The Secret

For around a month Mr Myasthenia Kid aka Jay and I have had to keep an enormous secret, I won’t lie it’s been incredibly difficult. Some of the first people I wanted to tell were you my blog followers.  We had been sworn to secrecy and we didn’t want to jeopardise it, so as best we could we kept the news to a smallish group of people. However now the secret is out and I can share it with you.


In the UK there is a channel called the Sewing Quarter, you can check them out on YouTube as the 4 hour show is downloaded daily. Jay and I have been watching it since it started being broadcast by Sky Television in January this year. The channel sells fabric, sewing machines, quilting accessories anything really to do with sewing by machine or hand. It also however has excellent hints and tips for people of all abilities and I have learnt loads from watching the show, much more than I could have done by reading books as you have things demonstrated in front of you. The main reason I think a lot of viewers watch though is due to the main presenters John Scott and Natasha McCarty, both have very different presentation styles but they are equally enjoyable to watch. They also have a guests on that demonstrate the items that the channel is selling that day. It is after all a channel that exists to sell products, it has no outside advertising so to exist it must make money, that is the way of the world.


Back in January Jay and I were decorating the lounge and whilst we were doing that we had the sewing channel on as it was their birthday week. They had lots of special offers, competitions and a sew off between Natasha and John – hilarious. Well whilst we were painting Jay must have been listening quite intently to John, as a few weeks later I was sewing in the kitchen and jay piped up “ As Rachel is finishing off her Easter wreath, I will take you through todays bundles”. I had to stop sewing I was laughing so hard. I mentioned it on the Sewing Quarter fan page and people started asking for a video. I posted something along the lines of if John Scott mentions Jay on the show then he will do a video. So this happened – sorry for the poor quality of the sound and shaky camera work, I have recorded it using my phone straight off the TV.



We were mentioned a few more times during this week, much to our delight so on the Sunday Jamie decided he would do his first video.



It went down exceptionally well with the fans of the show, to be honest it went a bit crazy! Later than evening whilst I was in bed Jay came rushing in to tell me the head honcho at the channel Neil Garratt had sent him a message on Facebook and what should he do. You see Jay is not brilliantly tech savvy, he can operate Facebook but he had no idea he would have to accept a message to be able to respond to it etc. I was in shock and looked at his phone to see that indeed Neil had messaged him. I accepted the message and then handed the phone back to Jay to let him read it. It said that they wanted Jay on the show to be alongside John and that we had to keep it quiet as they wanted it to be a surprise for the fans. Jay had to email him and one of the members of staff form the show would be in touch with us.


Within a few days it was all set in motion that Jay and I would travel to Birmingham and visit Sewing Quarter HQ and that Jay would be on air on 12th March. It was all very exciting but oh so difficult to arrange and keep a secret. Especially when Jay had to organise time off work and I had to organise a dog sitter for Mollie and Frankie. Hayley the lovely lady that we were working with offered us a hotel room for the Sunday night but as we had never left the dogs overnight before ( and they are old doggies now) we didn’t feel comfortable doing that. We decided we would travel up that day and do it all in one as we had when we went to the Emma Bridgewater Factory in October last year.


When Jay did the first video and I posted it onto the Sewing Quarter Fans Page on Facebook people had asked for more. Even people who had never seen the Sewing Quarter but were friends with us on Social Media asked for more when I posted the video to my Facebook timeline and Instagram. So to keep Jay relevant and the fans happy, we recorded another video, plus we had been mentioned a few times on the show by John Scott ( which we always got an enormous kick out of).




The second video went down as well as the first, which was a huge relief!


My planning and organising went into military operation mode, my anxiety has been up through the roof since suffering a series of bereavements at the beginning of the year / end of last year. My need to control everything as much as possible was in overdrive. I am sure Jamie must have got sick to death of my ever-growing to do list that seemed to cover every minute aspect of our lives! New shirts for Jamie had to be bought as John is famous for his flamboyant shirts, Jay couldn’t appear in his usual conservative style. Thankfully my best mate from primary school Sharon, offered to look after the dogs as soon as I told her what had happened. She like everyone else that knew what was happening said it was about time that we had something nice happen after all we had been through. Ellie offered us a car to use should something happen to ours, she also said she would be available to assist Sharon should she need any help. So many people offered us so much help and support it really was amazing.


The time between knowing that we were travelling to Birmingham and getting there seemed to at the same time to pass very slowly but also very quickly. It was so exciting but the excitement was stopping me from sleeping. From Monday night onwards this week I have been out for the count before 7.30pm. I am totally exhausted and in a lot of pain but it has been worth it.


