Gosh, what a difference a month makes!

Since our last GladRags blog, increasing numbers of people have had their vaccinations and we now have dates for opening up the country! Such great news for parents with school-age children, not to mention golfers. So now all those mums and golf-widows/widowers can look forward to some peace and a quiet cup of coffee!

Our inbox continues to delight – with stitched, glued and painted contributions for our patchwork.

We had no less than four beautiful squares from Jill Richardson-Jones so I thought I should include these snowdrops this week as they are particularly suitable for the season. She’s a very talented lady!

Just to show you how effective a design can be when you are relying on the fabric you are using, this example from Helen Hale must surely inspire you to rifle through our odds and ends of fabrics and ribbons.

I thought it would be a good idea to include some ideas for youngsters as well. They may be back at school but the easter holidays will be with us soon and printing can be such fun!

I found this print on Google images. It was made, I suspect, by winding string around a square block of wood or a dense piece of sponge then dabbing any one of the sides in a tray of poster paint and dabbing it onto some fabric, turning it at different angles.

If string printing really catches on in your household, do take a look at these youtube videos for some more inspiration:

Ideas video

Ideas video

Don’t forget for the youngest members of the family potato printing is great news too!

Marian Woodward asked if it was okay to send in more than one square. YES! We love to have your contributions – lots of them! This is Marion’s second square for the project and if you look closely you will see it is a very clever tapestry design with several different stitches creating texture as well as colour.

I think we are all hoping there won’t be any glitches and we really will have returned to some sort of normality by early summer. I suspect then we will start to see fewer incoming squares and we will soon need to ask you to start sending in the real thing! We will have to make a decision on how (and where) to lay them all out and then of course we’ll need to find a lot of keen stitchers to help sew them together!

Although I think the idea is to piece everything together roughly in the order they were received, there may need to be some juggling to make sure the overall pattern works well – but roughly speaking it will give a portrayal of how we have progressed through a whole year of disruption to our daily lives.

But until that day comes, please do keep on sending us pictures of your squares and amazing us with your ideas. Don’t forget, they need to be the best quality pictures you can manage so they reproduce well on the blog and please don’t forget your name – we also love to hear what inspired you!

Lastly, the banner picture this week is something I have been working on myself – it is much bigger than the squares, but I thought I’d share it anyway. I used to be a beekeeper until I discovered my allergy to their stings! This is handmade felt, with a crocheted overlay. The bees are embroidered over a felt base and the wings are sinamay. Much safer than the real things, even if 3ins long!

Nancy Shafee is a member of the International Feltmakers Association, Fibre Art Network, Heritage Craft Association and current Chair of the Surrey Guild of Craftsmen.

Nancy lives in West Horsley. She teaches feltmaking and sells her work through The Surrey Guild of Craftsmen Gallery in Milford and Haslemere Museum.