Life on the canal in London.

We are getting better organised and learning how to pace ourselves with this new lifestyle here on the canal in London. I have been on the lookout for quilting fabrics whilst walking around all sorts of streets that normally I would’t see if travelling by car or bus etc. I have seen many things, but not a lot of quilting fabric! Although I have found some delicious fabrics! We have walked and walked, been to markets where all different kinds of food are available, it is all so interesting. The different architecture is fascinating with some very old buildings that we simply don’t see in New Zealand.

So, I thought a quick glimpse into the canal life was in order:

A winter morning

A misty winter morning on the canal.

A lock gate operation

Working the locks, not always an easy task, and guess who gets to steer the boat? and who gets to do all the physical stuff??

A lock crossing


Sometimes a bit precarious!

Always plenty of admirers!

A lot of admirers

Inside – the bedroom

A bedroom

Inside – the bathroom

A batthroom

The rewards at the end of the day!

A reward at the end


So you can see that I am doing pretty well with the stitching situation! We have a great little coal/wood burner that keeps us snug and warm!



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.
This entry was posted in Life on the home front and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

58 Responses to Life on the canal in London.

  1. Every time I see your beautiful canal boat I get anxiety attacks…maybe I should have said
    envious attacks. All you need to do is paint Roses and Castles on your boat, I would be happy to come and do it for you. ha ha So glad to see you happy and enjoying yourselves. I’m working on your string quilting squares as we speak. I am multi tasking, watching olympics…Go Canada…quilting and time our for checking email. Have a great weekend.
    Chris Ackford

  2. Sandra Kerrod says:

    Hi, I live in Leicester and we have a very good Quiltting supply shop. It’s called Fabric Guild and is open Thursday and Friday and Sunday. If your interested they are on the Internet give them a call.
    If fancy a day in Leicester we have some lovely museums and the remains of King Richard were found here under a cap park!
    Take care
    Sandra Kerrod

  3. Anna says:

    What a great adventure. The boat looks awesome. All the best in your travels and Thank You for the wonderful video clips.

  4. leeanne says:

    WOW!! This looks amazing! Glad you have your sewing too!

  5. MaryAnn says:

    I’ve missed your posting. Seems(pun) like a wonderful life.

  6. Deborah Mazerolle says:

    It’s an adventure for sure and it looks as though you are the ship’s Captain! Everyone should be so brave and just go for it. Looking forward to your videos whenever you can.

  7. Good to see you posting. The locks look challenging. Do be careful!
    In the USA I have an APP I use to locate quilt shops called Quilt Shop Navigator. Wonder if there is anything similar in Britain?? Glad you’re able to find space for a machine.

  8. Diana says:

    You look like your “at home” while sewing! Enjoy your time on the canal”

  9. tanya says:

    oh boy I am so jealous…I think it looks perfect…like something out of an Enid Blyton book – everything has a place and it looks very cosy. I hope you get time to post some videos and tutorials too now that you have made yourself at home. haha Love the quilt on your bed too!!!
    Is it cold? Are there many other people doing the same? All the best – I find your videos very informative and calming. Thank you
    Tanya Hughes Perth Western Australia xx

    • Hi Tanya, thanks for watching the videos and reading about my life! There can be different levels of perfect!!! We are really enjoying it and am definitely gearing up for some more videos soon. It hasn’t been too cold, we have a cosy heater on board and so far the winter has been mild, although a lot of wet weather.

  10. kaholly says:

    Reminds me of sewing in my camper!! Always a tight squeeze, but such a pleasure!

  11. Mary Ann says:

    I really enjoy reading your blog and hearing about all your adventures. Love the quilt on your bed. I am from North Dakota……….USA…………

  12. rosemarie says:

    i am envious of your current lifestyle. as you said, if you had a car, you’d never be able to see the same things that you do riding down the river. hope you have a pleasant journey. please keep us updated.

  13. Peggy says:

    When we were in England a few years ago we found a quilt shop in Surrey called Tikki Patchwork it is on Sandycombe Rd, open Tuesday to Saturday. Good Luck

  14. This is such an interesting journey to live on a canal boat and traverse new countrysides and towns. I love that you are still able to sew. Safe Travels and Creative Bliss Dear…

  15. Sue Price says:

    You seem to have all you need! Enjoy.

  16. Francine says:

    This seems like such an awesome adventure! I also commend you for not strangling your hubby yet with living in close quarters for an extended period :). Love that quilt on the bed by the way!

  17. Jackie says:

    I’m so enjoying your blog. I love your “just go for it” attitude. We all need more of that. Happy Stitching and Quilting.

  18. Mary Priest says:

    Lovely to hear you are enjoying your holiday. I et the fabrics you found were so different to back here in nz. Take care and have fun.

