Friday, 27 January 2017

Showing off their work

I am still teaching patchwork in my local sewing and knitting shop.  The students in my class have been busy on all kinds of projects since before Christmas.  On Wednesday I got to see some beautiful works in progress by them, which I would love to share with you!


Sandra is just finishing off the binding on her wonderful Kaleidoscope quilt.  Isnt' it gorgeous?  It is huge and heavy but I just love the monochrome colour choice and the effect it gives. (sorry the photo was taken on my mobile so is a little blurry).









Sandra's Kaleidoscope quilt 


Jenny brought in her take on a Bargello quilt to show everyone.  Sandra and Jenny got together outwith class and helped each other with this technique.(isn't that wonderful? Friendships made through a love of quilting!)  I adore Jenny's fabric choices and colours.  She gets to keep this one all for herself! 
Gorgeous pinks, greens and blues - love it!

Mandy has actually finished her Kaleidoscope quilt.  I just haven't managed to get a good of photo of it yet!  Here is a photo of one of her little dogs making itself quite at home on it!  Mandy made this amazing quilt for her boy and is finding it hard to part with.

look at that dug! 


Last but by no means least is Elizabeth.  I am really looking forward to seeing her finished Kaleidoscope quilt.  The fabrics are gorgeous greens and citrus greens and I am sure it is going to look stunning.  In the meantime here is a lovely quilted panel she is working on.  Elizabeth is turning these panels into a patchwork bag.  I will update you on the progress next week. 
loooooove these fabrics!

I really can't tell you how proud I am of these students.  They are challenging themselves with their quilting and trying new techniques, fabrics, colours and patterns all the time.  They have made quilts for themselves and ones which have been gifted to others.  It really is such a pleasure to be among these quilters and talk about all things patchwork each week.  It is my little sewing and quilting sanctuary! 

Where is your sewing sanctuary?  Who do you quilt or sew with?  Tell me about it! 

Collette x

Sunday, 15 January 2017

keeping it real - where I have been.....

I am currently sitting here contemplating what to write for a blog post.  Throughout my whole blogging journey, I have always sought to establish genuine relationships with my followers.  My blog is by no means a numbers or stats game.  I do not really track how many people read this little corner of my world or how many hits, conversions etc I get.  Maybe some people may view that as foolish and not very good business sense at all?  I really don't care though, because I am all about keeping my love and passion for quilting real. Showing the good quilting with the bad.  Sharing the good times and the bad times.

So this brings me onto sharing why I haven't been around much lately.  My husband, Colin has been experiencing some scary severe anxiety and episodes of derealization.  This seemed to get a little better with medication, however, it wasn't long until he was heading down into the abyss again soon after New Year.  Fortunately he has been referred to the appropriate care team and will soon be receiving appropriate treatment and talking therapies.  This has meant a huge change in circumstances for us as a family.  He is unable to work at the moment, and anyone who is self employed, knows this can be very tricky indeed.

I stopped quilting for a few weeks there, hence the lack of quilty posts.  Times like these really put the world in perspective!  Thankfully we are beginning to see light at the end of the dark tunnel.  I am beginning to get back into my commissioned projects this week and may even use Colin's photography skills to take some good photos of a few of my quilts for pdf patterns I hope to publish soon!

I just wanted to update everyone and be open about this time in our lives.  One in four of us in the UK will suffer a mental health problem at some stage in our lives.  I had post natal depression just 3 months after Jacob was born.  Quilting is my personal therapy and meditation.  I don't share this information about our situation for sympathy or to be doom or gloom.   Quite the contrary!  I want you to know that from terrible suffering of the mind can come great things.  I discovered quilting as a result of suffering from post natal illness.  Our family has become so much closer over these last few weeks of Colin's illness.  As have Colin and I.  Sadly there is still a huge amount of stigma around the issue of mental health and wellbeing.  Colin and I have both suffered this kind of stigma first hand.  This is why I feel it is vital I share this story here on my blog.  The world of quilting can be very positive and viewed through rose tinted spectacles at times.  This is a good thing but life isn't always like that.  The discovery of quilting was a positive thing to come out of my illness.  Now quilting is something that helps maintain good mental health in me.  If more people are open about these benefits personally or for those around them, then perhaps we can help break down the stigma and encourage more people to take up quilting or share with those around us who are maybe finding life a little hard and could do with a distraction from their problems.

So even although it is still very, very early days for him, I just wanted to share that out of these horrid situations can come better things.  Things you never knew would be around the corner.  I never knew I would be a quilter all those years ago when ill.  Who knows what is around that corner for Colin?  I am thankful for every reader or follower I have here.  I can only hope that my sharing of our lives can maybe encourage or help someone out there today.