December 2020 Newsletter

See that white speck? It’s the light at the end of the tunnel. At least, that’s how it feels after the encouraging news recently about vaccines. We’ve just got to get through this ‘Winter of our Discontent’. Arm yourself with hot water bottles, chunky knitwear and box sets and sewing projects…

I’m afraid this newsletter is mostly about what I’ve been doing or thinking about – it’s so hard to find new stories during Lockdown!

I’ve been keeping myself busy with attending lots of online classes, etc. As I said last month, I did a Felted Robins Zoom class, although unfortunately my internet was down so I had a wait for them to send me a recording. Here’s my first effort. Head shape all wrong, but I’m improving! Apologies to anyone who tried to follow my link last month. Spellcheck deleted the second ‘s’ from the address. It should read They sell lots of fabulous kits and have plenty of You Tube tutorials. Needlefelting is very relaxing, although painful if you get distracted and stab yourself with the barbed needle!

Christmas is looming and I’ve been present making. Here’s a friend, Fay Harrison, modelling one of my Winter masks. I’m also running up a bed quilt for Christmas. I might as well post it here, as we won’t be having visitors this festive season! It is now almost sewn together and I hope to get it on the longarm quilter in time for the run up to the 25th

Advent starts now, and this year I have an Advent Calendar from Bonne Maman – tiny jars of jam behind each window! Lots of toast at breakfast I expect!

First weekend of December I’m going on a Virtual Quilt Retreat – a full weekend in my sewing room, surrounded by snacks and coffee (and maybe wine or gin, or even a festive cocktail). It’s with The Thread House; we shall be making two Christmas inspired cushions and some wall hanging cuties, plus quizzes, raffles, prizes and lots of chatter over the dedicated Facebook link.

I’ve also gotten very excited over the 2021 Stitchtopia holiday brochure. I’ve booked for a week in June, split between Milan and the Italian Lakes, with quilting tours and workshops. I’m tempted to do one in Carcassone in the autumn and intrigued by one to Izbekistan… All Arena Travel/Stitchtopia holidays are accompanied by a textiles expert and there are special interest holidays for knitters, crochet, cross stitchers and quilters. All COVID safe and with a good cancellation or postponement policy. Have a look, get tempted…

I’d love to be travelling down to London for the V&A’s new exhibition, starting 12th December, on ‘Handbags’. It looks to be a real treat. I don’t know how long it runs for, but we aren’t going anywhere this side of 2020, so my experience may have to be virtual. The V&A does stage such wonderful exhibitions though.

If you are hankering for a creative mixed media project, look no further than Laura Kemshall’s Sketchbook Challenge, on

Here’s Laura’s project intro:

On my Instagram page I suggested the idea of working along with me to fill a sketchbook in four weeks. All the feedback said that would be a great idea and you’d love to! Fantastic news! Of course this is open to everyone, not just the UK, so I hope you’ll join me wherever you are in the world.

So, here’s what’s on offer:

  • Take 1 sketchbook and join me for 8 video workshops over 4 weeks. You can work along with me or start whenever you like and work at your own pace.
  • It’s £12 for all 8 classes and once you’re signed up, you’ll keep access to them forever.
  • We’ll cover choosing a sketchbook, losing the blank white page, collage, playing with paint, composition ideas, drawing (don’t be nervous, I’ll be helping you!), print, working with text and lots more.

So excited for you to join me on this action packed mini course. I know we’re going to end up with some fantastic sketchbooks and have a lot of fun on the way.

If you head over to the website you can see some of the fantastic and varied work people have been doing. Laura is a fantastic and enthusiastic teacher, it’s well worth it if that’s where your interest lies.

Janet Humphries has been busy:-

Can you remember when you were little making a  “den” from a sheet and your Mum’s clothes horse, a place to have a tea party with dolls and teddies? After receiving some plain white sheets from a neighbour, I dyed them and started cutting and stitching to make a small Wendy House for a friend’s granddaughters.

I had help from the cat obviously. As you can see, she likes to be involved.

It was a fun way to spend a few afternoons, using up fabrics, my stash never seems to go down though. Hopefully the girls will enjoy playing with their playhouse next Summer.

Jan x

HOT OFF THE PRESS – Our Members 6” Garden project has culminated in a Virtual Exhibition and Video which is now ready to view on the website.
Grab a cuppa and have a look!
Virtual Exhibition – The Living Threads Group
THANK YOU to all entrants for their fabulous contributions.

If you have any newsletter contributions, puzzles, recommendations, etc, do please send them to me via the Living Threads email address:  or email me directly at We do all love to see what others have been up to, or hear news related to our love of textiles. Otherwise it will be all about my sewing life again!

Meanwhile, don’t forget to check our website at:  or email us at:  or check us out on Facebook. The website has been brightened up with new additions, so do go and have a look.

We wish you all a speedy recovery if you or family have been unwell or had Covid-19, and that the rest of us manage to avoid it.

Everyone please stay safe and keep creating. We will get through this and come out the other side.

Until January 2021!


Gilli Theokritoff, Newsletter Editor