I have been published!

Well… I am so excited to have had a quilt design accepted by the lovely Quilt Now Magazine .

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A few years ago I took my No2 daughter for an afternoon out at the beautiful Scotland Street School . It was designed by the famous Glasgow Architect Charles Rennie MacIntosh (Glasgow School of Art fame) and is a really lovely building to wander around. I am old enough to recall old wooden desks at primary school with the hole that the ink well would have sat in – although in my day “pop-a-points” were the thing!

The class rooms within the museum reflect different eras in education and are a popular visitor centre for children at primary schools today. I remember going, and my own children have visited. All of us experiencing the Victorian re-enactment with the school master/mistress, the slate boards and the smocks to be work over clothes. The high windows and the very strict teacher are quite scary when you are 7 or 8 years old.

In the Victorian class room there is an old fashioned “black board” or chalk board which is lined and where hand-writing is shown and it struck me how nice it would be to make a quilt that echoed this. When I was a primary pupil, we wrote in our hand-writing jotters (a lovely Scottish name for a school book), and I sat and looked at this board and thought about what to have written on the “Jotter Quilt”. Well it couldn’t be the 100 lines as punishment that a naughty child would be forced to write, but instead a lovely message from a quilter to the recipient of this quilt…

Jotter Quilt by Paula Hope

In the end I decided to go with the alphabet and then all the letters are given, within that, the quilter can decide for themselves – and hopefully some quilters will have a go. It has ben beautifully quilted by my friend Mairi of Lismore Quilting .

Along with the Jotter Quilt I made 5 gold star cushions. They are small and are a lovely group to lie on or throw about. I am going to upload this a free pattern here – imminently – as soon as my updated Adobe allows me to! Bear with me, and I apologise if you have come here to get it. It will appear as soon as I am able. In the meantime, thank you for taking the time to read

EDIT*… here’s the Star Cushion..

Gold Star Cushions

Workshops In Glasgow

Plans are afoot and finally I’m going to try and make a point of using this blog (have I said that before?!). It is difficult I think when it isn’t a part of the usual working week to remember to sit down and do it but I’m going to try… otherwise what’s the point of having it.

Before the summer this year I saw that Remnant Kings in Glasgow were looking for a way of introducing “Craft” classes back in the store. So I contacted them and began a beginners class in patchwork which was great and as usual a joy. In actual fact I ended up getting a little bit of a job working there one day a week which I didn’t initially plan but it is great fun, and since my children are less “children” now and busy being students and Mr H has his busy schedule then why not! It’s actually the first job I have done where I am not lugging large bags and suitcases to and from – that is nice! So in amongst my patchwork classes that I have been doing for more than 15 years (!!) I am slotting in workshops and classes at Remnant Kings and an amazing project with the Glasgow Sikh Community (more to come on that another time!)

Why are there only 7 days in a week? I think we need 8, an extra weekend day maybe as so many people have an interest in learning patchwork or embroidery or other such things and have difficulty slotting it into their working weeks, family commitments, etc.. me too. There are only so many evening classes that can be done, there are only so many weekend classes and that’s frustrating. So small steps and all that. Hopefully a little seed will grow and Remnant Kings will be known for interesting workshops and fun sewing days – not just with me – there are other lovely classes there for anyone interested, you should get in touch with them. IMG_3821.JPG

Holidays

D0367309-43B3-428F-873F-5A30A0C9F456.jpegI forget about this blog or rather I think I put it to the side and think “I’ll do that later” and it doesn’t get done.. no excuses I’m typing this out on my phone cos I’m away from home at the moment. So I feel like I’m typing in the smallest typewriter with huge sausage fingers.

Tomorrow we start getting sorted to head home. Maybe it’s my age but I’m fine with that, I love holidays and being away from things needing doing. I have WiFi where I am so I can still peruse my favs like IG but it also means I can get emails and then I feel guilty because I’m not replying… so I send an “ok but I’m on holiday until..” and then the person I’m replying to feels bad, then I feel bad for making them feel bad 🤣🤪 what the heck!

So we came to France, three of us this time. Left the fourth at home keeping the little dog company. Little dog had an op before we left but she’s very much a home body so she wouldn’t have enjoyed being abandoned to kennels no matter how comfy they would have been.

