Fat Bird on’t telly

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Hello boys and girls, is it really a week since I last checked in with you? So much has happened this week that I think I may have forgotten most of it!

So we began the week in chaos, nothing new there! Hazel has begun chopping and lopping the kits ready for our One Day Special on’t telly on the 5th and 6th of October. We are at very very long last ready to launch the first quilt that Sue and I ever designed together, it is our interpretation of The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear. Returning to a project FIVE years after it was born is not without its trials but thankfully things are going ok so far…phew. We are in the process of adding five additional projects to go with the quilt I have shared the cushion below, which I teased you with previously, we have made it circular but it would look equally as good on a square. Over the coming weeks I might tease you with some more.

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The owl and the pussycat

I closed the working week on’t telly with a whole different set of stuff! It has been no mean feat this week, I have written two books one on Halloween and the other on Christmas projects, thankfully I have a great team around me nowadays or none of this would happen. So a big thank you to you all. Below is a Christmas pudding doorstop made by Sue.

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Weigh in this week went really well 2Lb off yay! so that is 3 stone 3.5lb in total and it feels good, more people are noticing that I’ve dropped a bit of timber and that puts a skip in my step. I’ve gone down another dress size, yippee! On the down side the new jeans are cutting a bit round the waist and I feel a bit like a sack of spuds tied in the middle. I haven’t had a chance to get the bike out again this week but knowing I can now do it is so reassuring.

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I made a pan of soup this morning so that I can trough on it when I’m desperate, its very simple and very yummy. Here’s the recipe so you can try it too, obviously you will tweak it to your taste.

  • pack of lean bacon, diced.
  • 1cm of ginger, peeled and chopped.
  • two or three cloves of garlic, copped or pressed.
  • stick or two of celery, chopped.
  • an onion, chopped.
  • two or three carrots, chopped.
  • one or two potatoes, diced, no need to peel.
  • tin of chopped tomatoes, tipped in pan.
  • cup full of red lentils, thrown in pan.
  • good tablespoon of medium curry powder.
  • enough chicken stock to cover (knorr stock cube.)

Lob everything in the pan and pop a lid on. Bring to the boil if you have a gas hob, simmer for 10 mins and leave to cool in the pan. If you have an electric hob once the pan is boiling, switch the hob off and leave the pan on the ring until it cools.

When the soup is ready chop a handful of fresh coriander and stir it in. Keep the soup in a plastic container in the fridge and reheat a bowl full in the microwave as required, I use half power for 3 mins stir the soup and then full power for 3 mins. Perfect, nom nom nom.

I had a passenger this week when I went to tellyland, Sue came with me and we had her screen tested because she is going to present the Owl and the Pussycat with me. She did really well and passed with flying colours.

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I had an exciting text tonight off Sue, telling me that one of our beginners on Michaela’s quilt class has just got first prize at her local show for her beginners sampler quilt. Well done Catherine, it is lovely.

I should actually say we are doing a new beginners course starting in October, there are still a few places available, if you are interested get in touch. 01729 824708 or leave me a message on here.

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Finally to end the week, we have had a full weekend of auditions with the little man. Two auditions for Opera North yesterday and another with the Upstagers today for their panto. So we are eagerly awaiting news of how he did. Yesterday he did well in one audition, whilst in the other didn’t get to the final stage. Todays panto audition is looking good, so keep your fingers, toes and everything crossed for him, I’ll let you know next week if there’s any news.

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My rock and roll lifestyle, writing patterns whilst Leon is in an audition.

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Have a great week everyone and I’ll see a little bit less of you all next week !

Fat Bird Rides…Again!

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Hazel, Sue, Adele and me looking sweaty after a hard day building the show stand

I didn’t get around to blogging last week, it isn’t because I didn’t want to, I was at the Harrogate quilt show, so I suppose that took all my mental space. We had a great time at the show, so a big Thank You to everyone who came and supported us, on the other hand I listened to a lot of the traders and I think the general trend is that shows are going downhill. A word of caution, please please support the quilt shows or you will lose them, just ask the Scottish ladies!! There used to be three quilt shows in Scotland that I am aware of, all have bombed through lack of support, remember traders have to pay an awful lot of money to stand at these shows, they are not invited as guests or charity; that is before costs for travel, staff, food and hotels.

