Wednesday 10 April 2024

October Sewing Retreat

We're already taking bookings for our next Sewing Retreat at Hillscourt Hotel in the Lickey Hills. Should you be interested to book yourself a place.  

I made this quilt top at the retreat in November last year. 
We were in a very large sewing room with lots of tables to spread out on.
And we really did spread out! 
I made this quilt top at the retreat in March this year.
We were in a smaller room but we still had plenty of space and tables.

Arriving Monday 7th October, mid-morning and leaving (totally relaxed and refreshed) on Thursday 10th in the afternoon. 
The retreat is full board with excellent (and plentiful) catering, so there's no cooking to be done, no cleaning, no chores to be done at all!
We'll be in the very big room again.
The luxury of 4 days (and 3 whole nights if you have the stamina) with absolutely nothing to do but to please your very own self, relax and sew on your very own projects!!
All of the hotel rooms have en-suite facilities and there's no need to share.
If you would like more details about the retreat, you can just email me and I'll sent you the full itinerary, with no obligation, of course.

Wednesday 3 April 2024

Stitching News

I hope you've all enjoyed the long weekend and found a little stitching time? I suspect the sunshine had you mostly out in the garden, though that didn't last very long did it.
My classroom was super busy last week, little time for taking pictures. It's so lovely to see the ladies improving their skills. A few new sewing machines have been ordered and lots of fabric has been purchased, surely that's a recipe for success!

Pam made this Lap quilt as a special request. It's all Moda Flannels so it's super soft and very warm and snuggly. It's a Licketty-Split make, now fabulous and finished and a very toot toot toot-a-bubble Quilt, Which is just as well really. 
After gifting the Snuggly quilt to it's new owner, 2 more orders rolled in, rather Licketty-Split-ly, Mum and Dad decided they each would like one too. Pam changed up the design for number 2. I wonder what design Pam will use for the next one. Will it be the last one?
Norma finished all her 9-Patch blocks and declared the top finished. Then she re-read the pattern and saw that there are 4 x 8" borders to be prepared next, with applique flowers and bias strips. Norma does enjoy applique stitching with the Juki blanket stitch with hover/pivot feature turned on.

Rose finished her Nautical cushion, isn't it lovely. The little embellishments, from stitching to buttons, make all the difference. Can you see the waves the dolphins are making and the different stitching designs on the doors. Toot toot toot Rose a truly fabulous and finished project.

I had a little event in my shop on Good Friday and Good Saturday. Nothing to write home about really, I just randomly chose all these fabrics and reduced the price of them rather drastically. I have, once again, run out of space and I figured that one metre each from a few bolts would give me an inch or two! Don't worry, most of them went back on my shelves... it scared me too much to think I might run out of them! How crazy is that? Anyway, I'm sorry if you missed out on a bargain or two (only a bit sorry!)
I have left a few bolts in my 'Temptation Trolley', like the Easter fabrics you see at the bottom of my photo, should you be interested in popping in to peruse. The 'Rooting Rack' is stuffed full of bolt ends too, it's a bit wobbly under the weight. It's stock taking time, not my favourite thing to do, so all the bolts are having a good seeing too!

Back to normal opening hours from Tomorrow. Thursday is 9.30am to 5pm.
As always, out of hours shopping appointments are availabubble.

Friday 29 March 2024

Easter Weekend

Please remember that my shop will be 
on Tuesday 2nd April

Wednesday 27 March 2024

A Quilt For Anders

Our Little man is now 4 years old. It's hard to believe that the Covid Isolation/Lock down happened so long ago. Anders was born on the Friday before lock-down hit us. We were on one of our wonderful retreats at Alison House in Cromford when he was born. Life changed immediately and he was several months old before I met him, I saw him over the garden fence but that's not the same as a snuggle and squeeze is it. Here's a linky to the post about the first quilt I made for him
4 years old and he's having a big bed so, Nangie felt the urge to make him a new quilt. He loves vehicles, I had a plan.

 It takes blooming ages to do all the preparation, trace off all the bits and pieces, cut them out, stick them on and cutting out again. After these 6 vehicles I got fed up so I went rooting in my cupboards for a solution.
I found these little pictures, all cut up in 5 1/2" squares, so I decided to sash them with pebble-y fabric and use them as a center panel. A bit of retreat sewing. 1" corner stones, yikes!
I did all the blanket stitching during our last retreat, which takes ages, luckily I had ages! I got the top completed by the Saturday evening so that was good going.