Jay made a final video before our trip to Birmingham


When this one went up, so many of our friends and people on the fans site were saying “when will they be on the show together?” and that kind of thing. I just kept saying nothing that would give the game away, although it was getting harder and harder to keep this secret. I will admit on Friday last week I did message a few people and let them know that Jay was going to be on the show. People were beside themselves with excitement and were so happy for us. It was really lovely to know that all these people were delighted for us.


There is so much more I could tell you, I will probably expand more on the experience in next weeks blog post but I am aware this post is already getting quite wordy and its been the most I have written in ages!


So from the Sewing Quarter Monday 12th March 2018 here are Jays appearances:


Jays first segment

 Jay closing the show


We would both like to say a massive thank you to everyone at the Sewing Quarter HQ, especially Hayley Marshallsay, John Scott and Deborah Simms.



Snow is a big deal in the south-west of England, purely because it happens so rarely. I have lived in Exmouth 22 years and have only seen it three times. On those three occasions it was worse than any of the forecasters had predicted. This time there was a red weather warning over Exeter, which Exmouth is very close to (for those of you elsewhere in the UK or overseas). Everyone was pretty blase about the possibility of snow because it is just such a rarity. However I follow a local weather group South West Storm Chasers and I have to say their forecasts are very accurate and when they started saying that “yes Exmouth would get snow” I started to listen.


On the Wednesday of last week we had a few very light snow showers, whilst other places in Devon got quite a bit more snow. However on Wednesday night it was clear from all the forecasts it was going to be Thursday that the weather would be at its worst. Hubby was sceptical, but when we woke up to snow on Thursday morning and it didn’t stop snowing, he started to take notice. Hubby was working a middle shift so I managed to convince him to leave the car at home and just walk in. At that point around 9am there wasn’t a lot of snow but within a few hours the situation was completely different.


I was sat at my sewing machine in the kitchen with the local BBC radio station on listening to the reports on road closures and school closures. Each hour I was sending hubby photographs of the back garden as it was getting covered in more and more snow.




I was quite happy though as I just sat at my sewing machine and finished off the panels of my first quilt as you go quilt. I have just got to now sash the panels together, which I will do over the next few weeks. I am trying to decide if I will add both my quilt as you go quilt panels together or have them as two separate ones.


My second quilt I sewed in one day on the Friday, as once I knew what I was doing I could whizz through it.

When Hubby got home at around 6pm on Thursday evening it was still snowing and when we went to bed at around 8pm it was still going.

Overnight we had freezing rain, which is a very weird one. It falls as normal rain but on contact with any surface it instantly freezes. It leaves the most bizarre patterns on things.



What it also did was leave a thick crust of ice all over the snow that had fallen the day before. When walking on it, it was so loud like you were walking on gravel. The dogs hated it, Mollie couldn’t get back to the house quickly enough when out for a walk and really missed her daily jaunts to Woodbury Common.


During Friday we had more snow, so again I sat in the kitchen at the sewing machine whilst listening to the radio, I couldn’t believe it when I completed the second quilt as you go (qayg) from start to finish in one day. This included cutting 44 , 2 ⅝ inch squares for the six panels. As this quilt was the same as the first one I whizzed through it as I knew exactly what I was doing.


The snow was short-lived on Friday night the rain started and that continues all day Saturday. By 2pm all the snow was gone from our garden and traffic was moving again.


Saturday I spent making my mums mothers day present. I can publish a photo of it here as I gave it to her Monday as I was down in Plymouth for a hospital appointment. I made this one by watching Debbie Shores YouTube video on Laptop bags. I just made the same bag but down sized it. It took 4 fat quarters to make, I used fabric from some John Lewis fat quarters. I absolutely adore this Moroccan style fabric



On Sunday afternoon I decided to make my best mate a ipad bag and myself a clutch purse ( same bags just different purposes). With these I made them from fabrics I had bought in the sale at Christmas. However these both had directional patterns on them so I had to solve the issue of having the patterns facing the right way on the back and then on the flap at the front. I solved this by cutting out the back panel, then cutting it in half, turning one pattern completely around so the print faced in the opposite direction and then sewed the two pieces back together again. If I hadn’t done that the zebras and foxes would have been upside down on the flap. I was so proud of myself for working out how to solve this problem.



Mine is the red with the zebras and my friends is the one with the foxes.


Next week I will have lots of exciting news for you nut at the moment I am having to keep an enormous secret. Its killing me keeping it from you all but you will love it when you hear it. And to put you all out of your misery I am NOT pregnant!

