Costumes and music

Durham City at night

Durham surprises. Even though it’s now ‘my’ city, there is always something new to discover. The above view – on a chilly December evening – is from the path which leads down from the station; you can look out over the city and the cathedral seems almost to hover in the wintry air.

An early post in this blog told of the ‘Antiques Roadshow’  filmed in the cathedral in September. Well, it was broadcast on Sunday 28 December and if you look very carefully on bbc iplayer at about 26 minutes in – and are maybe prepared to rewind a little – you might just catch a glance of me behind the owner of the Indian carved sideboard. Sadly, of my newly-designed ‘Quilter’s Bag’ (see ‘Quilt Patterns’) there was almost no sign!

On Christmas Day, we were once again inside the cathedral, this time for the 11.30 service. The building was decked with lighted Christmas trees (which you can just see in the photo), the nave was full of people and the music was glorious.


After the service we strolled through the streets to ‘Cafe Rouge’ for Christmas dinner by the river. Wonderfully relaxing (no preparation required!), friendly service and very nice food.  (And yes, I did have turkey for my main course, for the sake of tradition, but enjoyed sorbet for dessert!)


The day before (on Christmas Eve), we made a visit to this unusual shoe shop (Scorpio), which is on Saddler Street, just up from the market square. It was shoes for young men that we were after, but just have a look at these fabulous creations!


And then, just to remind you that it isn’t always winter, take a look at this scene on a Durham street that I photographed last summer, which included musicians and a most lithe, fluid and acrobatic dancer from Rajastan, all of them clad in the vibrant colours and textured embroidery typical of textiles from their part of India – extraordinary!


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This is my ‘Lemonade Bubbles’ fabric design. You can find it here.

Lemonade bubbles.png

Thank you for reading my blog. Quilt patterns are here, Fabrics are here, Classes are here

How to make a quilt

I’ve designed a single bed quilt around an unusual fabric I bought in Australia, which features animals such as koalas, wallabies, dingos and others and which is enhanced by coloured dots (reflecting the style of the mysterious and beautiful Aboriginal designs and paintings which can be seen in museums and art galleries in Sydney, where we stayed).


The quilt pattern uses thirty-five twelve-inch quilt blocks, surrounded by a narrow border. It can easily be adapted to make a wider quilt (for double, queen or king-sized beds) simply by making more blocks – you need seven more blocks for each foot extra in width.


Like all my patterns, the instructions are given step-by-step and there’s a photograph for each stage. So you don’t need to be a quilting expert to have a go at this pattern. The cover gives a clear shopping list for what you need to make it.

The design has been carefully constructed, so that if you follow the directions regarding the fabrics, you will never have two pieces of fabric the same colour next to each other in the quilt.  The quilt I made is in soft earthy tones, but you could use any colour-scheme that suits you and any suitable printed fabric. The featured animals in this quilt appear in a square three inches by three inches, so you could choose any fabric with a motif that size. Just make sure you have 35 motifs on the length you buy, if you are making the single bed quilt.

To help you with making the quilt, there are some short film clips on You Tube demonstrating:

how to make a 12-inch patchwork block: sizes for strips


how to cut fabric for patchwork and quilting


how to ‘fussy cut’ for patchwork and quilting


how to pin, stitch and press a patchwork block

pressing inner block open

how to join patchwork blocks to make a row


There is even one on how to thread up a sewing machine (mine’s a Bernina)

how to thread a Bernina sewing machine


The quilt pattern is FREE as is available right here on the website – just click here.

Thank you for reading my blog. If you would like to receive my weekly post, please press the ‘Follow this blog’ button.  If you would like to go on a list to receive my special monthly newsletter with colour and design inspiration and more, then click here

If you like the idea of some different animals, there is always my ‘Jaguar and Cub’ fabric (seen here on a cushion). Click here to see the fabric.

Or there’s my ‘Bears’ fabric design. Click here to see it.

Bears 2.jpg

Thank you for reading my blog. Quilt patterns are here, Fabrics are here, Classes are here

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