 

We returned to the Loire area for the first time in 15years!! So I have made my daughter pose next to things that we have her standing beside from all those years ago… 15 years! We have been to different parts of France in intervening holidays.

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…and we will drive home with Mr H listening to the same conversation “we could have a little house in France” he listens (half I think) and humours me along. But – in recent conversations it has become a bit more possible. This is a lovely area we are in, not too hot because although he is dark and absorbs the sun in an hour when it takes the rest of us a week to colour a little he doesn’t like it too hot. We have been driving around and there are airports and trains, there is a fast train to Paris – we did it with small girls. Got into a panic back then when our estate car with roof box wouldn’t fit under the car parks height restriction. Two car seats in the back meant for a super fast dismantling and then Mr H driving around trying to find the last space in the carpark 😂😂 we laugh now but at the time.. me with two small children, the tickets and no sign of him and the train pulling in was slightly testing. Soooo many incidents we had!! But we kept going back – with the question “what dyu think will happen this time?”

Lets hope nothing before we get back to uk soil!

Last year we were the last people on to the ferry – our three hour contigency was lost in roadworks and detours 😳

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New Classes

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As it turns out it will be 10 years this year that I have been doing the job that I do, which is teaching patchwork at a college. It has changed greatly over the years and the number of classes have diminished. Sadly this is due to funding, and it pays little to no attention to the quality of social interaction and sharing that classes like these offer… it is the modern way – money matters. In the end it meant that I was around for important events for my children and that worked out pretty well because they are both now on paths that they have chosen and worked hard for.

So this started me thinking.. ok lets try a few things for me then. So I tried a couple of things and they worked – and at some point I can reveal what these are – but for now I just keep trying things. One of them was setting up classes in a city centre fabric store. The first class kicks off on Monday and I am very excited about it. Also excitingly I was asked if would consider working in the shop! Well… getting paid to touch fabric, why not. So I start that this week, and I am really looking forward to that. I’ve already purchased 3 and a half metres and I haven’t started!

To advertise the fact that patchwork classes are going to start I have been sewing in the store. A woman approached me one of the days and asked me  about what I do. She was extremely interested and explained to me a project she is fronting and we chatted. We met up this week at the Glasgow Gurdwara Sikh Temple, and she and I have agreed to work together on her wonderful project. It will be a community “Tapestry” – well banner really – where they wish to celebrate 550 years of Guru Nanak. I’m not going to dwell on the fact that the “Banner” will possibly hang in the Museum of Scotland or be hung at the Scottish Parliament as is quite a big deal… I’m just going to focus on bringing the celebration of Guru Nanak and Scotland together and how the local community will help bring such a wonderful project together – so watch this space, we have until November 2019.

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Then I got an email this week saying the college that I work for are trying to bring back daytime classes that are community based, which is great, so I put up my hand saying “count me in”… are there more than 7 days in a week?? In truth this offers people more than a sewing class and more than making skills, there can be such a wonderful social environment which is confidence building and offers many people who maybe don’t get out, a chance to build friendships and that can only be a good thing. So fingers crossed this is something that will grow arms sooner rather than later.

(..and i’m going to try and get my act together and write this blog more often!!)

January

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I am not someone who ever makes a New Year resolution or if I have thought of one – I don’t think I have ever stuck to it, so I think at some point I decided to forget about them. I might think to myself “walk more” but I do that anyway.

So January… a new month, the beginning of my youngest daughters last few months at school. I laughingly pointed out an email from ‘M&S’ about school uniforms knowing that I do not never ever EVER have to purchase school uniforms ever again! And I don’t feel sad or melancholic about it.

I’m looking forward to the next chapter. She’s going to be an architect, she started talking about it some years ago and we nodded smiling and always said keep your options open, you might change your mind, but she hasn’t and she’s sitting with several unconditional offers for university places so happily she can decide for herself… this is a lovely feeling as a parent, A – that your child has thoughts for their future and B – that they manage to get there.

So I am hoping for wonderful things this year. Quietly for myself also but I keep these things to myself.

