact, is the total point of this blog today….to postpone the moment when I have to face up to facts: I have to produce 10 stitchy designs by Friday, el completo, or else I get the whip cracked big time, by my lovely business partner in crime, Mr. Scott. Whoohooo.

I have made a start, and have done the cutting out bit….to get technical, this is when a beautifully stacked pile of fabric starts like this:

and ends up looking like this:


There is not an inch of desk space to be had…..this may also reflect my state of mind.

You see, what really happens when I am seriously under pressure, is that I start to wander off in my mind and devise clever ways to keep straying balls of wool from falling on the dogs head

or I just gaze at my beautiful bunting that my friend Debs crocheted me

There are always pins to line up in colour order (real artists and stitchers do this I am told)

And Herb shamelessly begs me for more tea and biscuits every half hour – I have to oblige – take a look at those sad, pleading eyes.

Even so, work does seem to be happening, one way or another, and I may even make my deadline, which would be a shocker. Unless of course, the pixies of chaos arrive in the dead of night and wreak their evil and mayhem on proceedings….O.K, I know, I need a break, I need to get out, breathe fresh air, talk to someone….



July 10, 2012   1 Comment

The Stitchy Witch comes to town!

Well, this has been a bit of a big week! And there’s a little something I wanted to tell you……

It all started here

which many moons (and needles) later, ended up here

and that’s where the magic really started…because Alpha have some very talented and patient people who were able to take my stitchy offerings and make them into cards of all loveliness…sort of like this

with the very nicest chlorine free uncoated FSC board using vegetable inks – hooray!

oh, this printing lark could get quite addictive you know. There I was, in their big ‘ol warehouse, snapping away like some little demented goblin, quite arty I thought…

Anyhow, the outcome of all this shenanigans that day was this


which all looks terribly reasonable, until you get all 10,000 of them home, and into your kitchen….

scary-doos, and no mistake. But after everyone had calmed down, we got busy with packing them up into their sweet bio-degradable polybags and this is how they look now… check out the funky rounded corners…oh, oh! And they are glittery too – YAY!!!

Coming soon to a shop near you! Or if you can’t wait that long, please please hop onto my website at The Stitchy Witch – I’d love to see you there! So, for the official sneak preview, and especially for all you stitchy gals and yarn-stormers, here are my favourites:


Thanks to the ever patient Graeme Del Nevo for his website sorcery, Debs Milverton for being the best Babel fish ever and to Kevin Barton for his graphic world domination – I hope you guys are still talking to me……

March 2, 2012   1 Comment

Show and tell…..(sshhhh!)

It’s that time of year again, down in Martha’s cabin where the stitcher’s hang out – the summertime Show and Tell, with lunch thrown in.

All the gals who have been in Martha’s sewing classes gather and we have a mutual swoon-fest over the gorgeous things we have been slaving over for the past weeks.

Yes, there is much sighing, and running of fingers over lush lush fabrics. There is adoration, and envy, and frankly there might even be a red-carpeted awards ceremony for all the fuss we make of each other and our stitchy pieces. And why ever not.

Followed by lunch with more gossiping and needle talk. Against the back drop of Martha’s wonderous garden (that the slugs never dare to go near).

All treacherous talk of biros and Pritt Stick forgotten (Martha won’t tolerate short cuts in her gentle journey to sewing perfection; quite right) we followed lunch with a little tea and a small amount of knitting.

What’s not to love?

July 15, 2011   No Comments

Stitchy witchery

Did I ever tell you about my mornings with Martha?

Ah well, she is the very cleverest stitcher in Stroud, and she just happens to hold classes in her log cabin at the bottom of her garden. So for a couple of summer months a year, I wheel on over to her place and gather with other lovely friends, and we stitch, and create, and gossip and hang out. All very nice really.

So with our 2012 Earth Pathways diary nearly put to bed, I am turning my thoughts to Martha and my next escapade with needle and thread. It just has to be a quilt, has to be. I have been dreaming over it all winter long, and am just itching to get started. It’s going to break a few rules, which may well drive Martha to distraction; I am ever so slightly organic when it comes to patterns and sewing in straight lines (otherwise known as wonky and off centre). But I have been hugely inspired by the quilts of Gees Bend, they are quite beautiful and simple and so that’s the path I am going down, all in yellows and greys. Soul food for the Springtime to be sure.

So when we are settled with our herbal teas, biscuits and thimbles, I will report back, and let you know how it all goes in the land of the stitchy witchery…watch this space….

April 11, 2011   3 Comments