The last snowman has melted and there are signs of spring in my garden and hedgerows. Snowdrops in wonderful drifts, a welcome sight to lighten the heart.


Little quilt

Last Easter, Tony, Ted and I stayed in a lovely seaside cottage in Portpatrick, Scotland. The weather was bracing to say the least but the cottage was cosy and warm and I started to make a little quilt out of my Hedgerow samples plus a few plains from my stash. I used a simple hexagon template and started to assemble the quilt piece by piece using the “English method” which involves tacking each piece to a paper template. (A good way to recycle junk mail!) The first photograph shows how the work looks before the paper is removed.

I made good progress whilst on holiday but inevitably the sewing had to take a back seat when I returned home. I hate to leave anything unfinished so little by little I eventually managed to complete a tiny quilt. It was very satisfying doing the actual quilting by hand, although it looks a bit wonky if you look too closely.

Now anybody who owns a Jack Russell will know how they love to sit by a window and guard the house against postmen and cats, Ted is no exception. I found that the little quilt makes a good chair cover, which is easy to wash and looks less unsightly that the old towel which it replaced.

If you have never tried quilting before I hope you might be tempted to try, working by hand, little by little is very satisfying and unlike a larger machine project, is very portable, you can pick it up and set it down again, just like knitting


Back in the saddle.

First of all I just want to say thank you so much for all your kind and encouraging words in response to my last post. Things have been difficult here, mainly due to the increasing frailty of my elderly parents. I have also succumbed to the nasty bug that has been doing the rounds, anyone who has had the sore throat and cough will no what I mean, and I thought I had escaped it!

It has also been a particularly worrying time on the work front. One of my main licensees, Hudson and Middleton Ltd, who I wrote about earlier, has called in the administrators. This is yet another bad blow for Stoke-on-Trent and has resulted in many lost jobs. The company itself was doing well but sadly, it was owned by another company who supplied bone ash for the manufacture of bone china. One of its main customers was Wedgwood and when that went there was a domino effect. We are keeping our fingers crossed in the hope that a buyer can be found for what was Britain's oldest bone china factory.

Last week should have seen the launch of three of my new bone china mug collections and I was looking forward to my annual visit to the Spring fair in Birmingham. Sadly this was not to be, other licensees did better I am happy to report and although I did not get to see the stands and new products I was delighted to receive a nice package through the post. Padblocks, a company I met last year at the fair, have now produced one of my designs "Garden plot" as note blocks, slant pads, shopping lists and sticky pads. I particularly like the slant pad as the design stays the same no matter how many sheets you tear off, who ever thought that up was very clever, don't you think?