Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Patchwork Retreats in France

What a great combination! Patchwork and Quilting, experienced teachers, a 19th century farmhouse and excellent food and wine!

Why not treat yourself to a relaxing week in South West France and allow yourself the time and space to enjoy your favourite pastime. Joan Crooks and Bridget Wright run the workshops from the renovated 19th century farmhouse which is set in 16 acres of unspoilt countryside. Bedrooms are en-suite, the heated swimming pool has a beautiful view across the valley, for the more energetic there is a gym but for most the option of relaxing with a new project or completing a UFO will be the best.

Joan and Bridget have got a fantastic line-up of teachers for 2010 and...if you book before 31st December 2009 receive a 10% discount!

From May to September classes Angela Madden, Dawn Cameron Dick, Anne Baxter, Patricia McLaughlin, Carolyn Forster, Anja Townrow, Jane Rollason and Penny Roberts and in 2011 Janet Bolton will be teaching in September. For the full details of this excellent programme and more about Hors des Brumes please visit their website at http://www.horsdesbrumes/ or email

We suggest you book now to avoid disappointment! Pricing is in pounds so no worries about the Euro to the Pound!
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Monday, 9 November 2009

Sewing for Boys:part 4

Well I have finished the biggest project so far which was to make a bag. I have to say I am quite pleased with it. The outside fabric was Bright Buds Ivory from the Amy Butler August Fields range, whilst the inner fabric was the same one I used for the doorstop. This was a much more complicated task with two layers of fabric and an inner polyester wadding.

The handle strips were similar to what we had done with the doorstop but I was using a different machine again. A rather old Brother, which didn't have a foot pedal, but a variable slider. This took a bit of getting used to, as well as the auto cutter feature, and I was a bit disappointed with some of my sewing on the handles. Pinning the outer fabric with the wadding I was very concious after my earlier efforts to make sure everything was accurate and that the correct sides were going together. Sewing with wadding in place was a new experience as I tried to make sure it didn't snag on the foot.

We also cut the corners of the base so that the bag had a bit more body to it and stayed up. I think if I was doing it again then I would of used a better interfacing to add some stability to the bag as even with the heavy weight fabric it is a little light. Then pulling back through the hole left in the lining it was turned inside out and pressed on the seam to finish it off. Overall I am very pleased with the bag, a few faults here and there but my stitching was much better.

Lessons Learnt

Advice from the shop was Measure twice and Stitch once.

Make sure you have enough thread on the bobbin!!

Next week we are starting on a project of our own so I am hunting through the books in the shop for patterns!!
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Reynolds Freezer Paper to the Rescue

The saviour. Not just for applique!

Here at The Cotton Patch from time to time we get slightly strange requests for the items that we provide and I thought I would tell you about one that occurred last week.

We had a phone call from English Heritage who were desperate to locate a quantity of Freezer Paper. There had been a leak in a building in Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter and a number of books and archives had been damaged and they needed Freezer Paper right away.

We were able to get the order together straight away and they sent a taxi round for it to be collected. Now my wife happens to be an archaeological conservator and explained that the Freezer Paper can be placed in between the leaves of the books or round the books themselves and helps to prevent them sticking together as they dry out. Also books that become sodden can be often quickly grow mould and one of the best ways of treating them is to freeze dry them to kill the mould, with the Freezer Paper again protecting the leaves of the book.
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Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Sewing for Boys: part 3

For the next three weeks we would be making a doorstop and then, over two weeks, a bag. Because both of these would potentially be subject to heavy usage I chose two fabrics from the August Fields home dec weight fabric range. This should give both projects some stability.

