Hello, here’s hoping your New Year has got off to a warmer and dryer start than ours has down here in a stormy Cornwall. With storm Brigid and her followers barrelling their way towards us, (today’s winds are supposed to be up to 80mph! Sheesh!), making yourself a mug of something warming, ( hot chocolate with whipped cream, marshmallows and chocolate flake sounds about right today), and bundling up under a quilt whilst you read this latest newsletter is definitely your best bet.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and that Santa managed to bring you everything that you wanted him to, or even to surprise you with something extra special and unexpected. It all seems so long ago now, but honestly, it was only just over a month. As predicted, our Christmas was very low key this year. My daughter spent a week with her father, stopping off to see her brothers in Bristol for a night on the way there. My husband ended up being away from home until Christmas Day morning, so I was able to get on with some quilting without feeling guilty about neglecting the family, and to listen to and sing along to Christmas music without having to deal with any threats against my life. Win-win!

Did you make any New Year resolutions? Aside from the perennial ‘gotta get fit’ that as usual lasted for about a week, (please stop rolling around on the floor laughing people, it could happen!), I want to get back to making some quilts in between quilting for others. When I was packing up my studio ready to move I took an hour over a coffee to go through my pile of ‘ooh, that would be lovely to make’ patterns and torn out magazine pages. Some I had forgotten all about – that’s what happens when your brain begins to wander!, but some were like meeting old friends. Some patterns were relegated to a ‘Hmm, maybe one day’ pile, some to a ‘What was I thinking’ pile, but all in all I have a nice little heap of patterns to consider. This is in addition to the shelves (now boxes) full of projects ready to go. First up though will have to be a quilt for each of my sons – I promised them last Christmas that I would make them one, just didn’t say when I would get round to it. It is always good to have a project or several to look forward to making. My challenge will be to make them from my stash, which several of you will know is extensive. I will try to keep myself honest by posting progress bulletins and maybe photos in future newsletters.

So now that we are in our new home and working our way through a mountain of boxes, ( I swear our stuff breeds when it is put into boxes, there always seems to be more to unpack than went in), I have had to work hard at carving out time to set the long arm up again. My ‘studio’ is currently in the stable block – not exactly elegant, but dry, and with power and light, functional. With the addition of one of those tripod builders lights, a rolling oil filled radiator, and a radio I have made it work for me, (that guy from Project Runway, what’s his name, would be proud of me), but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that my new studio will be working soon. This is it currently.

inside studio (imagination required)

No roof, no windows, ivy growing on the inside of the gable end and concrete cattle feeders along one inside wall. But it will be a studio. Honest. If you squint your eyes up really tightly, and use a ladle full of imagination, you can see it. It will be brilliant. Sizewise it is about 30’ x 15’, so perfect for me to have the longarm at one end and a sewing table at the other, a little kitchen area and a stove with a comfy chair for snuggling under a quilt next to whilst drinking a mug of hot chocolate with all the bells and whistles. Got it all worked out in my mind, and in my mind I am already there.

So that is me for the moment. Storm bound, up to my eyebrows in boxes and desperately trying to find all those essential things I packed somewhere safe. Well, actually, I’ve got my long arm set up, I know where the Bernina is and I have a large (ok, huge) bag full of things that need to be made, so that is the essentials taken care of. Working out which box a certain colour of fabric is in, or where the thread got packed is just adding to the fun. Now that I can feel things beginning to settle down again, I will be better at getting these newsletters out regularly. I hope that wherever you are, you are not getting too bad a beating from the weather, and are able to use it as the perfect excuse to stay home, stay warm and quilt.

with love,

Sara