Hello. This is me. I live in a small corner of western Scotland, just outside Wigtown, which is our National Book Town.
This is perfect for a someone who likes to write, like me, because there are always ‘writerly’ events going on and a whole circle of published and unpublished writers to meet up with and compare notes.
I was born in Calcutta, India, and lived there with my Scottish parents until I was fifteen, when we moved to England.
After I left school I worked in Publishing and Printing for a while, and shortly after I got married I moved to the Far East, to Singapore for eight years and to Hong Kong, for two years.
I had been writing most of my life but it was here that I found the time to write and publish non-fiction articles and later, a series of non-fiction books.
When I returned to England I began teaching literacy and creative writing, as well as writing and publishing my first short stories. A decade on, I moved to Scotland and began writing and publishing poetry.
My husband and I had quite a lot of adventures in Scotland before we found the perfect house and garden that we wanted to call home. We lived and worked in a castle for a while and on two landed estates.
I had a couple of difficult years after the death of my parents and then, quite suddenly, I didn’t want to write any more. I know that doing something else creative can help the healing process. I joined Pinterest and became excited about art and illustration, as well as the patchwork, quilting and embroidery that I used to enjoy when my children were young. I thought I might take it up again.
I have started writing a little again recently, mostly poems to accompany the work of artists, or a bit of fast fiction, nothing very long because the EPP bug seems to have taken over.
At first I wanted to try so many things that I began in the wrong place, or in other words, not at the beginning. I started by making things that were too difficult for me.
I began by making houses, as well as birthday and wedding ‘cards’ for friends and relatives with messages on the back.
They took ages and somehow they turned out OK but I want to do so much better.
I decided that I needed to serve an apprenticeship of sorts and to begin at the beginning, with simple squares and rectangles.
My blog is my record of what I made and learned from this point onwards. I hope that some of you will accompany me on that journey and that perhaps you will share some of what you know, too : ))
10 thoughts on “About Me”
Delighted to have found your blog.
I’ve been EPP ing since the 1970s when, as student nurses, we discovered Laura Ashley packs of fabric prices and started making little covers for the incubator babies while on night duty.
I’ve wandered off in all sorts of directions since (inc. writing a literary blog for fifteen years) but like you I don’t want to write any more. I never stopped quilting and now I’m back with my fabric and my notions and EPP again and I’m loving it.
There’s a picture of mine in Flossie Teacake’s book (Tracy Chevalier) and I’m sure she’d have been thrilled that you mentioned her book.
Now I hunt around for inspiration and you’ve adde to that so thank you.
PS I think you perhaps love haberdashery and notions as much as I do🤗
Hello Lynne, I loved your kind message, thank you! We do seem to have a lot in common. I started EPP seriously in 1980 but my mum went to a class in the late 70’s and that got me interested. She showed me how to make a few sample pieces (I still have them!). I can picture those lucky babies with handmade Laura Ashley covers. My first couple of quilts were Laura Ashley fabric packs, too. I had a writing blog for a while, about helping people fix common problems in fiction, but it was a lot of work and, though I had plenty of followers, no-one ever commented so I got disheartened. Also my favourite way of writing has been flash fiction before it was ever called that and I kept being told my pieces weren’t proper stories. EPP though just as time consuming, is so much more pleasurable. I have been doing a textile art course online for the last couple of years and really want to do more of that sort of thing, and often think I should give up my EPP to be able to do more but actually I love doing my EPP, so perhaps I can find room for both. My goal is to try to do as many different things as I can think of with EPP, to push the boundaries a bit, as I would like people to get away from hexagons and try more things with it. Having said that, lately my posts are mostly about completing old stuff that is lying around so there is time for new ideas. I am delighted my blog has given you some inspiration. It’s great to have someone on board who EPP’s frequently as I think most of my followers are either interested in quilting in general, or dip into EPP only occasionally. I am confused by your comment about the picture in Flossie Teacake’s (what a great name!) book, as the only pictures in the Tracy Chevalier chapter seem to be by Tommy Hatwell. I must have misunderstood. Do keep in touch and feel free to comment or ask questions at any time. Where are you based?
The picture was taken by my son so he’s credited but the actual quilt behind Tracy was mine (I didn’t actually make it) I interviewed authors including Tracy at Port Eliot Festival and decorated the tent where they took place with all my quilts.
I’m currently doing EPP hexagon stars and loving them . I started the EPP Millefiori quilt but quickly ran out of steam and ended up selling books and pre cut papers on eBay.
Ah yes, I noticed it but thought it might be one that Tracy had made. What fun to be at the Port Eliot Festival, I’m a wee bit jealous. My quilts are quite small usually, though I have tackled a few large ones. Good luck with your hexagon stars, I hope you go on loving them.
PS I’m all the way down in the Tamar Valley, almost into Cornwall and very near to Cowslip Workshops if you know of it.
There is a small chance that we will move to Somerset this year so it will be lovely to have a true EPP’er not too far away!
Lesley these turned out lovely. I will be giving this a try as i have lots of strips to use.
And, for a laugh…I remember you were looking for some suitable weight tartan fabric for your Scottish stitcheries. I have found a solution, but you have to maintain an open mind and a sense of humour 😁
Whilst folding the clean laundry the other day, i noticed my husband could use some new underwear. I set aside the worst so i could toss them when i finished folding. And then…..a lightbulb went off!
My husband wears cotton boxer shorts made by Hanes…and they are tartan, in 4 different colours. Now im not sure what mens undergarments are called in Scotland, nor am i suggesting you use used pairs in your textile work, but perhaps a look at a local shop or online. Once our stay at home orders are lifted, Im going to go buy a pack and see how they work. If you have trouble locating them, let me know and I will send a link. Now that i think about it, perhaps other brands would have something similar? Oh, or maybe cotton pajamas! Another thing to look at
Hi Sarita, I’m glad you are going to give strip weaving a try, it’s quick and easy; much easier than sewing lots of patches together lol. Thanks for the tip. Good idea! I did consider tartan handkerchiefs but could only find one in a pack where the other two were plain. I tried tablecloths, too, but they were too expensive. I need to so some more searching.
Lesley – I loved reading about you. I found you after you liked my comment on dear Anthony’s poetry site. Sounds as if we have some creative things in common. I’ll be following to see how your projects go. All best,
Molly in San Diego
Hello Molly, Welcome! It’s lovely to connect with you. I have been on the verge of giving up this blog, wondering who on earth would want to follow a newbie stitcher who doesn’t blog very regularly. But now here you are, renewing my enthusiasm. Thank you. I am hoping to make a few things for friends for Christmas and now I am feeling braver. I am following your blog, too. I don’t know much about jazz but decided maybe I could learn a little about that, too. I’d love to hear about your art.