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  • Nicola

An extract from my July Newsletter...

We have just returned home from a holiday in our beloved Cornwall: I've relaxed, read a good book (Tracy Chevalier's A Single Thread), taken deep breaths of sea air, revisited favourite places and explored new ones. A couple of days into that holiday I also withdrew a quilt pattern from sale.

Back in May I released Tulips to Amsterdam and you welcomed it so enthusiastically. It's been one of my most popular releases and many of you participated in a sewalong this summer to make it together. It has been an utter joy seeing all of those different versions popping up in my Instagram feed.

But it soon became apparent that the pattern had problems. And not just the odd typo. There were cutting errors, missing sentences and inaccurate dimensions. As I tried to keep on top of the pattern corrections I came to slightly dread opening my emails, even though those emails were generous, tactful and kind. To those of you who took the time to write, I send my heartfelt thanks.

There is a good deal of responsibility in writing a quilt pattern. Based on that pattern, you will purchase fabric and invest a lot of time in creating the quilt. Errors steal the joy from a pastime we all dearly love. Not to mention your trust in me as a designer.

Having emailed the shops who kindly purchased patterns and regretfully told them to recycle them, I will be writing to every single one of you who purchased a PDF or Paper Pattern to refund the cost. Forgive me if it takes a little time to do this, there are lots of you. You have all been unwitting pattern testers, which is not something you signed up for at all. I will be releasing a revised 'second edition' of the pattern in due course and you will all get a complimentary copy, given that you've helped to write it.

I am a 'glass half full' sort of person: this website, the newsletter, my Instagram feed have always been my 'happy' places, but I will admit I have found the last six weeks hard going. I feel enormously grateful to be able to spend my days creating and still feel giddy every time an opportunity comes my way, but I have let self-imposed pressures get the better of me. I still have wonderful things to share with you, but not at such breakneck speed. I have climbed off the wildly spinning hamster wheel that nobody asked me to climb on to.

While we were in Cornwall we visited St. Michael's Mount, an impossibly romantic castle perched on a tiny, tidal islet in Mount Bay. There is a lovely portrait on the stair of Susan, Lady St. Levan working on her English Paper Piecing, so I felt quite at home. There is also an equally lovely garden of tiny terraces where I lingered to take photographs, including the one above.

Having successfully negotiated steep, cobbled paths and granite steps, I slipped on a patch of grass just as I was leaving the garden and fell, inelegantly, on my bottom. As the party behind me rushed over to see if I was OK, I was able to jump up and reassure them: "Nothing damaged, just my pride".

Nicola xx


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