It’s not running and it’s not baking!

But don’t worry I am still doing both.

It may surprise and amaze you that I actually I have some other interests outside baking and running! All my life I have made things, and lately one of the things that has come out of the cupboard is my sewing machine. This post is about the things that I have been sewing in the last two weeks.

First I made a patchwork rainbow to go in the window. It was a lot of fun looking through my fairly extensive vast stash of fabric. I found a piece of blue gingham today that I honestly believe has been in my collection since I was a teenager! Hoarder? Me?!

All the colours of the rainbow

The rainbow has symbolic significance throughout the world, and in all major religions and mythologies. Here and now it is being used as a symbol of hope. All around the neighbourhood locally, and I’m sure where you live too, there are painted rainbows in windows. I saw one yesterday that had a lovely message on it written by a small child – “to all my friends – I hope you are ok”. I hope they are too.

After making the rainbow I was inspired to add a message for key workers. Although I work in the NHS, and it is lovely that people in the UK are recognising the work of the NHS in a way that is almost unprecedented, we must remember all the other essential workers that keep the country going. People who do not have the option of working from home. I would personally like to thank all shop workers, transport workers, rubbish collectors and everyone else who make an enormous difference to our daily lives.

Sorry about strange beige tint.. the background is actually white!

After getting my beautiful sewing machine warmed up it seemed a shame to put it away. Side note – my sewing machine was inherited from grandmother. It is a Frister and Rossman, probably from a round the late 60’s/ early 70’s. I love that machine. It doesn’t let me down, and although basic it does everything I need. The only very minor problem is that because it’s so old it is in imperial measurements. That means when I am sewing I have to revert to inches (from the usual centimetres) as the presser foot is 1/4” wide for seam allowances. And it also means that when I tried to get a new walking foot for quilting a couple of years ago it didn’t quite fit! (I ‘made’ it fit!)

Anyway. After making things for the window, and finding two dollies that I made a while ago to add some fun, I did some more rooting about in my big craft cupboard. I found a dolly pattern that I had torn out of a Mollie Makes magazine back in 2012!

This is the picture in the magazine

It looked fairly straightforward. So I plunged straight in. Rookie error! Always read the whole thing first people! I assumed that the pattern pieces had a seam allowance built in – but no! Too late, I’d already cut everything out – twice. Uh-oh! In the end it turned out fine, just a little more tricky to turn right side out…

In progress. Don’t look too closely at the messy sewing! Nobody will see that, right?!

The two dollies are just so cute! I am going to make another the correct way soon. Maybe orange hair next?

And then this week I read an interesting article about face masks in the Guardian. This article referenced Dr Trisha Greenhalgh who is someone I have lot of time for. She is the queen of evidence based medicine (in my opinion!). I looked up her original article which you can find here. I have changed my mind several times in the last few weeks about face masks for the general public. Mainly because I have seen people wearing them badly, and therefore offering no protection. Also, there is a huge difference between proper PPE face masks, which have to adhere to stringent standards, and a homemade version that will offer very little protection compared to the medical one. HOWEVER – perhaps little protection is better than no protection in these times? So today I made four face masks from this pattern which is really good. It is shaped for the face, and has a pocket that you can add a filter if you want/ if available. There is great debate about the filters – I’m not getting involved in that.

Next Sunday I am running a half marathon (hopefully!) in a virtual race. The amazing Phoenix Running have organised a virtual run to mark the (not happening) London Marathon. You don’t even have to run a marathon! I am planning 2 loops locally, going past my house half way through. As I haven’t run anywhere near half marathon distance since January it will be interesting, and slow..

I am still fundraising for JDRF, raising money for research to find a cure for Type 1 diabetes. Until April 30th your donation will be doubled if you donate via their site HERE!! So don’t hold back folks, every penny really will count! Thank you! And stay safe!

2 thoughts on “It’s not running and it’s not baking!

  1. Dear Emily,
    You are just SO talented & clever! I love the window banners you’ve made, & the dolls (some of their material looks quite ‘vintage’ too, doesn’t it?) I know what you mean about material, I’m a sucker for lovely material too. I’d like to make a rough sort of quilt, all bright one side & darker shades the other – not patchwork (I don’t have the patience) but bigger bits… Maybe in the summer when I’ve finished my course…
    It’s interesting what you say about masks, I’ve noticed lots more people wearing them in the supermarkets, but most of them don’t seem to fit properly at all. Yours looks much better.
    All the best with your Half Marathon on Sunday – I’ve just been on-line & donated but I didn’t see anything about it being doubled? Anyway, it’s a small donation in support of you & the very good cause.
    I do hope you & the rest of your family/household are all well.
    Lots of love to you & all, Catherine xxxx



    1. Thank you Cathy! We are all well, I hope you are too. A lot of my fabric stash is left over bits from quilts I have made in the past. I often think of your mother and our grandmother – hand stitching all those lovely quilts! xxx


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