  19. Joan Davis says:

    So I finally get the chance to visit Australia and New Zealand, and you’re in the UK!! I had plans to stop into your delicious quilt shop on our visit, but I guess that will not happen now. So sad. I shall of course continue to enjoy your Youtube videos. Have a great holiday!

  20. Viola Queen says:

    Hi Susan:
    You and your hubby look like you’re having a wonderful time and that’s great to see. It’s amazing the quilting we can do even is a small space, if we’re motivated. Enjoy.

  21. Laura from southern CA says:

    My hubby and I had a wonderful 2 weeks in New Zealand in 2012. Staying home now for awhile but I will enjoy your adventures on thee canals. I think I have a new vacation goal! Here in the states it is popular to put a quilt block design on your old barn (or new). How about a quilt block on a narrow boat? Keep us posted and enjoy!

    • Hi Laura, I think you would enjoy some time on the canal! I would need a demo of the block on the side of the boat, are you offering??!! A lot of the boats have decoration on them.

    • Laura from southern CA says:

      I fell in love with the silver fern while in NZ. I think you might be asking for trouble with the soccer fans if you put that on your boat! Maybe a regional block from where your hometown is? Or maybe an appliqué block of a delious pie? I am going to leave the demo work to you!

  22. Glenda says:

    Hope you’re not being affected by the floods over there!!
    We are hearing about them here in Oz and I couldn’t help think of you and your big adventure. Maybe you are in the safest place. I hope so.
    Love your blog.

  23. Rae Haller says:

    I have soooo missed you! I’m addicted to your videos, so going through withdrawal is very hard. Having to watch older ones over and over. Just wanted you to know I made all the females in my family and extended family your adorable “snappy bags”. They turned out wonderfully. I made large fashion handbags for each person, then made your snappy bags to match. I also made larger ones for sunglass holders too. They were a big hit. So thank you so much for your tutorial video. You are awesome. I’m very happy for you to be on this extended adventure, and especially to be nearer to family. But I oh so miss you. I’m so glad to find out you are doing well though. And according to your posts, hopefully we will be seeing some videos soon. Does your sewing machine use a lot of electricity? I’m sure it is quit different to not have your hot iron ready and at your fingertips. Continue to have a fabulous time on board your new vessel. So exciting! God speed.
    Rae (

    • Viola Queen says:

      Hi Susan: Wasn’t sure my first message went to the correct site, so if this is a repeat please excuse. I hope you and your husband and staying dry given all the rain England has had, and I hope you’re having a wonderful time. Looking forward to your next quilting video, I miss them so much. I’ve made several Wonky, Wonky Triangle wall hangings, and if I do say so myself they’re quite lovely. Stay dry and take care. Viola Pleasant-Queen P.S. I’m here on the east coast of Canada and we’re having another winter storm!

      • Hi, yes, your other message came through, thanks. Hope you are surviving the winter storms, it has been quite mild, though wet, here. and when I think about the fact that New Zeland is in summer right now….!

    • Hi Rae, I am so thrilled to hear that your family are receiving such delicious gifts! The sewing machine doesn’t use a huge amount of power, but the iron is a different story! Have just about sorted out a way to do things!

  24. Susan says:

    I just learned from Doris in the UK (from the Hampshire quilters group) that you are on the boat and in the UK. She mentioned going to your GQ “picnic” last week. I had told her that it is YOU, dear Susan, who, through your marvelous videos and patient style, enabled me to take the plunge and make my first little quilts about 6 months ago. I found myself actually able to do it, thanks to you. I found Doris by way of the internet, too — some of us here in Tel Aviv, Israel, are making small (20″x27″) quilts for premature babies in our local hospital. When I googled preemie quilts, the Hampshire group came up. I wrote to them and they put me in touch with Doris who has been an enormous help, too. This feels like a full circle and one full of coincidences. I really want to thank you for making this wonderful activity accessible to this beginner — I had no idea about any of it, from the jargon (sashing, etc.), to the equipment necessary (cutting board and rotary cutter, etc.) even to get started until I watched your videos. Thank you again! (Susan in Tel Aviv)

  25. I truly enjoy your videos and am working on a quilt from your picket star tutorial now. I made your mug rugs too and even made them from 10″ squares with an insulated batting to use for hot pads. They were a big hit as Christmas gifts. Enjoy your travels and be safe. Thank you for sharing with the rest of us. I live in Michigan,, USA, and many friends read your blog too.

  26. stitchinstein says:

    This is fantastic! So proud of you for going out and making such an adventure! Spring is coming and I will be pulling out our camper we bought last Fall…I hope to set up some kind of sewing in it! Can’t wait to read about all of your travels! Cheers!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s