Happy New Year

Firstly, I would like to wish you all a happy and prosperous new year.

Well, it has been some time since I posted, but I have been busy! My husband and I had such a good time on the canals in the UK last year that we decided to get a boat of our own and so are now the proud owners of The Great Escape, a wide-beam narrow boat, 10 ft wide and 57 ft long, quite a palace in fact! However, compared to my studio in NZ, a micro home! So I have been home and packed everything away for the time being, ready for an extended stay in the UK on the canals which will be an adventure as well as enabling us to spend some time with family in the UK. I arrived back in the UK just before Christmas so we were able to have a family Christmas with our grandson for the first time, he is 4 1/2 years old already!

It is a little cooler here than back in NZ and somewhat damp, but the adventure continues regardless. I am, in fact, enjoying walking around London and learning where all sorts of places are, although to date, not so many quilting places. However, lots of other interesting things.

We are in the process of setting up my sewing space in the hope that we can video some more tutorials and I can design some more quilts, probably the hardest part of all this has been “no sewing time or space”! So it has now become urgent! I have now a sewing machine in place, set nicely in its little table and just need to get a higher table sorted to cut at and stand behind for the tutorials. Storage space is at a premium on board and my delicious husband is going to have to learn to live in the studio! So far he seems willing!

Apart from space, the other major thing I have to learn about is electricity. Because we are on a continuous cruising licence with the boat, we need to move every week or two and so have to be completely self sufficient, this means providing our own electricity through the batteries on the boat. We have a coupe of solar panels (that are definitely more helpful in the summer!) but mostly we can generate power through running the boat motor, even when stationary. This is great, but an iron, for instance, uses masses amounts of power, and I am used to having mine sitting there, hot, waiting for me to use it! Not so on the boat! I have a small travel iron which uses less power, but of course, has less performance too!

However, it is all looking possible with a little consideration! It will indeed be an adventure and i will let you know how we are getting on. Now that I have the sewing machine set up, I just have to source some fabrics, not an easy task in London, but I always like a challenge!

Here are a couple of photos of the boat!

paddington 25 dec 2013

Christmas morning in Paddington, on the canal just near Paddington Station. It was such a beautiful day!

hand sewing Jan 1 2014On New Years Day, reduced to doing some hand stitching! Paper piecing in fact in a deliciously warm Kings Place just near Kings Cross, London.

canalboatand yet another beautiful winter morning in London. We are the boat just near the bridge and are just east of the Islington tunnel. Who knew that Islington sits on a tunnel? just an easy walk to the shops and coffee! 


About GourmetQuilter

My name is SusanClaire Mayfield and I live in a delightful old home in the country in New Zealand. I have been quilting for many years and have been designing quilting patterns for a long time now! I love to design and write patterns for quilts and bags and other quilt related items and now have quite a large range.
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30 Responses to Happy New Year

  1. It looks like an exciting trip, I’ve never been there so thanks for making me travel with your pictures. Loved the last one, it looks like a painting. Loking forward to your creations with the sewing machine 🙂

  2. Debbie Mazerolle says:

    What an adventure. Wish I was this brave. On a purely selfish note, I miss your regular videos. Looks like you have quilting challenges on board, however, how much “stuff” do we really need. I look forward to your updates.

  3. What an adventure~~!!~~ So smart to try it out for a time before buying the boat! I imagine it is quite different than being in a Motor Home travelling the countryside. Your vantage point looks to be below so many places that the average person sees; but I imagine it is quite wonderful. I’ve seen articles and videos where people have turned the most interesting spaces into quilt studios. My downfall would be always having to “clean up” when I stop to go cook supper etc. How fun for you to spend a Christmas with your grandchild. I got to do that only once and it was great fun. You have some challenges but I am sure you will make it all work. So happy to see another delicious post !

    • Hi, the canals are not all low, just this little exclusive pocket! I would find it easier to set up studio space if it weren’t a shared home! It is a little different to a motor home, more space for a start, and a more clearly defined travel path! but in many ways quite similar. The boat is quite stable, they are flat bottomed and we are quite cosy!

  4. hello and happy new year to you and yours. i have always wanted to live on a boat so i envy you. yes, its tough and very confining but look at the views you get to see. glorious! hope you enjoy every minute of your adventure.

  5. What a wonderful adventure you are on, and I’m sure it will exceed all of your expectations. We’re campers and also made a cross country move so I can appreciate only taking necessities and learning to live in a small, organized space. Looking forward to hearing and seeing more of your time in the UK.

  6. MaryAnn says:

    So nice to see you’re posting again. I’ve wondered what’s been happening. I hope to see more tutorials & especially more about your new adventure.

  7. Holly Stander says:

    So nice to see you on line again. You have been missed. Look forward to see your tutorials again. Your teaching is very clear. Thank you.

  8. Mary Ann says:

    I am loving reading about your adventure! How fun for you and your husband.

  9. Diana says:

    Wow! Have fun and I hope to see more tutorials in the future. Also, many pictures of your travels and the inside of the canal boat!

  10. Marquita Patteson in the USA says:

    WOW!!! What an adventure you are on!!!! Hope you enjoy every day of it. Congratulations on your new boat!!! I watch every tutorial you make and am certainly looking forward to many more from you. You are a good teacher and explain everything so well. I’m looking forward to more tutorials and pictures of your adventure. I make Quilts of Valor as well as quilts for family.

  11. Linda says:

    I sent a message recently asking about recommendations on irons and tools. Today, when I came home from work my new sewing machine had arrived on the front porch. I know that most people wouldn’t really jump for joy but I am so excited to get started that I just had to tell someone! I can’t wait to get started! Your videos have neen a huge inspiration to me. Thank you so very much for taking the time to share your incredible talent.

  12. What an interesting “tree change” as we say in Australia, except your move is really a “river ” change. We have just returned from a holiday testing a camper trailer, with the idea of buying. Although I do not see this being a permanent home, I am will have to set myself up with a few hand stitching projects as there is definitely no space for a machine.

    • Hi, hope your camper trailer goes well for you. This is not a permanent change either, but possibly for an extended time. and there is more room on the boat than in a camper, but still not the usual studio space!!

  13. Jo Robertson says:

    Wow good for you, what an adventure!

  14. Liz says:

    I hope you are having a wonderful vacation! The boat adventure sounds great! Thank you for keeping us all informed. We miss you and your tutorials! Have fun!

  15. Cait Payne says:

    Have been checking your videos and got quite concerned. Thought you were back home and could not understand that there were no tutorials. So glad I read your blog to discover that you were on an excellent adventure in the UK. Hope you are enjoying being with your family and look forward to your tutorials, when you can get yourself set up. Happy travels and a very happy New Year to you all.

  16. kaholly says:

    I am very excited for you. I love adventures, big and small, and this would be right up my alley. I look forward to hearing more about life on the canal!

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