Behind the Hedgerow – starting to live up to its name (and a call for local knowledge)

Making Magazine - two photo collageIn the past few weeks I’ve received some exciting news on both the blogging and personal fronts.  In true blogging fashion, and because I can’t contain myself, I thought I’d share them with you.

First, as you can see from the image above, Behind the Hedgerow has made it on to the pages of the British craft magazine, Making…and in the company of the blogging goddess, Dana, no less!  When I saw this while perusing the magazine in Waitrose I literally jumped for joy and started showing it to complete strangers (sorry shoppers of Wilmslow!).

Making Magazine - full page

The magazine is a lovely little craft-fest of items mostly for the home.  If you’re based in the UK and haven’t read it, I recommend you check it out!  This issue will inspire you with (and give you detailed instructions for) a traditional fan quilt…

Making Magazine - fan quilt…a sumptuous brocade bolster…

Making Magazine - brocade bolster…and tempt you with a full-page spread of giveaways…

Making Magazine - GiveawaysAnd as a bonus, this month there’s a supplement of back-to-school crafting ideas including full tutorials for pencil rolls, book covers and even a charming homemade abacus.

As if this magazine feature wasn’t enough to heightened my British crafty enthusiasm, our family has received some great news….

We’re moving to England!!!

That’s right!  Behind the Hedgerow will be upping sticks from Brussels and relocating to the English countryside!  This is a dream I’ve had long before starting this blog – to be cosied up in a crumbling farmhouse behind the hedgerow, as it were, sewing, cooking, writing, growing (fruits and vegetables, that is) and creating!  (If you don’t believe me, you can read all about it in my about section).

We will have been in Brussels for 10 years and we’ve had the most amazing, adventurous decade – three kids, house moves, job moves, loads of friends (many who have sadly moved on – such is the nature of this city), and contacts made with some of the most talented sewists and bloggers I can think of!  I’ll miss this daily European influence but I know what I’ve learned here and been inspired by will continue in my sewing.

So, the move!  I have dreams, big dreams.  Let’s indulge those for a moment.

Each morning I’ll come up my garden steps,

and enjoy this view.

I’ll look after my sheep in summer,

and the geese in winter.

I’ll take many walks for inspiration.

And, at the end of the day, I’ll rest my head here.

And of course they’ll be a weekly delivery of fresh raspberries, clotted cream, the finest homemade sausages and bundles of Liberty print fabric.

Bump, bump, bump – that’s the sound of me falling back down to earth.  No, I won’t magically turn into The Girl That Has It All, but you get the idea!

The Particulars

Now the nitty-gritty!  We won’t move until the summer of 2014.  My husband will be working in London so we need to be within commuting distance of The City.  I have family in East Sussex and we are currently looking at the areas of Lewes, Cooksbridge, Ditchling, Hassocks and Wivelsfield (who wouldn’t want to live in a place called Wivelsfield?!  Now, if the kids could only pronounce it…).

Here’s where I need your help!!

Does anyone live in or have knowledge of these areas of East Sussex (or can recommend a super place that I’m missing)?  As much as I want the country life, I don’t want to be so ensconced in rural living that I lose the edge, dynamism and intellectual banter that city life offers (which is one reason why we’ve chosen the Lewes/Brighton area – close to a good university, lots of international influences, the only Green MP in the country, and a thriving crafting community).

There’s lots to be done.  The new adventure starts now.  Oh, and to top if all off, the headquarters of Making Magazine is located in Lewes!!  It’s all meant to be, right?!  So, make yourself a cup of tea, enjoy some crafty reading and give me a shout if you can offer any Sussex knowledge!

Making Magazine - reading with teaThanks a million for reading and joining me on this adventure!

Laura x

PS – Stay tuned, actual sewing will feature here again very soon.  What’s on my cutting table I hear you ask??  Why it’s the new *free* Hemlock Tee pattern from Grainline Studio.  Go have a look – I’m loving it already!

31 thoughts on “Behind the Hedgerow – starting to live up to its name (and a call for local knowledge)

  1. mevrouwfroeliesjes

    Wow! Congrats on the magazine and the move. I am so jealous. I am dreaming of a hedgerow too, but I am stuck with the smothering heat and snakes of Texas. Good luck with the move!

