A Quilter in Cumbria

Dorothy Russell by Derwentwater

A Quilter in Cumbria.. Dorothy Russell

‘Come forth into the light of things, let nature be your teacher’. I gazed over Derwent water to Catbells and contemplated the lines of Wordsworth. An October weekend in Cumbria found me at Braithwaite village hall at the foot of Skiddaw, delivering a version of my ‘Butterfly Has two Wings’ talk for Region 15W of the Quilters’ Guild.

Braithwaite Village Hall

Braithwaite Village Hall

The sun shone, picking out features in the landscape and making the beauty of the Lake District even more captivating.
To be back in the Lakes after so many years

North Lakes hills looking south towards Thilmere

My talk, ‘The Butterfly has Two Wings’ is about me and my work, and is an ever changing thing – it has never been the same twice! I suspect I will have to adapt it to ‘…Three Wings’ soon, as my work evolves and wanders down new paths.

I always enjoy visiting groups and meeting new people and we had a lovely welcome in Cumbria, meeting some very interesting quilters.

Seaking helicopter landed at Keswick

After the talk we spent a little time in Keswick, a busy place even though it was well into October. We wandered along the shores of Derwent Water – the beautiful lake which has Keswick nestling at its head and while we were there one of the RAF’s yellow Sea King rescue helicopters landed on a nearby grassy knoll, scattering sheep and drawing the attention of a little hoard of visitors. The crew had been involved in a mountain rescue and popped into The Theatre by the Lake for a cuppa before flying all the way back to their base at Leconfield, near Hull. Although we often see the helicopters from Valley flying past our kitchen window, this is the closest we have been to a wonderful Sea King. We’ll miss them when they go out of service.

Back to quilting, a very special ‘thank you’ goes to Pat for looking after us so splendidly – we stayed in her lovely home in Threlkeld which she and her husband built in the footsteps of the arts and crafts movement. The care and attention to detail is wonderful to see. Pat, with members of the committee, entertained us to a lovely supper – we thought we’d be tired after a long day but in such good company we enjoyed a very convivial evening.

just sew shop at Penrith


On Sunday we headed for Penrith, to a wonderful shop in Penrith’s ‘Poets walk’ which is well worth ‘discovering’ if you’re in the area – ‘Just Sew’ – website: www.justsewpenrith.co.uk.
Pat, who owns and runs Just Sew, was very welcoming and we soon settled into her very organised workshop and got down to ‘Machine Quilting’. The group worked hard and did very well – I suspect they all slept well that night. I hope they are all much more comfortable with the idea of machine quilting now – it seems to intimidate a lot of quilters, but there are ways of making it easier.

Machine Quilting workshop at region 15W. Penrith

Machine Quilting workshop at region 15W. Penrith

We spent only a very short time in the Lakes but a very pleasant one. We’ll be back soon.

Thank you to everyone for making us feel so very welcome.