Up and Down

This week has been a bit up and down health wise and emotionally. For a few days out of the last week my back has been exceptionally painful, with no position be it standing, sitting or lying providing any comfort. Insomnia was back with avengence resulting in me ordering a new fridge freezer at 5am on Friday morning having been awake since 3am. Saturday I was struggling to breathe a problem I haven’t had properly in years. Eventually after the second dose of mestinon it eased but for a while there I was fully expecting a trip to hospital.


I have been waiting for my health to take a nosedive, you can’t be through the sheer amount of losses Jay (Mr Myasthenia Kid) and I have through December and January and walk away unscathed. Jay had to see his consultant dermatologist this week as he suffers with Psoriasis. In his follow up letter it stated  his Psoriasis was flaring up due to “ major life events” it was only then when I saw that it black and white that I even began to acknowledge that what we have just been through isn’t normal and isn’t just one of those things. I excused myself for having a bad day last Thursday and spending most of it in tears. I accidentally called Frankie, Willow. His face lit up like Willow was going to walk through the door at any minute and my heart broke all over again. I hated the fact I had lifted his hopes up, when she will never be coming home.


So due to all the emotional fallout of the last week and not being particularly well things have been quite slow on the sewing front. I have had a couple of days where I haven’t sewn at all. I won’t lie I am struggling a bit under the weight of it all. However there are some exciting things happening in the future which I have to keep under wraps at the moment. As soon as I can share I will.


Makes this last week:

Phone stand and Glasses case.


Thread catcher


Thread catchers and fabric storage canisters.

This was my first attempt at using my creative grids pineapple trim tool. For those of you who don’t know about quilting each style of quilt has a different name. This is a pineapple block, it needs a lot of work!

My week in sewing

I am sorry that it seems like it has been months since I have written a proper blog post. At the moment I just have lost my ability to put pen to paper, there is nothing currently firing me up, making me want to speak passionately about it. Other than sewing, nothing (other than hubby and my dogs, friends) brings me a great deal of joy. It’s understandable you don’t experience that amount of bereavements in such a short amount of time and escape unscathed. So I am trying not to be too hard on myself and just produce what I can, so that you my loyal readers, some of you who have been around for the last ten years don’t lose faith.


At the moment I have been sewing like a woman possessed. It is the only thing that I can lose myself in 100% is sewing. I usually start with the radio on but at some point just zone out and no longer hear it.  I live for sewing at the moment it is all consuming. Even my Emma Bridgewater collecting has started to take a back seat as I am so focused on sewing.


I have made quite a few bits over the last week, unfortunately some of them are gifts for people who may read my blog so I can’t post the photos. I will post what I can though!


Last week I forgot to post this photo of my spring wreath that I made.


I also started my first ever quilt. I am using a kit which is called quilt as you go. So each block is built up individually. Once all the blocks have been made you sash them together and then bind the edges.






Hot water bottle cover, which is a gift for someone I know doesn’t read my blog or do much online!


Quilted mat for sewing machine to sit on

It’s been quite a busy week sewing wise. Today I am having a non sewing day as my hands have swollen up making it quite painful to bend my fingers. A day of rest will hopefully sort it all out.


My writing mojo is currently MIA, on friday I found out that a lad I went to school with and kept in contact with on social media passed away aged just 44. Leaving behind his wife and daughter whom he adored.


This just broke me, Friday into Saturday I barely slept. I spoke to a good friend overnight via social media and was sobbing for most of the night. I also had irrationally decided that my sewing machine was a piece of crap and that I would have to buy a new one, sending the old one back. It’s funny how grief, insomnia and emotional exhaustion will leave you exhausted and utterly irrational.


There is nothing wrong with my sewing machine, I have had some issues with it as I had been using the wrong size bobbins. On Friday my new bobbins arrived and the machine was running better. I told myself on Saturday morning if it didn’t run ok when I gave it a quick go, then I would be contacting the company that sold it to me and asking for a refund. Of course ever since the new bobbins have been here its been running beautifully.


However at around 7.30am I had a complete meltdown. Jay got really worried that I was heading for a bout of depression. Thankfully despite everything that life has thrown at me since losing Willow in December, I was just expressing my grief. My friend passing away, who I had known since I was 11 and was a month older than me, was just a massive shock. I had a bloody good cry and then pulled myself together as at 8.30am a decorator was coming to paint our stairwell. I didn’t think he’d want me blubbing every five minutes.