A homemade doorstop
Filled with 2kg rice and beans, this should keep those pesky doors open.
For the doorstop I chose the bright greeny blue of Coreopsis Spruce to contrast with our pale carpet and walls. The doorstop consisted of 6 x 6 inch squares with a strip for the handle. The handle was made by folding each edge into the middle and then pressing together. As Margaret at the shop pointed out to me, always have the iron on when making these sorts of projects or patchworking. I can't say that ironing is my favourite pastime. I am not flat so why should my clothes be but I can see the point here.
Then I sewed a seam up each side of the handle to secure it. It wasn't as close to the edge as I would of liked, but better then last weeks efforts. We then marked each of the squares with a dot inset 1cm from each corner. This would allow us to line up each of the squares. I was ultra cautious this time to make sure I was sewing right sides together.
It was then a case of sewing the squares together and gradually building up the shape of the cube. I need to work on my accuracy, but overall I was pleased with the result. A small hole was left in one side, so that the doorstop could be filled later and then the whole thing was turned inside out. I have now filled it with rice and pulses to weigh it down. I think all of us were surprised that we could construct a three dimensional shape using our basic skills. All in all our confidence is building as we move on the bag making...
Lessons learnt:
Use an iron to press seams, it works, I can see the point of an iron!!
Accuracy, accuracy, must practice.
Marking tools. We used a vanishing marker to make the spots to align our squares, the chalk I had borrowed for last weeks cushion would not have worked as well.
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Sunday, 11 October 2009

Sewing for Boys: part 2

This weeks task was to make a cushion cover. First off we had to practice two seams. The first one was a straight forward seam with the rights sides together then sewn with a straight stitch, but using the marking on the sewing machine plate to get a guide width of 5/8 of an inch. Fine and dandy and not too many problems. The French Seam which was to be for more delicate fabrics where the seam is hidden, was more of a problem, but I got there in the end.

Jamie gets to road test Daddies cushion.

Then it was on to the cushion. I had chosen quite a bold fabric as I was going to make a cushion for the sofa in my son's room. He is still in his cot so we have enough room for a sofa in his room. I chose the turtle fabric as it is a nice strong theme and the blue would liven up the sofa.

The cushion was made up of three panels, one 16 inch square and two 16 x 12 inch panels for the backing. I tried marking out the fabric as correctly as I could and then cut it with scissors. Now I had not appreciated how hard this was going to be to follow a straight line with scissors. I can see the advantage of a rotary cutter to get nice straight lines. After putting a tidy seam on each of the back panels, the three pieces were pinned together. I can't say that I found this supposedly simple task too easy either and I think there must be some tips that I can glean from the shop.

Anyway we were away and stitching round all sides of the square to make my cushion. I was pretty pleased as I came to the end and then turned it inside out to reveal... Yep I hadn't put all the front sides together and now the front of my cushion was the wrong side. I wasn't the only one to make this basic but really annoying mistake. We had run out of time at the class so I would have to unpick at home and do it again.

At home I was using an old Bernina sewing machine of my mums. It had lots more buttons to press, an LCD screen but after a bit of work I had the bobbin loaded, straight stitch selected and was ready to go. Things did not go well, I could not follow a straight line and the stitching was going off all the time. I had to unpick three or four times, until I marked the straight lines on the fabric and then I could follow that. I think I might not have been going fast enough and wasn't letting the machine do the work. Eventually though it was done, I turned it inside out, pushed out the corners and loaded a cushion inside. Despite all the errors I am pleased with the result.

The finished cushion in place.

Lessons learnt:

Pinning is harder than it looks to make sure the fabrics don't pucker up.

Sewing in a straight line and following a guide isn't that easy and needs practice.

Double and then triple check that you are sewing your fabric pieces the right way round!!

Cutting a straight line with scissors takes practice and a rotary cutter goes faster.

Next week is a door-stop!!

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Saturday, 3 October 2009

Sewing for Boys: part 1

Well I have survived my first lesson. I have done a couple of night school classes before, and I used to run one on web design at the University in Reading so the administration and setup of the course was not a problem. The stepping into the complete unknown of the sewing world was making me a bit nervous though. There weren't a lot of details on what it would entail and my wife had packed me off with a small bag containing some bits of fabric, a couple of reels of cotton and some hand sewing needles!!

