6 July 2010

The big day at last! to celebrate: A book review and a giveaway

It’s 6 months (all but 1 day) from when the roof collapsed on my “old” studio under the weight of snow.  Now it’s rebuilt – not quite totally organised, but I’m back in and working in my new “Little Blue Shaker Studio”.

Do you remember seeing these photos back in January?  I couldn’t imagine the future back then.  I had so many kind words of support (and beautiful flowers).  I can’t say thank you enough.  The online support was so helpful when I was so despairing of ever working again and all I could see was devastation and two damaged Bernina machines.


Want to come with me on my first day???

Well first of all you need the key, coffee, iPhone and landline.

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Open the back door and walk across the (still wobbly) path….

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Juggle the camera, coffee and key….

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Fight off the door dangles….

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Leave the door open as its a beautiful day….

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And set up two sewing machines – one for straight and one for FME….

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The sofa is back….

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New cushions….

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Frivolous bunting….

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Treasured books on new bookcases….

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Art materials all safe….

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The iPod playing a good podcast….

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And choosing threads for a Festival of Quilts entry…...

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Until FoQ is over that's all I can show of the work in progress – there will be a hanging and a 3D piece.

Now for the Book review and the Giveaway – this is a first for me, I’ve never reviewed a book online before but lets give it a go. 

Lets celebrate being back!

The Book is 500 Art Quilts by Lark Books - edited by Ray Hemachandra and juried by Karey Bresenhan, with a foreword by Karey (the president of Quilts Inc who run the large American quilt shows). 


The pages open in a visual feast of colour, this is a book of vibrant images of contemporary textile art.  The photography is wonderful and the handy 8x8 inch size is perfect.

There are quilts of all styles many featuring people, flowers and landscapes and in contrast many that are pure abstract.  Whatever your personal preference you’ll find lots to love.  Its simply stunning – page after page of quilts created by 346 quilt artists from around the world.  I have a lot of books (!) and I can honestly say that this is one of my favourite.

Its a “must have” if you have any interest in Art Quilts and textiles and one to refer back to many times.  If you’re stuck for inspiration, or want to browse beautiful art quilts grab a coffee and look through this book.

I only wish I’d got my act together and submitted a piece myself.

I’ve got an extra copy of this book to giveaway – all I need is a comment from you and I’ll get DS to draw a name from the hat on Friday 9th July at 8pm (British summer time).

Leave your comment and pass on the word. 

Happy Days!


  1. oh I think I am the first - possible a quirk of the date line!
    Congratulations on your move back - compared to the move out, the move back in happened to quickly - or at least in blogland it appeared that way!
    Liz Price ( Sydney)

  2. Congratulations Helen, who could have imagined that a disaster could become such a wonderful and inspirational working space in six short months? It looks fantastic and I'm green with envy. Looking forward to seeing great things being created in that little shaker house.

  3. Big cheers, Helen!! Wish I was there........... Third time lucky, hope you got all the details right, it's so difficult to start from scratch.

    See you at the Festival of Quilts :O)

  4. SusanD2:57 pm

    So glad to see your studio is up and running again after such a rotten start to the year. Looking forward to some great thing coming out of your new working space.

  5. Ann B4:19 pm

    Delighted to see that you have moved into your new studio after everything that you have been through this year. Enjoy. Very jealous of all of your working space.

  6. Janice Perkin4:20 pm

    wow it looks really fantastic - you must be pleased with all you achieved in that 6 months and this will give you a real boost- I am now wishing i had popped in last Friday when we were in Wooler but I got a bit shy and did n't want to interupt you as i knew you were busy finishing off your work!!! - next time - !!!! - we went to Seahouses for a week and walked along Bamrugh beach like you often do in the winter - it was still windy!!!! - we had a fantastic visit to the Farne Island on a glorious day - good luck with the new studio - I think you should have a ribbon cutting ceremony!!!