As the lounge was going to be stinking of paint I decided to take the plunge and make myself my first piece of clothing from some jersey material I had bought in the Christmas sales. I had to make the pattern by working out how my favourite top was constructed. It took me all of Saturday to make the pattern, cut the fabric and then sew the body and two arms. On Sunday I hemmed the body and inserted the arms. Finally I did the neck, I am so pleased with it, purely because I made it. Yes there are mistakes in it and it will probably never be worn outside the house but I made it. It is my design loosely based on another top.




Today I have made a little travel sewing kit tidy. It’s been a nightmare and harder than making the top as the instructions were diabolical. Its taken me most of the day, leaving me with my back in spasm but I got to use four  different feet on my sewing machine.


The day this blog post is published I will be attending the funeral of my friend Pam. I think half the reason I have kept myself so busy this week is because I am dreading this day. Saying goodbye to her will break my heart. Sleep tight Pam x

Quick post

Sorry this will just be a quick post this week. I have been waiting for inspiration to strike but it must’ve taken a holiday and forgotten to tell me. I have no clue what to write about, so I will just give you a quick rundown of what has been going on here at The Myasthenia Kid HQ over the last week or so.


Mr Myasthenia kid was on holiday last week so we cracked on with doing the decorating. The lounge has needed re-done for a while and we have been putting it off and putting it off. The paint has been sat in my bedroom for about two months but we just didn’t have the energy or motivation to do it. The last week was Jay’s last week of holiday until April. Our new sofas arrive next month and I really didn’t want to be decorating around two new sofas. I will be honest it nearly killed the pair of us. It was divided over 4 days as not only did we paint the lounge but we also did the little hallway upstairs. I only do the small bits I can manage but my back, hands and wrists have been playing up ever since.


I also upgraded my sewing machine last week, I had a cheap Lidl one which was great when I first started but it was starting to limit what I was able to do. Button holes were a nightmare a 5 step process, this machine is just choose which one of the nine buttonhole designs you want and off you go. I will admit it is taking some getting used to but I love the top loading bobbin and the needle threader so much already. I can set up my machine in no time at all. I have been a little frightened of it if I am honest, so much so Jay practically forced me onto it today, saying “you’ll never feel confident with it if you don’t use it” which is very true. I had been avoiding using it  (as much as I had used the previous machine). Now I hope to sort myself out and get to grips with it .


Here are a few bits that I have made over the last few weeks.


Bag – buttonholes done on my new machine

I also made these Harry the Hares

I have made quite a few hot water bottle covers

Mollie snuggling up with one I made for myself



Just when you begin to think that life couldn’t get any tougher and you finally feel like you can take a breath again, the universe laughs and tosses you another curve ball. I wrote a while back that two people in my life were battling terminal illnesses, both of them had lung cancer. And whilst I knew what the inevitable outcome would be, that at some point I would face the rest of my life without them in it, nothing can actually prepare you for the day it happens.


As regular readers of my blog will know my Grandmother passed away on January 6th this year. Then on Friday 26th January I was awoken with the news I had been waiting for all night. That my dear friend of over 20 years had passed away. In the last 12 months I have been through 5 bereavements, in the past 6 weeks three of them occurred. To say I am at breaking point  is an understatement.


Losing Pam, is like losing a close member of my family. We have in those 20 years been neighbours twice, when I lived at my flat she lived on the floor below. When I was being shown around the house I am currently in, Pam leaned out of the back bedroom window stating house prices would drop should we decide to move in. When we came to view this house we had no idea that Pam lived next door, as our close friendship didn’t really develop until 2007 onwards, although we had always been friends.


To sum Pam up in a few words is impossible, when they made her they smashed up the mould, pulverised its pieces and spread them all over the globe purely because the universe knew there was only room in the world for one Pam. She was hysterically funny, whether she meant to be or not. She had excellent comic timing and I have lost count over the years how many times she made me choke on my tea or got me to snort it out of my nose. She would do anything for anybody nothing was too much trouble. She has helped me and Jay out of many scrapes at the drop of a hat. She was like that with everyone she knew.


I don’t think Pam every truly realised how many people loved her. I know she found it hard to comprehend why all these different people were sending her flowers, gifts and coming to visit her. She told me she felt truly blessed and been particularly touched by a lady who she had been to school with who had tracked her down after numerous years


Pam knew people from all walks of life, if you ever went out with her you could guarantee she would know someone. It always used to make me laugh that when I had tradesmen at the house to fix stuff, I would find them outside chatting to Pam, she either knew them or knew their mums. It was crazy the amount of people she knew. So I have a feeling when we say our final goodbyes the place is going to be filled to the rafters with those who loved you. So many people are hurting right now, none more so than her family. I am so grateful to have known you and to have had you in my life for the last 20 years.