There are about eight of us in the class, all with slightly varying expectations but it seemed that I wasn't out of my depth and didn't need the class on sewing for 'real complete absolute novices who haven't a clue'. Our teacher leapt straight in and showed us the sewing machines we would be using, basic but good quality Bernina Bernette machines, showed us how to put thread on the bobbin, how to load the bobbin, how to thread the needle and then said off you go!!

We had a machine each and after a few false starts and conferrings between us after twenty minutes bobbins were loaded and we were ready to sew. Now I am sure this seems very basic stuff for many of you. But I have to admit that a sewing machine is quite a daunting beast and I have never known how they work. Then with a scrap piece of fabric we were off and trying to sew. First off was a straight stitch, then lifting the foot and turning corners, fancy stitches and varying stitch width and length. You can see my first trial piece below. I have to admit it was really good fun.

My first practice piece.

Getting used to the foot control and trying to vary the speed took some getting used to. I hadn't realised how fast you could go. Also a complete surprise to me was that they have in effect a reverse gear. I certainly wasn't in control but I was making progress.
We had a short break and then we were told what we would be making. A tissue holder. Now from the practical side of things this is not something that I will be using everyday, but from the sewing side it looked very daunting. It was lined, there were seams, points to push out, you had to sew it inside out.... You can see my effort below. My first finished piece

It isn't that straight and the stitching doesn't go all the way across at the front but I was really pleased for a first attempt. I think everyone was really surprised that after only two hours we had gone from complete novices to being able to produce a finished piece.
The whole experience was really good fun and enjoyable. Supposedly next week we are going to make a cushion cover. Which seems to be a huge and very rapid leap. We need a half a metre of fabric so I will see what I can find in the shop and I need to dig out my mum's old sewing machine, get some thread...
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Thursday, 1 October 2009

Dangerous Sewing For Boys

Welcome to an occasional series following my exploits as I enter the dangerous and exciting world of Sewing for Boys. First of all introductions. My name is David and I run the web side of things here at The Cotton Patch. That means that all the products and fabrics that are on the web site, and there are many thousands of them, pass over my desk. Now whilst some of them might be self explanatory others are just plain strange. What does one do with a Purple Thang?!!!

Because I also get to see all the patchwork and quilting books that we sell, I can only marvel at the fantastic designs and creations that are on display. I also get an opportunity to see them up close as we attend two quilt shows a year, at Malvern and the Festival of Quilts at the NEC. We set up our stands for these shows the day before they open to the public and whilst unloading the vans of stock, I try and take the opportunity to look at the quilts on display. At the Festival of Quilts this year the detailed quilting work of Sandie Lush and the art quilts of Ferret stood out for me. We are also fortunate that on our stand we had examples of the quilts from Kaffe Fassett's new book Quilt Romance on display. Kaffe's fabrics are always bright and bold and the combination of intricate designs and vivid colouration works really well.

Is that a Bosch or a Black and Decker?

On a personal note one of the main styles of artwork that I like is Japanese. So the intricate work of Kumiko Sudo, Sashiko, the many Japanese bag books and magazines such as Quilts Japan are firm favourites.

Kake-Jiku by Kumiko Sudo

But why am I telling you all this? Well I have decided to take the plunge and enter the dangerous world of sewing!!

Now I am a complete novice, I have tried to sew the odd rip in clothes whilst travelling but that is it. But boys just don't sew do they? I did woodwork at school. A sewing machine is a complete mystery, what types of thread, to use, which hand to use!!
So I have enrolled on a night school class. Sewing Skills for Beginners. Well it sums me up and over the coming weeks I'll post on my progress as hopefully I travel from complete novice to .....
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Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Gum Drop Pillows

The perfect gift for daughters, grand-daughters, nieces or friends who are going off to University - the Gum Drop Pillow (cushion) by Amy Butler.

Anna is sitting on her new Gum Drop Cushion with Oscar the black lab puppy in the foreground the day before she went off to University. Stuffed with polystyrene balls it makes a great extra seat for a student's room.

Made from Amy Butler's fabrics from the August Fields range the furnishing fabric weight fabric with a sateen finish is perfect for the Cushion where a bit more strength is needed. only takes a couple of hours to make!