In fact, I’ll continue with this grumble as I am interested in your views too. I’ve just outlined it costs an awful lot for a trader to attend a show and therefore fabrics etc. have to be charged out at a fair price to cover all the costs; it is therefore incredibly frustrating when customers utter those dreaded words…I’ll see if I can get it cheaper online! It is so unfair that people are allowed trade accounts to trade from their spare room and then undercut other traders who go to all the trouble of bricks and mortar shops and exhibitions. Think about it ladies, it’s not just the shows, quilt shops are closing left right and centre too; we all want to save a few pennies but is that at the expense of losing the shops and shows we all enjoy visiting? I understand that things can be improved on both sides so let’s open a discussion and see what people think. Messages greatly received.

Oh! and if you want any of our lovely designs head over to www.quiltingantics.co.uk

 

On the weight loss front things are still going well, I lost 1lb last week giving me my 3 stone award and then 1.5lb this week whoop whoop! 1lb can be disappointing but I have to remember one off is better than one on, also added to the 1.5lb this week it has become a huge 2.5lbs (slightly more than a bag of sugar)

If I’m honest, I did treat the team to a Billy Bob’s ice cream on the way home from the show last week, counting it into my daily allowance, also not have any other treats that day, it was so worth it. In fact, I had ice cream on two days and then on the other two days had a slice of cake. So naughty but so nice; which when I stop to think about it, makes a 1.5lb loss incredible.

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Treating the team to an ice cream nom nom nom

I’m not going to pretend that it has been all plain sailing though. The crux of my weight loss is down to giving up the three cherished B’s, bread, butter and booze. This week I have longed for a drink, I haven’t been bothered about the booze for ages so I don’t know what has been different this week (maybe the menopause?) and for the last couple of days I have been so hungry that I could eat my own head off! I made a butternut risotto last night from one of my slimming cookbooks, it was really easy to do and then I gorged on it. I thought that if I was stuffed full with comfort food it might take the cravings away, it did, then I occupied myself with some hand stitching and a really good series on Netflix which meant that I totally forgot about the booze too, what a relief but sometimes you have these challenges to overcome. (Grumble grumble)

 

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Butternut risotto, pic from book.

For the risotto, I rough chopped a pack of lean bacon, lobbed it in a big pan with a bag of ready chopped fresh butternut squash and onion (it was a soup mix.) I rough chopped 3 cloves of garlic and threw it in the pan with about 250g of risotto rice. Crumble in one or two chicken stock cubes and tip in 850 ml of boiling water. Pepper to taste. Stir well and regularly over hot heat so that it doesn’t stick, when it resembles the pic its done! Mine looked a bit smashed up by comparison. Optional throw a few chives on to serve (I never do)

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Onwards and upwards now…fat bird rides again! If you are wondering what I’m on about, I got the bike out this morning. My target this year has been to get back on my bike, it felt very strange and I think I will have to go through the ritual of being saddle sore before I settle into it properly (not for the feint hearted.) I can’t lie, I am really self-conscious at the moment with my full moon sized arse hanging off the back of the seat but I did it and that’s a fact no one can take away from me today! I probably rode less than a mile, stopping for a chat with Suzanne mid-way (well done on your weight loss too) but it was enough for today, as today is about having the confidence to do it, tomorrow is a new challenge.

 

For now, though the immediate challenge is TV…yikes. I’m back on the Hochanda channel next Friday 13thSeptember at 8am and 11am, I’m nowhere near resembling ready, there is so much still to do its ridiculous but as always, it will all come together and be alright on the day…fingers crossed! I will give you a peak at the new projects on my Facebook page and Instagram when I get organised.

Proud mummy moment. The little man started secondary school this week and whilst he wouldn’t allow me to share his pic on the day here he is looking very grown up showing us a routine he has JUST learned with the very talented Ess Green.

 

 

Squeezing life around the Secrets of a Fat Bird…next instalment

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Squeezing life around the Secrets of a Fat Bird…next instalment

This week has been absolutely hectic and I honesty did mean to post as I went along, I put a few bits on Instagram and Facebook but I thought as it’s bank holiday weekend I would take a few minutes to share properly with you all.

Before I go any further I would just like to give a huge plug to the Harrogate quilt show which is happening on Friday 30th, Saturday 31st August and Sunday 1st September. It will be at the Great Yorkshire show ground and there is lots of free onsite parking. Tickets £9 on the door.

So…the weight loss is still going well, another 2.5lb off this week, which means I only need to loose 1lb for my 3 stone award. Don’t you feel cheated when you jump on the scales and the milestone hasn’t quite been achieved, even though you know that you’ve done well and 2.5 is a great result. I’m beginning to feel ready to start cycling again, however I’ve done something to my knee so I’ve parked that idea until it feels a bit better.

This weeks achievement, fellow fatties, you will get this, the slim Jim’s may take a minute…what is the significance of this photo?

