Sunday, December 15, 2013

Great British Sewing Bee Christmas Special

It was lovely to see the familiar faces of Ann, Stuart, Lauren and Sandra with May Martin and Patrick Grant. The idea of a Sewing Bee is a wonderful way to get together and sew so we hope that many of you were inspired by the concept and the ideas that the sewers had. 

Wasn't it great to see some patchwork!

Image for Christmas Special

It also demonstrated that you can use patterns and ideas that are all around us - Ann using the top of her pin box for a Christmas Tree decoration for example.

Stuart's idea for using Clamshell Cases as Christmas Tree Decorations was inspired - who knows what treats you might find on the Christmas tree!  You could use acetate as Stuart did which would be fine if you're doing it for next year (!) but if you want to make it really quickly Clover do pre-cut acetate pieces all ready for you to cut out fabric and sew. They come in three sizes. Brilliant!

We've given you some more details on our previous Blog Post 

Clover Clam Shell Accessories Cases - 6th November 2013

If you would like to make these Clover make it really easy - Clover Clam Shell Cases otherwise known as Kai No Kuchi.  Click this link to find them on our website - Clover Clam Shell Templates.  They come in three sizes so you could put lots of sweets in it or just a few!

Clover Clam Shell Accessory Case Large Forms

We'll be seeing a lot more of Stuart in the future - he's going to be a Handi Quilter Ambassador. His Handi Quilter HQ18 Avante with Pro Stitcher is being installed in January 2014 and we can't wait to see what he quilts on it.

Stuart helping out at our Project Linus Day

Ann lives locally to the Cotton Patch and it has been wonderful to see her on a regular basis at classes and also helping out with the Project Linus Day and our Open Day. 

Ann helping Lynda Jackson quilt some of the Project Linus Quilts using the HQ18 Avante

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Clover Clam Shell Makers Christmas Gift and Ornaments

Clover Clam Shell Accessory Cases are a new product on our website and are slightly different to the other Clover embellishment craft tools such as yo yos or pom pom makers.  Below you can see a finished Clam Shell as well as some of the stages to make one.
Clover Clam Shell Box
Clover Clam Shell Box with little thimble gift inside. 

The Clamshell cases actually contain six flexible clear plastic forms that are the semi-rigid inner of the three sided box.There are three slightly firmer ones for the outside lozenge shapes and three flimsier ones for the inside shapes.
Clam Shell Accessory Case Medium Size. It comes with a full instruction sheet and the six forms that you can see on the red fabric.

The pack contains very detailed instructions on how to make the ClamShell Box so make sure you read right through to the end before you start. We are making a little Christmas Gift Box, so we have selected two fabrics from Riley Blake one with Stars and a nice deep Christmas Red for the inner of the box.

Using the forms as guides we trace round and then cut out six shapes of fabric and we have marked on our seam allowance. We have also used Vilene Fusible Fleece Low Loft H630 to add a little bit of padding.

You then assemble the outer and inner forms with their fabric and then attach the outer and inners together to create the three sides of the box. The bottom of the box has the inner located in the centre whilst the two sides have the inner located slightly to one side. This helps to align the box correctly when fitted together.

Finally stitch the three sides together leaving one side open but with reinforcing stiching at either end. The box is now finished and ready for treasure. There are three different sizes of Clam Shell so you can make Small, Medium or Large fabric boxes. The finished size of the large clam shell is 3 1/2" x 5" x 3 1/2" or 90mm x 125mm or 90mm, the medium 2 1/2" x 4" x 2 1/2" or 65mm x 100mm or 65mm and the small 2" x 3" x 2" or 50mm x 75mm or 50mm. Happy stitching.
Finished Clam Shell Accessory Case, Medium Size

Friday, October 25, 2013

Project Linus Quilting Day at The Cotton Patch

A big thank you to all who took part

It was a hive of activity at The Cotton Patch in Hall Green on Tuesday as customers and staff took part in the Project Linus UK Quilting Day.  The day was organised by Joy Edgington the Cotton Patch's resident tutor and also the area co-ordinator for Project Linus UK. 
Joy has now sent us the following letter which we would like to share with you.

Following the success of the Project Linus Sewing day I’d like to say a big thank you to Geoff, Jean and all the team at The Cotton Patch for allowing the use of the studio facilities for this event as well as providing support through staff time and donations of biscuits, fabric, wadding and raffle prizes.
I thank all those who took part and donated their time, skill and enthusiasm on the day including Ann Rowley and Stuart Hillard who came along to show their support.  Many of whom took way more fabric or orphan blocks to carry on making quilts at home.  Also Clare Nevin from Mencap and Cheryl Curson from the Birmingham Women’s hospital Neonatal unit and Bliss who came along to talk to the volunteers before being presented with a total of 52 quilts for their respective organisations to pass on to children needing a hug.  
A special thank you is due to Lynda Jackson who travelled from Sheffield to run one of the Handi Quilter long arm machines alongside Nikki Southall from the Cotton Patch which meant that 30 tops were able to be quilted during the day.  In all an amazing eleven quilts were completed on the day with a further 19 quilts and 7 play mats awaiting binding. 
A special thank you is also due to Jacqui Oldham who not only spent all day helping volunteers with pressing and making fabric choices etc but also spent the whole of the following day sewing the bindings onto the remaining 19 quilt tops and 7 play mats.
All of the quilts made stay within the local area and some other local organisations that have received quilts are Acorns Hospice, Barnados, Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, National Deaf Children’s Society and Edwards Trust.  In all 3,843 Quilts have now been delivered by me in the Birmingham South and surrounding areas since 2004 but I am always looking for more opportunities in the the local community, so if anyone knows of a local child or children’s organisation that would benefit by receiving quilts they can contact me by e-mail at  Contact details for co-ordinators in other areas can be found via
Once again, a HUGE thank you to everyone who supported this day
Everyone gets busy.

