Tuesday, 16 May 2017


In all the years I've been designing I've never had trouble coming up with new ideas ... until now. In the last few weeks I've got stuck on several new designs and all the new things I've tried to work on have failed. This was bothering me until I realised what was causing it - deadlines.

As many of you know I design a big series of Christmas patterns for December each year so I'm used to that hanging over me but this year I've added to the pressure with the mini quilts. I was coping with that all right - after all it's only one small pattern each month - but then I had an idea for an even bigger series to run throughout 2018. So I'm now working to three lots of deadlines which is getting in the way of designing new stuff.

It's a difficult balance to strike. The big patterns like these are very popular and therefore bring in more donations but ... they do make the whole exercise feel more like a proper job. I prefer working on designs that come to me out of the blue, just because they seem fun - drifting from one to another as the fancy takes me.

I think next year I shall go back to just doing the Christmas series. I like all the big stuff I'm doing this year but it's just too much work!

As I can't show you a picture of any of these things I'll leave you with another favourite picture book.

This is one of the Frances books written by Russell and Lillian Hoban all of which are wonderful. Frances has a witty and mature style of language for a small child / badger; in this one she's put out at the arrival of a new baby and so runs away to live under the table (as you do). I also love Bread and Jam for Frances which includes the best school packed lunch ever, complete with a little vase of flowers. Any other fans of these books out there?


  1. In all the years I've known the Frances books I'd never noticed that she was a badger. I'd have sworn that she was a bear!

    1. Actually, I looked it up. I think the books are American and I'm not sure their badgers are the same as ours.