Category Archives: Vintage Fabric

A little round-up of recent weeks

On a chilly day this spring, some lovely ladies from all over the world hired The Green Shed N10 for a day of spirituality, sharing stories, eating and bonding. I was invited to join and it was really wonderful. It will be repeated in December and it will be open to the public this time.

“Dear Nicky. Amazing that a week and a day have passed since our powerful gathering in your great space. It was a bit of magic in many ways and I wanted to thank you for your great contribution and generosity in helping it work and clearing up when we had to rush off to the concert. The wonderful collection of blankets, Maisie, and the tortoises added to its specialness.” Sara Adler

Children’s craft parties in The Green Shed N10

I did a lovely craft party two weeks ago for a little girl’s 7th birthday. We made mini bunting with beads and lavender bags. And, amazingly, every parent allowed me to use their child’s photo, for which I was grateful. It was one of these boiling hot days of drought but the shed is very insulated, partly because it has a ‘green’ roof, so never gets hot. Most of the parents stayed while the party was on and they drank prosecco in the garden.

“I wanted to recommend The Green Shed in Muswell Hill as a brilliant venue for children’s birthday parties. Nicky Grace is a great hostess who does craft activities with children and they made beaded bunting and lavender bags. A massive thank you to you. It was magical. The children had so much fun and I loved what they came home with. It was amazing for the parents to be able to just relax and enjoy your beautiful garden. It was a brilliant party; definitely the least stressful one we’ve done so far. One to repeat. Everyone, parents included, had a lovely time.”

Words and Wine creative writing

Every month, Nichola Charalambou holds her lovely creative writing evenings in The Green Shed. There’s wine, cheese and biscuits, and it’s lots of fun. Nichola particularly doesn’t give any critique, so it’s laid back, informal, non-competitive and non-judgemental. It’s different every time, with different themes. Some people try and make every one but there are always new people too. I am lucky enough to actually attend and though I’m no creative writer, that absolutely doesn’t matter, as it’s a joy to listen to some of those who are. For more details, please contact Nichola on her website, which is

Ukulele and Crafts

Margie Gianni is a wonderful Italian ukulele teacher with bright pink hair. She held her Ukulittle party in The Green Shed a few weeks ago, which involved children and parents playing colourful ukuleles and singing. It was like a scene from The Sound of Music and it was absolutely adorable. She does all sorts of other activities with them too. On Thursday 30th August 2018, we’re collaborating with a special little event called Ukulele and Crafts. It’ll be in The Green Shed N10 and children will learn/play ukulele and also make crafts with me. Please visit for more details.

Ukulele party a few weeks ago in The Green Shed N10

If you’d like more information about hiring The Green Shed or having a children’s party there, please visit or email me at I’m in the centre of Muswell Hill, North London, N10.

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Filed under Patchwork Quilts

Children’s craft classes in my front room,

    • I’ve taken the plunge and decided to do some craft classes for children at my home in Muswell Hill London N10.
    • Classes will be fun, friendly, inclusive, cosy and informal with children making cards, pictures, bunting, and other things with 
    • a huge selection of beautiful vintage fabric, lace and trimmings which I’ve collected over the last 22 years for my work as a  
    • textile artist. 
    • The children will be aged 6 to 11 and will wear stickers with their names on and I’ll play a couple of little ice breaker games 
    • the start which will enable them to get to know each other straight away and eliminate any nerves they might have about 
    • knowing each other. 
    • These won’t be rigid, formal classes. I’m not a teacher. I’m a mother of 3 lovely grown up children in their early twenties and 
    • my house is very easy going and cheerful.
    • The children will sit round the table having fun and laughing with as much or as little help from me as 
    • they want.
    • Classes are £15 for 2 hours on Saturdays at 10.30 am till 12.30 pm.
    • There will be water, fruit and a few biscuits in the kitchen half way through.
    • Parents do not need to stay.
    • Dates for this term are …..
    • April Saturday 29th
    • May 6th
    • May 13th
    • May 20th
    • May 27th
    • Payment of £75 for the term will be in advance via Pay Pal to
    • There will be a maximum of 8 children. 
    • I’ll always have at least one helper.
    • I am CRB/DBS registered and I have Public Liability Insurence. 
    • I’m happy to have sessions at other times too if you want to get 6 to 8 children together.
    • These classes are for boys too, it’s not all pink and girly.
    • I have a very friendly little West Highland Terrier dog who will probably be around.
    • You can email me or phone/text me on 07909 537 403 for more information. 
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      Tea, Cake & Blogging

      I’ve just realised I haven’t done a blog post this year. I’m not a natural blogger as the simplest of technical tasks leave me flummoxed and and reaching for the biscuit tin but I was having a tea and cake in  Chriskitch (our wonderful and amazing local deli/cafe) today with the lovely Lindsay of and she encouraged me to start blogging again.  