I made the sandwich when we got home the next day and got directly started on the quilting. I was in a birthday present race you see. It took two whole days to quilt and bind.

Finished in the nick of time, wrapped up in birthday gifting style and delivered.
Anders opened the gift with gusto, saw what it was. Then declared that he didn't want it and gave it back to me, ha ha ha I think he would have preferred a toy! Bless him xx I loved making it. That's the important thing. It will be fabulous on the big bed.

Tuesday 26 March 2024

Stitching News

 I hope you've noticed how I'm trying to remember to take more photos and to write stuff more often.

Sue is a newly infected quilter.  It's not a disease, Quilting's more of an addiction, did you know that? This is her second beginner friendly cushion. She wants to make another, determined to make a whole and complete cushion all by her very own self before she embarks on a larger quilt making journey

This is the back with a very impressive zip, covered expertly by a flap.
It's a fabulous and finished cushion, toot toot toot.

Farmer Lynda made this cute baby Bunny block, it's for gifting. It's going to be a baby quilt. A small size to be used in the car or a pram and was great practice for the larger Bunnies in Lynda's next plan.

Mary was so smart. She wanted to make sure the Giraffe fabric was facing the right direction and worked it out for her very own self. These things don't happen by accident you know, except when they do! They are known as happy accidents, Mary was very happy with her accident!

Hilary had loved the quilt top I made on the October retreat (no it's not quilted yet). So much so that she decided to make one for gifting. We took a while selecting all the fabrics, it can be tricky with 18 or so fabrics needed for a plan but, I think you will agree, Hilary nailed it, so much so that this project has been re-labelled as a keeper!

Inspired by the Highland Cow cushion Bev made recently, Judy made this applique cushion. It's a completely different pattern designed by a different person, he's rather more tussled and rugged looking isn't he. 

This was Bev's

Sunday 24 March 2024

Stitching News

 Lots of sandwich making this week. 

This is Julie's first quilt sandwich. It's made using scrumptious, Moda, French General reds. Julie's made a few of the beginner cushions which have to be sandwiched, of course, but this is a much larger project, which she soon discovered when it came to the quilting! Stick at it Julie, it gets easier when your muscles get used to it. 

This even larger sandwich belongs to Shirley who doesn't really know how it got so big!

I took photos from both angles so you can get a good view. Shirley made this project using a Moda Fat Eighth bundle with the addition of a few extra rich, yellow fabrics for the Railfence blocks. It's a beauty. That thin, yellow inner border is fabulous.

Our Pam made this quilt with Moda flannels, they feel very snugly and luxurious to the touch. This project is a special request quilt and, as I write this blog post, I know Pam has already quilted it and is hand sewing the binding on. We should be tooting it soon.

This is Julie's second quilt top in waiting, also a Railfence design but using much brighter coloured fabrics. The backing is all ready to be made into another sandwich for quilting, after she finishes the red one. This one though, will be gifted to a special relative.

And a fabulous and finished fanfare is needed for Mary's Table Topper in beautiful Batik fabrics. Mary enjoyed the wiggly line quilting. The serpentine stitch. A great stitch to disguise the 'not so perfect' straight lines. Binding added by machine on both sides. Toot toot toot Mary.

Shirley's Springtime table topper. It looks finished but it's not. The 'Bagging Out' method means there's no binding needed, great for smaller projects. The quilting will be done next. Shirley's topper will be all ready for the lovely bright days we will have, soon (please?) 

Wednesday 20 March 2024

Festival Of Quilts 2024

This year's Pilgrimage will be on Sunday August 4th

Coach, return journey, with show entrance ticket £36.00 per person when paid in advance. Same plan as last year. Pick up starts in Leek at Robin Hood Coach park 8.15am.

Collecting from Cheadle, Main car park 8.50am.
Picking up in Tean High Street and Checkley Village Hall then
Uttoxeter bus station @ approximately 9.10am

We will be leaving NEC at approximately 4.30pm, as usual.

Please tell anyone you know, or complete strangers, we are not fussy!
Lets fill the coach again.

