We'll be walking, but don't worry, there's no traffic here! We may go miles and miles through different counties of Britain and many changing landscapes. We never quite know where we're going to stop or what we might see next. We just know that it will be worth stopping for!
The Back Story: Britain's varied landscape, nature, and historic past have always captivated Jules. Traveling along Briarside Lane is a journey from her imagination, but it's full of real life places and events which reflect some of the unique treasures of the British Isles. All of these special memories make her heart beat a little faster. We hope some of that magic appears for you , as you stitch a little bit of Britain in the USA.
We have come to the next stop on our journey down Briarside Lane! This month we are excited to bring you the Norfolk Windmill.
Norfolk Windmill by Jules Woolford
On a clear, cold early morning in late autumn, the salt marsh is waking to the sound of birdsong. The reeds have turned from bright gold to a tarnished hue. We can hear the sails of the old windmill creak and grind. Many of the struts are lost and broken, but still the windmill turns.
Suddenly, a movement catches our attention; to our right, a barn owl flies home from its nightly hunt. It glides, ghost like, across the winding river. We stand, transfixed, watching this feathered beauty pass across the cycle of the great sails. A single beam of sunlight pierces the cloud above. For just a moment, the worn, old bricks glow and the giant windmill gleams, standing proudly against the soft colors of the autumn marshland.
The Back Story:
Jules is fascinated by windmills. Her favorite can be seen on a hike that crosses the salt marsh at *Cley, an eastern seaside hamlet located in the county of Norfolk. Walking this way for the first time, Jules had an amazing experience. As the majestic windmill came into view, the white shape of a barn owl flew across the footpath in front of her, a ghostly silhouette beneath the sails of the mill. It was an instance of pure magic and one she has never forgotten.
For those who know of the beautifully renovated Cley Mill, don’t be confused. The Norfolk Windmill remains untouched, harking back to an older, more romantic time!
* Pronounced Kly
Bumblebee Cottage - our first stop on the journey.
It's been a beautiful day, hiking along the lane. Sitting at the bottom of the wooded hill, is the cottage. Its freshly thatched roof gleams golden in the sunshine on the warm, summer evening. The air is full of enticing scents -- the fresh, clean smell of new mown grass and the heady perfume of the old rambler rose that clambers over the worn wooden porch. Nothing can be heard but the "thrum" of the bees as they meander through the borders gathering pollen, and the gentle "coo" of a wood pigeon hiding in the tall conifers.
We stop, leaning a little on the garden gate and drink in the scene. Then we open the gate and go down the path. A delicious supper awaits, then a retreat to the garden and later a cozy feather bed before we continue our journey.
The Back Story: Years ago, out walking along a country lane in the beautiful Malvern Hills of Herefordshire, Jules rounded a bend and discovered a tiny, ancient cottage with a picturesque garden. The whole image looked as if it had been pulled straight from a book of fairy tales. Next to the front gate was a small post box, bearing a polite notice for the postman, "Please do not use the post box until further notice. It is being used by a family of nesting blue tits (chickadees)." The house was called "Bumblebee Cottage," which she thought was simply delightful and just the place she would love to live!
The journey down Briarside Lane is not only about completing a project, but inspiring your artistic spirit -- the spirit that seems to get lost as we grow older.
In a world where everything moves so quickly and things are simply "reproduced," our wish is that you take time to stop and enjoy the moments and peacefulness which comes from making something with your own hands.
The patterns, as well as the photos of our work, are meant to guide you as you build the quilt blocks. However, we encourage you to use other methods of stitching, colors and even fabrics to create an individual piece. A piece that is a reflection of your own creativity.
Briarside Lane will be a mystery quilt, but as mentioned above, we want to inspire your artistic spirit. So, when you purchase the e-pattern, you will not only receive the instructions to make the block in wool (or cottons if you like), but you will receive an embroidery version for FREE.
Come and join the journey!