      Mouth watering Cake from ChrisKitch


      Filed under Patchwork Quilts

      Lots of lovely vintage fabric lavender hearts

      IMG_4392.JPGI’ve just put lots of my vintage fabric lavender hearts in my shop…..

      IMG_4437.JPGat Half price !!!!

      IMG_4396.JPGthey’re in sets of 2, 3 and 4

      IMG_4410.JPGthey’re a perfect little way to say Thank You to teachers who have worked tirelessly all year….

      IMG_4404.JPGthey’re extremely easy to post to friends and relatives…….

      IMG_4439.JPGand children love them too so are delighted to find them in their Christmas stockings.

      IMG_4433.JPGI’m selling these at below the price I normally sell them to shops. A beautiful handmade little treat 🙂


      Filed under Patchwork Quilts

      Mumsnet Blogfest 2014

      IMG_4259.JPGThis was the third time I’ve been and I think it was the best so far. It’s an amazingling swish and polished event with 450 women (and the odd man). Lots of speakers, workshops and great food.

      IMG_4262.JPGI went with Lindsay Miller from and we had a brilliant day.
      I hold a very special place in my heart for Mumsnet as it was an invaluable source of information, comfort, support and belly laughs a few years ago during a very bad time.

      IMG_4263.JPGThe highlight for me this year, apart from the food which amazing as always, was a session with Camila Batmanghelidjh , Suzanne Moore and Francesca Martinez. They were funny, joyful (and triumphant) and those 3 women together was quite a brilliant ménage a trois of superbness.

      IMG_4261.JPGTo be sashaying around in the fantastic Kings Place in the ever evolving and stunning Kings Cross on a dull November Saturday was an absolute treat and just look at the contents of my goody bag 🙂
      Thanks mumset (and Justine)



      Filed under Patchwork Quilts

      Back to blogging :)

      IMG_4226.JPGJust a few pictures to get me back into the habit of blogging. It’s been ages.

      IMG_4020.JPGNasturtiums are still flowering in November.

      IMG_3890.JPGMy youngest son was 20


      IMG_4088.JPGMy oldest son was 23. I’ve been sorting out my unruly piles of fabric, joined Instagram and have started watching Breaking Bad which I’m absolutely LOVING.


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      Double Page Spread in Evening Standard Homes & Property ! 10 years ago.

      20140628-144114-52874606.jpgI’ve just realised that almost exactly 10 years ago the lovely Pattie Barron who was and still is the Gardening editor came with photographer Marianne Majerus to take photos of my house and garden.

      20140628-145810-53890325.jpgThey wanted a colourful centre spread to coincide with Chelsea Flower Show, May 2004.

      20140628-150254-54174248.jpgWe’d bought the house the house in a completely derelict state two years earlier and lived in it with no kitchen or heating or anything much.

      20140628-150914-54554174.jpgBut it was Victorian with a big garden that hadn’t been touched for 40 years and I loved it.

      20140628-151114-54674921.jpgWe renovated it ourselves gradually uncovering some lovely original panelling. I asked the people who bought our old house if we could have the kitchen units etc back when they replaced them! As I knew that unfortunately they were going to modernise. We’d renovated that house too. So one Saturday morning year after we’d moved here, they phoned and said that they were about to put kitchen in a skip so we literally raced round and got it and had it fitted.

      20140628-152041-55241171.jpgIt’s just IKEA cupboards, an old sink and a plywood work surface that I’d painted but I was so pleased to have them back and they’re still going strong today and still looking ok for their age as they were in It’s all pretty much still the same apart from the room with the blue walls which we call The Middle Room which I used as a shop before I got my proper shop.I’ve now turned that into a little B&B with it’s own ensuite. The ensuite bathroom was actually the original kitchen when the house was built. There’s a lot of history in this house which was built in 1865.