Stitching News

Very important stuff first, as Easter Bank holidays approach.
My shop will be open on Friday 29th March but closed on Tuesday 2nd April.
It's much easier than closing on Good Friday (though every Friday is good in my shop!) Opening on Saturday, Closed for Sunday and Monday etc. The ladies who regularly come to class on Tuesdays are more than happy to take an extra day to eat their chocolate Eggs. Unfortunately though, I will have to have 4 lovely long days off, but I can cope with that!! I might just have to sew?

A finish is a finish and doesn't have to be a quilt. This beautiful Apron is fabulous and finished and has now been gifted to a very special lady. Made by Di, known as Lady Lidl, The patch with the pretty flowers is a very handy-dandy pocket. The neck strap is adjustable too. Toot toot toot Di, a well deserved fanfare. The pattern is in an Art To Heart book.

Rose added a few dolphins and lots more quilting. Most of the clouds have been quilted so they poooooof up lovely. After a quick demonstration, Rose stitched many French Knots, so all the creatures can now see where they are going. Buttons have been selected for the door handles too.

Julie made more Rail Fence blocks and added them her quilt top at home so she was ready to learn lots of top tips about adding borders in class. A rich coffee colour for the inner border, half an inch wide, then a lovely print for the outer border. We will be sandwiching this top soon.

This is another of Norma's projects. It's an 'in between projects' quilt, easy to work on all by her very own self. Like at Sunday Sewdays and wonderful retreat days. The borders will have applique flowers, Norma does enjoy applique work.

Lou Lou arrived for her class with the backing ready prepared so the first job was to make a forest sandwich, a very large sandwich for Lou Lou. She was soon able to make a good start on her quilting too. Stitching in the ditch of all the blocks and border strip first of all. The quilt will then be stable enough to trim the crusts off and have the binding stitched on. The trees will be easier to quilt then as the whole project will feel smaller, a bit! 
Gail's Noah's Ark quilt complete with Faux Piped Binding. Not the easiest of bindings but well worth all the effort (tears and frustration and bad language!! Between you and I, Gail got in a bit of a pickle with joining the ends) But!!! She persevered and it is now finished and fab-u-lous!! There are just a few little details to quilt and an odd few ends to tie off but, technically, it's finished, so we can give it a good old Toot toot toot.

New fabrics are due to arrive in my shop tomorrow and Friday so be careful when entering if you see piles of boxes and 3 huge rolls of wadding, you surely won't be able to miss the wadding, each one is like an extra person in the building but they don't move when you need to get past them!!!

Monday 11 March 2024

Stitching News

Good morning quilty folks! It's back to normal day today. What a wonderful visit we had to Hillscourt in the Lickey Hills. A very relaxing retreat but the time passed by way too quickly, as always! We were all very productive in the sewing department. I didn't take any photos to share with you though, I was so busy stitching you see. I did finish a fun quilt top using all sorts of fabrics from my home stash and it will be sandwiched at some point today. More on that later.

I found these photos taken last Tuesday in class. It was a very busy day, which is lovely. Lots of like minded people inspiring each other. The shop was buzzing with customers all day too.

Gail was able to make her Noah's Ark quilt sandwich right at the end of the day when 2 ladies had gone home, The quilt only needed a small sandwich area. Gail needs to get cracking on her quilting, she is racing the arrival of the little fellow, and you know how unpredict-a-bubble that can be!

Our Pam completed a whole and very cute, girly bunny! There are lots of pieces needed to make each bunny and it's very hard to get all of them the right way round, well, it is when there's so much going on around you that you don't want to miss so this was quite an achievement.

Rose finished all the basic quilting on her Nautical cushion and she's started to add little personal details and the embellishments, even a couple of cheeky Seagulls, probably waiting to steal any chips! There might even be a dolphin or two.

Julie was so very chuffed to have finished her Beginner friendly cushion. She's learned a lot while making it, as is usual really, that's why I call is a Beginner cushion, ha! The sewing machine fabric gave Julie a lesson in directional fabric design too.

Complete with a flap covered zip on the backing, which always impresses folk when they see how easy it is to achieve. As a fabulous and finished project, Julie gets her first toot toot toot fanfare! She's already made a second cushion all by her very own self,  proof she's now a Quilter. Welcome to the dark side Julie!

