Happy Mothers Day Mum

My mum passed away on Monday March 20th 2017 in the care home where she had lived for the past four years and four months.

She was born on the 26th December 1921 weighing 2lbs, She had four children me being the last. She had pneumonia whilst having me and she remembers two doctors standing by her oxygen tent saying "We can save the baby but not the mother" her thoughts were "I'm not dying I have four children to look after and lots more things I want to achieve".

She continued to have numerous jobs and loved working, she was head cook at a primary school and a bra making factory, bought two shops and worked seven days a week from 6am to 6pm until she sold them and bought her first home at the age of 57. When she didn't work she did all the fund raising for her doctors surgery and organised parties for old people older than herself!

My mum loved sewing and made all her own clothes such as tailored suits, she told me that her mum used to make quilts, something I didn't know.

My mum was fiercely independent, rubbish at buying presents, and in later years said exactly what she thought, the last two made for entertaining times.

Not long after my dad died she sold her bungalow and moved into a private apartment where she felt safe. At age 90 she had a stroke that wiped everything from her mind (mostly). As a result she was unable to look after herself, so we moved her to a care home where they looked after her well.

Those last four plus years was not the mum I knew, she had lost her spirit and was content to sit with people her own age and smiled and mainly said the word 'lovely', a blessing for those that looked after her but for me, not so good. She did briefly come back as the old mum on the odd occasion and I'm sure would have caused havoc if it had lasted, she would have escaped out of the building somehow and been off looking for the nearest travel agent!

So It's my turn to make a quilt for me and my sister, it will be a challenge for all sorts of reasons and I'm not sure where pink, mauve, blue and lavender will fit into my home! 

I will now have more understanding of all my clients that send me their clothes and will look at the quilt and remember all sorts of times good and bad.

Happy Mothers Day Mum, I hope you are on your first holiday in your new life somewhere by the sea with lots of flowers, a cup of tea and a pink wafer biscuit.

Mavis

Mavis was one of my best friends mum, she spent her last months in the care home that my mum is in, so I saw quite a bit of her in her last few months.

I've had Mavis's clothes for a while now as her daughter was in no rush for a cushion to be made, and as with all friends/relatives they sometimes get put in a never ending queue!

However I think the cushion was worth the wait.

Mavis's cushion made from two skirts, a suit, a pair of trousers and a scarf.

Mavis's cushion made from two skirts, a suit, a pair of trousers and a scarf.

 I must have got it right as the one cushion is now turning into four, along with a quilt. The quilt has yet to be decided on but I will post it when its finished.

I think Mavis would have approved.

For all the Mums

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This weekend brings us Mother's Day and a chance to show all hard working Mums how much they are appreciated.

This can be done with beautiful flowers.

By baking a beautiful cake to share.

 

Making a lovely coffee, or tea.

 

But the best thing of all we can give our Mum's is time. It costs nothing but it can mean the world.

Have a lovely weekend everyone.

Karen and Julie

karenbarclay.com

Blanket Quilt x 2

Hello everyone!

Karen has been so busy sewing lately and she has now finished this beautiful blanket quilt which is similar in style to the one I showed you last week with the pink blanket backing. However this one has a navy stripe edging which makes the colours pop even more. It can be found in our shop now http://www.karenbarclay.com/shop/wool-blanket-quilt-with-navy-edging

These blanket quilts are a new style for Karen and they give an extra dimension to the feel of the quilt as the blanket lends an extra degree of softness and a heavier weight.

We will have more new quilts appearing in our shop over the next few weeks so please keep checking back and please don't forget to take advantage of our 20% offer and reduced postage which is available until Mother's Day.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend.

Karen and Julie

karenbarclay.com

The Comfort of a Blanket, the Beauty of a Quilt

Karen was inspired by a recent trip to design this beautiful modern interpretation of a quilt using quality linens and cottons backed with a beautiful wool blanket and measuring 97 x 115cm.

The natural tones used in the materials will adapt to any room setting and the softness of the blanket backing will give comfort on a chilly evening.

This beautiful quilt is now available in our shop and we are currently running a 20% discount promotion and reduced postage of £2.95 until Mothers Day. Why not take advantage of this great offer to have this wonderful handcrafted quilt in your home and ensure that you have a unique bespoke item to share with your family. It can be found here in our shop http://www.karenbarclay.com/shop/blanket-quilt-2

Have a lovely weekend

Karen and Julie

www.karenbarclay.com

Lighting Up For Valentines

We thought this was an appropriate photograph to share with you this weekend. It is called light painting and its done with torches and technical wizardry with the camera. You also need a very dark place to do it. This is not always possible as there are too many street lights so this was done at lowermargate in Devon.

Hope you have a lovely weekend whatever you are doing or whoever you are sharing it with.

Karen and Julie

karenbarclay.com

 

Our Blogging Style

Hello everyone!

We are lucky to have a lot of new people looking at our website and Facebook posts so we thought that we would introduce all you lovely people to our blog. Obviously we write about quilts and cushions as they are the core of our business but we also love to tell you about nice places we visit and the beautiful walks we take.

American quilt challenge

In October 2015 I was lucky enough to visit New England for three weeks. In New Hampshire I like to visit a store called www.keepsakequilting.com. It is filled with thousands of bolts of material all set out beautifully and interspersed with quilts and other lovely things to inspire you to make something lovely. To be honest it's mind blowing and way too much to take in on one visit! Luckily we don't stay far away so at least three or four visits are made on each trip I take to New England, which is such a chore!!!! 

Nkuku explained

We have searched long and hard for some items to go in our shop alongside our quilts and cushions. Our criteria was a company that wouldn't let us down and liked small business's, the items had to be of good quality, handmade, ethical and eco friendly, and, here is the biggy, something we would love in our own homes (we are a bit on the fussy side!)

All In A Name

Good Morning everyone! You may or may not have noticed that we have changed our name to karenbarclay.com. The reasons for this are that primarily Karen was never particularly convinced about alittlebitofnice feeling that it was too long and tricky to type into a search engine.

Dreaming of a White Christmas - well white and terracotta!!

As I sit writing this I am trying to ignore the banging and crashing coming from my decimated kitchen which is in the process of a re-fit. I know it will be lovely when it is finished but living in one room downstairs which is covered in plaster dust with a mad labradoodle, also covered in plaster dust, is a touch trying at times.

Exciting New Homeware and Gifts

We are so excited to have become stockists for the beautiful products from Nkuku. They are a wonderful ethical company and here is their story. 

The idea of Nkuku came from a year out from working life, travelling mainly through Africa and India. We wanted to find away to promote and develop the traditional skills of the artisans we met along the way

10 more of the best from Beacon Hill Boston

As promised here is ten more of the best from Beacon Hill Boston.

I think Halloween may be a little crazy in Boston. As we left the city to come home they were queuing out of the party store and down the block, with security guarding the doors!

We have experienced Halloween in Vermont before, which was good fun, quite spectacular, and was all wrapped up by 8pm with the state police joining in the festivities as well.