This week is Crufts week, when arguably the world’s most famous dog show prepares to open its doors for the 110th time here in the UK. I found out when reading the paper this morning that there really was a Mr Cruft – Charles Alfred – who was born in 1852. He worked as a travelling dog biscuit salesman before he had the idea of staging a dog show to promote his wares.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries Crufts exhibitors received special treatment when travelling by the London & North Western Railway. Charles Cruft had helped to design their special dog carriages (each with its own water trough) and the railway regularly had representatives at the shop to help both exhibitors and dogs with their journeys. I’m sure Ben and Daisy would approve of these travelling arrangements. Although neither has ever been on a train, Ben does enjoy riding on the double decker bus between here and Dartmouth with his special doggy day rider ticket! In honour of this special “doggy” week, I’m re-releasing my “Best in Show” applique pattern:
It’s a really easy project – great for beginners, or a quick make for the more experienced. If you’d like it, then please CLICK HERE to download your free pdf file. Meanwhile – here’s another Crufts fact gleaned from my newspaper this morning…
In 1974 Crufts featured in a murder trial! A jury at the Old Bailey heard that a man who had started an affair with a woman he met at Crufts was then stabbed to death by his wife, with the knife he had used to cut up their dog’s food.
I can hardly believe that Christmas Day is behind us now! So much anticipation, preparation and general excitement and then – the day was gone in a flash! Townie Husband ate lots of roast potatoes (too many to count!), I am ashamed to report that I was rather greedy with Rosie’s home-baked mince pies, whilst Rosie and Ben were observed snuggled down in a corner together scoffing chocolate Santas (Ben’s were doggie-chocs of course). There was laughter and fun, a little (but not very serious) bickering, and a good time was generally agreed to have been had by all.
During the holiday period between Christmas and New Year I have always loved to sit down with a sewing project – this year I’m hoping to make some progress on my rather neglected snowflake door curtain – but that’s not anywhere near ready to show yet. So I thought this might be a good moment to share instead my Patchwork Pup tutorial, created from a selection of vintage and new Liberty fabric from their new Liberty Lifestyle Collection.
Liberty fabrics are so quintessentially English – and their new craft range works really well with their vintage designs too as the more vibrantly coloured craft fabrics beautifully complement the more muted tones of their vintage patterns.
The pup’s body is created from a cheat’s version of pieced hexagons – all machined onto a firm cotton base creating a nice strong fabric for your softie. My finished puppy measured about 10″ long, but the pattern can easily be re-sized if you wish. If you’d like the free tutorial then please just just CLICK HERE to download the pdf file.
Ooooh, it has been cold here today! As my Mum used to say, “It’s colder in than out!” This is because the (very nice) builder has been here for the last few days knocking out parts of our chimney to make room for our woodburning stove. This means he has had to have the door and windows open to let dust out, and of course the cold air in. I am sure it will be worth it in the end, but meanwhile, I am sitting here typing this post while bundled up in multiple layers (I can hardly bend my arms!) against the frigid air.
Meanwhile, to help me keep warm, I’m busily creating new projects for the January issue of the Bustle & Sew Magazine. I finished this one yesterday afternoon and, after photographing her in the summer house this morning, I am pleased to present to you Daisy the Draught Excluder dog.
Much better behaved than I’m sure Ben’s new baby sister will be, although named in her honour, she will sit patiently against the bottom of your door, keeping those chill winds away..
with her cute little upturned nose and bright beady eyes she reminds me of her namesake.
And do you see the pretty printed fabric I’ve used to line her ears? Here’s a closer look ….
It’s a vintage Liberty print fabric, given to me by my friend Esme, one of the members of our Pensioners’ Lunch Club.
I have always loved Liberty fabrics with their timeless, very English appeal, and so was delighted when Liberty contacted me and asked me to design a tutorial using their new range of fabrics.
Aren’t they beautiful? You can see the full range of their craft fabrics here - and I’ll be posting my free tutorial using some of their luscious fabric next week.
We are lucky to live close to one of the loveliest beaches (I think!) in Devon. Lannacombe is only accessible by a muddy, bumpy lane and it’s wonderful at this time of year. I’ve been taking Ben there since he was a tiny puppy, firstly with Amy (who sadly is no longer with us) and now just him and me. He usually finds some friends to play with, but on this visit it was just him, me, and the beach!
I’ve only just got hold of this video editing package and I think I need to practise a bit more – particularly on the captions, but I hope you enjoy it anyway.