A little spare time …..

Thank you so much to all those who left comments on yesterday’s post or emailed me about this month’s magazine.  I’m so pleased everyone seems to be enjoying it – the November 2012 issue is definitely one of my all-time favourites and I’ve loved putting it together.  The days leading up to publication day are always a little tense, but now the ezine is safely delivered to all my lovely subscribers I have a little time to relax.  But that doesn’t mean no sewing – of course not!  I’ve been working on a couple of projects for Coombe Leigh for a while now and thought I’d show them to you.  The first is a quilt for our bed …..

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It’s a very simple design – there are 3o blocks with 9 x 5″ squares in each block – 5 rows of 6.  This means that there will be plenty of quilt to hang down at the sides of the bed and to wrap around the sleepers!  I’ve chosen fabrics that remind me of the beautiful natural world all around me here in Devon – and my selection includes “Across the Pond” and “Fox Hollow” as well as “Curious Nature” and all sorts of other bits and pieces ….

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This quilt is going to be very large so, after doing lots of reading and watching some very helpful videos on YouTube, I’ve decided to try the “quilt as you go” method.  I’m assembling the horizontal strips, then will join them once quilted.  I’ve quilted the sashing in parallel lines and stippled the blocks – trying to capture the feeling of the natural world enclosed by man-made boundaries.  

I can’t relax in the evenings though, without some work in my hands, so my second project is a throw for one of the armchairs in our living room.  I’m working my way through the 12 different snowflakes from the vintage quilt design by Nancy Page (Florence la Ganke), published in US newspapers in the 1930s……

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I’m stitching the snowflakes in dark blue floss on natural vintage linen (yes, my favourite mangle cloths again!) and am wondering about assembling them into a patchwork throw with some Harris tweed patches.  I love combining this linen with other colours and textures and think this might work well.  I’ll let you know how I get on!  I took my projects out into the summer house to photograph them – it’s been a very grey day here today so indoors was a non-starter.  Whilst in the garden I was delighted to spot some late foxgloves… 

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As well as a beautiful little autumn-flowering cyclamen nestling amongst the fallen leaves …

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I was less pleased to discover, however, that somebody has been leaving his toys outside to get wet in the rain again …

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Poor battered bear!  Ben is in disgrace for more than this today though – I took him down to the beach at Lannacombe this morning where he found a heap of smelly rotting seaweed and proceeded to roll and roll and roll in it.  By the time I reached him (yes, he made sure I was some way away), he was covered.  He has been scrubbed and soaped, but the smell still lingers ….

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He has gone outside to sulk – which I think is the very best place for him!


Oh dear Ben- what have you done apart from making me chuckle!
I can see in my minds eye Ben running along the beach occaisionally peering behind making sure you are some distance away smelling in the distance the seaweed and heading straight for it……..am I right?
Julie xxxxxxxxx


Oh Ben what have you done?…. Lol our Tara used to do that when she was still with us and you are so right that smell really lingers. Your tale did make me smile though and it brought back happy memories, Tara dies in May this year and I miss her still

Thanks for a great magazine again this month

Jackie x


Ahhhh Naughty Ben, my Old Yeller dog who passed this summer would love to lay in the dung our horses left!!! She is gone and so are the horses now.

The flowers are so sweet poking their little heads out before it’s time to sleep for the coming winter!

Helen your quilts will be just gorgeous, love the way they look and the colors of the bed quilt are just perfect, and throw is going to be just fab!!

Off to re-read the ezine and books I bought from you and plan which I will make next!! HUMMMMM decisions, decisions!! 🙂

Jan G.


Oh Ben! You make me smile! My 6-mo old Beagle-Coon Hound mix will roll around on dead frogs and toads if given the chance, not to mention trying to eat them, on our Blackstone River walks in nearby Lincoln, Rhode Island! I do look forward to your Ben stories! Thank you.


I love the fabrics you used in your bed quilt and look forward to seeing it when completed! I’m also interested in how you liked the “quilt as you go” method. I’m thinking I need to investigate how to do this… it looks interesting. BTW I enjoyed the pix of your garden’s late bloomers. I’m particularly fond of the Foxglove, one of my favorite flowers!


Oh, Ben! Such a horrid smell! I suppose ‘boys will be boys’, but why they always insist on finding a big mess to fall into or in Ben’s case, roll in, remains a mystery to me! And they’re always so happy and proud!?!…

Your Coombe Leigh projects are lovely! I’m anxious to hear more about the ‘quilt as you go’ project!..

X Linda


Hi Helen,

First of all, thank you for the November magazine which I have really enjoyed reading! I loved every article and hope to make some little hedgies and try my hand at embroidery. Ben makes me laugh, his character reminds me of my parents labradoodle, Henry. He also enjoys a good roll in some stinky seaweed! How nice to still have some flowers in bloom in this chilly weather.



Thanks so much for the glorious November magazine. Not a good thing for me to see at the moment as I am in the process of moving house from one country to the other side of a neighbouring country. A huge undertaking which is not made easier by my fingers itching to unpack all my craft stuff so I can get into your ideas. Your quilts are divine I get such a feeling of excitement looking at them, so next year once I am unpacked I know what I am going to be doing.
Shame poor Ben, he looks so sad but I am sure tomorrow he will try again!!!
Thank you


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