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Little Gracie Embroidered House

This charming embroidered house was done on the Little Gracie II - a lovely example of how you can free motion quilt on the frame using your own sewing machine. We were intrigued to know more about the embroidered design and how our customer was finding using the Little Gracie and we share Maura Bangs's thoughts on the frame. Her inspiration for the embroidery came from the Enid Mason embroidery books.

"The card is a slight enlargement of an embroidery I made when I was just setting out to learn how to control the Little Gracie carriage movement. I was amazed at how sensitive it was - it really is just like drawing. I'm still trying to master quilting larger pieces - I can manage a cot-sized quilt, but the accumulation of fabric on the take-up rail makes larger quilts difficult, as the movement of the sewing machine arm is so reduced (a Bernina Activa 230PE).

I am about to invest in a Pfaff GrandQuilter, and hope that the added reach will be helpful. It will also be great to have a machine loaded up on the Little Gracie all the time - it's not hard to set up, it will just be one stage less in preparing a quilt for the quilting stage. Added features like the needle up/down setting and touch-button thread cutter are a bonus.

I am a teacher, and have just left my full-time job to concentrate more on my textile work, having reached a point where even an 8 to 6 day, plus work at the weekend and in the holidays still weren't enough to keep up with the ever-increasing demands for paperwork - and I was only teaching four and five year-olds! I'll miss the children, having seen whole families through their Reception years in the 12 years I was at the school. However, my own children are grown up and nearly independent (never speak too soon!), and I thought that if I didn't make the jump now I would always regret it. Money is going to be tighter, but the mortgage is paid, and my husband loves his teaching job (PE) and also the increased availability of clean socks and good cooking that comes from having a wife on the premises for a greater proportion of the day. I'm going to look out for a part-time teaching post during the year, but I'm not rushing into anything at the moment.

I used to write for Patchwork & Quilting magazine, quite a few years ago, but had to stop when my late mother became ill, and I had to spend a lot of time looking after her. Writing got put on hold, and I haven't had time to think about it again until now. I'm hoping that articles, or even a book may emerge over time."

So thank you to Maura for letting us post on the blog here and good luck with your future writing.

The Pfaff Grand Quilter will definitely help with doing larger quilts although we do have customers using their own machine such as the Bernina model above who are quite happily doing larger quilts. If you're thinking about buying a frame things you need to consider are planning for a 4" depth of design (this would be at the end of the quilt when there is the most amount of bulk on the rail) and whether you want to have a dedicated machine such as the Pfaff Grand Quilter which is a straight stitch machine and ideal for use on the Grace frames.

One tip from one of our staff - she uses a 1/4" tape across the quilt at the limit of the free arm movement for the section you are working on so that you can see exactly which parts of the quilt you are working on at a glance. This prevents the serious complaint of flat-bottomed circles!!
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Thursday, 17 September 2009

Sign at the American Folk Museum, New York

Need we say more...!

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Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Are you a Member of Sable?

Not unlike the sentiements of one Terry Wogan when speaking of his impending retirement from the breakfast show we would also aknowledge that if it weren't for our customers (read listeners) life would be very boring indeed. Those important moments in the day that are lightened by a cheerful customer, a witty remark that generates an amusing response or a shared joke about life, the universe and everything. Yes, without humour life would be as nought.

So, we would like to share with you the latest witticism to hit the Cotton Patch. A customer who is a member of a group that has just restarted classes was asked by the teacher if they were all members of SABLE. Blank looks were cast around the room. The teacher announced that she felt quite confident that unwittingly there would be more than a few Sable members in the class. Recognition of membership might be considered a badge of honour for some quilters. So, if you think you are a member of SABLE just consider whether you would classify -


Please share with your quilting friends!
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Friday, 4 September 2009

Further Tales from the Festival of Quilts

For our final installment of our blog about Festival we've a few more photos of various people on The Cotton Patch stand.
All photos courtesy of Liz Hingley.

Amy Butler and David Butler
Amy and David Butler, Marti and Richard Michell and Kaffe Fassett signing his latest book "Kaffe Fassett's quilt romance".

