Sunday, 5 April 2020

Thinking of you 💕

It is difficult to write this post while we are safe and well knowing that so many are suffering so greatly across our world. This devastating virus is unrelenting but here at home (and for now), we seem to be "flattening the curve". Our eldest daughter is nursing on the front line and next week she will be in training in preparation for what we have seen overseas. We are all hoping it won't get to that but for now we are being sensible and staying home except for shopping for essentials. But today I did feel guilty going out to buy some activity packs to send to Beau and Maisie to help keep them busy during this long stint of staying home. So please know while sharing our safe and secure news that our thoughts are with those of you who may be in an intolerable situation....especially quilting friends across the world.....sending lots of love to you all. We are so lucky that we live so close to a river where we can have walks in the fresh air and in isolation too.....right at the end of our street.....

 We pass this wonderful 'house' made of branches and logs and also have a wetlands boardwalk but it is not too wet at the moment.......

 The birds sing high above and I wonder if they are aware that all is not well in the world.......
 
After a long walk we drop into our favourite cafe also at the end of our street to take home a coffee! It is so sad to see all the furniture packed up with the X markings on the floor to indicate how far apart we need to stand.....and there was a little visitor reminding us that Easter is not far away.......

We are not sure when we will be looking after little Wade again but last week we had a special time (continuing our social distancing), at a nearby beach. Wade loves to explore and it is so refreshing to see his little spirit happy.....
 We will never be bored in isolation at home....I have my quilting and Larry his tapestry, so it has been a good time for me to cut up some of my beloved William Morris stash. Even Larry helped with some cutting as my jolly hand is still not fully functional and by the end of the day it swells up and throbs. From all the cutting I should be able to make at least four quilts for those in need and I have found it quite meditative.....



 I still can't use my thumb and first finger so pressing even causes pain so I worked out a way of "chain pressing" along with the piecing!..
I have also found this little stiletto to be my new best friend for both piecing and pressing. It is made by a local girl Jane who has a little business called OnePeaceByJane and she calls it "A little creative Helper". It is like having another hand to do the fine poking, holding and turning. On the end is a beautiful handmade lampwork bead so if you would like one yourself contact Jane or Penny at Pennylane Patchwork as she stocks them too......
 We are also near the completion of our new kitchen and laundry and it is so wonderful to finally have pull out drawers where everything can be seen. I also asked for a pull out cupboard with two bins which we are finding very useful. ......



We still have some electrical work to complete the project and some skirting boards and spotlights need to be installed but in the scheme of things we feel very blessed. So here is the "before and after"........

Until next time I do hope that you are safe and well and our loving thoughts are being sent your way. I will leave you with one of our front windows as we join in the bear hunt across the world. Take care xx

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Uncertain times

It is with a sad but hopeful heart that I write this post and like you our thoughts of the future are full of uncertainty. What I am certain of is that we are lucky to have a roof over our heads, family nearby and special friends to support and encourage. It is Mother's Day in the UK today so last night I wrote to Helen wishing her a happy day knowing that it would not be possible for her to share it with family during the current lockdown crisis. The message I got back brought tears to my eyes with both hope and joy and she wanted me to send an extra big cheerio and she is thinking of all of you that have joined her (and sometimes myself) on her Whitecroft tours. So with that I thought it an opportune time to share a bit of fun wiht the news that Helen is now a movie star!! The village where Helen lives in Devon was chosen for filming a new series The Trouble with Maggie Cole starring none other than the delightful Dawn French...and Helen!! If the trailer is anything to go by it looks like it will be just what we need right now......not sure when it will be released in our neck of the woods though......
And here is Helen looking shocked as she had been instructed!!
So during these uncertain times life does go on albeit a little differently. I won't regurgitate the shopping hoarding or the media scares but like many live for the day when it is all behind us so that the good in humanity arises once again. If you are lucky like me and have a hobby to fill your time then this imposed seclusion can only reap rewards. While speaking of quilting I thought I would share some stunning work by two local girls, Prue Wheal and Val Giles who had an extended exhibition of their work that concluded just over a week ago. The venue was a great space to showcase their incredible work full of great skill and colour choice.............








 I am so pleased I got to see it all. Of course during these trying times we must protect the little people so an after school treat a couple of weeks ago went down well.......
 We have also been enjoying our own treat as we watch our kitchen and laundry being transformed. Things have stalled for the moment but we are hopeful it will all be completed soon.......some before images......

The neighbours must have wondered what was happening as father Mark and his sons Jamie and Lewis all have their own personalised work van which took up much of our little street......
 Their website is awaiting more photos but you can see some of their work on their facebook page Here. This business came recommended by a friend Gina Burgess and we have not been let down. We are living 'camp style' but considering world events we have little to complain about.....


 An unexpected issue with the previous tiling led to an opportunity for me to create a feature row of tiles reflecting a quilt pattern of course and I love it!........

 And then one day I noticed a pattern on the wall where the previous tiles had been removed so while the boys were at lunch I created some cheeky art work...click on the image to see a close-up!.....
 So all in all we are very happy and feel very lucky......

 During the past week I also received photos from Sylvie in Canada. Some time ago she wrote to ask me if I would mind her using my 'Coffee with William Morris' quilt pattern to create a hooked rug. Sylvie also sent me images of some of her previous work......

 And here is a reduced sized version of my quilt design all done on linen and in progress.....Wow! I can't wait to see it finished....... 
 Closer to home I also received this glorious photo of Julie and her beautiful version of 'Morris Brocade' surrounded by a co-ordinated Morris print border. Thankyou to both Sylvie and Julie for allowing me to share your work with others......I think with this lockdown there may well be lots of creativity going on.......
 So my final message comes from the great man himself. I saw this on social media and thought it most pertinent. Stay safe and well everyone xxx