      Filed under Patchwork Quilts

      Very tasty pin cushions

      20140414-184322.jpgI’ve been making pin cushions out of damaged, vintage embroidered tablecloths.

      20140414-184916.jpgThe embroidery was done in the Forties and Fifties and I only recently realised the pattern was already printed onto the linen so in that sense it was easy as they had a pattern to sew on.

      20140414-185619.jpgYou can tell how good the person was at embroidery partly because sometimes they didn’t cover the lines properly so you can see bits of the printing which should have been covered.

      20140414-190022.jpgThe real art though is in the colours. I’ve been collecting vintage table cloths for 20 years and so often I’ll see one which has been expertly made yet the colours aren’t very inspiring and I always think what a shame to have worked so hard and spent so many hours making it yet the result isn’t too enchanting. That’s unfortunately the case with most of them which is why when I find ones like these it’s like finding gold dust.

      20140414-190842.jpgI wonder about the ladies who made them. Were they young, middle aged, elderly ? How did they even have time to embroider tablecloths when they had so much else to do, cooking from scratch, hand washing, looking after their families etc without all the mod cons we have.

      20140414-191429.jpgSaying that though, they didn’t have televisions and if I didn’t watch so much TV I could probably embroider at least a couple of large table cloths every week 🙂 I’m glad they did it though so I don’t have to.

      20140414-192300.jpgSo here they are all together. I’ve also added some vintage fabric flowers to make them even more colourful and scrumptious.

      20140414-192538.jpgAnd here they are all dressed for Easter.
      I think a pin cushion should be beautiful because it’ll be next to you while you sew  year after year. Mine is one of the very first things I made and I still love it.


      Filed under Vintage Fabric

      Here I go again

      I’m trying to get into a rhythm of blogging but it’s hopeless. It’s like doing homework and I put it off and put it off and then when I try again WordPress has changed and I get stuck and email Lindsay at who helps me but then I leave it again for a few weeks and then something changes again and arggggggg.

      I want to blog. I have ideas constantly and I write blogs in my head all the time, while I’m walking the dog, having a shower, cooking etc. It’s just the mechanics I’m not good at. Ideally I’d like to have someone to do it for me, so they could follow me round while I’m doing doing the washing and cleaning, shopping, working and driving and I could dictate stuff and they could blog it with the photos I take. Oh I’d love that !
      They could also maybe take the rubbish out for me, go to Tescos, unload the dishwasher, cook me lovely healthy dinners every night and mend my cutlery drawer which is stuck. I’d be very good to them and pay them well because I’d have won ten million pounds on the lottery, which is the only way I could possibly afford such a luxurious extravagance.
      I’ve just eaten 3 caramel Lindor chocolates and an Easter rabbit’s bottom so I’m in a chocolate induced hayes dreaming of what will never be.
      I pledge that I will make myself to blog once a week ish from now on and hopefully it’ll eventually come naturally…..

      20140307-140523.jpgThese are one of my sets of Dutch drawers. I don’t know real real name for them but years ago I’d go to Amsterdam regularly and I collected them. There weren’t many around even 20 years ago and now they’re quite rare.
      I think it’s from around the fifties and most houses had one in their kitchen for their flour, sugar, herbs and spices. In the Uk we had plastic ones I remember.

      20140307-142622.jpgI keep lots of my sewing things in this one including my name labels.

      20140307-142756.jpgThis one is for sugar. I know sugar is the devil but I love it and always have. I especially love sugar lumps but if I had a box in the house I’d eat them all in a couple of days.
      My friend bought me these lovely brown sugar stirrers the other day.

      20140307-143812.jpgMy youngest turned 18 last week so technically they’re all adults and my work here is done ! 🙂 whew.

      20140307-145335.jpgI’m making a new little picture with vintage fabric to go in my etsy shop.

      Till next time xxx


      Filed under Bunting, Miscellaneous

      A few things I’m going to sell on eBay







      Andy Bridge is my favourite artist and I’m lucky to have collected his work for years. Now that I’ve given over a room to my little guest room business I’ve had to be a bit ruthless and de clutter slightly so I’m going to give other people a turn to have some of these beautiful pictures.


      Filed under My Etsy Shop