Marti Michell and Richard Michell
There are a few blog posts around the net you might like to check out on the Festival of Quilts - one I loved is the Henhouse Blog Great photos and what a fantastic collection of fabrics and goodies to drool over - her choice of book "Material Obsession" seems particularly apt!

Having fun at Amy's class..

Amy Butler's Cushion Class from the EQ Softwares CD Amy Butler's Cushion Class
Amy Butler Fabric Packs on The Cotton Patch stand
All those lovely Kaffe Fassett and Amy Butler packets, fat quarters and packs...!

Sandy Chandler demonstrating the Curvemaster Tool

Sandy Chandler going non-stop with curved piecing! She could have made a large King-sized quilt with all those pieces!
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Thursday, 3 September 2009

More Tales from The Festival of Quilts

Amy Butler signing her latest books It may only be a week and a half since we returned from the Festival of Quilts but already it seems like much longer. Maybe its something to do with the more autumnal weather we're having right now whereas the setup day on the 18th August was so hot we were in shorts!
Here are some more images from the show that we thought we should share.

All photos were taken by Liz Hingley.

Amy Butler signing her latest books and chatting with customers.

Kaffe Fassett Brandon Mably and David Butler at the Festival of Quilts

Kaffe Fassett, Brandon Mably and David Butler (Amy's Husband) with Geoff Sewell from The Cotton Patch.

Marti Michell demonstrating her Perfect Patchwork Templates at the Festival of Quilts

Marti Michell who always demonstrates the Perfect Patchwork templates and rulers with her unique and entertaining style.

Curvemaster Demonstration with Sandy Chandler

Sandy Chandler demonstrated her Curvemaster Patchwork foot to hundreds of people during the four days of the show - showing that no one need be afraid of curved piecing - you just need the Curvemaster, long tweezers and seam roller for perfect results!

Curvemaster Demonstration with Sandy Chandler

Sandy's entertaining and informative style drew the crowds...

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Friday, 28 August 2009

Festival of Quilts at the NEC - A Riot of Colour

Few who attended the Festival of Quilts last week could fail to have left inspired and brimming with ideas. Attendance was in excess of all expectations and the quilting community certainly came out en masse to view a fabulous collection of quilts, works, classes, workshops and shops.

Kaffe Fassett signing his new book Kaffe Fassett's Quilt Romance
Accents from all over Europe and North America could be heard every day. So thank you to everyone who visited The Cotton Patch stands - we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did and we look forward to seeing you again next year!

Girls from The Cotton Patch at the Festival of QuiltsWe were fortunate to have the photographer Liz Hingley on the stand on Friday to capture some of the essence of the atmosphere of the show. It was Liz's first Festival and like so many first-time visitors was amazed and inspired by it. Over the next few days we'll be posting some of her images... For those of you unable to make it we hope it gives you the motivation to join us next year!

Anne, Ellie and Nikki helped with cutting the fabrics, setting up the stands (and dismantling them!) and were pretty invaluable on the Rowan stand.

Little Gracie Quilt Frame Demonstration
Geoff demonstrated the Little Gracie II, Pinnacle and the new Bernina 8 Series Quilting frame to hundreds of people during the show. Here, one customer is testing out her stippling technique on the Little Gracie II.

More photos will follow. For those of you into social networking you might like to join the Festival of Quilts Facebook group - just follow this

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Monday, 10 August 2009

Project Linus August Update

For those of you coming to the Festival of Quilts at the NEC (19th to 23rd August) don't forget to say hi to Joy and friends at the Project Linus stand.

Joy has been collecting blocks and the latest update at the Quilt Block Orphanage is as follows:

Blocks received as at 31.7.09 is 3,672.

The number of quilts completed is 162 (a lovely example is shown right).

There are then another 37 quilt tops made ready for the next stage.

She has also now set up a photo site so that people can see the quilts that have been made from the orphan blocks. If they look closely they may even recognise some of the blocks that they sent in!! Joy would love to hear from you - you can post a comment there or contact her at the email address on the newsletter which you can view using the link below.