  2. Bower-Bird

    Hi there,

    Congrats on the feature in the magazine, and on the move. I actually live in Lewes and it is the most beautiful, welcoming, friendly and interesting place. My husband and I moved here from London about 5 years ago, we had our two children here and we’re never going to leave. I’m Australian and it’s the only place I could imagine living in outside of Melbourne. The schools are fantastic, it has an incredible sense of community, it is full of creative people and is stunningly beautiful, nestled in the Downs. There are children everywhere as well as great little independent cafes and stores. It also has Brighton down the road and Seaford and the seaside nearby. The commute to London isn’t too bad but it doesn’t feel like a dormitory town. There are also some amazing local fabric and sewing resources ;-). I’d be really happy to give you any more info you might need but basically, Lewes is great! The other towns you’ve mentioned are lovely, but they’re much smaller and don’t have as much going on as Lewes, so while they’re definitely a bit cheaper, can feel a bit quiet.

    check out the viva lewes website for more info on what’s going on in lewes – it’s a pretty good reflection of what the place is like.

    all the best

    1. laurabehindthehedgerow

      Wow – Catherine, thanks for all this wonderful information! I’ve just had a little nosey around your blog and the things you are up to – so inspiring and exciting! I think it’ll be easier to email you directly with a reply. Can you send me your email address or just email me and I’ll reply. x

    2. quirkykitty

      i agree. i live in hove myself because i like to be close to the sea, but in terms of countryside-but-not-too-much, and close to london as well, you can’t beat lewes…

      nothing else to add, except a fabric shop in islington that you just have to visit:
      good luck with the move!

      how weird, by the way. i’ve been reading your blog for a while but only noticed recently you’re connected to brussels –as am i, and my parents still live there. and now you’re practically moving up the road from me…small world! 🙂

  3. Ellen J.

    Ohlala, this all sounds so wonderful. I live in Antwerp but we used to spend each last week of October in ‘the wheel house’ in Godmersham, in between Canterbury and Ashford. It’s the most wonderful house with stunning views. But now the owner put it for sale. Please buy it, Laura, and keep the ‘gite’! I’ll rent it every year and we can chat over our sewing, knitting, crocheting projects. Good idea? Good luck with your future projects!

      1. arianek

        Most welcome! No, not yet – I started on that wrap skirt from Simple Modern Sewing… what a disaster that pattern is!!! It’s been too hot here for a lot of sewing though, my studio is on the top floor and it’s been unbearable! I think I’m ready to throw the towel in until we get back from Belgium… which reminds me, I should send you an email!

        1. laurabehindthehedgerow

          Did you finish the skirt? I struggled with the pattern too but, I must say, I wear that skirt all the time! Yes, send me an email about your trip to Belgium. I’d love to meet up, shop for fabric, chat sewing…whatever suits you and your schedule! (It’s lovely, sunny and not too hot here!). x

      2. arianek

        Well, I mostly finished it – I altered the pattern (to center the pleats and widen the yoke) after googling around and seeing other peoples’ blog posts about it. But when I got the yoke attached to the skirt bottom (which went all fine) I found the system for the ties was really a mess and didn’t work too well. I’ve been letting it sit a few days to decide what to do, but I’m pretty resolved at this point to remove the yoke and cut a new one, and totally skip the strips and holes and just attach the tie to the skirt directly! It already looks like a winner though – I’m excited to get it done! Follow me on Instgram if you like @ariane__k (that’s a double underscore) I’ll post more photos. 🙂 And email incoming…!

  4. Toby Sharp

    Great piece Laura! Absolutely fantastic news. I couldn’t be happier for you. Its all coming together so nicely. You’re published, guess you could say it runs in the family?! See you soon. One last trip to Brussels before you make England home once
    again. Speak soon.

    Xx Toby

  5. Sabs

    Woo hoo, you’re coming home! I have no idea about E Sussex but if you ever want some local Brum knowledge (rag market & other brilliant fabric shops) give me a shout!

      1. Alison Lissemore

        Hi there, I have been to Guthrie and Ghani and it is totally swoon-some, gorgeous fabrics, sweet notions and a beautiful workshop space above the store. I took my 6 yr old daughter for a sewing workshop there and we both had a great time. Local parking just opposite the store is only 30p an hour. You are also only 5 mins drive from the centre of Birmingham which is home to the famous Rag Market (check its open on the day you want to visit though as its not open 7 days a week), right opposite is the Fancy Silk Store (not just silks, it’s four floors of fabric – eek!!) and just behind the Rag Market, is Barry’s, on Moseley Street, which is a little warehouse packed to the rafters and is the complete opposite of G&G ( both in appearance and price). You are sure to find some great fabric bargains in Birmingham.


  6. Caroline

    that’s great news! (well, great news twice actually) Congratulations! I’m not much of a countryside person, but those pictures could totally win me over.

  7. Di

    What exciting news!! Sorry I can be no help on the SE of England – Scotland on the other hand I could wax lyrical about!

    I am sure you will find somewhere lovely to stay and wherever you are, the opportunities for day trips to London will keep you grounded in urban reality!

      1. Di

        Yes, I’m in Dundee – and so close to St Andrews! Did you study in St Andrews? Great place to meet you husband……I often go for a wander there on a Saturday morning, taking in the small shops and the beach!

        1. laurabehindthehedgerow

          Yup – my husband and I met in a Linguistics class in St Andrews in 1996! I was studying abroad from the States and he was there studying Spanish and Anthropology. We went back with our three kids last summer (stayed at a most amazing Ice House near Montrose) – it was so special showing them that piece of our history (even though they were more impressed with the beach, ice creams and mini golf!). x

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