The Patchsmith has asked me to house sit for her whilst she pops out so I thought I would invite you all in, to have a tour around Patchsmith Palace. But we must be quick - she will be back in a moment and wouldn't like to find a crowd oggling her things. If you're very careful and promise not to spill it, you can bring your cup-of-tea along. So let us begin.
The first member of the palace staff to greet you when you open the door is Henrietta. She is the palace's guard-chicken (yes, I know most people have guard dogs but the Patchsmith is not most people!!) Henrietta's name comes from the fact that next door's dog, Henry, tried to eat her - hence 'Henry eat 'er' - the Patchsmith is also a wordsmith it would seem! Henrietta is also very good at holding the door open as the Patchsmith unloads even more fabric. Does the Patchsmith need anymore fabric you might be asking but fabric is a very essential part of the Patchsmith's life - more essential than food (though looking at the size of her bottom you wouldn't think so!!!).
Let us continue. On the hall wall you would normally see the Patchsmith's signature quilt, the Bee Hive. However, autumn is now upon us so the Bee Hive has been packed away and the Autumn Pumpkin wall quilt is in its place. This is the latest addition to the Patchsmith's pattern shop and is retailing for the same amount as all her patterns - only $1.99 (£1.30 for those of you in England). With its autumnal colours this little quilt banner gives the entrance hall a warm, cosy glow wouldn't you agree? As we open the lounge door you may notice the patchwork heart swinging from the handle.
A small touch but you will find these throughout the palace adding colour and decoration to an otherwise boring piece of hardware. Some are filled with lavender which turns these little lovelies into room fresheners - much needed due to the smell of blood, sweat and tears than comes with a designer's life.
In the lounge the first thing you will notice is that the summer table runner has not yet been replaced with the autumn one, which is very lucky for this tour otherwise we would've missed the rustic charm of the 'blackbirds on the green' accessory. But it does seem a little out of place now with the pumpkin mug rug poised on the corner of the coffee table.
We have obviously caught the Patchsmith in the middle of her seasonal accent update. So we better hurry along just in case she comes back and catches us
nosing visitng around her home.
On the wall in the lounge is a striking triptych which hangs here all year long. Featuring the red gingham trademark which is associated with many of the Patchsmith's patterns, this simple applique has been applied to three artist canvases. What a clever idea and one that the Patchsmith has offered to share with us another time. The colours of the triptych tie in with the patchwork seat cushions.
Made up from 4" squares of co-ordinated fabric, filled with batting and attached to the whicker chairs by means of patchwork ties on all four corners, this bum-comforter echos the patchwork panel added to a plain shop-purchased blind.
All these little items keep the palace looking co-ordinated but are not so overpowering that different items can't be added each season - the Patchsmith is very keen on bringing the seasons into her home - like the autumnal lap quilt hangin on the edge of the sofa.
Oooh, I think I heard a key in the door - we had better be quick and run upstairs before we are caught snooping.
Here we are in the hub of the palace - the workroom. So much colour and fabric, so many threads all over the carpet! What is this on the worktable?
The Patchsmith is obviously working on something Christmassy - no photographs please - she is very strict on such things.
Notice on the little glass corner shelves the hand-made items. On the left is a tea-cup pouch from a Patchwork Pottery pattern if I am not mistaken. And I am guessing the retail therapy money box contains more funds for yet more fabric!
And on the shelf above the workdesk .......
Oh no! I can hear footsteps on the stairs - we had better let ourselves out of the palace via the back door.
Please move quickly and quietly, past the two applique canvases on the landing wall and down the stairs.
If you bump into a grouchy, old lady, covered in threads, just tell her you are delivering buttons.
MADAM!!! Please put that mug rug down!
That is the Patchsmith's most favourite one and must remain on the workroom table - Amy made that and the Patchsmith is very superstitous about it.
Goodness me - visitors today.
OH AND DON'T FORGET TO DROP A FEW COINS IN THE HAT I LEFT BY THE BACK GATE - AS A THANK YOU FOR YOUR GUIDE.