Selecting the fabric

Putting the pieces together

Lynda and Ann quilting

Quilts on the production line

Stuart Hillard quilting with the Handi Quilter Avante
Stuart Hillard quilting with the Handi Quilter Avante

The finished quilts
Joy and some tired quilters

Friday, October 11, 2013

Joel Dewberry Bungalow Fabrics and recent Free Spirit Patchwork Fabrics

We have added a number of Free Spirit Fabrics to recently and this is a quick summary of them all in one place.

Joel Dewberry Bungalow Fabrics

Joel Dewberry's latest fabric range is called Bungalow and we have eight fabrics and fat quarter packs. Rich deep purples contrast with grass greens.

Joel Dewberry Bungalow Fabrics
Joel Dewberry Bungalow Fabrics

Nel Whatmore Secret Garden Fabrics

 Secret Garden is the new fabric range by Nel Whatmore and was inspired by the children's book of the same name.

"Secret Garden has it's roots in a series of paintings I did many years ago that featured pansies. There is something very upbeat about pansies, they always raise a smile and come in such a fantastic range of colours. In the secret garden there was a fantastic walled garden, that is why the patterns try to convey the different elements inside the walled garden from a bevy of flowers to a trellis for them to climb up.

I hope this new collection makes you smile as much as it does me." Nel Whatmore

Nel Whatmore Secret Garden Fabrics

Nel Whatmore Secret Garden Fabrics
Nel Whatmore Secret Garden Fabrics

Tanya Whelan Petal Fabrics

Tanya Whelan has produced some fantastic fabric ranges such as Barefoot Roses, Delilah and Darla and her latest range is called Petal. Pretty, delicate floral and co-ordinate fabrics in blues, pinks and taupes.

Tanya Whelan Petal Fabrics
Tanya Whelan Petal Fabrics
Tanya Whelan Petal Fabrics

Tula Pink Acacia Fabrics

Tula Pink has produced another stunning fabric collection for Free Spirit called Acacia. Acacia is about the simple joys of nature. A butterfly blends into the leaves, a raccoon hides in the surrounding landscape and daisies sink into a field of grass. We have fabrics by the metre, fat quarter packs and a charm pack. Tula Pink Acacia Fabrics

Tula Pink Acacia Fabrics

Dan Bennett Temple Fabrics

Dan Bennett Temple Fabrics
Dan Bennet Temple Fabrics
Twelve new fabrics from Dan Bennett form the Temple Collection. Geometrics and nature inspired designs combine in fresh modern fabric range. We have two fat quarter packs as well as a quilt kit.

Dan Bennett Temple Fabrics


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace

Come visit The Cotton Patch Stand F27 at the Knitting and Stitching Show 10th to 13th October at Alexandra Palace.  Sizzix demonstrations throughout the show - see how easy die cutting is. Revolutionise your patchwork and productivity - cut out up to 8 layers for fabrics for patchwork and applique. Perfect for hand-sewn hexagons. 
See our latest selection of Frames for quilting - Longarm Machines from Handi Quilter including the Sweet Sixteen and HQ18 Avante will be available to Test Drive plus our Grace Frame with the Janome 1600P. We have some excellent package deals. Plus see the latest Notions, Omnigrid Rulers and Fabric Packs including the latest Downton Abbey fabrics! 

To Purchase tickets or for more details please visit the Knitting & Stitching Show Website
Sizzix Patchwork Dies
Downton Abbey Fabrics

Test Drive the Sweet Sixteen Longarm Machine

Tula Pink Acacia Fabrics from Free Spirit

Tula Pink Acacia Fabrics
Tula Pink Acacia Fabrics

Tula Pink Acacia Fabrics. New Fabric Range

Acacia is the latest range of fabrics designed by Tula Pink for Free Spirit fabrics. Acacia is about the simple joys of nature. A butterfly blends into the leaves, a raccoon hides in the surrounding landscape and daisies sink into a field of grass.

Acacia Fabrics from Tula Pink
We have over 20 Acacia fabrics by the metre as well as fat quarter packs and a charm pack.There are three colourways, blues and greens, blues and purples and pinks and browns.

Tula Pink at the Festival of Quilts 2013, talking about the Acacia fabrics.
Tula Pink at the Festival of Quilts 2013, talking about the Acacia fabrics.

Our Tula Pink Acacia Charm Pack is an excellent way to sample her fabrics and features a selection of 30 fabrics from Tula Pink's Acacia fabric collection cut to 5" square. Five fabric designs are repeated.

Gorgeous Quilt made using Tula Pink's Acacia Fabrics

You can find our current collection of Tula Pink Fabrics here.

Tula Pink Fabrics from Free Spirit
Tula Pink Fabrics from The Cotton Patch