This is the gate I go through most mornings on my dog walk, prior to loosing weight, I manhandled this awful wonky gate every day, which really hurt my neck and shoulders. Over the last couple of weeks I can now climb over the stile. Might seem a small thing to many but to me it’s huge!

Back to the reality of work, we have had a really busy week, being buried under mountains of prep for the Harrogate Quilt show, sending out parcels for Hochanda and creating new designs for future Hochanda TV  shows. If you are outside the UK you can still watch the Hochanda channel live via their website Hochanda.com Our next TV show on 13th September is going to be our last offering of new Christmas designs for 2019 plus a little bit of Halloween/autumn thrown in for good measure. We have a one day special coming up on the 5th and 6th of October and have themed it on Edward Lear’s Owl and the Pussycat,  the cushion below, is just one tiny part of the set; wait til you see the full sized quilt  and other bits and bobs. As if that’s not enough I will also be on the telly on October 13th with even more goodies, including some rather special new designs by Michaela Smith.

The summer holidays continue to rumble on, Leons dance school are running a photo competition for pics of people making dance moves in open spaces, so this is our first effort, I’m sure we will have more attempts too. My young choreographer positioned me doing a ‘dab’.  I loved the heather moor as all the lovely purple is beginning to shine, which always signifies that Harrogate quilt show is near.

To finish off todays post, I came across a photo taken in May last year when I was on my way back from Malvern quilt show. The story goes like this, I had forgotten to fill the van up with diesel and as we got onto the motorway the fuel light came on (aarrgghh!!) So I pulled into the first services with only about 20 more miles in the tank, I was towing the caravan, good ole Dobbin, so probably wouldn’t have even got 20 miles. As we pulled into the garage, you can’t script this, there was a power cut. All the lights went out across the garage in a kind of fabulous Hollywood slow motion style. Stuck in the service station, with nowhere to go, we had no choice but sit there. I was in a bit of a silly giggly mood and as I looked to the pump at the side of me there was a young lad having what you can only describe as a toddler tantrum due to the power cut…what a plonker! I commented to Natters who was sat beside me that the child was wearing girls pumps (not a Mickey take I’d normally do but he was behaving like a baby) and good old natters shrieked OMG! its Dom off Love Island; having never watched this show, the comment was entirely lost on me but hey ho, for the fun of it I called across to him “Oy! Are you Dom off t’telly?” shouted in my best Yorkshire accent, to which the child stopped tantruming, turning round, flashing teeth so white that they would give Rylan Clark Neale a run for his money and replied “Yeh”. By this time Natters is squirming in her seat with embarrassment, having hurriedly filled me in with the show gossip. “Did you get your leg over on’t telly”. “Yeh!” He replies, sticking his chest out proudly, informing me how many hours or days into the series it was before he conquered the female. So just for the fun of it, I asked do you want a selfie? Honestly, I have never seen anyone run for a selfie with as much gusto in my life! I held out the camera but couldn’t reach the blooming button as I”m not a teenager anymore and so not the best with techno. quick as a flash he’s grabbed it out of my hand and as you can see in the pic I’m reaching out to press the button and he’s done it already…I wonder if he’s always this quick to complete with the ladies? Shout out to Natters who’s squirming in the background. Anyhow after war and peace…I came across this pic and tried to recreate the camera angle, and shirt, not easy on your own; I am staggered with he resulting photo, I think you will agree I’ve lost a fair bit of timber (private little whoop whoop.)

That’s all for now folks, if you want to see some of the stuff we’ve been up to have a look on my website www.quiltingantics.co.uk if you can’t see what you are looking for drop me a message on here as I’ve still got quite a few projects to upload.

 

Getting back on top. Secrets of a fat bird.

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Getting back on top. Secrets of a fat bird.

Hi everyone so…its Sunday morning and I’m hard at work (minus the little distraction of writing my blog.) I’m going through a real period of change at the moment. It was the big 5 0 for me last year and there’s nothing like a milestone to make you think…and I did, I’ve done a lot of thinking and there have been a few realisations along the way. The biggest one for me is health, anyone who knows me, knows that I’m not the size zero kind of gal! With that in mind I trotted off to join a slimming club earlier this year and I have to say so far so good. I’m not going to preach to you because if your head isn’t in the zone, then your head just isn’t in it. This is my personal self help therapy, I hope making public my journey helps me stay on track and if I inspire someone along the way then that’s a bonus.

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I wish these were my ankles but alas no, they are some that I have claimed off the internet.