Monday 4 March 2024

Stitching News

It's a bit sparce on the photos again this week. There is a bit of secret sewing that I can't put on my blog just yet. You can safely presume that my customers are being very stitch-ily productive.

Christabelle found this project a little challenging but is super proud of her make.

She's going to be able to organize all of her stitching bits and bobs in the one place so she'll always know where they are! With zipped pockets and elasticated loops and even the ironing pad. Toot toot toot Chris, it's a fabulous finish.

Princess Jackie finished her Fabulous Farm quilt. Each quarter was quilted separately making the job very much easier and therefore more enjoyable, of course. It's so bright and cheery and Jackie has allowed me to have it hanging in my shop for you to take a closer look. You can even stand there, with or without a trumpet, and toot toot toot it!!

This is the backing. You can see quite clearly where the four quarters are joined, such a clever method for large quilts. For now the Fab Farm pattern sold out but there are more coming soon, should you like one?

Do you remember Norma working on this charming patchwork elephant? 
She was making a wall hanging for gifting. After spotting Di's latest strippy cushions, she got all inspired
Norma decided to cut out the elephant leaving just enough fabric to hem all the way around her so that she could to attach her to Norma's very own strippy background. She's really pleased with her art work too. We soon got the elephant sandwiched and Norma is plodding along with the quilting, not her favourite job, she might have mentioned that quite a few times, ha ha!

My shop will be open tomorrow, Tuesday 5th March, as normal but then closed until the following Tuesday, that will be the 12th.
We're off on a retreat you see, you were informed in plenty of time so I won't feel guilty, at all.

I have already started to compile the list for people wanting to attend the Licky Hills retreat in May and the October one actually. Both are for taking your own projects to work on. Quality sewing time, only interrupted by mealtimes and bedtime!
If you'd like more information, just send me an email and I'll try to provide you with everything you need to know.

Saturday 24 February 2024

Stitching News

Starting off with a fabulous and finished fanfare! Susan popped in to show her beautiful Batik Jelly Roll quilt. That there delicious, Moda Grunge looks so good against all those brights doesn't it. Toot toot toot Susan!
Rose has been commissioned to make a large, nautical themed cushion and she's already on it. The beach hut applique is almost finished then Rose will be adding lots of personalized embellishment, the bit she loves!
Another Fabulous and finished fanfare is needed now for Our Beano! Once again this quilt has no binding, it's had the facing treatment, Jeans new favourite thing. 
This is the back of Jean Bean's fabulous, and quite splendid, gifting quilt.  She's made three quilts in total, all very similar but a bit different. There's even a lovely label so it's ready to be delivered. Toot toot toot Beano!
Karen has moved on to project number 2 already, the first being the beginner friendly cushion from last week. This week we made a table topper using our good old Rail Fence design. A very forgiving design making it perfect for a new addict.

Christabelle made her enormous, absolutely E N O R M O U S quilt top into a sandwich ready for quilting but now it's just to large and heavy to tackle in class. Well, she could but it would be scooting everyone else's work off the tables, not a friendly gesture! 

So Chris got out her lovely Anna Maria Horner project which was started a while ago. Chris had put it to one side so that she could work on quite a few gifting quilts and projects. Luckily, as always, Chris had made lots of notes in her wonderful project diary so it didn't take long to get back into the swing of it. The blocks are so beautiful, I'll try for a better photo next week.

Lorna was very happy to be announcing that she will soon be welcoming the patter of tiny feet. Like any grand-quilty-mother, the new bundle will be needing hundreds of quilted projects, whoop whoop! 2 sandwiches have been made so far.
Deb is determined to conquer Free Motion Quilting. I tell everyone, it's easy, you just have to practice, practice, practice, and you know I am very wise, don't you? Practicing on smaller projects is very satisfying. Here's the evidence, one fabulous and finished iPad case, with wonderful Free Motion Quilting, toot toot toot Deb!

Next Thursday, that's 29th February, My shop will be closing at 4pm instead of 5pm, just for this one week, I'm off out gallivanting with chums, AGAIN!

I say 'just this one week' because the following week, Thursday 7th March, my shop will be closed for all of the whole day! It will re-open on Tuesday 12th March. Quilting shenanigans are a foot.