( I wrote this some weeks ago and felt that it was quite strong and not related to my sewing, I didn’t want to delete it so we delayed publishing it while I thought about it. However reading it again nothing has changed and I am still angry. I need to say this. We all need to say it. Our leaders are dumbing down their words for fear off offending others but we need to speak up and say our words very clearly. There is some sewing chat at the bottom, I promise!)


“Imagine a culture where it was the law that whoever comes to your door you must feed them and care for them with no questions asked. A place where there was no police force. Where there were no prisons. Where fairness was revered. Where the ultimate community goal was to live in peace and harmony. And even the consumption of alcohol was addressed.

Ireland once had it’s own judicial system which was passed on by word of mouth and administered by the Brehons or arbitrators whose task was to preserve and interpret laws not make them. These were eventually written down in the 7th century.

Brehon law unveils an Irish society in which many modern concepts such as women’s rights were already well established. It recognised divorce and equal rights between genders. Restitution rather than punishment was prescribed for wrongdoing and communities were bound to care for the poor and week.”

From ‘The Lost Laws Of Ireland’ by Catherine Duggan.

I looked this up because I am so ANGRY at the homelessness in this beautiful country.

Whether people (and I mean PEOPLE, HUMAN BEINGS) are sleeping on the streets, or whole families are in one hotel room. They and people who have arrived here from war torn dreadful circumstances are entitled to much more. We have a small population so it shouldn’t be too difficult for everyone to live a safe, comfortable life.

My special son and his friends pack bags for the homeless and are aware of their situations and many other wonderful people and groups work hard to help but people shouldn’t be in that position of need.

IT ISN’T GOOD ENOUGH and I don’t know what to do about it. With winter coming it is in my mind more and more. When so many people donate through charities and pass on useful items to homeless and direct provision centres and there is still so much need after all that giving, then something is terribly wrong. This has to be put at the door of the people in charge who don’t seem to care, namely politicians

I find it hard to go from that subject to everyday chat about sewing. Maybe if everyone sewed we would all be kinder to each other.

*  *  *  *  *  *

We in Apple Tree have been really busy lately, I am very proud to say that we are collecting items for the local homeless and have gathered a bootful of important supplies for their dignity packs. It feels like 1 step forward and 2 steps back. A drop in the ocean when those of us with small buckets give to those with empty or no buckets, meanwhile others horde and protect their reservoirs. Here I go again! Back to sewing….

…I can’t keep up with myself. As you probably know we now have some wonderful teachers for different mostly sewing related classes. I am hoping to go to some as I love to learn new skills or update others.

I have started Free Motion Quilting with Terri McNeill who is an amazing teacher. i am learning so much. However old we get there is always something to learn, and have fun doing it.

The Dressmaking class was so popular that we are continuing with it in the new year and we hope to run more knitting classes and add crochet too.

The last retreat was great fun again. It is lovely to see a group of women, some new to the weekend, get along so well. They exchanged ideas and tips, made friends and had fun, going home with beautiful quilts, runners, bags etc. I love to see what everyone is doing.

We were lucky to have a message from Rob Appell as some were doing his pattern and I think others will as well. When they are finished please send us photo’s as we and Rob would love to see them.

After cutting, folding and labelling like mad to prepare for the Knit and Stitch it seems  mad to think it’s all over and Christmas is here!  Thank you to everyone who came over to say hello, we enjoy meeting so many different people and some of the stall holders have become friends over the years.

We are planning the next Retreat in January, have some great ideas for projects and if any of you have any suggestions would like to hear them….we might just argue over everything and do nothing !!!!

This year has gone so fast….again. There are so many new blocks and quilts I would like to try but keep getting side tracked and start something else. The good thing about that is having lots of bits for my favourite scrappy quilts.

I would like to thank you all for all your support and friendship and I wish you all a very Happy and Merry Christmas,

with love from Marie