So I turned up at the end of March this year, not to my local slimming group, as I didn’t have the confidence with people I know and who may or may not judge me but in one about 20 miles away from home. OK its in the town where Leon dances so it isn’t like 20 miles into the unknown but I felt safer there. The first time I got on the scales, I just felt repulsed by what I had unconsciously become, mentally countering this by telling myself that I was still 1lb lighter than the last time I joined. I’m not ready to share my number yet but I hope as my journey progresses that I might find the confidence to own up.

Anyhow, I’ve got lots to loose so the pounds are still dropping quite quickly and so far in five months I’ve lost 2 stone 10 lbs. I’m really pleased  and feel completely different in myself; life is becoming more comfortable to physically bear. I know I could have lost more but I wanted to keep things real. My sacrifices so far are bread, butter and booze and I am eating so much fruit that I think I’m fermenting either that or composting!

This is an enormous step for me and I think I’ve confessed enough for this moment in time but I will come back and give you another instalment soon, I kept a few notes on my feelings at the beginning and I might pluck up the courage to share the secrets of a fat bird with you.

I’m such an old…ahem, new bag!

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I’m such an old…ahem, new bag!

It’s that time of the month again…it’s the time when I’m preparing to go back on’t telly. We have worked our socks off this last month and have eight new designs with a bit of a Spring theme going on. I hope you like what we’ve done, I’d love to hear your comments, feedback is always welcome.

You will find me on the Hochanda Tv channel on Saturday 13th and Sunday the 14th of April. Freeview 85 Sky 673 and Freesat 817. I’m not sure what the channel number is if you are viewing from the U.S but I think you can watch online.

I nearly forgot to say that all the goodies (kits and patterns) will be available on my own website www.quiltingantics.co.uk from this weekend.

I’d like to start with Susan’s Satchel. I have been asked loads of times to make a tweed satchel, the last time being at Duxford show in March, by a lady called Susan…I told you I would name it after you hehehehe! It fits an A4 ring binder inside and is very easy to make.satchel pic

I forgot to add apart from the huge discounts I”m offering on the eight new patterns whilst on’t telly, I’m having a go at doing some happy hour deals too; so watch out for some genuine great deals. I don’t do an annual sale in the shop, so I’m doing this instead. There will be extra fabric on selected orders, bundles of bag haberdashery, bundles of basic utility fabrics (such as wadding and calico) and sets of Moda fat quarter bundles. Each individual offer will be available, at a discounted price, for one hour only!

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Back to the task in hand…next up is Rosa’s bag, named after my Sue’s adorable granddaughter, apparently this dusky shade of pink is this seasons hot property, we have teamed it with a beautiful silver grey, what do you think? It is a bit fiddly to make in places so not for an absolute beginner but once you’ve got your head round the zip area, it should be plain sailing. I love this little bag, as you can make it to coordinate with any outfit and it is ideal for leisure time; it would hold all your basic essentials whilst you have a great time, playing out.

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Third on the list, let’s shake things up and do something different. Here is our Green Man of the Woods, a wonderful emblem of the emerging spring season. He reminds me a bit of Parsley the Lion from the Herb Garden, do you remember the programme? Roberta has constructed him in the most simple way, I was pleasantly surprised when I wrote the pattern and realised how easy he actually is.

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So you like ornamental dolls? How about our Steam punk Scarecrow called Seth? He is such fun to make, his clothes are unbelievably easy and if you are feeling cautious don’t forget that as a scarecrow you could always distress (code for disguise any cock ups) his clothes a bit, to give him your own spin. I would be really interested to know if you like the Steam punk theme as, if you do, we may a bit more of it.

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So after a foray into the macabre lets return to the bags…

We brought you a bag, designed by Tracy Ankers, right back at the beginning of our Quilting Antics journey and it has sold and sold and sold. I can’t believe how many of you have loved it, so, using that as our inspiration I present to you the Crazy Chick bag. The fabrics are from the newest range of tweeds woven in collaboration with the National Trust and personally I think they are stunning, very chic.

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Nearly at the end, we have been asked loads of times to do an across the body bag. I saw a bag aimed at dog walkers, where you had a hole, to pull your poopy bags through. I didn’t have any suitable rings to make the hole, so we appliquéd a dog instead! If you aren’t a doggy person, you could leave the appliqué off or simply swap it for something you like better.

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Last but not least and just for a bit of a laugh, I give you the Doorstop Diva! It’s a doorstop in the shape of a handbag. If you filled it with something really heavy you could use it to keep everyone in check…I think I might be tempted to add some handbag jewellery, what do you think?

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I hope you like our new designs. It’s a really scary thing when you launch new stuff as you could sink like a brick. I hope we have tried hard enough this month..

www.quiltingantics.co.uk

Want a sneaky peak?

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Want a sneaky peak?