The address for the photo gallery is

To view the latest Project Linus newsletter please click the link below.
Upload File
More information on the Project Linus Festival Challenge can be found at this link - Festival Challenge
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Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Upcycling and the Regeneration Game

Nice piece in the Sunday Times this week on Upcycling....

"Up what?" you ask.

Well for those who aren't in the know "Upcycling", according to the author, can be defined as follows...

"The idea is not to use collectable pieces — it’s to take solidly made but rather dull items from periods such as the 1950s and 1970s, and, by using wit and art, give them a new lease of life. The results are individual — no two pieces are ever the same — contemporary and yet classic."

Maybe Kirsty Allsop made riffling through skips a bit more mainstream on her Channel 4 program Homemade Home but it looks set to be a trend that could have strong resonance for those turning over turf for turnips. A typical office conversation at The Cotton Patch kitchen is on how early our beans were ready this year - not a particularly common conversation 5 years ago. Recycling for quilters is easier with the advent of Quilters Dream Green - 28 green plastic bottles can go into your King Size Quilt that won't be going into landfill.

There can be no doubt that those dull items from the 1950s and 1970s can appear to those who lived through the era not quite retro enough (they say that time heals) or without the classic style of Nouveau or Deco but maybe they do have something here. Certainly to the younger generation who think Twiggy must have been the precursor to Twitter, 70's style is pretty much spot on. Bring back the Curly Wurly I say ...oh...they did that already!

So if you want some inspiration and ideas on how to get started follow the link to the article here.
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Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Festival of Quilts 2009 - Amy Butler, Kaffe Fassett et al

Preparations are well underway for the Festival of Quilts at the NEC from 20th to 23rd August. We are delighted that Amy Butler, Kaffe Fassett and Marti Michell will all be joining us again. We also have Sandy Chandler from the States who will be demonstrating the Curve Master, tweezers and seam roller.

Amy and Kaffe will be able to sign copies of their books at the following times. They may be on the stand at other times as well if they are not doing classes and lectures so please stop by on our stand at B25 - we'll have lots of fabrics by the metre, packs and books. There will be some great Show Special Offers so it will be well worth a visit.

Amy's Book Signing Times

Thursday 10:30 - 12:00 and 4:45 - 5:15
Friday 10:30 - 12:00 and 4:45 - 5:15
Saturday 10:30 - 12:30 and 2:00 - 3:00
Sunday 10.00 - 11.00

Kaffe's Book Signing Times

Thursday 11:00 - 1:00 and 2:30 - 4:00.
Friday 11:00 - 1:00 and 2:30 - 4:00.

Our main Cotton Patch stand is just across from Amy and Kaffe at C19 and our demonstrations of hand and machine quilting frames (including the new Bernina frame) will be at B21.

Don't forget that our shop is only 1/2 hour drive away from the NEC so please do visit while you are in the area. The shop is open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday (20-22 August) from 10am to 5pm. To give you an extra incentive to visit, if you spend over £35 on any of those days get a free copy of one of the following books! (Offer is limited to one copy per customer per day.) For directions to the shop please click here.

The Quilt Road by Kaffe Fassett (Ref 4259, normally £15.95)

A collection of 20 projects to suit all skill levels by:- Kaffe Fassett, Janet Bolton, Keiko Goke, Roberta Horton, Mary Mashuta, Liza Prior Lucy, Pauline Smith, Betsy Mennesson, Brandon Mably and Hilde Aanerud Krohg.
This Rowan Patchwork & Quilting book is styled by Kaffe Fassett and photographed by Debbie Patterson in the dramatic Pennine landscape of Yorkshire, amongst the barns and lichen encrusted mossy dry-stone walls that are so characteristic of the roadside scene in this part of Northern England.

The Impatient Patchworker by Jane Emerson (Ref 4395, normally £12.99)

If you like the idea of giving your home an individual touch, but lack of time, the experience or the ideas, then The Impatient Patchworker is just what you need. Jayne Emerson has created a range of 20 quick-to-make patchwork projects that will transform your home in a matter of a few hours. She includes wonderful mixtures of patterns and colours to create eye-catching but simple textiles, including cushions, shopping bags and purses, table runners, cloths and napkins.

