I am delighted to say that I have a piece in the current edition of Uppercase magazine. The theme is ‘Travel’ and there is a feast within these covers: travellers’ tales, book reviews, illustrations, stories, international shopping, and more.


This is an intensely visual magazine; it is richly colourful. As it is an independent magazine which is funded by subscribers, the editor has made the decision to produce it without any paid advertisements, so there is no distraction from the beauty of the photographs and the illustrations.

Look out for me on page 82: my piece is about making travel journals, first with my children when they were young and then about going on to make them as an adult. I have travelled quite a lot this year and most of the visits are recorded with words and with bits and pieces of realia (maps, tickets, café bills etc) as well as with photos. Looking back at the early family travel journals makes me smile and brings back really precise recollections.

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In the ‘Explore’ edition, I particularly enjoyed reading an article on India by Jennifer Orkin Lewis, accompanied by luscious painted sketches, not least because in January, I too was in India, in the city of Chennai.  ‘Printing on the Road’ by Chris Fritton was fun too – I just love proper letterpress printing with metal type (I learnt about this in my first job in publishing). And of course I was interested in ‘Quilts for Cure’ by Hollyanne Knight who is making a series of 102 quilts to honor children who have fought or are fighting childhood cancer.

I love this magazine ‘for the creative and curious’. If you would like to subscribe, click here for details.

And here’s the by-line, whoo-hoo.

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Sewing kit for travel

I am just back from a short visit to France to see family in Lyon and friends in St Etienne. I was (of course) quilting while I was away, so today’s post is about the small kit I took away with me.


This clear, top-opening case is so useful. I can see exactly what I have got, it can rest on my lap on car or train journeys without taking up much space, and it holds in all the contents without spilling. It measures about eight and a half by six and a half inches and is three inches deep (although it squashes flat for packing). You can see it resting on a tiled windowsill against a green wooden shutter with a sunny garden beyond – perfect!

Inside the case are the following items:


  • a great little sewing case by Cath Kidston (a gift from my nieces);


*  a useful tape measure which was a great magazine give-away.  An un-picker is included, obviously, in a matching bright pink.


  • a little needle-case in a spotty fabric, made  to match. When the needle-case is closed, it’s used as a temporary pin-cushion;


  • a selection of needles from small quilting needle up to darning needle, for the times when I travel with knitting.


  • my favourite ‘tailor’s thimble’ (with an open top) and  a pair of super-sharp small scissors;


  • a box of pins, usually held closed with an elastic band.  No stray pins!


  • a small quilters’ ruler (the make is Le Summit). This is a perfect size for travel and it’s very sturdy;


* a white chalk marker (Chaco brand) and a Frixion pen which can be used to mark fabric and which disappears with heat;


  • a small pack of clips, for holding quilt bindings while you hand-stitch them in place, but also helpful for keeping sets of pieces together when you are cutting out.


  • and of course some threads. I love these colours!

During our visit, we were given a home-cooked meal that was so beautiful (as well as delicious) that I asked for permission to take photos, so here they are:


Cold summer minestrone of asparagus, pasta and tomatoes.


Salmon cooked with spinach and peppers.


Bread selection.


Tomatoes from the garden


Summer fruits.

The colours are so pretty I want to reach out for my paints. Vive la France!