We are almost there! As I type, the Christmas cake is still baking in the oven – I have been incredibly laid back about the preparations this year. I don’t even have the icing yet, ah well it will get some kind of frosting on it before the big day. And with all the brandy I soaked the fruit in, I am sure it will taste delicious, and homemade cake is still the best. I have noticed less cards through the letterbox this year, but the ones I have had have been quite special – like this one made by Linda. The front panel has been cross-stitched and the work was much appreciated.

I am really pleased to be able to share that the gallery we started putting together earlier in the year now has a home for the new year. Xulia at The Doughmother has kindly agreed to host our collection of artwork for the month of January, and we are really looking forward to seeing it all together at last! Xulia, is a great supporter of community projects and as well as origami sessions, some of the group have been getting together there to work on their sewing projects – and enjoy the home baked cakes and pastries too of course!

The quilt project has gained momentum too! With beautifully hand-stitched squares arriving from as far as Northern France, we are continually adding to it. Having now set our sights on an exhibition space, we have collectively decided that we need a LOT more squares to make an impact in the gallery upstairs in Beeston Library. I am delighted that the group have so much enthusiasm for the project and that individuals on the periphery have also come forward, wanting to be involved. It really is starting to reflect our broad community, which is what I had hoped.

I am also loving the way that members of the group have taken ownership of this project and are meeting outside of the Monday night sessions. It’s fabulous to see snaps of new squares popping up in messenger too! When we met recently, to discuss next steps, I approached one of the group about producing some photographs to accompany the quilt. We thought that close-up shots of works in progress would work well but also thought that we could use the cabinets to display artefacts related to our community sewing project -maybe the history too.

It’s just great to end the year with so many positive creative things to look forward to in the new year, and amazing to see what one group of people can achieve when they pool their resources and share their talents. We will be looking at ways to fundraise in January, to cover the exhibition costs, but I know we will be come together to make it work. So as we all go about our Christmas preparations in earnest, take a minute to think about all the wonderful things we have to be grateful for, and have a peaceful holiday.