Recently, I have been slightly obsessed with following the finds of mudlarks on Instagram. In case you have never heard of the term it is a nineteenth century word given to people who look for items on a river bank. It used to be a job, and not a pleasant one I would imagine, but now history enthusiasts and collectors go treasure seeking. The mudlarks I follow search for items around the River Thames and recently one posted a photograph of some Tudor pins. They looked beautiful. Utilitarian, damaged and aged, I cannot help wondering whose workshops they came from, what they would have helped make and how they ended up in the river. I searched for more images and found lots of examples of pins found along the banks of the Thames from medieval times onwards. I am slightly squeamish, but tempted to book onto a tour, imagining it to be like beachcombing but messier! If you are intrigued to read more about pins then turn to page 48, where fellow historical sewing fan Amanda Ogden shares some of her finds, and has also designed two handy pin cushions for you to make – perfect if you are spring-cleaning your sewing supplies this month.

Talking of spring, we have lots of fresh quilting projects for you, including bed quilts, wall hangings, a cushion and even a bath mat. There is plenty to inspire you to try new ideas, including flowers made using fabric manipulation and working with thermofax printing to make a quilting template. I am also pleased to share two projects that feature hand sewing – an English paper-pieced cushion and a big stitch quilted throw.

As well as being my welcome letter, this month is also a chance to say goodbye as I am leaving to work on some other projects within the quilting world. Your new editor, Emma Kennedy, has lots of experience working on craft magazines and I am pleased to be leaving it in such capable hands. I have loved working with all the wonderful contributors, and meeting and chatting with so many of you readers. Thank you for making it sew enjoyable!

Our regular features and articles this month include: 

  • Create Cross My Heart, twenty easy blocks are simply set with sashing in this pretty quilt made from Andover's Floral Splendor fabric range
  • Take Me Home - This month the team pick their favourite sewing related items on a text theme 
  • Chitra Balasubramaniam discovers how a group of women in India have taken their hand sewing skills into the international marketplace
  • Flash quilt by Melinda Duncan uses simple strip piecing to create a striking chevron design
  • Snuggle up on the sofa and delve into some relaxing English paperpiecing with Louisa Goult’s bright
    and cheerful cushion featuring the traditional Grandmother’s Fan block
  • News and Reviews - The latest quilting news
  • Meet the.. This month we meet Suzi Argent, owner of Ashmead Designs
  • Get Creative - Find out how Gillian Cooper uses thermofax printing to create quilting templates
  • Jennifer Campbell Kirk’s quilt uses a traditional block to make a bold statement with her Supersized Rail Fence
  • This month Elizabeth Betts heads to the Sussex town of Lewes

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