  7. Doreen4:21 pm

    What a fabulous studio you now have. Lots of creating will go on in there. It is so light and airy....wonderful!!

  8. Congratulations! Your new space is fabulous!

  9. How wonderful!!! and I can't wait to visit, though DH says I must unpack ALL our boxes before I get distracted!!!??? wonder what he means ;-)))
    Can't wait to see how much Richard has grown, he had just started school when I saw him last.

  10. Congratulations... up & running again... :)...

  11. Judy Ellsworth5:05 pm

    Congratulations on a wonderful studio!

  12. I wish I had submitted a piece for that book too. I am amazed at how quickly you have created a beautiful new studio!

  13. Congratulations. I hope you have many happy and creative hours there!

  14. Tina Short7:25 pm

    Hi Helen,
    it looks fab - you have done so much in the last 2 weeks.
    T x

  15. Great to see you're back in that wonderful studio. It's even more beautiful and will I'm sure, be inspirational. And I agree with you re that book! Whenever I need inspiration I go and leaf through it. I too am sorry I never thought of submitting but there is only so much time in a day!

  16. Having been watching developments with interest. Can't believe what a pickle you were in 6 months ago. Your new studio looks fantastic.

  17. Pleased something really good came out of the disaster!

  18. Congratulations on being back in your studio! It is looking lovely. I hope that is will be a very inspirational space for you. Enjoy, I am very jealous of all that working space :-)

  19. Well done on getting your new studio up and running. I only came across your blog again in the new year (moving to the new computer I lost some of my bookmarks) so one of the first posts I read was about your studio disaster. I've watched with interest your journey to your new home. So pleased you have finally moved in.

    Looking forward to seeing your new creations, jane

    PS - I'm not a quilter and though the book looks lovely, please don't put me into the give away I wouldn't appreciate it or use it, let it go to someone who will - now if you ever give away any Japanese embroidery books....... ;-)

  20. Never commented before but have been following your blog for some time now. Glad you now have a lovely new studio. Love the Shaker Blue.
    Wishing lots of good vibes and inspiration in your new textile home.

  21. Helen, it looks absolutely wonderful - I love all the colours! And the jangly bits by the door... enjoy all your time in there and I look forward to seeing the results at FOQ!

  22. What a fabulous space! Glad it's all come together for you (with a lot of hard work), look forward to seeing the results.

  23. Maggie Harris5:15 pm

    Well done Helen, the studio looks wonderful and you have worked so hard to make it look so wonderful. Can't wait to get to FOQ and see your quilts.
    Best wishes

  24. Helen, Your new sewing studio looks like a wonderful place to create in. Can't wait to see what you come up with.
    Cher in BC

  25. Congratulations on moving in Helen! Your new studio looks a wonderful space both to create and to relax in. I shall look out for your pieces at Festival of Quilts. Enjoy your new home! :o)

  26. Your new studio looks fabulous, I'm sure it will be wonderful to create in there.

  27. Congratulations on your new studio! If it's any consolation, I think it looks much nicer than the old one from what I recall in the pics!

  28. Ellie MacPheec3:02 pm

    Love it, Love it, Love it. I have not been doing much blogging recently but when I realised somothing was amiss with your lovely workroom I back-tracked and could not believe what had happened. Well done on you move into the new one. Enjoy! and I will keep on checking in and try not to be too envious.

  29. Ellie MacPhee3:06 pm

    Where did that 'c' come from. Me and technology do not mix (OK maybe my finger slipped)

  30. Christine5:00 pm

    Better than new - what a gorgeous space for creating and/or getting peace to read all those books! Do you allow the menfolk in at all?!

  31. oh my gosh - how beauitful is your new space!

    and thanks for a chance to win the book - if I don't win, I'll buy it anyway!

    (Still humming over your space).


  32. the studio looks fantastic Helen. Especially love the trimmings, the door curtain and sofa and the like. Hope you get to spend many wonderful creative hours in there annnnd that its WARM in winter ;)