January 2018

It has been an amusing start to the year (she writes whilst grimacing). I did that creative thing of spending some of the time off over Christmas thinking about projects and plans which meant I started the new year with a lovely floaty 'let's do this feeling'. But, by the end of January, the enthusiasm had dipped somewhat. The issue with freelance work is that it doesn't stop when you do, so January was always going to be hectic but then a few pieces of work overran and some sort of virusy thing lingered over the house. So here I am, second week of February and finally feeling like I am back in my groove - hurrah.

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Betsy BettsComment
The Austen Quilt

I have been working on the Jane Austen Community Quilt project since the spring so thought it was about time I shared a few photos here. The quilt project has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and is part of a wider commemoration of the 200 year anniversary of Jane's death. The inspiration for the textile project came from the coverlet below, which was made by Jane, her sister Cassandra and their mother. We have been documenting the project via a blog on the museum website, so if you want to know more about what is happening with the project visit their website here.

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Hello 2018

The autumn was a whirlwind of work (the curse of the freelance life, always too much or too little) so it has been lovely to have a week off over Christmas. I was planning on spending it on long walks, masses of sewing and watching box sets over the break but, of course, time runs away and it was actually just a good old catch up with the family.

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Maternity Worldwide Sewing Sessions

Last year we ran an applique workshop at The Garden House, and at the end of this month we are returning to run a second sit and sew day. In case you have never been there, it is a large garden behind a terraced house just off the Ditchling Road in Brighton and they do lots of exciting gardening courses. We will be in the garden house, although participants can go for a walk around the garden. It is a lovely place to be, even in the midst of November, and there will be tea and cake to warm the cockles.

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Festival of Quilts 2017

Can't believe it was nearly a month ago, but I have now finally downloaded the pics from Festival of Quilts. I ummed and ahhed about going this year, having attended been every year since 2007 and working the last two, I thought that maybe it was time to have a break. However, with a definite FOMO I booked a hotel the week before and nabbed a couple of free entry tickets off my friend Sara. I mentioned I was going to one of our other friends, Wendy, and she was up for a road trip. She knows the Knitting and Stitching shows well, having taught classes and sold dressmaking patterns from her own stand. However, being someone who stitches that stuff you wear, rather than wall hangings and bed coverings, it was her first FoQ.

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The tile obsession

Back in 2014, I used my phone to take this rather cruddy photo of some tiles in the rain. Can't remember the exact details of why I stopped, but I must have liked the look of them and had, maybe, imbibed a little red wine. Anyway,it was a flippant photo, and I have no idea where in Hove it was taken. Fast forward three years and my photo library is now bursting at the seams with photos of tiles around Brighton and Hove. So, I thought it was time I do something with them and have been busy designing a quilt.

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Adventures in Machine Embroidery - Part 2

After the success of the landscape embroideries I delved into my sketchbook to see what other work could be scanned and stitched. I came across the drawings that provided the templates for my house applique work which were perfect. Slightly scrappy, but once smoothed out they could be scanned in. We chose to stitch the living room seemed the most interesting, with lots of lines. We repeated the same process as for the landscapes, scanning the image, editing the line (we made this one smaller) and hooping the fabric. We decided to try two versions.

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