Oh my goodness, who threw in the grenade? Packing is almost complete, just the extended delivery stuff to do when the last bits are delivered to us next week. Time for a tidy up now I think… Anyway enough of that I’ve mentally moved on! Rehearsals start tomorrow for the little mans showcase at his acting school and I’m in the costume department all week, I did it last year too, it was such an honour to watch the kids grow in confidence and develop their skills through the week. Don’t think for one minute its on the lines of a school play, these are kids who are used to being on the stage and screen so the standard is through the roof before we begin; I can’t wait.

In the meantime do you want a sneaky peek at some of the projects that are in their final stages before going on TV next month, 29th June. They will all be winging their way to Hochanda in the next few days for photography; no prizes for noticing that we have jumped a couple of seasons! If you have any suggestions of new projects that you would like us to put together leave me a comment and we’ll do our best.

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Who threw the grenade in?

I wanted some sugar mice to dot around my show stand at exhibitions and this is what happend when I left Sue on the own for a bit. The nutcracker needs a face and then it is all done. These little beauties would be lovely at any time of the year.

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Nutcracker

Winter Feast by Michaela Smith, this would look great as a runner, or if you gave the stitcheries a quarter turn before piecing it would make a stunning wall hanging

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Winter Feast

Baptism of fire for our newest recruit Roberta, this is what she put together on her first day so I think its safe to say we can expect good things to come from her. Just a little embroidery to complete it.

I hope I’ve whet your appetite, I’ll show you more projects as they come off the machine. www.quiltingantics.co.uk

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Deck the halls

Thank you

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I would just like to say thank you to everyone who supported me at Quilts UK, Malvern and again yesterday on the Hochanda channel. I am delighted with our new designs and I am so glad that you are too. If you haven’t seen them already have a look and see what you think. There is just one more pattern to put on the website and then I’m done and dusted www.quiltingantics.co.uk

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Tree of Life, by Michaela Smith

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Summer Meadows Bag by Sue Lenehan

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Low Tide from Quilting Antics

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The Seekers from Quilting Antics

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Angie Bag by Tracy Ankers

English Country Garden Runner from Quilting Antics

English Country Garden Runner from Quilting Antics

English Country Garden Cushion from Quilting Antics

English Country Garden Cushion from Quilting Antics

It’s such a great feeling when people enjoy your work.

With that said it’s heads down now as we start our Christmas shows on the 29th June!! It sounds bonkers but if you’re a crafter you need the head start in order to meet the deadline.

www.quiltingantics.co.uk

We’re going on’t telly

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We’re going on’t telly

Thank you to everyone who came to see us at the Harrogate quilt show it was a brilliant weekend. And the new hall is amazing with loads of room to get around on the wide aisles it means that the experience is better for everyone. It would be great to hear feedback from any of you who were there.

So now to get ready for our next venture, we’re going on’t telly! we will be live on HOCHANDA which is listed as ‘The Store’ in the programme guide. You will find it on Freeview channel 39, Sky channel 663 and Freesat 817; we will be on next Saturday the 10th September at 11am and 2pm I think its fair to say I am getting a little nervous as the day gets closer. Michaela is coming with me and we will be doing two of her cushions (a matching pair) Hare Affair and Hare Today… followed by our Hedgerow series of wall hangings Dandy Fox, Bunny in the Brambles, A Hedgehog’s Friend and Mistletoe Mouse.I will be selling patterns and kits for each project on HOCHANDA’s website but don’t forget you can also buy them and many more designs on my website too.

So for the next few days I’m battening down the hatches to prepare all the goodies ready for the show. The turnaround is very tight and all parcels have to be posted out within 48 hours so lots of work to do!

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Hare Affair

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Hare Today…

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A Hedgehog’s Friend

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Bunny in the Brambles

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Dandy fox

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Mistletoe Mouse

Kirstie’s Handmade Fair Hampton Court

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I am so excited to tell you that our Michaela has been accepted to teach in Kirstie’s grand make at The Handmade Fair, Hampton Court from the 16th to the 18th of September under the banner of Quilting Antics. This is so exciting, I have seen some of her ‘mock ups’ for the tweed brooches that she will be teaching and in true Michaela style they are simple but sensational. Her workshops will be at 10am each day of the show and I think tickets go on sale from tomorrow on The Handmade Fair website. Book early to avoid disappointment.

http://www.quiltingantics.co.uk

Sue’s House

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Look what gem Sue has conjured up. We are often asked if we have projects for little girls to make and this delightful sewing case fits the bill beautifully. It is full of little pockets where you can hide all manner of tiny treasures. We are typing up the pattern today and it will knitted up for Malvern show next month. I hope you like it too.