Seven Easy Pieces by Kaffe Fassett (Ref 4057, normally £7.95)

A collection of 7 cool and contemporary projects with beginners in mind. The projects use just 10 Kaffe Fassett fabrics so, if there is any left over from one project you can use it to start the next!

We hope you can visit the NEC in August and if you do, we look forward to seeing you there!
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Thursday, 28 May 2009

Needle Felting Project with Perle Cotton

By strange coincidence with the previous post, which shows a customer's small ringbinder with floral embroidered decoration, I was working on a felted project of a flower over the Bank Holiday weekend too.

Here are a some photos of the work in progress. I wanted to try out the new Presencia Perle Cotton (No 8) threads that we got in just before Malvern and with a few felted pieces from Oliver Twists and other bits I had in my stash I drew two petal templates and before you knew it was placing my felt petals in position on the Felting Mat!

The next stage was to use the Clover Pen Style Felting Needle Tool to secure them to the base fabric. Punching through the edges of the felted pieces secured them sufficiently for me to then blanket stitch them in place. Using the Felting Mat gives a stable base, protects the needles and stops your worksurface from becoming a pin cushion.

The back of the fabric then looked like this...

Using the Perle Cotton thread I then blanket stitched around each of the petals in a variety of solid and variegated threads.

The next stage was to use the Oliver Twists Silk Strata Pack - the Sunset colourway for this project to add texture to each of the petals and provide
more interest in the centre.

More photos to follow...

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Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Ringbinder Creativity

Needing a bit of inspiration? Or do you have boxes of beads or skeins of embroidery just waiting for a home? Maybe you're not an embroiderer and are happy to just work with fabric...whatever category you fall into, here is a great example of what can be done with the Small Ringbinder (Ref 9576). Creativity unleashed!

Georgina said ...

"Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the ring binder kit I bought at Malvern. Got one for my DIL's b'day and thought I'd better get one to check it worked okay. I used up a bit of embroidery I have had hanging around waiting for a home for 10 years!I had such fun and can't wait until payday so I can order more kits!!!

For a bigger picture you can view it the pic on Flickr!!

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Thursday, 21 May 2009

Electric Quilt Workshops from Barbara Chainey

If you've ever thought that you're not making the most of EQ6 or you want to get started with Electric Quilt as a beginner then this is the class from you. Well-known quilt teachers Chris Franses and Barbara Chainey have teamed up to bring you a hands on class using "their favourite quilt design program" EQ6 - their words not ours!

From blocks.....

to quilts!

All this creativity will be happening in Stone, Staffordshire which is easily accessible from the M6 and A34 - just one hour from Birmingham, Manchester, Chester, Shrewsbury, Worcester and Leicester.

The workshop is on Saturday 12th September 2009 and will run from 10am to 4pm. Places are limited to 12 students and the cost is a bargain at £40 - just think about how much fun you'll have designing quilts, playing with colour and enjoying their famous chocolate biscuits throughout the day!

Further details and for how to book - visit their website -
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Friday, 8 May 2009

Kirstie Allsopp's Homemade Home - Kaffe Fassett and Quilting

Last Friday all the talk at The Cotton Patch was about Kaffe Fassett on Kirstie Allsopp's programme Homemade Home - Kirstie, having moved on from Location, Location, Location with Phil has turned her hand to rennovating an absolute wreck of a cottage in Cornwall. Her focus has been on using local crafts people and materials to furnish it and recycle where possible. All good!

Yesterday featured an old patchwork quilt (red and green - any thoughts on a date?) that Kirstie bought in a textiles antique shop and she also made a quilt with Cowslip Workshops. Its great to see so many crafts being showcased on the programme and although not everyone will appreciate Kirstie's style we think she's doing a great job!

So if you're new to quilting we hope you find our site and blog useful - but beware - it can be addictive!
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