I will hopefully complete my Christmas reindeer quilt which I failed to finish for my bed before Christmas. Flu struck me and so I was instead of sewing, laid up for days in bed. I was disappointed but Christmas comes around again in 12 months so it will get plenty of use next December 🤗

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It is enormous and hangs well over the sides of our bed. I have been making it as a quilt as you go due to its size. It is still tricky to attach the pieces but do-able just the same… and far easier than putting the entire quilt though a machine. It is also in my favourite red and white. So many things in the nearly complete pile…

 

First week of the Easter Break

In my “old age” of which I am not there yet but my children are getting older and that makes me feel like I’m getting older. All of a sudden we aren’t going to get their feet measured at the beginning of the Easter break, for sandals… instead the older D is off camping with friends and the other has exams, studying and socialising. With this comes a little time for me to sit in my work room and stitch for me, which – I’m not going to lie – is lovely. It also means that I can do a little work work, that means proper money.

So this week included the first of two Easter workshops and it was great. I decided to do a little ruler teaching. So many patchworkers do not really get the full use out of the rulers and the angles that are on them. So… I designed a hexagon workshop, purely rotary cut and machine pieced and it worked a treat.

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It never fails to delight me, the variety of colour choices and styles that a class of students can bring. It is really a joy to help people in their learning and understanding. I learn too actually, I think that is something that every teacher should bear in mind – and some forget it – that you yourself learn from people all the time.

A decision was taken that if the weather was not a wash out during the week, a trip to Edinburgh was due. In fact, I had been given the nod to enquire about some new sewing machines for my college classes. So it seemed like a good idea to pop into the ace David Drummond sewing machine shop in Edinburgh and see what he had to offer. It didn’t take very long to “come to a happy deal” and so hopefully next week I will be unpacking 6 new Janomes for my second workshop of the Easter Break.

A short walk from the sewing machine shop is the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art, where there is the most wonderful exhibition of the painter Joan Eardley’s work. Many of her paintings, drawings and letters are privately owned, so to bring it all together was a treat to see. When I taught art in secondary schools, I used her portraits of Glasgow street children as inspiration for many a lesson plan. Her paintings have such life in them. Funnily enough it was her landscapes that I fell in love with this time around. They are based around Catterline, a village on the East coast of Scotland. Maybe it’s because they remind me of sitting eating a picnic in the car when I was younger. My parents are from Aberdeen and we would often go up, before the motorway took you the whole way, and before there were lots of choices for stopping for lunch. I can remember sitting looking at the colour of the Aberdeenshire landscape – liking it – and now I am even more drawn to it. Possibly because of those memories.

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These images are from the wonderful catalogue that goes with the exhibition which had to be bought. There are so few books with such a collection of her work and so beautifully reproduced.

In the final room of Eardley’s work was something that made me laugh a little inside. The Gallery have reconstructed the studio of the sculptor Eduardo Paolozzi, and the organised chaos that was displayed made me feel so much better about my guddle of a sewing room. I know where things are (mostly) but for anyone else… fortunately I am in the remodelled garage space so it’s not privy to anyone other than those invited, that doesn’t mean there is a “No Entry” sign though.

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First blog post

Version 2

Once upon a time a long time ago I wrote a blog. Then I stopped, the end. Today I jumped in with both feet and decided – finally – to productively begin again. So bear with, I am going to try my best to keep up with this, after all… what could go wrong. I love to flick about Instagram and so I will endeavour to link the two and take note of how I wile away the hours.

I stitch, I sew, I teach. I am the ideas man (woman), my students bring in fabrics, unfinished projects, and my Creative Tourettes takes over and before we know it, there is a sketch on a piece of paper with cutting sizes and off they go. How I wish over the years, that I took pictures of all the projects because it’s impossible to remember them all – and some were pretty good. Really lovely bespoke one offs that I have given away and not recorded.  So the bottom line is that I have decided to try and put a book together. In truth, more than one book, but one at a time. That’s not actually true, I am working on more than one but it’s working for me just now. I am finding as I design and plan the various projects, that it is best to include thinking time. Therefore stopping a Christmas project to think “what next?” and pick up a child’s quilt idea gives me moments in between the process to enjoy and think. The determination will be to finish!! So that is my plan, at my pace, and the way I want it. I hope I can and I hope I do.

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